News

Community Service Committee Collecting Donations to Support Project Linus

“The best kind of sleep under heaven above, is under a blanket handmade with love.”

On February 20th, the Community Service Committee will be collecting donations at the General Membership meeting in support of Project Linus!

It is the mission of Project Linus to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.
They do this by giving them gifts of new, handmade blankets, quilts and afghans.

We will accept blankets in excellent condition and of good quality. The more colorful, the better! Donations of fleece, flannel or cotton washable fabrics suitable for quilting, sewing thread and quilt batting will also be accepted. We also welcome cash donations or gift cards for Joann Fabrics.

If you would like to show off your talents with a handmade blanket, please follow the blanket guidelines provided in the link below.

https://www.projectlinuspgh.org/blanket-guidelines.html

Special care should be taken to ensure donated items are free of smokey smells or any chemicals which could cause problems for a child.

Save the Date: The 26th Annual Managing Partner – Administrator Event

The Pittsburgh Legal Administrators Association Presents
The 26th Annual Managing Partner – Administrator Event

“Legal Ethics: Every Choice Has A Consequence”
Presented by Chuck Gallagher

March 14, 2019
Fairmont Pittsburgh
510 Market St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Check back for updates!

Feb. 8 Skills Training Session to Focus on Nuts-And-Bolt of Handling Federal Civil Cases

The ACBA is offering non-CLE skills training sessions on a variety of topics. Next up is a session on the Nuts-and-Bolts of handling federal civil cases. These sessions may benefit anyone in your firm interested in gaining insight and practical understanding of this topic plus offering the more experienced attendees the opportunity to revisit core practices/trends.

Feb. 8 skills training session to focus on nuts-and-bolts of handling federal civil cases
Interested in learning more about practicing in federal court? All members are invited to “Preparing for and Handling Rule 16 Conferences in Federal Civil Cases,” a non-CLE skills training session, on Friday, Feb. 8, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Koppers Building Conference Center. The program, which is designed for young attorneys and veteran attorneys who don’t have a lot of federal court experience, will feature federal judges and experienced federal trial lawyers who will offer a nuts-and-bolts conversation about how to prepare for and handle Rule 16 case-management conferences in a federal civil case here in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The program is free for law students, $5 for Federal Court Section members, $10 for ACBA members, and $15 for all others. Click here for more.

Have you renewed your dues for 2019 yet? It’s that time of year! Sign into your alanet.org account to renew your dues and secure membership through December 31, 2019! Plus, if you renew by the end of the year, you’ll receive 1 complimentary webinar registration!

Thanksgiving Food Drive Success!

First I must thank my turkey family for helping organize, collect boxes and gift cards and keep my feathers looking good: Patty Haeck, Deena Murphy, Jan Steen, Kathleen Tomina and Tracy Vecchio!!!

Thank you all for your generosity in donating (drum roll please . . . .): 457 boxes of food, 468 gift cards valued at $9,455 and $1,639 in check and cash donations. I will have some miscellaneous gift card and check donations coming in, so I will provide the final numbers soon.

And congratulations to Jenny Fessler at Sitko Bruno whose firm won the decorating boxes random drawing for $100 gift card.

Change Your View and Broaden Your Horizons

By Cindy Eichmuller

Wa-a-ay back at the PLAA’s 2017 Holiday Luncheon, I was fortunate enough to win a free registration to attend the 2018 PLAA Education Conference to be held at The Wisp Resort in Deep Creek MD. Fast forward to 2018, an early September morning, 4 colleagues driving to Deep Creek through very dense fog eventually into sunlight and blue skies to The Wisp. By the time we reached our destination, we were in full conference and networking mode that included a lot of stories and laughs along the way.

Steve Gilliand was the keynote speaker, and his leadership skills presentation “Follow Me” was riveting and very humorous. Steve is an outstanding teller of many of his everyday life experiences that we could all relate to in one way or another. The stories charted the “growth path” of his life and how he created positive changes along the way. Amanda Ellis Cuban – yes, Mark Cuban’s sister-in-law – and a former attorney was up next with “Leading With Social Media”. She stated that “80% of Millennial attorneys use social media and 90% use Instagram”. Amanda explained different types of social media formats such as Linkedin, Twitter, (how many raised their hands when asked “Who has a Twitter account?” – not many!), Instagram and the use of hashtags. You do not need to be on every social media venue as it is not a one size fits all but try to find one that fits you.

