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Our Mission

The International Practice Management Association is your primary resource for information and education on the management of practice support professionals including paralegals in law firms, corporations, and law departments globally. Its mission is to advocate for the effective use and management of these professionals, to promote and enhance the proficiency and professionalism of its members, and to provide practical resources and cutting-edge solutions to the membership, the legal industry, and the public at large on the value of utilization and management of practice support professionals.

Managerial Skills Seminar

The IPMA Managerial Skills Seminar is designed to develop and refine practical managerial skills involved in the supervision of paralegals, litigation support, docket, technology, and other legal practice support professionals. This full-day program is the first and only seminar designed by and for active practice support managers and presented by IPMA members.

Both new and experienced managers will learn valuable management, team building, and communication skills essential to supervision in a legal organization. Subjects covered include recruitment and retention, orientation, evaluations, training programs, performance management, and positioning your program for success.

This information-packed seminar will provide a forum to share, grow, and improve. Become a better manager, mentor, and promoter of your paralegals, litigation support, docket, technology, or other legal practice support teams by attending the IPMA Managerial Skills Seminar this year!

To supplement the seminar experience, each participant receives a CD containing hundreds of sample forms and informational articles to assist in running their program. Prior year materials are available for purchase by contacting IPMA headquarters.

Upcoming Seminars

Managerial Skills Seminar

April 17, 2020
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Ballard Spahr
1909 K Street, NW
12th Floor
Washington, DC 20006-1157

Program Description

Attendees will find this seminar a unique opportunity to review their own supervisory style and discuss new ideas in an environment that encourages sharing real-life experiences. Prior attendees have commented on how the seminar helped them "pull it all together" and how spending a day away from the frequent interruptions of the office permitted them to come up with action plans on how to improve their programs. The variety of experiences of the instructors and attendees insures that there are perspectives from different types and sizes of organizations.


8:00 – 8:30 AM Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 8:35 AM Introductions & Announcements
8:35 – 9:00 AM Icebreaker
9:00 – 10:00 AM What It Takes to Lead
Establishing Credibility
Setting Goals
Continuous Self Improvement
Continue to Be You
10:00 – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 – 11:45 AM Recruitment
Temporary or Full-Time, What Do You Need?
Convincing Administration You Need More Staff
Interviewing Techniques
Checking References
Group Discussion
11:45 – 12:15 PM Orientation Programs
Streamlining Process
12:15 – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 1:20 PM Successful Delegation
Getting People to Follow Through
1:20 – 1:50 PM Training Programs
Determining Training Needs
Identifying Training Resources
1:50 – 2:50 PM Coaching, Criticism and Evaluations
Coaching Positive Change
Evaluation Meetings
Group Discussion
2:50 – 3:05 PM Break
3:05 – 4:05 PM Performance Management
Terminating an Employee
4:05 – 5:05 PM Positioning Your Program for Success
Creating Your Plan
Program Structure
Promoting Your Paralegals
Recognition Programs
5:05 – 5:30 PM Wrap Up


Deborah Clarke, Director of Records Management - Americas, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamiliton LLP, Washington, D.C.
Deborah Clarke is the Director of Records Management – Americas for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.  Prior to this role, Deb managed information specialists and paralegals in Cleary Gottlieb’s Washington office for over 17 years. Deb holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in College Park.  She is a Past President of the IPMA and is excited to once again be a part of the IPMA Managerial Skills faculty team.
Gary Melhuish, Manager of Litigation Support Services, Ballard Spahr LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Gary Melhuish is the Manager of Litigation Support Services in the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr, LLP. Prior to joining this firm in 2006, he was the Legal Assistant Director in the Washington, D.C. office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Gary has over 30 years' experience as a paralegal including more than 20 years as a paralegal manager. He is a Past President of the International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA). He was Adjunct Faculty at the Georgetown University Paralegal Studies Program from 2002 through 2005 where he taught Legal Ethics and Legal Technology. Gary is former member of the ABA's Approval Commission of the Standing Committee on Paralegals and serves on the National Federation of Paralegal Association's PACE Advisory Committee.
Janelle Reynes, Senior Director of Legal Support Services and Records, Arent Fox LLP
As Senior Director of Legal Support Services & Records at Arent Fox LLP, Janelle is responsible for managing the firm’s support service departments which ensures that client work is completed. Janelle oversees more than sixty paralegals firm-wide who support all practice groups. Janelle obtained PMP certification in 2013. She served as a Commissioner on the ABA's Paralegal Education Approval Commission. Janelle taught "Legal Technology and Litigation Management" for George Washington University's Paralegal Program, and served on Georgetown's Paralegal Program Advisory Committee. Prior to working at Arent Fox, Janelle was the "Electronic Discovery, Special Projects Case Manager" at Arnold & Porter. There, she was tasked with managing large litigation matters.