January 2018 Print


A warm welcome to our new members Falyn Martin (Shearman & Sterling) and Kory Mingus (Haynes Beffel & Wolfeld LLP). Shirley Laboy and I will be reaching out to them soon to set up a welcome lunch. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing them at our upcoming events.

It is membership renewal season. Please renew your ALA-SVC chapter membership by January 31, 2018. Chapter membership is $75 for the year. Your membership dues cover many of the educational and professional development events that are held throughout the year, and include other perks like access to the email distribution list and this newsletter!

Recently, our annual ALA-SVC Membership Directory was distributed either in hard copy or published for members on the website (depending on each member’s preference). To access the online version of the Directory, go to the website (www.ALASVC.org), log in at the Member Area, and click on the Member Directory link. If you had requested a hard copy of the directory but did not receive it, please reach out to me.

Happy New Year to you all!

Heather Larrick

Heather Larrick,
Director - Membership 

Why ALA? ι Silicon Valley Chapter

Video by ALASVC Gigabyte Sponsor Michael Crocker, Rezi Media


Back to top

Gigabyte Level Business Partners




Back to top

Member Outreach


Jim Karkas, Chair
Community Connection and Member Outreach


2017 Annual Holiday Luncheon - Fleming's Prime Steakhouse


On Wednesday, December 6th, our ALA Silicon Valley Chapter had their annual holiday lunch. This year’s event was held at Flemings Steakhouse in Palo Alto. We had a GREAT turnout. We had 56 members and business partners join the event this year.

Our event started off with great appetizers and drinks then was followed by a fabulous lunch. To say the food was amazing, would be an absolute understatement….just mentioning the lobster mash potatoes makes my mouth water for more.

Entertainment included Christmas Carol singing including a rather interesting version of the 12 days of Christmas which had to be acted out by some in the audience. The highlight of this had to be a rather entertaining version of Pied Pipers Piping by our own Heather Larrick. We will go no further except to say that Heather had a very interesting way of lighting up/holding the pipe (and we are not talking about a piccolo). We also loved maids a milking, partridge in a pear tree, lords a leaping, and so on. It was hilarious!

After the merriment, we got down to some chapter business recognizing/thanking our soon to be outgoing President (GREAT JOB Shirley Laboy!), thanking our Board/Committee Chairs and having a raffle. I think I speak for everyone, “ a good time was had by all!” SVC DOES IT RIGHT!!!! 

We also received $1,475 in gift card donations.  Thank you for making a difference.

VIEW the fun video of our Christmas song! 




Back to top

Business Partners

 ALA Silicon Valley Chapter Business Partners
August 1, 2017 -- July 31, 2018

* * * *
Gigabyte Level
Adams & Martin Group
Rezi Media

* * * * *
Megabyte Level
Ricoh USA
Robert Half Legal
* * * * *
Kilobyte Level
City National Bank
Cushman & Wakefield
Element Professional Staffing
First Legal
Gateway Global
Interior Architects

IST Management Services
KBM Hogue
LegalEase, LLC
Pathways Personnel, Inc.
S. L. Pemberton, Inc.
Toeniskoetter Construction, Inc.
* * * * *
Friends Level
Ahern Insurance
Boston Private
Canon Business Process Services, Inc.
CBRE - Tenant Advisory Services
Chipman Relocation

DFS Green

Nidaan Systems

Back to top

Sponsor Spotlight

Money talks, but the conversation is about to change. In late 2017, 2018, and beyond, certain states and cities are set to implement salary secrecy laws. Employers in these regions will no longer be able to ask candidates, “What did you earn in your last position?”

Not my state, not my problem…

Not so fast. While only a few states and locations are implementing salary history laws, eliminating the salary history question from your interview practices and training is a good habit to start considering now. It’s a growing trend for both states and cities. With large potential consequences, and even larger potential benefits, it’s best to change your policies and practices now in preparation.

The best recourse: stop asking the question.

But why this new rule? Why now? The answer: gender equality. We’ll break down the specifics for each location affected by salary history laws, and what exactly this question has to do with income inequality and gender.

California: The law becomes effective on January 1, 2018. AB 168 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 12, 2017, which adds California Labor Code section 432.3. The law dictates the following:

  1. Employers are prohibited from relying on salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determin­ing whether to offer employment to the applicant or what salary to offer an applicant.

  2. Employers cannot ask an applicant for employment, orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, about salary history information, including compensation and benefits.

  3. Employers, upon reasonable request, shall provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment.

  4. Applicants can voluntarily and without prompting disclose salary history infor­mation to an employer.

  5. If an applicant voluntarily discloses salary information, the law does not prohibit the employer from considering or relying on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for that applicant.


