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Our Mission

The International Practice Management Association (IPMA) is the premier resource for information and education on the management of paralegals and other practice support professionals 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 thought leadership to the membership, the legal industry, and the public at large on the value of utilization and management of paralegals and other practice support professionals.

Session Descriptions

This year's three-day educational program features hot topics, latest trends, and current issues that affect how we manage practice support professionals. Whether you manage paralegals, litigation support, docketing, or other revenue-generating functions, you'll find the information you're seeking among programming on human resources, technology and innovation, communications, organizational management, and career development. Many thanks to the IPMA Conference Committee, co-chaired by Victoria Snook and Karen Tuschak, for their efforts in developing this outstanding program!


General Sessions


Insights on Today's Legal Environment

SPEAKER: Zena Applebaum, Director, Professional Firm & Corporate Segments, Thomson Reuters Canada

Wednesday, October 17: 4:45 - 6:00 pm
Room: Ballroom G-I

Resilience and Balance: Your Personal North Star Lights the Path

SPEAKER: Terrie CampbellChief Executive Officer, Esquire Deposition Solutions

At the 2017 IPMA Annual Conference, Terrie Campbell discussed how today’s workforce demographics are impacting law firms. She delved into the characteristics of millennials, in particular their strive for balance and flexibility in their work and life.  This past year, with the rise of the #MeToo movement and more and more discussion about the impact of “law firm life” on mental health issues, it has become apparent that millennials may have started the discussion of work/life balance ….but, this movement transcends all generations.  During her presentation, Terrie will discuss the current issues of work/life balance at law firms and how developing a “personal northstar” can guide your prioritization decision making to aid both professional and personal success.

Thursday, October 18, 8:30 - 9:45 am
Room: Ballroom G-I


IPMA Talk Live: Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Discussions

MODERATOR: TBD

Thursday, October 18, 1:00 - 2:15 pm
Room: Regency Hall


The 10-80-10 Principle

SPEAKER: Sunjay Nath, Motivational Speaker, MBA, BScE, CSP

The 10-80-10 Principle is a framework that allows you to increase your performance and results by focusing your energy and efforts on highest yielding activities. It helps individuals and teams operate at a dynamic level. Every person or group already exhibits behaviors that are Top 10 (percent) – those behaviors that lead to high performance and achievement. What people lack is the knowledge and a framework to consistently operate at that dynamic Top 10 level. The 10-80-10 Principle program provides a methodology to reward and grow Top 10 behaviors and neutralize Bottom 10 actions. Filled with practical examples and engaging content, the audience is able to identify their Top and Bottom 10 and then A.C.T. with the 10-80-10 Principle to create greater performance levels in both their personal and professional lives. It has direct application to employee management and it helps to reduce stress and increase fulfillment on the job.

Friday, October 19, 8:30 - 9:45 am
Room: Ballroom G-I


The Surprising First Step to Breakthrough Career Success

SPEAKER: Caroline Ceniza-LevineCo-founder, SixFigureStart®

When you think about what it takes to make a massive shift in your career and reach breakthrough career success, do you assume it’s about brand names on your resume or expert self-promotion as the first step to launching your career success? Actually, the most effective way to leapfrog your career is not about career! Instead, breakthrough career success is about foundational shifts in your life – you essentially change everything else but your career first. In this interactive talk, we’ll cover how changes to your current job, money habits, stress management, relationships, environment and even your personal time will position you more competitively when you lobby for more responsibility, a promotion or a new role altogether. We’ll cover why breakthrough career success is different from incremental improvement -- you can’t just do what everyone else will typically do.

Friday, October 19, 3:15 - 4:30 pm
Room: Ballroom G-I


Breakout Sessions

Educating and Developing your Workforce

SPEAKERS:
Toni Marsh, Director, Paralegal Studies Master's Program, The George Washington University 
Michelle Hess, Paralegal Manager, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

Using the principles of great teaching, including high engagement, interactivity, multimedia content and good graphic design, this program will outline the education and training models managers can use to develop their workforce professionals; guides managers in choosing the right option to suit particular objectives; and reviews the basic principles of good teaching for those who choose to do training and education themselves. 

Thursday, October 18, 10:15 - 11:30 am
Room: Regency Hall 7 & 8


Leveraging Your Resources- Why Partnering with the Right Service Provider Makes Sense

SPEAKERS: 
Sharon Patterson, Legal Assistant Supervisor, Goldberg Kohn Ltd|
Bill Moore, UCC Business Consultant, CT Corporation

In this session we will look at how and why you should partner with the right service provider. You can maximize your talents by utilizing knowledge and industry know how from a provider who specializes in your area of law. Let them help you look like a rock star. Partnering with the right service provider can save you time, help you become a sought after legal resource, all while ultimately saving your firm and your clients money.  

