ALPMA March 2017 e-Newsletter

In this edition:

From the President

Andrew BarnesAndrew Barnes, ALPMA President and CEO, Harwood Andrews

Reflecting to write this newsletter stirs up fluctuating feelings - at one end dread (just where the last two months have gone?) and, at the other, the focus that comes with hitting the pointy end of the financial year. Either way, we move forward at a rapid rate.

ALPMA has come out of the Christmas and New Year break with an abundance of energy for the year ahead. We have a full book of strategic projects being worked on to ensure your Association stays ahead of the game.

Our Summit Committee is moving closer to filling the program and beginning the promotions for Brisbane in September. Our L&D team continues to challenge the way we deliver content both digitally to desktops and in person at our seminars each month. The ALPMA Board has welcomed new members who bring with them new experiences and ideas, as have our various branch committees We continue to build on our relationships with like-minded organisations to ensure we remain agile in this very competitive landscape.  As a part of this strategy, board director Tobias Crush will be attending the Legal Marketing Association's P3 Conference in May. ALPMA is proud to be a collaborating association for this event.  There will also be an ALPMA delegation heading off to the ALA Conference - check out the member-only deal if you are interested in attending this event.  

We have farewelled a handful of our tremendous secretariats in recent months – Kerrie Billings, Sally Lowe, Michelle Brookes and Deb Shaw – and have also welcomed Lee-Anne Harris (QLD), Robyn Rowse (VIC)  and Melanie Grace (NZ) in their place, while Jo Hood has expanded her SA role to also take on NSW.  ALPMA heads into a period where, for the first time in more than 15 years, we do not have a connection with Kerrie Billings in some form.  Kerrie has been a mainstay of ALPMA and we thank her for so many years of tremendous service and guidance.  Such transitions do test an association and I also thank those who have stepped up to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

This time of year is also when our partnership campaign commences.  The support of our partners is fundamental to our ability to deliver programs where and when they are needed.  Their insight into the profession, or more specifically the business of law, can be under-appreciated in firm-land.  To help our partner relationships grow, we will be looking at more opportunity for them to share their insights and work with ALPMA to add value to membership.  When your firm goes to market for legal product or support services please consider ALPMA’s partners and provide an opportunity for them to pitch for your business.

Finally, if you are looking to develop women as leaders in your organisation, there are some grants currently available from Women & Leadership Australia that you might want to consider. 

Back to top

Sailing the 4C's at the 2017 ALPMA Summit

2017 ALPMA Summit
by Ann-Maree David, ALPMA Summit Chair

In recent years, the ALPMA Summit has positioned delegates at the bleeding edge of disruption, showcasing transformational shifts and changes in legal practice management. We’ve focused on the ‘new normal’ of professional service provision in the 21st Century and we mapped out a 'blueprint for change'. 

The 2017 ALPMA Summit program sights remain firmly fixed the future horizon. But while moored in the subtropics, we’re taking a deep dive into 21st century thinking and learning to examine the mindsets and skills necessary to guide every aspect of professional service firm management in the quest for  business excellence.

Our Summit theme, 'Sailing the 4C’s', focuses on the critical 21st century learning skills of Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity, as identified by the influential Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) organisation.

Collaboration and teamwork

Collaboration is all about working effectively and efficiently with others, sharing knowledge, talent and experience to achieve desired outcomes. 

The value of collaboration has long been understood across the industry, but only relatively recently has team building and team-based work become a feature of the legal landscape. In many cases, this mode of working as been instigated in response to client demand. Formation of new organisational structures reflects a greater emphasis on team-based work and the need to accommodate a more flexible and technologically-enabled workforce.   

“ [T]he nature of collaboration is shifting to a more sophisticated skillset. In addition to collaborating face-to-face with colleagues across a conference table, 21st century workers increasingly accomplish tasks through mediated interactions with peers halfway across the world whom they may never meet face-to-face.…[C]ollaboration is worthy of inclusion as a 21st century skill because the importance of cooperative interpersonal capabilities is higher and the skills involved are more sophisticated than in the prior industrial era."   (4Cs Research Brief Series - Collaboration, P21)

Creativity and imagination

Creativity is all about producing and implementing new, useful ideas and trying new approaches to get things done. Critical to this are concepts such as novelty or uniqueness and usefulness – essential for firm differentiation.  

Honing and harnessing the skill of creativity is key to developing a workforce which includes “problem finders and solvers, innovators, cross-cultural collaborators, entrepreneurs, and leaders.” (Creativity in Practice, Destination Imagination)

“[T]he ability to produce and implement new, useful ideas is rapidly becoming a critical attribute for leveraging knowledge success and increasing quality of life. The well-documented, shifting global paradigm from manufacturing to knowledge-based to innovation economies makes the ability to solve problems creatively a necessary skill for … workforce success. In an age when much of the world’s information can be quickly accessed on a smartphone, a premium is placed on the ability to use that knowledge in creative ways to produce valuable outcomes and solve complex problems. The ability to innovate, both alone and in groups, leads to positive outcomes in the workplace …”  (4C's Research Brief Series - Creativity, P21)

Critical thinking & problem solving

Critical thinking is all about looking at problems in a new light and developing the mental processes and strategies to solve problems, make decisions, and learn new concepts.  It is a series of systematic strategies which incorporate “reflective, analytical, and evaluative skills” in the analysis and solving of problems. (4C's Research Brief Series - Critical Thinking, P21)

The evolving nature of the legal industry means firms need to able to critically assess how they can more effectively and efficiently address their clients’ problems in order to drive firm growth and satisfy customers’ constant demands for increased value.  

Firms need to build these skills into their DNA and to create a workplace where this is the norm for all – rather than the responsibility of those tagged with ‘innovation’ roles.

