Message from the President

Buddha quoted, “No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.” Sometimes we get stuck on what failed in the past rather than focusing on how we learned from those mistakes in order to do things better the next time.  Power up for 2020, and let’s make change happen!

Thank you to the members who read my Q3 President’s Message and forwarded thoughts about 2020 strategies.  Many of our members are courageously planning ahead to adopt new concepts.  Here are just a few of the 2020 strategies shared with me:

  • Fully integrate the administrative support team (pooling) system by the summer of 2020
  • Develop and provide an attorneys-as-supervisors training program for all of the attorneys
  • Work with our top performing LAAs and Paralegals to create new job descriptions and a blueprint of what they do that makes them exceptional
  • Improve interview and evaluation questions based on new core competencies
  • Develop a Legal Support Task Force to address better team coordination/coverage and to create restructured baseline skills standards
  • Bring the fresh market model to my firm and eliminate old vending machines
  • Implement a firmwide legal support team assistant position that will support attorneys remotely

ALA members learn from each other.  If you create organizational change in your firm and it is not as successful as you had hoped, so what.  Keep pushing forward, adjust, and connect with colleagues who have faced the same challenges.  One way to connect with your ALA colleagues, share ideas and best practices, and seek samples/templates is through the on-line communities.  Topics range from policy examples to client referral protocols to skills competency models. 

Sign up for the on-line community/communities that interest you.

Raise Your Hand for ALA Gateway

We in ALA Gateway leadership are seeking courageous volunteers to assist in a number of ways.  Specifically, we are currently seeking a member who embraces technology and would enjoy working as a part of the Communications and Technology team. The tasks range from simple occasional data entry to sending announcements to reviewing/updating website content – so team members have choices on the level of participation.

Here are just a few of the ways you can support the Gateway Chapter and be a part of our mission to change it up. Volunteering in the Chapter provides a  mutually beneficial relationship of value – and an opportunity to earn a full, expenses-paid scholarship to a conference! 

  • Do you have expertise in acquiring and developing talent? You will want to assist the Membership Team in creating a pipeline of future members and developing strategies for succession planning that will strengthen the Chapter’s membership. Or, if you have minimal time to donate, there are smaller projects that you can perform without the need to leave your office. 
  • Are you passionate about professional development, educating others, and creating effective programs? You will be an ideal member on the Professional Development Team responsible for designing the Chapter’s educational content for workshops/monthly meetings and locating speakers. There are also opportunities to assist with less time-consuming responsibilities, such as drafting flyers and managing catering orders.
  • Are you involved in the community and passionate about serving others? You will want to join the Community Connections Team to plan quarterly community service programs.  And remember how much fun it is to participate at the annual Bunny Hop in March? You could be a part of coordinating this successful event.
  • Is it important to you that we expand diversity and inclusion efforts in our firms? This mission starts at the Chapter level. You will want to be a part of the Diversity & Inclusion Team that actively participates in the annual Diversity Job Fair, Pride Parade, Diversity Awareness Partnership activities, and much more. You can make a difference!
  • Do you belong to other legal associations and enjoy collaborating with peer firms? The Strategic Alliance Team members are always on the go and looking for participants who have the desire to boost alliances with BAMSL, ILTA, LMA, STLPA, and many other legal organizations and bar associations. We have important strategies planned for next year, such as the Women Who Lead in Law workshop, a collaborative effort between ALA Gateway and ILTA. 

Please contact Julie Logan, Chapter President, or Dawn Gaskill, Chapter President Elect and visit the Gateway website for details on 2020 opportunities.


Get Your Game On in 2020 – Q1 Social Connections with ILTA

ALA Gateway and ILTA are collaborating to provide a casual social connections networking event on January 23, 2020, at Pieces Game Bar & Café.  Don’t be the missing piece – register today! This event is free to Gateway and ILTA members.



ALL-STATE LEGAL’s Award-Winning Custom Holiday Card for Lashly & Baer, P.C.

By Vicki LaBarge, Regional Sales Manager (West/Midwest)


Imagine having a dream that the eagle statue outside your office came to life.  This was ALA Member, Kara Brostron’s dream and ALA Business Partner, ALL-STATE LEGAL (ASL) helped Kara’s dream come to life.

Lashly & Baer is well-known for their exquisite building at 714 Locust Street in St. Louis.  Because their building is so prominent, it has been tradition to feature it on their annual holiday greeting.  View’s from the room of the Lashly & Baer building looks out on beautiful, intricate eagle statue which adorns the top of their building.