Thursday, October 18, 10:15 - 11:30 am
Room: Regency Hall 5 & 6


Navigating A Merger: Understanding Us, Them, You and the New "We" 

SPEAKER: Tara Eberhart, Director of Paralegal Services and Docketing, Dentons US LLP

Over the past ten years, almost seven hundred law firms mergers and/or acquisitions have been completed.  The law firm merger market is continuing to accelerate and this does not even include the almost daily migration of laterals Partners from one firm to another.  This constant movement and organizational uncertainty makes carrying out even the most routine management tasks challenging and requires a unique managerial skill set to navigate a constantly changing environment.    Our speaker, Tara Kim Eberhart not only "survived" four mergers in seven years as a Paralegal Manager and/or Director but in 2015, when her regional firm merged with the largest law firm in the world, she lead a combined team of Paralegals thru one of the largest mergers of the year. By understanding how to navigate a merger, Tara was selected by firm leadership to expand her role to supervising two additional departments with a combined team of over 200.  

Thursday, October 18, 10:15 - 11:30 am
Room: Magnolia A-C


Mental Health: Dealing with People in Emotional Crisis

SPEAKERS: TBD

This session will look at understanding the signs that someone in crisis and what you should do once you see them.

Thursday, October 18, 2:30 - 3:45 pm
Room: Regency Hall 7 & 8


Crash Course in Social Media

SPEAKER:  Beth Huffman, Director of Marketing, Nelson Mullins

In this session we will review of each type of social media page – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram -  and discuss which are best for personal and for business, profile raising, etc. We will also take an outside-of-the-box look at what you can post, ideas, etc.  

Thursday, October 18, 2:30 - 3:45 pm
Room: Regency Hall 5 & 6


New Recruiting Techniques and Options

SPEAKER: Ricki Frumkin, Executive Director, Law Resources Inc

Thursday, October 18, 2:30 - 3:45 pm
Room: Magnolia A-C


Hot HR Topics, Canada

SPEAKER: 

Thursday, October 18, 4:15 - 5:30 pm
Room: Regency Hall 7 & 8


Hot HR Topics, USA: In-House and Law Firm

SPEAKERS: 

Thursday, October 18, 4:15 - 5:30 pm
Room: Magnolia A-C


How to be an Effective Coach for Your Employees

SPEAKER:  Greta Zeimetz, CAE Executive Director, NALA – The Paralegal Association

The ability to effectively coach your employees helps you increase their commitment and level of engagement. It also helps you avoid and manage problems effectively that may interfere with working relationships and productivity. Effectively coaching others helps you achieve your own goals and even makes you more valuable to your organization. 

Friday, October 19, 10:15 - 11:30 am
Room: Regency Hall 7 & 8


How to Structure your In-House Legal Dept and Relationships with Law Firm Paralegals

SPEAKERS: 
Fiorella Bellissimo, Manager- Business Law Services, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP 
Michelle HessParalegal Manager, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Laura Porter, Manager, Corporate Secretariat, OMERS

During this session, you'll enjoy a panel comprised of in-house and in firm managers. This discussion will focus on on how departments are structured and how to develop relationships.

Friday, October 19, 10:15 - 11:30 am
Room: Regency Hall 5 & 6


Rethinking the Annual Performance Review

SPEAKER: John ZettlerDale Carnegie

A discussion of alternative performance review methods that enhance employee engagement and performance. 

Friday, October 19, 10:15 - 11:30 am
Room: Magnolia A-C


Ask the Experts (Panel Discussion)

SPEAKERS: Cathy Boette, Director of Professional Programs, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

In this session a panel of experienced managers discuss topics affecting managers. Topics such as tiering, delegating, paralegal retreats and conferences, budgeting, marketing paralegals, or utilization. 

Friday, October 13, 2018, 1:45 - 3:00 pm
Room: Regency Hall 7& 8


Effective Decision Making

SPEAKERS: TBD

Friday, October 13, 2018, 1:45 - 3:00 pm
Room: Regency Hall 5 & 6


Damaging Communication Mistakes and How to Avoid

SPEAKERS: John ZettlerDale Carnegie‚Äč
Friday, October 19, 2018, 1:45 - 3:00 pm
Room: Magnolia A-C