Jennifer Ramovs, Esq. with Affinity Consulting conducted two sessions, “How to Map and Fix Law Firm Processes” and “Moneyball”. The Processes session detailed how to identify a breakdown in a system. By mapping each step of the process, to locate the point(s) where it’s “broken”, you can come up with a fix. “Moneyball” (remember the baseball movie “Moneyball”?) focused on why it’s important to use statistics to run the firm and not simply getting by with a hunch or “gut instinct”. Understand the numbers!

Dinner, cocktails and networking held in a “yurt” (The Wisp has many sizes of yurts on the property) concluded the first day of the conference.

Our old friend, Pam Cochenouer, Esq., returned to start off Friday with a “What Would You Do” session regarding handling certain human resources situations. Medical marijuana is an up and coming workplace issue due to the recent legalization in Pennsylvania. Harassment issues loom large – sexual and otherwise – especially since the #MeToo Movement has formed. The last hot button topic was about transgender employees. Pam offered several real life cases on each topic. Alicia Slade and David Recker spoke about “Cybersecurity”. Alicia went over the basics on how to secure your network and work stations. Keep those patches on the network up to date! David spoke about the importance of having Cybersecurity insurance just in case your system would crash due to a virus, a hacker, etc. Alicia offered a real life scenario of a law firm’s files held for “ransom” until the firm made payment in virtual currency.
The firm could not even do billing until the files were released.

It was time to break for lunch and the mini Business Partner Show showcasing items for the “Law Firm of the Future”. The Show was held in a very large yurt. Standing desks, network security, a virtual receptionist and the flavor water machine were among some of the “future” offerings. It’s always fun to connect with the business partners, see what they have to offer and see what’s new! Thank you, Business Partners – we could not do what we do without YOU.

Mike Wasco, from Kinol Shari, presented information on the 2017 Tax Reform that was passed into law late 2017. There are a host of changes starting in 2018 that will affect us personally and also affect our firms’ tax status. Bill Acheson’s session “Nonverbal Communication: The Hidden Message” was all about body language. Body language accounts for more than half of the meaning in any face to face encounter. The adage “First impressions are important” is very true. Your body language can make you more powerful or can weaken what you say!

The reception dinner was held Friday evening which provided for lots of networking time with other members and business partners. Virtual reality gaming – the future! – was present along with some – old fashioned! – board games and a jigsaw puzzle. I took the opportunity to try out the virtual gaming and selected the “Gourmet Kitchen” module. After donning the headgear and receiving instructions on how to use the handhelds, I stepped into the “kitchen”. Let me just say that it is harder to master than it may look; I kept burning the bacon!

Before we knew it the conference was over and the four colleagues were back in the vehicle headed home. I have to say that a lot of the conversation was about the conference -the fantastic education we experienced, how good the speakers were, how valuable the networking was and how much fun we had. And already wondering where the next education conference will be held …. ?

Thank you to Tracy Pape, Chair, and the Education Conference Committee for a job well done!

Early Start Campaign: ALA Limited Special Offer

For a limited time, we are extending a special offer: Join now at the regular full-year dues rate, and ALA will activate your membership immediately ― and it will remain active through all of 2019! Members get access to exclusive benefits and resources, including the NEW ALA Job Description Toolkit — a $399 value but FREE to members only. The toolkit features more than 100 pages and 45 full position descriptions along with other must-have resources and information.

To access this special “early start” offer, please join online*: https://my.alanet.org/joinpromobcd

*To join by mail, print and complete the 2018 application, write ‘EARLY START’ across the top, and mail with your dues payment per application instructions.

Member Needs Assessment Survey

This biennial survey is an important yardstick to help determine member needs, experiences and program areas of focus. Deployed last in 2016, the survey is conducted to recognize, respect and reduce members’ time investment. Our goal is to have as many member voices heard as possible, and we ask you to appeal to your chapter members to participate prior to October 15. Members who complete the survey will be entered in a prize drawing if they provide optional contact information. This link is for members based in the United States. International members should click here.

Please also consider posting the following message on your chapter’s social media platforms:
“Time is running out to complete the ALA Member Needs Assessment! The survey, which only takes 25 minutes to complete, will help ALA increase member value. Take it today! https://bit.ly/2P94iDB

Stationery Evolution – 3 Ways to Progress

It’s no surprise to anyone that with the popularity and ease of electronic communication, the use of stationery has decreased. However, paper is not dead as was once predicted. And stationery isn’t either. It is simply evolving like other communication vehicles.