Back to top

Diversity & Inclusion

Outside Counsel Continue to Push for Increased Law Firm Diversity. Diversity initiatives in law firms continue to be driven by clients’ demands for change. At a recent conference of in-house lawyers, a deputy general counsel from CBRE Inc. presented company guidelines that seek to promote diversity in their outside counsel, including requiring law firms to staff teams with women and minorities. This has been a particularly challenging undertaking in commercial real estate -- an industry that descends from a “good old boys’ network.” Read the full post here.

Knowledge of cultural and religious holidays and celebrations may enhance your workplace diversity & inclusion efforts. Here are some upcoming events:

  • January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – U.S.
  • January 27: Day of Commemoration to remember  victims of the Holocaust (international)
  • January 28: Lunar New Year (widely celebrated in Southeast Asian countries)

  • FEBRUARY: Black History Month (U.S. and Canada)
  • February 1: National Freedom Day – celebrates signing of the 13th Amendment (U.S.)
  • February 16: Chinese New Year

  • MARCH: Women’s History Month (U.S.)
  • MARCH: National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (U.S.)
  • March 8: International Women’s Day
  • March 21: Norooz / Persian New Year (international)
  • March 30: Good Friday – celebrated by Christians
  • March 30 – April 7: Passover – celebrated by Jews


Grace Carr Lee, Chair - Diversity & Inclusion Committee



In October, the Chapter was pleased to sponsor Gray Area Thinking,™ a program presented by Ellie Krug. 

Gray Area Thinking™ is a simple three-part toolset for interacting with diverse humans:

  1. awareness of another human’s vulnerability or suffering;
  2. risk-taking to alleviate or lessen that vulnerability or suffering; and
  3. compassion and kindness for both self and others. 

Most diversity and inclusion presentations address unconscious bias by educating audience members about neurobiology and the human tendency to deny being biased. However, attendees often are not provided with actual tools they can use in their day-to-day interactions. By employing memorable training strategies, Ellie Krug provides an easily understood toolset that can be put into practice by audience members as soon as they walk out of the room, and remembered for a long time thereafter. 

Here is a brief recap in Ellie Krug's own words.

Video by ALASVC Gigabyte Sponsor Michael Crocker, Rezi Media




Back to top

Certification (CLM)

Make 2018 the year you will earn your Certified Legal Manager (CLM)® certification!


The CLM study guide is nearing completion and will be available in the first part of 2018. The guide provides expanded content of the exam's body of knowledge to use as a self-assessment tool for your own focused study plan.

Debbie Piker Sanders

Chair, ALA Certification Comm. (national)

CLM: Wondering where to start?

  • The CLM exam covers nine management areas in four functional categories which are detailed in a content outline of the body of knowledge. Review the CLM Body of Knowledge and assess your knowledge in these areas:
    • Financial Management:
      • General Accounting (14%)
      • Financial Information and Analysis (17%)
    • Human Resources Management:
      • Employee Selection and Promotion (9%)
      • Performance Management and Compensation (19%)
      • Organizational Development (5%)
    • Legal Industry/Business Management
      • Business Development, Insurance, Planning (11%)
      • ABA Model Rules, Professional Liability, Trends, Records Management (8%)
    • Operations Management
      • Technology/Automation Management (5%)
      • Operations (12%)
  • Shore up your knowledge from articles and reference materials. There is no single reference manual for our profession -- our job responsibilities are wide-ranging and involve several functional areas. A representative list of text resources that expound on the exam's body of knowledge is provided in the CLM application packet. A few of the main publications can be purchased in ALA's Legal Management e-Store. Study guide coming soon in Q1 2018! 
  • Visit the ALA online community, CLM Study Tools & Discussion at community.alanet.org where several chapter study groups have shared their curriculum using the Body of Knowledge as a guide, which may help jump-start your own study plan. Study group review materials are also available through ALA Great Chicago Chapter and the Cyber Chapter.
  • All candidates must complete, within the 24 months preceding the date of application, at least 2 hours of application coursework in each of five (5) management categories. Application coursework is different than the content of the exam. Application coursework covers five management categories that are not easily tested in a multiple choice exam format such as writing and communications skills, self-management, information technology, and organizational development. Download the worksheet and begin recording your coursework here. 
  • Go for it! Complete the online application, pay the fee of $529 for members, upload your education worksheet, sign the Code of Professional Conduct.... and just take the test

No matter what stage of your career, studying for the CLM is a great way to expand your knowledge and dedication to our profession. 

For more information about Certification, visit alanet.org/education/certification


Heather Larrick, CLM, SPHR

Debbie Sanders, CLM

Thea Wagner, CLM

Spring exam

The application deadline is March 14, 2018, for the May 14 exam. 

Fall exam

The application deadline is Sept 5, 2018, for the Nov 5 exam.


