Message from the President

WOW – not quite sure what to say about 2020!  I hope each of you are staying healthy during this time in our City and Nation. 

Following the tragic and untimely deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others, it’s a good time to remind everyone of ALA’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. 

”ALA stands in solidarity with our colleagues of color. The work to be done to dismantle systemic racism is immense. As individuals, and together as an Association, WE ALL MUST DO BETTER. It is our duty as leaders in the legal profession to set examples for those around us at home and in our workplaces. ALA encourages its members to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We believe that our Association can be the resource to help our members start the conversations, empower leaders to acknowledge the issues, begin the dialogues, commit to what needs to be done and make change happen. We recognize that the work to advance our vision of cultural intelligence and change is a permanent movement, and this is just the start. ALA’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) remains a resource to you individually, and to your firms.” – April M. Campbell, JD, ALA Interim Executive Director and Debra L. Esbury, CLM, ALA President

Additionally, I know we are all embracing the “new normal” of our daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Legal Management magazine had a great article on the cover in May titled “Leading Through Change”.  You can read the article here: Read moreIf you are in need of CLM, HRCI and/or SHRM credits, you can take a brief quiz after reading this article for a one hour credit.

Legal Management Magazine

For those who are finding themselves pulled in many different directions while navigating the pandemic, you may be wondering if obtaining your Certified Legal Management (“CLM”) certification could provide you additional support.  The Gateway Chapter currently has 6 members who are certified.  If you are thinking about participating in the CLM program, I encourage you to reach out to the members listed below. 

Patty Barbachem, CLM – Thompson Coburn

Kara Brostron, CLM – Lashly & Baer

Debra Holland, CLM, PHR – Eckenrode-Maupin

Mary Jennings, CLM, SPHR – Sandberg Phoenix

Kathy Johnson, CLM, SHRM-SCP – Brown & James

Donna Sobkoviak, MBA, CLM – Summers Compton Wells


Each of these individuals has an enormous amount of knowledge and experience regarding this certification program, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  I also encourage you to purchase the CLM study guide found here:

Due to the uncertainty and fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Gateway and National ALA events have been canceled or postponed, including the ALA Annual Conference.  For those of you who were awarded a scholarship for the Annual Conference that was set to take place in May, your scholarship will automatically carry over to the 2021 Annual Conference in Chicago April 25-28, should you still wish to attend. 

While many in-person events have been canceled, there are still many educational opportunities available to you. 

A few upcoming ALA National webinars:

June 17   Design a Digital Mailroom with Airmail2 for Daily Mail + Document Requests Solution Series Webcasts

June 17   Zoom Fatigued? How to Stay Virtually Engaged without Losing our Mind

June 24   Monitoring Bankruptcy Trends During a Pandemic Can Help You Grow Your Practice Solution Series Webcasts

June 24   Making Working Remotely Work

June 25   ALA Today:The Virtual Conference


Many more can be found at Online Learning - Upcoming Webinars


Upcoming Gateway Chapter Educational Meetings and Events: 

June 17   Addressing Bias and Improving Diversity in the Practice of Law

June 23   Happy Hour in the Park

July 22    Succession Planning (meeting rescheduled due to COVID-19)


As has been said, “while we are apart, we are all in this together”.  Please reach out to your ALA family with any questions or concerns you may have as we navigate these unchartered waters together.


Stay safe, and I look forward to seeing you all in person soon!


Dawn Gaskill
2020-21 ALA Gateway President

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