Attorney at Law Magazine Greater Dallas sat down with Kristy Parker, president of the Association of Legal Administrators – Dallas Chapter (Dallas ALA) to discuss the organization and her plans for the future.
AALM: What is the Dallas Chapter Association of Legal Administrators (Dallas ALA)?
Parker: Dallas ALA is an organization formed to provide support to professionals involved in the management of law firms, corporate legal departments and government legal agencies. Legal administrators are specialists and generalists in business, accounting, finance, human resources, technology and facilities. Essentially, administrators run the business aspect of a law practice so that attorneys are able to focus on the practice of law. Comprised of over 168 members that represent private practice firms as well as in-house legal departments in the Dallas area, our membership is made up of firms of varying sizes, from sole practitioners to large local, national and international firms.
AALM: What is the main mission of Dallas ALA?
Parker: The mission of ALA is to improve the quality of management in legal services organizations; promote and enhance the competence and professionalism of legal administrators as well as members of the management team; and, represent professional legal management and managers to the legal community and to the community at large. The Dallas Chapter Association of Legal Administrators was created in 1973 to localize programming. Today the Dallas Chapter is a dynamic voice in the community on matters relating to all aspects of legal administration.
AALM: What are the benefits of membership in the Dallas Chapter?
Parker: The benefits are immeasurable! The chapter offers a variety of educational and networking opportunities to its members which include, bi-monthly general meetings, section meetings, webinars, socials and community service events. We also have a variety of resources available, including a comprehensive website, electronic newsletter, job bank, online forums, membership directory, our annual compensation and benefits survey and access through our Business Partner Program to more than 50 local and national vendors that provide products and services to the legal community. The chapter has so much to offer, I could go on and on!
AALM: How is the association involved in the local community?
Parker: Each year our chapter focuses its attention on ways to get both members and business partners involved in events and projects that make a difference in our local community. Recent projects for Dallas ALA have included stocking boxes at the North Texas Food Bank which provides meals to local families in need and serving dinner to the homeless at the Stewpot through the Bridge Homeless Assistance Center. In conjunction with our chapter’s annual holiday luncheon, we also select a local charity to make a monetary donation to or assist with their current needs by collecting items from those who attended the event.
AALM: What do you like best and find most beneficial in being a member of Dallas ALA?
Parker: We have the ability to connect with and engage in peer discussions and hear about real-life experiences, upcoming trends, and exchange an abundance of information that is relevant to our specific roles which enables each of us the ability to stay apprised and keep current with our ever changing legal community. Dallas ALA has been invaluable to me and has served as a tremendous resource for contracts, referrals, networking, and staying current with legal office trends.