June 2017 Print

President's Report

We are rounding the corner to mid-Board year. So what have we accomplished so far? We have provided fabulous educational sessions. The most recent seminar entitled: It’s No Fun If You Can’t Negotiate was an interactive fun-filled event. I am sure all who attended can now go confidently into negotiations in any aspect of their professional day. I want to thank CBRE for hosting this event.

We also met with current and potential Business Partners. We forced, um, encouraged everyone to play a parlor game “Six Degrees of Steph Curry” and were surprised to see how close some of us are to the this superstar. I continue to thank our Business Partners for their support and look forward to bringing additional businesses into the fold.

We finalized our member list and I’ve asked Heather Larrick to begin to schedule lunch with some of you. We look forward to lunching with you.

We also created a Facebook page and YouTube channel specific to our Chapter. Please go to ALA Silicon Valley Chapter and like the page. You can also request being added to the page. When we post to YouTube, we will send an announcement!

We have more to come and I am excited to see what we can do together.


 Shirley Laboy- Chapter President




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Sometimes, idealistic people are put off by the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people. - Sonia Sotomayor

Like Judge Sotomayor, we believe networking is essential and one of the many advantages of chapter membership. Hopefully, you all saw Chapter President Shirley Laboy’s message inviting you to lunch. Our goal is to meet as many members as possible, especially those newer to the chapter or those who attend our events less often, so that we can get to know you and hear what things we’re doing right and what else we might be doing to help you get even more from your membership. So please, reach out to Shirley or me today and we’ll get lunch on the calendar. (Email addresses for all Board members are listed toward the end of the newsletter.) Not only will you learn more about the Chapter, we’ll learn about you as members, and we’ll all know even more firm administrators and specialists. It’s a win-win-win! A warm welcome to our new members Kathleen Switzer, Jannelly Sussman and Laura Knight. We look forward to seeing you (for some of you, seeing you again) at our upcoming events.

Finally, a big shout out to Chapter Business Partner Karen Whitaker of Legal Ease who recently referred a potential member to us. If you know someone who would benefit from ALA/ALA-SVC membership, please send them my way and we’ll get them all the info they need.

Heather Larrick, Director - Membership 

Heather Larrick


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Business Partners

Our 2017-2018 Business Partner Program Kick-Off event was a great success! 35 of our potential Business Partners and Board members attended the June 7th event at O’Melveny & Myers in Menlo Park. All professed to have had a great time, especially the winning team of the “6 Degrees of Steph Curry” game.

The sign-up deadline for the 2017-2018 Business Partner year is July 31st. Please let me know if you would like to recommend anyone for our program. I’m more than happy to reach out and share the sponsorship information. Have a great summer everyone!

 ALA Silicon Valley Chapter Business Partners
August 1, 2016 -- July 31, 2017

* * * * *
Gigabyte Level
Adams & Martin Group
CBRE, Inc.
* * * * *
Megabyte Level
Ricoh USA
Robert Half Legal
* * * * *
Kilobyte Level
City National Bank
Cushman & Wakefield
Element Professional Staffing
First Legal Network
Gateway Global
IST Management Services
KBM Workspace
Kearney Boyle & Associates, Inc.
LegalEase, LLC
Pathways Personnel, Inc.
S. L. Pemberton, Inc.
Skyline Construction
Toeniskoetter Construction, Inc.
* * * * *
Friends Level
ABA Retirement Funds
Ahern Insurance
Anson's Catering
Boston Private
Canon Business Process Services, Inc.
Chipman Relocation & Logistics
DFS Green
First Republic Bank
VVA Project Managers & Consultants
World Wise Intercultural Training & Resources

Sarah Ferguson, Chair - Business Partner Relations

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Gigabyte Level Business Partner


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Sponsor Spotlight



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Diversity & Inclusion


Resolution 113 Adopted by ABA. Last August, the American Bar Association adopted Resolution 113, which urges all providers of legal services, including law firms and corporations, to expand and create opportunities at all levels of responsibility for diverse attorneys. It also urges clients to direct a greater percentage of the legal services they purchase to diverse attorneys. “Diverse” attorneys means attorneys who are included within the ambit of Goal III of the ABA: “…[M]inorities, women, persons with disabilities [mental, physical and sensory], and persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities.”

Lavender Law Comes to San Francisco. In early August, Lavender Law – the annual conference of the National LGBT Bar Association – will be held in San Francisco. Pass the word!

Grace Carr Lee, Diversity Chair



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Professional Development

Please Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Professional Development Events:

July 19th, 2017 -  Sidley Palo Alto
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Speaker: David Roberts and John Schweisberger
Session Title: Making the Case for Performance Analytics for Law Firms
Session Description:
With 30 years of experience providing financial and business consulting services exclusively to law firms, the experts at Armanino will share how to improve insight into your firm’s performance. When law firm leadership has the right performance insights and analysis at their fingertips, decisions can be made faster and corrections can happen before minor problems turn into major ones. This also provides more time for strategic thinking on how to adapt to the fundamental changes happening in today’s legal industry.  