Back to top

Professional Development

Upcoming Education Sessions:

January 25, 2018 - Sidley Austin LLP, Palo Alto
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Speakers: Sarju Naran, Jenn Protas, Laura Riparbelli
Session Title: 2018 California Employment Law Update
Session Description:

The new year brings several changes to the complex world of California employment law that will impact your organization and its HR functions.

This session will provide an engaging and informative presentation on the state of the law, new legislative and case law changes, and valuable insights to help you stay in compliance in 2018.

Topics will include:

  • Statewide “Ban the Box” law
  • Sexual harassment prevention training requirements & guidance on effective investigations
  • Ban on compensation history inquiries
  • Expansion of California’s baby bonding eligibility
  • Contractor liability for unpaid wages of its subcontractors’ employees

March 15, 2018 - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Palo Alto
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Speakers: Anne Villanueva 
Session Title: When Employees Go Viral: Speech Within and Outside of the Workplace
Session Description:

Please join us as we explore these timely, thought-provoking and important issues. Labor and employment attorney Anne Villanueva will address the following questions in this critical area of employee relations:

  • What is the legal landscape with respect to employee expression in the workplace of private employers?
  • Do any laws speak to private employers' rights, obligations, and limitations with respect to the regulation of employee speech outside of the workplace?
  • •Do California and federal laws regarding employee speech differ, and if so, in what respects?What policies and procedures should companies consider with respect to employee speech within and outside of the workplace?
  • In what ways have federal and state laws changed in connection with the growth of the Internet as a medium of employee speech?
  • What are some "best practices" a company should follow when faced with a public controversy arising out of an employee's self-expression?

Questions about educational sessions, or do you have a topic to suggest?
Please contact Shelley Strong, Director - Professional Development

Back to top

Annual Conference

Navigate Our Future Together

Join us for the 2018 Annual Conference & Expo 
in National Harbor, Maryland!

Thursday, May 3 to Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center


Find more event details here: alanet.org/events/2018-events/annual-conference

Back to top

Regional Conferences & Specialty Conferences


Regional Conferences
East (Regions 1, 2 & 3)

September 13-15, 2018
Palmer House Hilton
Chicago, IL

West (Regions 4, 5 & 6)
October 18-20, 2018
Hilton Austin
Austin, TX

Specialty Conferences 
IP Conference for Legal Professionals
September 27-28, 2018
The Capital Hilton Washington, DC

Finance Workshop for Legal Professionals
September 12 (afternoon only) – 13 (morning only)

2018 Palmer House Hilton
Chicago, Illinois

October 17 (afternoon only) – 18 (morning only)
2018 Hilton Austin
Austin, Texas

Law Firm Management Essentials Certificate Program
September 12-13, 2018
Palmer House Hilton
Chicago, Illinios


Register today at alanet.org/events and join your chapter for these high-caliber educational events. 

Back to top

Community Service

ALASVC enthusiastically supports the Association's Community Connection, a global outreach effort to assist the volunteer organizations in our own neighborhoods, participating every year since inception.



Back to top

ALA News & Resources


Your ALA membership provides numerous valuable benefits, including robust webinars. For more information about upcoming webinars offered, visit alanet.org/webinars.

Learn more about ALA resources.

Visit our news feed on the ALA Silicon Valley Chapter website.

Back to top

Job Bank

ALA Members (all) and Business Partners of the ALA Silicon Valley Chapter may post available job openings in a legal-related field.

Job listings must include contact information to reply to a listing. The Chapter does not collect applications. Job listings are posted for 3 months unless an alternative expiration or extension date is requested.

To view current opportunities or submit a job listing, click here.

Back to top

Social Media: Join the Conversation

Stay Connected With Your Silicon Valley Chapter Colleagues



Website  For the latest announcements and up-to-the-minute information on events, be sure to visit alasvc.org often! The website is a great resource to help you locate other members, contact our business partners, and update your own contact information.

Member Area Login:  The default ID is your email address on file. Select “forgot password” to reset your password if you do not have it. Please contact webmaster@alasvc.org if you have trouble logging into the Member Area of the website. 

Discussion Groups  Consistently rated the best benefit of ALASVC membership is the ability to seek advice and “therapy” from fellow members.  Even if you are not able to participate in the monthly educational lunches on a regular basis, you can still be an active chapter member by joining the conversation in the chapter’s discussion groups!

  • [NEW] Facebook:The Chapter will be sharing information about the Chapter and the Association, including video and photos of events. To find our page, search @ALA Silicon Valley Chapter.
  • [NEW] YouTube: The Chapter will share fun and informative videos about our Chapter and the legal management profession. To find our channel, search ALA Silicon Valley Chapter.
  • LinkedIn (for members and business partners): As thought-leaders in the business of law, our members and business partners are in the trenches of the latest legal management trends and issues. Please share interesting articles, ideas, expertise, and concepts with your fellow members and business partners on our chapter’s LinkedIn page! Instructions and guidelines for participation in the group can be found on the LinkedIn Group Guidelines* page. To find our page, search "Association of Legal Administrators - Silicon Valley Chapter."
  • Discussion Group (for ALASVC members-only). Need a high-end caterer? Looking for ride-sharing options? Need advice about remote access? Find this valuable information and more in the chapter's members-only discussion group through YahooGroups.  You will need your own (free) Yahoo account to join the private ala-svc group, which includes access to all of the discussion archives. Instructions and guidelines for participation in the group can be found on the Discussion Group Guidelines* page.

