Now You Can Find Us On Twitter!

The PLAA is now on Twitter under the name @PittsburghALA. Please go onto your Twitter account and follow us! We will look to send tweets from our General Membership Meetings, Business Partner Events, and Education Sessions to keep everyone (on Twitter) in the loop.

PLAA and Business Partners Pirate Tailgate and Ballgame

Join us for an evening of food, drink, and a ballgame

June 5, 2019 – PNC Park
Pirate Tailgate and Ballgame
Pirates Vs Atlanta Braves
tailgate 5:00 p.m. – game 7:05pm

PLAA Members – Free
Guest – Non-Member – $20.00

We will have tickets available for those who would like to see game and for those who just want to tailgate we will be setup for fun!

Register now!

PLAA Social Networking Happy Hour!

Congratulations to the ALA Newly Appointed Volunteers!

Over the last several months, ALA committees and project teams have been working diligently to identify individuals who will fill the roles vacated as current members complete their terms next month. In addition to many other individuals who were appointed to various committees, Roberta Bauer of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, PC for being appointed to the ALA Business Partner Relations Project Team.

Congratulations Roberta!

A collection of ALA resources you should know

ALA is constantly looking for new ways to deliver what matters most to their members: learning that keeps them ahead of the curve, solutions that improve their firms, and — overall — a toolkit that allows them to be the best legal management professional they can be as they advance in their career. In this post you will find an an overview of some of their best resources, many of which were developed in the past year.

The Job Description Toolkit is a downloadable handbook that helps legal management professionals and their organization draft better job descriptions — both for finding the best candidates and managing their performance once they’re hired. There are sample descriptions, which also apply Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS) classifications, for more than 40 different business of law jobs.

Member price: Zero! | Non-member price: $399



The Compensation and Benefits Survey gathers data from more than 1,000 firms across the United States to report pay and perks for over 60 different law firm positions. Legal managers use its 400-plus pages to evaluate their employees’ compensation (and their own), to determine whether they’re competitive in the job market, and to develop pay structures for new locations. Download the free Executive Summary to get an overview of the data and analysis of the trends.

Member price: $299 (survey participant); $399 (non-participant) | Non-member price: $549 (survey particpant); $759 (non-participant)


Job Bank
Looking for a new career challege? ALA’s Job Bank is continually adding high-quality positions from firms, legal departments and government offices all over the U.S. and Canada. You can also list your résumé in our database for prospective employers.

Looking to fill a role at your organization? Traditional job boards make it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Our Job Bank specializes in legal management roles and legal support positions, and it’s used by job seekers who tend to already have extensive legal experience

Job seeker price: Free to view listings and post your résumé | Employer price: To advertise a job, $299 for organizations that employ an ALA member and $499 for non-member organizations

Legal Management Resource Hub
Introduced this year, the Legal Management Resource Hubs gather all the recent relevant education resources for a single knowledge area in one place. That means conference recordings, e-learning courses, webinars, Legal Management articles and more. Hubs already exist for Human Resources and Finance; look for us to add C-Suite and Law Firm Management Essentials soon.

Member price: Zilch! * | Non-member price: Nada! *

* Access to the 2018 Annual Conference & Expo session recordings is free for attendees. Non-attendees can pay $79 for the FM package or $69 for the HR package.

Event Planning Plus
We know planning events for your workplace or chapter can be tough, especially when you have so much else on your plate. That’s why Event Planning Plus allows you to harness the experience and connections of ALA’s own meeting specialists to develop educational programs, find suitable locations, book prominent speakers, and create a budget you can stick to.

Price: Varies. Email for more information.

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 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*:

*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.


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