Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 66 of 75

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 68 Success by Association Which group of professionals within legal does your association support? Oliver Yandle: The membership of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) comprises chief executive officers and other C-level executives of law firms and legal departments of a variety of sizes, as well as functional specialists responsible for areas such as marketing, human resources, technology and other support functions within the law firm. Randi Mayes: ILTA's core constituency is professionals in the technology arena, and many of them are chief information officers or chief technology officers. The association delivers content around technology in law firms and law departments, and technology touches every aspect of professional life in a law firm. So we have many folks from other areas including finance, litigation and practice support, marketing, records and risk management, to name just a few. Jim Leipold: The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) is the professional home to both law firm members and law school members. On the law school side, we support people who provide career counseling and career professional development work. On the law firm or legal employer side, we support professional recruiters, lawyers' professional development folks and diversity professionals. Betsi Roach: At the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), we support marketing, business development, PR and communications professionals. We also support client services professionals who work in a law firm in the pricing, project management and process improvement areas. What factors are playing a key part in the emergence of new titles and roles among your members? Jim: The practice of law, particularly at large law firms, is changing rapidly. Some of those changes are driven by the recession and its aftermath, but globalization and the rapid strides made in technology and information science are also factors. As the way big law operates changes, the roles of our members evolve. Law firms are trying to bring costs down and be more efficient. Client corporations are less willing to pay for the training of new lawyers, so law firms have to approach training in new ways. In the law school setting, the job market remains very difficult, so career counselors have to be nimble in terms of the guidance they provide new law school graduates and in helping t hem find careers in non- traditional areas. Betsi: We're seeing a lot of factors play a part in emerging careers, including the increasing role of sales in the law firm setting; pricing uncertainty from clients; project management, process management and process improvement expertise being brought to the legal industry; as well as the continuing impact of social media. Randi: As Jim mentioned, the global recession had a big impact on many firms. The recovery from this played a role in realigning many of them. New legal service models are coming online and creating competition for the traditional law firm model. Technology is a constant force in the evolution of the profession. The confluence of these factors is providing a real opportunity to ignite some new professional opportunities and to showcase some interesting skill sets that might have lain dormant in less demanding times. Oliver: Changes in the overall global economy are a recurring theme among all ASK THE EXPERT We continue to see exciting developments across the legal profession, and one area of particular interest is new and evolving careers. Supporting the professionals facing these opportunities (and challenges) are various associations dedicated to connecting and educating their members. We've gathered the executive directors from ILTA and some sister associations for a virtual roundtable to explore what they're experiencing across their memberships. Each person's interview can be heard in its entirety on the accompanying podcasts.

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