  • ALA Online Communities (for ALA members-only):  Beyond our Chapter, another resource for seeking information from fellow ALA members around the country can be found in the new online communities. Visit alanet.org, select Communities in the top-center tab, and log in or go to community.alanet.org.  In the Shared Interest Groups, you can access topics on Diversity Issues, Financial Issues, Human Resources, Information Technology (includes Privacy & Data Security), Intellectual Property (IP), Nonprofit / Public Interest Legal Professionals, Personal Injury Plaintiff, and Certified Legal Managers. Our chapter has its own group as well, which we are currently using to submit board meeting minutes. To find the Silicon Valley Chapter Group, go to Communities and select Chapters. 

    *Please take care to adhere to antitrust guidelines related to rates and pricing, and please refrain from sharing messages outside the discussion group without the author’s express permission.

     Questions? Contact Debbie Sanders, Director - Website

Back to top

Address Changes

Help us keep your member record up-to-date by contacting both ALA Headquarters and the Silicon Valley Chapter if you have a change in name, employer, address, phone number, email address, professional designation, or job title. 

  1. To update your ALA Headquarters membership record, log in to your profile at alanet.org and update your profile under My Account, or go to http://www.alanet.org/myaccount/default.aspx#MemberInfo

  2. To update your Silicon Valley Chapter membership record, log in to your profile at alasvc.org and update your profile in the Member Area, or go to http://www.alasvc.org/members.php. Your default log-in is your membership ID. You can select Forgot Password to change your password. 

Back to top

Chapter Board & Committees


Chapter President:  Shirley Laboy
Office Manager  •  Sidley Austin LLP

President-Elect:  Nicole Nowak
Executive Director  •  Haynes Beffel & Wolfeld LLP
reasurer:  Lisa Hild
Secretarial Services & Operations Group Manager  •  Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP

Secretary:  Jocelyn Abisia
Silicon Valley Office Administrator  • Cooley LLP
Director - Communications:  
Thea Wagner, CLM

Executive Assistant/Office Manager  •  Singularity

Director - Membership:  Heather Larrick, CLM, SPHR
Bay Area Office Administrator  •  Thoits Law

- Professional Development
and Law Association Outreach: 
Shelley Strong
Office Administrator  •  Littler Mendelson PC

Director - Website: 
Deborah Piker Sanders, CLM

Business Manager / Controller  •  Rehon & Roberts APC



Community Connection/Member Outreach Chair: James P. Karkas, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Diversity & Inclusion: Grace Carr Lee, Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel

Newsletter Editor: Christie Ernst, Fish & Richardson PC

Professional Development Chair: Jocelyn Abisia, Cooley LLP

Please contact any member of the Board of Directors if you are interested in a chapter leadership opportunity, no matter how small. It's a great way to get more involved with - and get more value from - our chapter!


On behalf of the Silicon Valley Chapter and its members, 
thank you for volunteering and keeping our chapter flourishing.

CELEBRATING 35 YEARS  •  alasvc.org  •  1982 - 2017




Back to top

Megabyte Level Business Partners




Back to top

Editorial Policy

"The Download" is a publication for members of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators to provide information for the education and benefit of legal administrators. The Editor welcomes articles, letters, suggestions, and comments.  Opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ALA SVC or its members. Reprinting of any portion of this newsletter by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, is prohibited without the express permission of both the Editor and the author.

Back to top

About Us

ALA Mission Statement

ALA is the undisputed leader for the business of law, focused on the delivery of cutting-edge management and leadership products and services to the global legal community.

We identify and provide solutions to the most strategic and operational challenges our members and customers face today, while we prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow.


The Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators was formed in 1982 with members in the South Bay area from Salinas to San Mateo. The Chapter has a strong presence within the community, as well as active representation at the Association of Legal Administrators regional and national levels.

The Silicon Valley Chapter advances the mission of ALA to be the undisputed leader in the business of law by leading and inspiring excellence through the pursuit and exchange of knowledge to elevate the legal management profession in organizations and to the community at large.

Please contact any member of the Board of Directors if you are interested in a chapter leadership opportunity, no matter how small.  It's a great way to get more involved with -- and get more value from -- our chapter!

ALA Silicon Valley Chapter:  alasvc.org

ALA Headquarters:  alanet.org

Back to top