The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), the premier management resource for the legal profession, is the largest association representing legal administrators around the world. Formed in 1971, ALA provides support to professionals involved in the management of law firms, corporate legal departments, and government legal agencies. ALA provides high quality educational opportunities and services to 9,000 members across 30 countries. ALA is structured into six regions with 94 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
ALA's mission is to "promote and enhance the competence and professionalism of legal administrators and all members of the management team." The Association's members are law office administrators who are thought leaders and industry experts on legal management issues such as finance, human resources, systems and technology, facilities, marketing, and practice development.
To apply for membership, please click on the Membership Tab at the top.
The Association's information-based web site (www.alanet.org) provides law office managers and the legal community with news and information about ALA's exceptional educational programs and member services, print and online management resources, online educational opportunities, and jobs available in legal management. The site also provides links to more than 250 law-related management resources and organizations, and vendors to the legal industry.
ALA offers many outstanding educational opportunities for legal administrators of all experience levels. ALA's Annual Educational Conference and Exposition features more than 100 expert speakers, including law office managers, attorneys and professors from leading management schools. In addition, nearly 200 vendors display the latest products and services available to the legal industry.
Legal administrators can add to their credentials by becoming a Certified Legal Manager (CLM). The voluntary CLM certification program allows a qualified legal administrator to demonstrate, through an examination process, a mastery of core areas of knowledge identified as essential to the effective performance of a principal administrator. Examinations are administered each autumn and then each spring during the Annual Educational Conference and Exposition.
Throughout the year, ALA sponsors different retreats and specialized programs. These events address the unique needs of managers from these types of law practices. ALA's regions also host individual conferences each autumn, and ALA's chapters conduct many valuable seminars and retreats at the local level.
For those who wish to engage in online education, ALA has podcasts, eLearning courses, webinars, conferences on demand and virtual conferences, both on demand and scheduled throughout the year. You can learn about ALA's eLearning courses here.
The latest developments in law office management are covered in Legal Management Magazine, ALA's own publication. Once a week, members will also receive BOLD Bites, which stands for "Business of Law Discussions." This newsletter is a source for quick, informational "bites" about upcoming ALA events, new offerings, chapter kudos, industry thought leadership, and more.
Regular membership in ALA is open to:
- Full-time legal administrators or support managers employed in a private law firm, legal service clinic, corporate legal department, university legal department, governmental legal agency, court system, charitable legal agency or some other organization engaged primarily in the practice of law;
- Practicing lawyers with principal management responsibility in their legal organization;
- Consultants to the Legal Industry. A consultant is defined as an individual who does not provide goods, furniture, equipment, supplies, materials, software, technology, insurance, investment instruments or legal industry services directly or through his/her company; or causes to be provided through a workforce of employees, or is employed by such an entity; and the individual meets specific criteria. Read more here.
Associate membership in ALA is open to:
- practicing lawyers with an interest in law firm administration and management;
- individuals engaged in an ongoing employment-type relationship which involves providing continuing management services of the types defined in the bylaws;
- retired Regular Members of ALA who are not otherwise employed;
- unemployed legal administrators who have exhausted their eligibility for Regular Membership who are not serving as consultants or vendors and are actively seeking employment as a legal administrator;
- teachers of business, organizational management, law or law-related disciplines at institutions of higher learning, as well as deans with administrative and management responsibilities at such institutions;
- part or full time students in any degree program at accredited institutions of higher learning;
- bar association executives with management responsibilities;
- other individuals not specifically excluded from membership who have and demonstrate an interest in the management of law firms and other legal organizations.
Annual Educational Conference and Exposition. The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) Annual Educational Conference and Exposition is recognized as the premier educational conference in the field of law firm management. It is designed to meet the needs and interests of legal managers, whether novice or seasoned, generalist or specialist. More than 1,100 administrators attend four days of educational programs featuring more than 140 courses. ALA’s Exposition is the only national show specifically targeting the legal administrator. Nearly 200 companies showcase the latest legal technology, products and services. Attending ALA’s Annual Educational Conference and Exposition is an opportunity legal administrators and vendors cannot afford to miss!
Regional Conferences. Regional Conferences, two day events traditionally held each fall, provide affordable educational opportunities for ALA members and members of the legal management team. You will not find a better opportunity to expand your knowledge, enhance your professional value, and network with your peers.
Retreats & Specialized Programs. Retreats & Specialized Programs. Legal managers who work in specialized organizations enjoy learning opportunities tailored to their unique needs. Each year, ALA's special interest retreats provide speaker and panel presentation as well as networking benefits. Currently, ALA sponsors the following programs:
- Intellectual Property Conference
- Human Resources Conference
- Finance and Law Practice Management Conference
- Large Firm Principal Administrators Retreat
- Corporate Law Department Symposium
- Law Firm Management Essentials
Certified Legal Manager (CLM)SM Program. The CLM Program was created to help raise professional standards, encourage self-assessment, and award recognition to those legal administrators who meet prescribed levels of competence and ethical fitness. The certification assessment process includes meeting educational and experience requirements and passing an examination that tests knowledge of 47 key competencies.
ALA Job Bank. ALA’s nationwide job bank program was created for individuals seeking to secure or fill positions within the legal management profession. This program brings together prospective employers and employees from every aspect of the legal marketplace.
ALA Value in Partnership (VIP)SM Program. Enhancing the services and benefits available to ALA members continues to be one of ALA’s top priorities. With that goal in mind, ALA has a series of benefit programs (discounts from the following organizations) that are of value not only to members, but also to their employers and families. ALA currently offers programs in cooperation with:
- ABA Retirement Funds
- Affinity Consulting Group
- Allied World
- GLJ Benefit Consultants
- LTC Solutions, Inc.
- National Pension Professionals (NPP)
- National Purchasing Partners
- Thomson Reuters
- Thomson Reuters ELITE
- Visual Image Building Enterprises (VIBE)