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.

Certified Legal Manager Exam: Find Out All The Details

Summer is ending, fall is in the air and school is back in session. Often at this time of the year we determine upcoming projects in both our professional and personal lives. Why not include taking the CLM (Certified Legal Manager) exam as a professional goal? The CLM exam is a great way to review and expand your knowledge for your role in the legal profession.

There are many benefits to becoming certified. Studying for the exam is a great way to learn new techniques to help in your everyday work life, explore topics that are not part of your current job, reinforce information you use infrequently, learn current industry standards and techniques, or jump start out of the box thinking It’s also a great way to achieve a personal goal and further your education.

Once you become certified, benefits include recognition within your current organization, increased marketability in the job market, and recognition from your peers. Your employer benefits from your enhanced knowledge of the legal industry, new ideas for problem solving, a network of your peers and a more professional image for the firm.

Click here to visit  the Association of Legal Administrators to learn more about the requirements for the Certified Legal Manager (CLM) exam. There are numerous opportunities to acquire the educational requirements needed to qualify for the exam. Education credits can be earned by attending an educational session, reading articles, attending a webinar or e-learning courses. The Pittsburgh Chapter offers educational sessions throughout the year for free to our members. If there is interest, a study group can be organized in the Pittsburgh area.

Consider taking the CLM exam and explore the requirements needed to qualify for the test.

Please contact me ( or 814-432-2181) if you are interested in more information on the CLM exam or forming a study group.

Terri Wood, MBA, CLM
CLM Chair

All New and Free to Members: ALA’s Job Description Toolkit

In an ever-changing legal market, creating accurate and descriptive job descriptions has been the bane of many legal managers’ workplace existence. ALA is excited to announce a solution: The Job Description Toolkit. This downloadable, free-to-members handbook is designed to help legal management professionals and their employers draft job descriptions that make it easier to find the best candidates and to manage their performance once they’re hired.
Here’s what it contains:
  • A guide to creating job descriptions that apply ALA’s Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS) taxonomy, which helps define and standardize legal operations duties
  • A list of resources and tools for writing job descriptions
  • More than 40 sample job descriptions that employ the UPBMS codes
The Job Description Toolkit covers the areas of administration, finance, human resources, intellectual property, legal support services, marketing and technology. And, once your organization has job descriptions down pat, it can use the 2018 Compensation and Benefits Survey to determine whether its pay and benefits are competitive compared to the rest of the industry.

Sock Collection Update

Update From Jan Isler

I got a chance to count the donation of socks this weekend and there were 180 pairs of men’s socks and 100 pairs that were either women’s or children’s socks!

WOW! That is incredible! You have made a difference to 280 people’s lives.

Thank you all very much! I will be dropping them off at Light of Life Mission this week.



Save the Date: Thanksgiving Food Drive

PLAA Education Committe: We Need You!

The PLAA Education Committee is actively looking for new members to join our committee. Our goal is to offer education programs during the program year that help keep our members informed on legal industry trends and developments both on a local and national basis. It is not a huge time commitment (We meet no more than 6 – 8 times per year typically during the lunch hour) and the work is very rewarding because education is such an important benefit of PLAA membership. Joining our committee also gives you the opportunity to be involved, to meet and share ideas with new people and to give something back to a great organization.

If you are interested, please contact me via email.

Penny Lotz – Education Chair

Making Connections: Anna Marks

I’m excited to have a new set of connections!

As a long-time member of PSMA – Professional Services Marketing Association – I have been aware of and have come to know many members of PLAA. I never really thought to join PLAA myself because as a full-time law firm marketer, I figured the programs the organization offered would not really apply to me. That was until Corinne McCartney invited me to the June 20 event with the new networking format. I am so glad I accepted the invitation. Everyone was so welcoming – and I realized that many of the upcoming programs would be relevant to me and my work. I definitely plan to attend more PLAA events and hope to become a member as well.

PSMA’s tag line is “Making Connections” because out of all the organization’s benefits, connecting with other members seems to be the best benefit of all. I feel that same level of camaraderie among the members of PLAA and am excited to be a part of this great set of connections.

Thank you for having me and I look forward to seeing you again!

Anna Marks
Director of Marketing and Communications
Houston Harbaugh, P.C.

Medical Marijuana – It is a Hot Topic

If you missed the June education session, no worries. We are talking about it again. Speaker, Cátia Kossovsky, Owner of Kossovsky Law PLLC – google her….she knows her stuff!

