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News & Press: Newsletter

President's December Message

Monday, December 23, 2019  
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When I was incoming Chapter President in the Spring of 2001, my President’s Message included this story:

On a recent Monday morning, my ten-year-old son suddenly remembered a homework assignment that was due that day.  His Sunday marathon of completing his fourth grade homework was not quite complete. He was to create an animal or insect out of things from our backyard.  He chose to make a butterfly. At 6:30 a.m., we found ourselves foraging outside for the right materials to form a body, wings, and antennae. By 7:30, the butterfly was complete, Jeff had been dropped off at school, and I was on the train….  How great that the two of us worked together – Jeff collecting his materials and carefully gluing them to the paper; me giving advice, watching the clock, holding down different butterfly “parts” while the glue dried as he went on to the next “part.”  

People working together to complete a project under pressure and a time deadline.  Where have we experienced that before – every day at work perhaps? Whether we are assisting and supporting our children, peers, staff or our firms’ attorneys…helping them complete an assignment…collecting information…putting together a proposal…implementing a change…getting through the day…we rely on all of our resources to collect all of the different “parts.”  

A key resource that I have certainly mined – and you should, too – is ALA.  Whether it is building relationships with members of our Chapter or members around the country, I know that there is someone (or many someones) I can contact with a question, problem or, yes, when I just want to vent.  Tap into the great knowledge, experience, and support that your fellow members can provide! Our networking opportunities, combined with the high caliber education that we have access to, are unparalleled in our industry and are indispensable to our success as law firm leaders.

Membership renewal time is here - keep those benefits coming.  ALA Chicago’s 2020-2021 membership renewal process is in full swing – renew prior to December 31 to save $25 off our regular membership of $100.  This low membership fee includes access to all of our education, networking events, list serves, and newsletter. Remember our current membership year ends on March 31, 2020, and many opportunities for education and networking still remain.  

Be sure to renew your national membership with ALA prior to December 31 to take advantage of the wide range of benefits, connections, and educational offerings.  Also, be sure to register for the national ALA Conference in May in Salt Lake City. It is the premiere event of our association and you will not want to miss it.  Our Chapter still has some conference scholarships to award in the new year!

Want to gain more from your membership?  Volunteer! Our Nominating Committee is seeking members who are interested in serving on committees that support our Chapter’s programs and initiatives.  Be sure to contact Mike Motyka, Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee, if you are interested. Your partnership with ALA will be more gratifying and meaningful as a result of becoming involved.  Many opportunities exist for micro volunteering; we know your time is valuable!  

I should close the loop on Jeff, who will be thrilled to learn of his mention.  He is now 28 and no longer has last minute school projects.  Jeff will be traveling this Christmas to meet his two-week-old niece, Jane – our first grandchild.  

My best wishes to all for a very happy holiday season and a joyous and healthy 2020!



Laura T. Sears, CLM
Gould & Ratner LLP