Kara’s vision was to have the majestic eagle appear as 3D and coming out of Lashly & Baer’s 2018 holiday card.  By collaborating with Vicki LaBarge, Regional Sales Manager, and their design partner, Kara’s vision came to life with a 3D eagle imprint literally popping out of their holiday card. 

During collaboration calls, many different options were discussed.  While photos were provided, the designer ultimately decided to hire a drone photographer so the final design could incorporate all the intricate and subtle details that the Eagle featured.  The designer used those photos to create the final eagle and then hand-illustrated holiday themed draping to embellish and finalize the design.

With design in hand, ASL ordered special, custom-made multi-level dies, custom die for the front cut out and the special paper required to bring the three dimensional piece to life without compromising detail or punching through the paper.

Every year ASL submits engraved projects in the International Engraved Graphic Association (IEGA) Engraved Stationery contest.  Judges, who include engraving experts, designers and others in the community, analyze materials submitted by engravers nationwide. ASL submitted Lashly & Baer’s “Eagle” Holiday Card in the 2019 competition and earned a “Certificate of Excellence in recognition of craftsmanship in design and production of engraved products” in the “Holiday Greeting Engraved with Supplementary Process” category. 

As a symbol of hard work and joint creativity with Kara, we proudly presented the award along with a shadow box of the multi-level die used to produce the card and the custom holiday card itself.

We are looking forward to working with Kara on her next dream design!



Members received a message from Chapter President Julie Logan on December 8, 2019, announcing a nominal dues increase in 2020. By restricting the amount of the increase, we seek to keep the Gateway Chapter affordable for all our members. 

This year renewal is easier than ever! Please click here to renew your membership today, or mail a check made payable to the Association of Legal Administrators - Gateway Chapter to 714 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63101.

We in Chapter leadership remain grateful for your continued support and engagement of the ALA Gateway Chapter.


A Year in Review

In this last year, Gateway Chapter teams produced a multitude of benefits and educational content to provide more value to ALA membership.  If you need to justify ALA membership to your partners, share a glimpse of our activities. 

We are Educating…


  • Supporting Proper Trust Accounting Practices
  • Sustainability for the Law Firm Environment
  • Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst – Is Your Firm Ready for What’s Next? (Succession Planning)
  • Business Skills Seminar for Lawyers: Cybersecurity, Business Development, and Ethics
  • Women Who Lead in Law Panel
  • Lucky Zip Codes (Privilege Awareness)
  • General Counsel Panel Discussion: What do General Counsel Want from Outside Counsel?

We are Giving Back…


  • Let’s Start – A volunteer activity to pack lunches for children who are visiting incarcerated female relatives
  • Operation Bunny Hop – An annual activity to assemble over 2,500 Easter baskets for under-served children
  • PurpleStride - A Walk to End Pancreatic Cancer
  • Diversity Awareness Partnership Annual Sponsorship
  • Center for Women in Transition (Joint Effort with WLA and Alaris Litigation)

We are Banding Together for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion…



We are Developing Courageous Leaders…

  • Over $58,000 awarded to Gateway members for professional development scholarships
  • Over 110 hours of professional development opportunities through ALA and Gateway programs
  • Over 35 hours of web-based and on-line training in HR and Finance
  • 11 Gateway members have served ALA on a regional or international level

Yes, it has been a busy year, and Chapter leadership will continue the same approach to offering professional development, leadership education, and community service opportunities in 2020. 

BINGO!  We are Better Together

The annual ALA Gateway Holiday Party connected members with business partners at the Magnolia Hotel Downtown St. Louis for Glo-Bingo.  According to all of the positive feedback, this was our best event yet! Members and business partners also joined efforts to provide donations to Stray Rescue of St. Louis.




Upcoming Events

January 15, 2020, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM

Professional Development Meeting – The Psychology of a Crisis

Husch Blackwell LLP
190 Carondelet Plaza, Suite 600
St. Louis, MO  63105


January 23, 2020, 4:30 PM-7:30 PM

Social Connections Event

Pieces Board Game Bar & Café
1535 S. 8th Street
St. Louis, MO  63104



February 19, 2020, 2:00-5:00 PM
Details to follow


SAVE THE DATE – Business Partner Appreciation Event

February 19, 2020, 5:00-7:00 PM
Details to follow

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