ALA: 4 Upcoming Webinars, 4 Vitally Important Topics

Webinar: It’s No Fun If You Can’t Negotiate
Tuesday, August 14,
2 p.m. Central
Legal management professionals spend the bulk of their day communicating with partners, employees and business partners. Time is spent listening to sales pitches from business partners, then pitching ideas to law firm partners and, finally, convincing employees that the new idea is best. Negotiating makes many people uncomfortable. Even if they are comfortable with the negotiation, they sometimes don’t know how to communicate the information to their partners in a way that makes them want to change what they have been doing. This session will give attendees several tips for becoming more comfortable with the negotiating process and viewing it as an opportunity.

• Develop your negotiating strengths.
• Dramatize and role-play scenarios where you are speaking with business partners, law firm partners and employees.
• Outline how to prepare for all conversations by doing homework.
• Develop better listening skills.
• Examine how to build trusting relationships and, most importantly, how to enjoy the process.

Speaker: Lisa Waligorski, CLM, Executive Director at Newmeyer & Dillion, LLP


Webinar: Slicing, Dicing and Pricing: The Evolution of Law Firm Business Analytics
Wednesday, August 15, 2 p.m. Central
Big data is not just for corporations anymore. As law firms face increased competition and greater pressure to improve realization on work product, business analytics can be a critical tool. Key insights, predictive capabilities and, ultimately, better profitability are the goal.

• Describe examples of how analytics can be applied in the legal profession.
• Demonstrate the power of a firm’s own historical data.
• Explore the capabilities of a true expense-side Profitability Analytics Model.

Speaker: Seelin Naidoo, Chief Executive Officer of CMS Intelliteach


Webinar: Creating a Culturally Competent Law Firm
Monday, August 20, 2 p.m. Central
Cultural competence is an awareness of the cultural differences that make each person unique; it is the ability to interact with and appreciate belief systems that differ from our own, thereby creating a way for everyone to work cross-culturally.
The goal of this presentation is to enhance knowledge and skills for building and maintaining a multicultural organization and becoming positive change agents for our workplaces. This program asks participants to understand and reflect on their role as a leader responsible for promoting inclusion and building effective working relationships within our organizations.

• Define diversity and culture and its impact on relationships within our organizations.
• Identify our unconscious biases and how they affect our culture and hiring decisions.
• Demonstrate the importance of collaborative working relationships with diverse others and the benefits of diverse perspectives in problem-solving.
• Recognize the importance of infusing diversity into our organizations to achieve a more productive, respectful and cooperative work environment.
• Develop a plan of action for becoming a change agent for diversity in our companies and community.

Speakers: ALA Committee on Diversity and Inclusion’s Rita F. Garrett, Office Administrator of Kutak Rock LLP, and Michael G. Stephens, PHR, Director of Human Resources & Diversity for Alston & Bird LLP


Webinar: Time to Go Back to School: Important Updates for Your Firm’s Handbook
Wednesday, August 22, 2 p.m. Central
The times, they are a-changing — and fast! Have you recently reviewed and revised your firm’s employee handbook to ensure that al the appropriate and up-to-date policies are in place? Come to this fast-paced and law-firm-business-focused session and understand what must be, should be and should not be included in your firm’s handbook.

• Understand the changes in the law that require updates in your firm’s policies and procedures.
• Familiarize yourself with the risks associated with these changes and how to minimize those risks.
• Appreciate how to engage employees regarding the new changes in a manner that is neither off-putting nor heavy-handed.

Speaker: Michael S. Cohen, JD, Partner at Duane Morris LLP


2018 Education Conference Updates: Change Your View and Broaden Your Horizons

The 2018 conference is a little over a month away, there’s still time to register.  Please use this link to register. I have updated the site with more detailed course descriptions and CLM credit information.  Our block of rooms will be released on August 15 so please make sure you book your room before then.

Looking For Group, LLC will be joining us on Friday evening with 2 virtual reality gaming centers.  So get ready to Change Your View on video games!  If you don’t know much about VR Gaming, check out the you tube video below.

Hope to see you all at the conference!


  • PLAA Social Networking Happy Hour!

    Join us 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on May 8th for our PLAA Happy Hour at Molinaro Ristorante & Bar! Relax and enjoy cocktails and appetizers on us while you connect with your peers after work.   View More
  • 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…Read more ›View More
  • 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.   View More

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May 01, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm • Robb Leonard Mulvihill LLP
May 08, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm • Molinaro’s
Jun 05, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm • Robb Leonard Mulvihill LLP

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