There is a great program I want to bring to your attention called SPARK. This is perfect for those of you looking for new ways to connect, expand your network, or get started as a mentor or mentee. The idea of Spark is incredibly simple, but has transformative possibilities. PSALA members are randomly matched with another member for a virtual meet-up or an in-person coffee (hopefully soon). By pairing members with someone new each month, we hope that you will be encouraged to break out of your routine and take advantage of opportunities to develop relationships across the membership in an organic way. Developing these relationships increases the value of your PSALA membership and the collective value of the group through increased sharing of knowledge and resources. You can sign up by clicking here.
I also wanted to point out a few hidden gems on the ALA website:
Online Communities – Don’t let them scare you. You can access the communities at your leisure and it’s a great way to peruse and participate in discussions happening among your peers. You can also subscribe to communities you find interesting and receive notifications when things get posted (or a digest if your inbox is out of control). This way you won’t miss anything happening related to topics that are particularly relevant to you. Some of the topics include: First 5 (for those legal professionals in the first 5 years of their career); Financial Issues; Human Resources, Education Ideas; and Diversity Issues are just a few of the communities available to you.
Covid-19 Resources – At your fingertips, my friends, is a one-stop shop for everything Pandemic. The ALA has compiled resources from other sources and pops them onto this section of the website. If you’re looking to go deeper, there are also webinars, roundtables, virtual hangouts and meetups for discussion on this topic. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also find links to most of the resources referenced on the page which you can use inside your organization. This includes things like guidance to reopening your office from the American Industrial Hygiene Association, sample return-to-work surveys for your employees, help revising company policies post-pandemic from SHRM, and links to PPE supplies and equipment provided by our ALA business partners.
If you are looking to get your hands on PPE for your office, here are some business partners in Seattle that where you might find what you’re looking for:
Educational Opportunities – Don’t miss an opportunity to better yourself. This is a particular strength of the ALA, in my opinion. Although in-person learning is limited at this time, there are a lot of resources available to you in the virtual format. Train yourself to go to this page routinely now, and it will become part of your routine in the future. Some of the best education I have received in my career has come from the ALA and started by me keeping an eye on this page.
Legal Management Articles – If you aren’t already familiar, Legal Management is the official magazine of the ALA. It’s a monthly publication and the current and past issues are all available on the site, as is info on their social media in case you consume news via Twitter. As an example, here are a few articles that I missed recently and need to go back and read. “Don’t Take the Bait” on reducing phishing attacks; “How to Craft a Meaningful Parental and Caregiver Leave Policy;” and “The Top 5 Reasons Your Law Firm Can’t Cross-Sell.”