Ahead of the Curve (December - 2)

with ALA's Professional Development Advisory Committee


If you are receiving "Ahead of the Curve" then you are an ALA leader with board, regional, chapter or conference planning responsibilities, or a designated ALA employee. The Professional Development Advisory Committee’s (PDAC) purpose in providing you this communication is to further its goal of periodically sharing topical information regarding the legal industry. Our hope is that one or more of the updates will provide a spark of insight to assist with your work on behalf of ALA as well as within your firm or legal department.


It’s Official: FRCP Amendments

"Ten amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect on December 1. The most substantial revisions apply to discovery rules, 26, 34, and 37. If you are involved in eDiscovery, these changes will alter the discovery landscape." Read more.

Resource: Liquid Litigation Management


A Day in the Life of a Pricing Professional

"The number of pricing groups in law firms has been on the rise for a few years now." Three professionals from law firms in different stages of forming pricing initiates are interviewed in this article. Read more.

Resource: Lisa Glanakos, Legal Solutions


2015 What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession

"The 27th annual report has been the most difficult of all to write because of the volume of continuous, sometimes conflicting, changes affecting the legal profession — which many firms still have not recognized or accepted." Read more.

Resource: Robert Denny, Managing Partner Forum


The state of the performance review: 'Ineffective' but not going away yet

"Rather than deep-sixing performance ratings, many employers are making significant improvements, including replacing annual performance review cycles with more frequent employee and manager interactions, applying a more future-oriented definition of performance and potential, and implementing new technology." Read more.

Resource: Tom Starner, HR Dive

Six trends for 2016 that HR executives should watch

"This articles provides a look back as well as six HR trends to watch for in 2016." Read more.

Resource: Tom Starner, HR Dive


"If you were to ask any manager what is the most difficult part of their job, one third will say 'Giving feedback or having a performance conversation.' The reason for this is because few managers have been taught how to have these conversations and as a result, they often enter into the conversation with the wrong mindset." Read more.

Resource: Anna-Lucia, HRM America

It’s Better to Avoid a Toxic Employee than Hire a Superstar

Toxic workers can have an even greater effect on organizations than superstar employees. Read more.

Resource: Nicole Torres, Harvard Business Review



"Great mentoring is more than developing skills, helping people create connections, and navigating organizational politics." Learn seven tips to be a great mentor. Read more.

Resource: Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak


Law Firm Marketers Lack Content Strategies

"Survey shows firms keep churning out more content, but often without documented strategic plans." Read more.

Resource: Erin E. Harrison, Legaltech News

What’s Next in Marketing Technology?

Three marketing experts share their thoughts on why technology is quickly becoming a big part of marketing. Read more.

Resource: Attorney at Work


Survey Reveals Need for Speed in Conflicts Clearing of Laterals, New Business

"A recent survey reveals three key findings regarding firm conflict clearing procedures as well as three tips for achieving quicker conflicts resolution." Read more.

Resource: Sharon Quaintance and Jennifer Stakes, Bloomberg BNA


IT Auditors Focusing on Risks from Emerging Innovations

"Innovation is a constant for businesses and legal departments: New emerging technologies are rapidly changing the business landscape. However, those new technologies are also opening companies up to increased risk, and they are becoming the top worry for IT audit leaders. Read more.

Resource: Zach Warren, Legaltech News

Market to Millennials by Getting Out of the Way

"This isn’t groundbreaking thinking. Buzzfeed has found success on this first attribute: being social. By creating content that was optimized for virality through rigorous A/B testing, they perfected a formula for native content that built an audience of Millennials while attracting advertisers and brands. Today, nearly 50% of Buzzfeed’s 200 million unique monthly visitors are composed of Millennials who share content with friends." Read more.

Resource: Ron Faris, Harvard Business Review

Ransomware: Backing Up from Trouble

"There is a category of malware known as ransomware. Should your computer network ever become infected by one of these bad boys, you’ve got a very serious problem. In short, your data will be encrypted and then you will be told how much you need to pay to receive a decryption key that will enable your IT person to recover your files." Read more.

Resource: Mark Bassingthwaighte, Attorney at Work

Committee Members

Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD - Foley & Lardner LLP

Mark Davey ~ Ricoh USA, Inc.

Anthony Greene ~ Jamison Risk Services

Eric Hightower, CLM, SPHR ~ Davis Agnor Rapaport Skalny

John Jakovenko, CLM, SPHR ~ Freeman Mathis & Gary

William Mech ~ ofPartner Consulting Services

Steven Morris, CLM, SPHR ~ Allen Matkins

Paul Morton ~ Burns & Levinson LLP

Savannah Robinson, MPA ~ Barnes & Thornburg LLP

ALA Liaison to Committee

Susan Hanf ~ ALA Sr. Director, Member Experience