When developing your client communication plans and office expense budgets, you should direct some portion of your effort and spend to training your employees and keeping them in touch with industry trends.
Successful businesses emphasize training and development of their employees, and the return on their investment is evidenced in improved employee performance and retention, organizational competitiveness, and revenue growth.
Industry associations provide some of the best avenues for training and development of employees, and are especially valuable as conduits to information and trends in specific industries. In the legal market, there are three associations that you should consider involving your employees in….
Association of Legal Administrators (ALA)
According to its website, the ALA’s mission is to:
• Promote and enhance the competence and professionalism of all members of the legal management team;
• Improve the quality of management in law firms and other legal service organizations; and
• Represent professional legal management and managers to the legal community and to the community at large.
Managing the business affairs of law firm requires special expertise. Among other things, the professional administrator must deal with fast-paced technological changes, management trends that contradict age-old practices, and fundamental changes in the way the practice of law is structured and conducted. ALA develops programs and products that provide high-quality, competency-based education to help administrators keep up with and deal with these challenges.
ALA caters specifically to full-time legal administrators and support managers, as well as practicing lawyers with management responsibilities employed by private law firms or other organizations engaged in the practice of law. The ALA is a national association, with over 70 regional chapters, making it is easily accessible to most in the legal profession.
ASL has been a proud sponsor of ALA since its inception in 1971. Today, we host an annual reception in honor of the incoming National President at the National ALA Annual Meeting and we support several chapters throughout the U.S.
Legal Marketing Association (LMA)
LMA is known as The Authority for Legal Marketing®. For 25 years, LMA has served the needs and maintained the professional standards of those involved in marketing, business development, client service and communications within the legal profession. LMA also serves as a resource for practicing attorneys and law firm leaders looking to develop their practices and gain competitive advantage.
According to the LMA website, one of the principal goals of LMA is to provide to its members vital and timely information and education on a wide variety of issues so that they may grow professionally as well as personally. At its core, LMA provides a forum for those working in marketing, business development, communications and client service in the legal profession to share and exchange ideas.
LMA has 18 regional chapters with over 3,000 members..
ASL is a proud sponsor and member of both National LMA and several regional chapters throughout the U.S. Many of our employees are members, and several hold board positions at the national and local level.
ARMA International (ARMA)
ARMA is the authority on managing records and information – both paper and electronic. It offers specific programs and information associated with legal records management.
ARMA, which is a not-for-profit association, was established in 1955, and has approximately 11,000 members today in 120 regional chapters throughout the U,S, and worldwide.
ASL maintains memberships in ARMA and its regional chapters and regularly attends education seminars to remain at the forefront of records management.
The best sources of information about these associations are their websites (listed above), but you can also contact your account manager at 800.222.0510. You might even get a first-hand account of just how valuable these associations can be!