August 17, 2017 - O’Melveny Menlo Park
12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Speaker: Ivan Hemmans
Session Title: Advanced Excel Tips and Tricks
Session Description:
Learn how to take excel spreadsheet solutions to the next level of productivity. Attendees are guided through intermediate and advanced techniques for using Excel to increase the types of financial data they can produce in the legal setting.

September 28, 2017 - Morrison & Foerster Palo Alto
4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

Speaker: David Thomas
Session Title: Leadership’s Indispensable Ingredient
Session Description:
Ethical lapses across the cultural landscape and the uncertainties of a post-9/11 world confirm that integrity is a timeless yet increasingly timely virtue. In a challenging but encouraging way, this topic is creatively analyzed by exploring such questions as: What are the crucial components of integrity and how can it be memorably defined? Why is it of vital importance to today’s workplace? How can it be maintained when those around us operate differently? A presentation on integrity might be anticipated to be dry, boring, or preachy, but this one is none of these! As a senior executive once wrote afterwards, “Many of our members thought it an unusual topic before you spoke. They all believed it to be a vital one when you finished.”

October 19, 2017 - Morrison & Foerster Palo Alto
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Speaker:  Ellen (Ellie) Krug
Session Title:  Gray Area Thinking
Session Description:
Gray Area Thinking TM 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 and toolkit 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.

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

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Upcoming Conferences

Registration is open!

Regional Legal Management Conference - West Regions 4, 5, 6
September 7-9, 2017
Venetian Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada

IP Conference for Legal Professionals
October 5-6, 2017
Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois

HR Conference for Legal Professionals
October 5-7, 2017
Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois

Finance Conference for Legal Professionals
October 5-7, 2017
Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois

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



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Events around the Bay

ALA National Conference -- Denver Conference 2017



 – ALA Silicon Valley Chapter Community Outreach Event – JOIN US!

When: Tuesday, July 25th
Where: Ronald McDonald House (520 Sand Hill Road, Palo Alto)

Helping a sick child fight their illness take a big enough emotional toll on a family. Adding a financial strain can make it all almost too much to bear. Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) can help address these problems, whether they involve housing that’s near a hospitalized child, the expense of staying together in anther city, or even basic medical and dental care in a vulnerable community. RMHC has 365 houses and one is located in Palo Alto, CA.

After a long day at the hospital, enjoying a nutritious dinner together is the best therapy for families yet few have the energy to spend time cooking. The House's “Bistro Style Dinner” program and ALA Silicon Valley Chapter will ensure that dinner is provided to families on Tuesday, July 25th.

We will need 15 to 20 ALA SVC volunteers for this event (prep and serve). A separate event message will be coming out shortly with complete information about this outreach event. We will be looking for 15 to 20 volunteers to sign up and proudly represent our chapter.

Please contact Jim Karkas to sign up.


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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 the resources offered by ALA here.

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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

Current Openings:

IP Patent Prosecution Legal Secretary
Jones Day (Palo Alto)

Bay Area Office Manager
Shearman & Sterling LLP (Menlo Park & San Francisco)

IP Litigation Project Assistant
Jones Day (Palo Alto)

Office Manager
Strike & Techel (San Francisco)

Office Administrator
Littler Mendelson, PC (San Jose)

Office Administrator
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (San Francisco)

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Social Media: Join the Conversation


Stay Connected With Your Silicon Valley Chapter Colleagues Silicon Valley Chapter 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 login.  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

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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.

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Chapter Board & Committees



Chapter President:  Shirley Laboy
Executive Director  •  Bozicevic, Field & Francis LLP

President-Elect:  Nicole Nowak
Executive Director  •  Haynes Beffel & Wolfeld LLP
Immediate Past President / Chair, Business Partner Relations: 
Sarah Ferguson

Office Administrator  •  Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

reasurer:  Lisa Hild
Secretarial Services & Operations Group Manager  •  Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP
Director - Communications:  
Thea Wagner, CLM

Executive Assistant/Office Manager  •  Singularity

Director - Membership:  Heather Larrick, CLM, SPHR
Bay Area Office Administrator  •  Shearman & Sterling LLP

Director - Professional Development / Law Association Outreach: Shelley Strong
Practice Resources Manager  •  Morrison & Foerster LLP

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: Grace Carr Lee, Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel

Newsletter Editor: Christie Ernst, Fish & Richardson PC

Professional Development Chair: Jocelyn Abisia, O'Melveny & Myers 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.

ALA Silicon Valley Chapter 2017 Nominating Committee
Sarah Ferguson, Shirley Laboy and Jean Newfield

CELEBRATING 35 YEARS  •  alasvc.org  •  1982 - 2017



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Megabyte Level Business Partners







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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.

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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

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