Communication and technology

Summit will focus on helping firm leaders effectively use communication skills and technology to inform, motivate, persuade, and share ideas - internally to drive improve staff productivity and engagement,  and externally to benefit client relationships.

Digital technology as a key communication tool has become ubiquitous across industries and the professions. Today’s smart tech is, arguably, purposefully intuitive.  However, research suggests that a lack of adequate digital technology skills is contributing to a downturn in productivity. What is missing from the professional skillset and training is:

 “fundamental technical knowhow, an understanding of the protocols and norms of various digital tools, intrapersonal communication skills that support interactions with a wide variety of people, and a developed awareness of how to use technology safely and responsibly”.  (4C's Research Brief Series - Communication, P21)

Our Summit presenters will share their insights and expertise in embracing these essential skills to build competitive advantage. We will also be live-streaming and recording Summit sessions, providing access to an online audience, extending the reach and longevity of your investment.

Quite apart from the program, the ALPMA Summit brings together senior legal management professionals, world-class industry and subject-matter experts and leading industry suppliers to hear about best-practice, find out what is new, share experiences, make contacts and have fun.

The 2017 ALPMA Summit will sail into Brisbane - Queensland’s River City - from 13 to 15 September. 

The early forecast is for transformative learning with a high probability of competitive advantage showering all who attend!  

Don’t miss the boat - come 'Sail the 4C’s' with ALPMA!

Back to top

How does your firm's compensation strategy compare?

If you want free access to reliable, independent data on salaries paid for legal, administrative and management roles at law firms in Australia and New Zealand, then make sure your firm participates in the ALPMA Legal Industry Salary & HR Issues Survey. The survey reveals salaries and benefits paid for 60+ positions at law firms and the hottest HR challenges for the legal industry in Australia and New Zealand. 

Participation is free and open to all law firms in Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the generous support of McLeod Duminy, our Research Partner in New Zealand, and Australian State Partners, In2View Recruitment, IPA, Kaleidoscope Recruitment and KBE Human Capital.  

The survey closes at 5pm on 31 March - so make sure you appoint someone at your firm complete the survey by then.  All firms who complete the survey, receive a free copy of the research results, valued at $550 for non-participating ALPMA members or $2,200 for non-members.

This year, have made a number of significant enhancements to both surveys:

  • For the first time, the Australian survey collects salary information for legal roles by practice area, so that you will be able to compare legal salaries by firm size, location and practice type. 
  • We are collecting information about the number of staff leaving the firm, so we can determine industry-wide staff turnover ratios to benchmark staff engagement/retention
  • We are reporting on bonuses by role (ie partner, lawyer etc), providing more granular insight into this critical element of compensation
  • We have refined the way we calculate fee earner: non-fee earner ratios, to do what?
  • what else?

Because of the growth in popularity of this research, ALPMA has appointed independent research company, Survey Matters, to conduct the 2017 Australian and New Zealand surveys, and there is a new, easy-to-navigate online platform for completing the survey.

Participate now!

Back to top

Australian Financial Performance Benchmarking Study results

Australian law firms expect an average of 10% growth

The results of the ALPMA/Crowe Horwath Australian Law Firm Financial Performance Benchmarking Study show that the Australian legal sector is expecting an average of 10 percent growth in the next financial year, with average profitability also increasing - thanks to a strong focus on overhead cost reduction.  

Register for the results webinar on 14 March

Back to top

Upcoming Events

Leading Your Firm Program, proudly supported by Thomson Reuters:

Date Event Time Location Venue Presenter
Transitioning to Value Based Pricing Thursday, 9th March 2017, 1:00pm AEDT - 2:00pm AEDT Melbourne or watch the livestream broadcast live from your desk or mobile device1

Melbourne Host venue (light lunch from 12.30pm):  

Russell Kennedy 
Level 12, 469 Latrobe Street

John Chisholm, John Chisholm Consulting with David Wells, Managing Principal, Moores
Are you Prepared for End of Financial Year? Wednesday, 26th April 2017, 1:00pm AEST - 2:00pm AEST Online via Webinar

Online via webinar

Andrew Chen | Partner - Business Advisory | Crowe Horwath

All events

Back to top

How to reach senior legal decision-makers

Become an ALPMA Annual Partner

Discover proven, cost-effective strategies to build strong relationships with law firm leaders in FY18 by sponsoring our lunchtime practice management seminars in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and NZ and our innovative Leading Your Firm program for smaller and regional firms:

Download the FY18 ALPMA Annual Partnership Prospectus

To deliver maximum return on your partnership investment, ALPMA has a strictly limited number of annual partnerships available - and demand often outstrips supply. Accordingly, ALPMA runs an application process to manage this demand equitably.  

FY18 applications are now open and must be received by 5pm on 28 April 2017.

Apply online now

Contact Nicki Hauser, ALPMA's Marketing & BD Manager for more information.

Become a 2017 ALPMA Summit Partner

Join more than 325 law firm leaders, plus 50+ market-leading vendors at the 2017 ALPMA Summit.  Learn about the comprehensive range of partnership,  exhibitor, and merchandising opportunities: 

Download the 2017 ALPMA Summit Partnership Prospectus

Welcome to the following major partners:
  • Principal Partner - InfoTrack
  • Thought Leadership Awards - LexisNexis
  • Gold Partner - SAI Global
  • Technology Partner - Actionstep
  • Lanyard Partner - ZircoDATA
  • Document Management - Worldox Cloud by Matrix
  • Digital Partner - Leap
  • Summit Live & On-Demand - BigHand
Sign-up now!

Contact Johanna Persson, Summit Partnership Manager, for more information

Back to top

« Go Back