Stationery of Tomorrow

Stationery, in the broadest definition, includes letterhead, business cards, envelopes, note cards and other personalized materials. It is used to make an impression, to communicate. But did you know that it can also create a connection on a deep and meaningful level? Sensory marketing, or marketing that engages more than one sense affects perception, judgment and behavior. Simply put, giving a prospective client something that they can see, hold and interact with is more memorable than just sending an email.

There are many simple ways to join the stationery evolution and create the best impression. Below are just 3.

1. Stand Out with Great Business Cards

Many business leaders agree the practice of carrying and exchanging business cards is alive and well. When you hand your business card to someone, that person is now interacting with you on multiple levels. He or she is hearing you speak, maybe looking down at the card and back at you and possibly or just holding the card, flipping it over and playing with it. With so many different senses being triggered, your meeting is sure to leave a lasting memory.

With all the production options today, your card can truly be an ambassador for your brand. Creative designs, double-thick stocks, colored stocks, clipped or rounded corners, two-sided, vertical layouts…the list goes on and on for ways that you can make your business cards reflect your brand and still be professional. Cards that stand out are memorable and get shared with others continuing to elevate your brand.

Pay close attention to the tactile feel of your cards. Is the paper thin or does it have a nice heft to it? When you run your hand over it, does anything stand out or is the paper and print smooth and flat? The sensory impact of your card can create a lasting impression that will impact potential customers.

2. Make Letterhead More Versatile
Gone are the days of black ink on cream paper with every partner’s name listed. Firm names have shortened. Brands are now more colorful with over 85% of firms having 2+ color logos.
Take advantage of the more modern, simple branding and letterhead design and create “masthead” letterhead. This type of letterhead features just the firm logo and/or name. You can now use your letterhead to send traditional business communications and use it in other communication vehicles such as proposals as attorney bios and marketing packets as practice area sheets. By just featuring your logo, all the offices and all personnel can print using the same letterhead with different print templates with their specific information (phone, address and even name, title and email!). It becomes a multi-purpose sheet that ensures the consistency of your brand with the flexibility of on-demand print.

3. Send Snail Mail with Personalized Note Cards
Are you relying mostly on digital communication – online, email, social sites? If you are like most modern businesses, you are. And actually that’s great! Digital communication is “cheap” and easy. It also touches a mass of contacts at one time. However, it can be hard and expensive to really target specific prospective clients electronically. For those opportunities that require a more personal touch, sending a handwritten note card can send just the right message.

Be bold! Your note cards don’t have to be 3 x 5 folded cards with just your name. They can be configured in all shapes and sizes – flat or folded. You can “flood coat” the back with your firm color and engrave the your name on the front. Or even emboss your logo for an added touch of sophistication. All of these little touches will encourage the reader to touch and feel the card – making their interaction longer, more meaningful and more impactful.

Plus, what says “you are important” and “I value our relationship” more than someone taking the time to find a pen and write a sincere note?

Join the Stationery Evolution

Contact your account manager today to discuss the many ideas on how to join the stationery evolution and see live samples of law firm brands, stationery and marketing materials.

Author contact information:
Don Goodman
Senior Sales Representative
dgoodman@aslegal.com
216.496.0182
vizCard: http://aslegal.me/dgoodman

 

PLAA Education Conference Update by Carolyn Hinson

Attending the PLAA Education Conference
by Carolyn Hinson, Caroselli Beachler & Coleman

Having attended every PLAA Local Education Conference since I joined in 2001, I found this year’s conference to be one of the finest.  The education topics and speakers were absolutely “on target” and amazing.  Even the afternoon sessions when you start to “droop” and want to go “take a nap”… were uplifting – interesting and even humorous at times.    I was very lucky to win a Scholarship this year, but I would have attended any way.  The cost is so minimum and the drive to the Resort was painless.  It’s always great seeing my fellow members and networking every chance I get.   So, if you did attend the conference, no doubt you walked away with the same good feeling.  If not – I HIGHLY recommend attending the next Conference in 2020.  I know I will.

News

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Events

Feb 20, 2019
11:45 am - 1:30 pm • The Rivers Club
Mar 06, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm • Pepper Hamilton LLP
Mar 14, 2019
11:45 am - 1:30 pm • Fairmont Pittsburgh

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