Member Login

Forgot your password?

Our Mission

The International Practice Management Association (IPMA) is the primary source of information and education for managers in law firms, corporations, and law departments. We provide an inclusive community that promotes and enhances the proficiency and professionalism of our members. We deliver practical resources and cutting-edge solutions on the value and management of professionals in the legal environment.

Session Descriptions & Speaker Bios

This year's three-day educational program features hot topics, latest trends, and current issues that affect how we manage personnel within a legal environment. Whether you manage paralegals, law clerks, litigation support, docketing, or legal-related positions, 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 chaired by Patty Maxwell for their efforts in developing this outstanding program!

General Sessions

Keeping Your Team Together

Wednesday, October 13, 12:30 pm - 1:10 pm
Sponsored by: CT Corporation


There is no ‘I’ in Team Engagement (but there is a me!)” In this insightful and energizing session, you will learn the 5 essential C’s of effective team engagement. How to work successfully with your team as a whole, as well as the all-important individual factor a.k.a. the “me” in Team Engagement. You will discover 14 different roles that you can take, and some adjustments you can make, to your management leadership style to get more positive and lasting results. Packed full of tangible takeaways and fresh ideas, this session is not to be missed!


Joy Baldridge, President & Founder, Baldridge Seminars International

Joy Baldridge is a Certified Speaking Professional, TEDx and globally sought after keynote speaker who has spoken from Boston to Bangkok, Denver to Dubai, and Seattle to Singapore. Joy is the author of 3 business books and does virtual and live keynote presentations on positive change, team engagement, communication, sales and leadership. In 2019 she made the 41 Top Motivational Speakers list along with Les Brown, Daymond John (of Shark Tank fame) and Simon Sinek. Joy has spoken at over 30 universities including Yale, Tulane, Colgate, Jack Welch College of Business and Technology and Loma Linda Medical Center, and over 200 corporations such as Google, BDO, IBM, NBC, Rolling Stone, Architectural Digest and Oprah Magazine, and numerous conferences such as The American Gem Society, Association of Realtors, Global Oral Health Summit, ARMOUR Cybersecurity Expo, Asia Fitness Conference, Private School Educational Summit. Yale University recently chose her new book, The Joy in Business, Innovative Ideas to Find Positivity and Profit in Your Work Life, for their book club read this year. Her first speaking engagement was at the White House at the age of 19. She got there by cold calling the president. Her keynotes are captivating, energizing and filled with tons of tangible takeaway value! Her secrets to success and wisdom from her experiences in work and life provide a positive and pragmatic perspective and toolkit beneficial for professionals at all stages and situations in their work and life.

A Practical Guide to Leveraging Innovation

Wednesday, October 13, 4:00 pm - 4:40 pm


This program will cut through the noise around innovation, helping legal professionals understand what it can mean for their daily workflow and how to leverage their passion and skills to enhance client experience and personal work satisfaction. We will focus on demystifying innovation with practical examples and actionable ways to incorporate innovation into our daily lives. 


Maya Markovich, Chief Growth Officer, NextLaw Labs

Maya Markovich is a thought leader in the legal innovation space, with roots in change management, behavioral science, and the legal, VC and tech industries. She was central to Nextlaw Labs, Dentons' tech-focused innovation catalyst, from its industry-first launch in 2015, delivering next-generation technology, process, client and business growth services across the globe to the world's largest law firm, including acceleration of startups in the Nextlaw Ventures portfolio. A highly sought-after speaker, Maya frequently writes, broadcasts and lectures on legal industry trends and developments, and advises multiple high-growth legal tech startups.

Maya also serves on the boards of Legal Access Alameda, LexLab, and OneJustice, supporting legal tech initiatives to improve access to justice and equity. She was named one of five “Influential Women of Legal Tech” by ILTA in 2020, a “Woman Leading Legal Tech” by The Technolawgist in 2019, and an ABA Legal Technology Resource Center “Woman of Legal Tech 2018” for her work in encouraging, designing and implementing the future of the legal profession around the globe. Find Maya on Twitter@MarkovichMaya and Linkedin.


Whine with Wine: Managing the New Normal

Wednesday, October 13, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Managing the New Normal is a discussion about the practice of a Paralegal/Law Clerk in the past, present, and future. Focusing on where our profession has been, where we are now due to Covid and where the post-Covid future will take us. A very timely discussion on how change has affected how we manage our teams and how we set up our groups for success going forward. Bring a cocktail and join us after the session to talk about Managing the New Normal.


Alexis Fitzjohn, Senior Manager, Corporate Services, SPEAKER:
Alexis Fitzjohn is the Senior Manager, Corporate Services Ontario at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP.  She is tasked to oversee and be responsible for consistency of product and the quality of services provided by Fasken Corporate Services paraprofessionals with a focus on critical Business Law initiatives.  Alexis brings 20 years of experience to her practice at Fasken in various areas of Business Law including real estate, financial services and corporate law in the Provinces of Ontario and Alberta.  Alexis is the Chair of the Toronto Chapter of IPMA, a Fellowship member of The Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and a Board Member of the Law Clerk Advanced Program at Durham College.

Anna Gutierrez, Trademark Practice Support Manager, Fenwick & West LLP
Anna Gutierrez is the Trademark Practice Support Manager at Fenwick & West. With over 17 years of trademark experience, Anna oversees a team of 14 trademark paralegals and 7 docketing specialists/clerks, who expertly manage and maintain a docket of more than 50,000 matters. She has significant experience inbounding large trademark portfolios, ensuring the intake process is seamless and all deadlines are accurately docketed. Anna is a technology enthusiast related to all things trademark. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from San Jose State University.

Angela King, Manager, Paralegal Services, Dentons
Angela King is the Manager, Paralegal Services based in the Washington, D.C. office for global law firm, Dentons US LLP. She works with the Director & Management Team in overseeing the Paralegal Services program and creating, implementing, and aligning the firm wide mission of the paralegal program with the firm's overall strategic objectives. She is also responsible for the daily supervision of almost 20 Paralegal Services team members within a wide range of practice areas in the Washington, D.C., Dallas and Houston offices. Dentons' Paralegal Services program consists of 100+ paralegals, case assistants, analysts and other timekeepers supporting lawyer and other professionals in twenty-three (23) offices in the United States. King has over 20 years of legal experience, in the Government Contracts, Administrative Law and Litigation practice industries.


Collaborative Leadership in a Virtual Legal Environment

Thursday, October 14, 11:00 am - 11:40 am


Many leaders working in law today are new to our virtual legal landscape.  In law firms and corporate legal departments alike, legal professionals have adopted to new technology and changes in organizational structure more quickly than ever considered possible.  The result has created new challenges in leading legal professionals to drive performance and success.  This topic explores the advantages of leading legal professionals through a collaborative lens, rather than a top-down command approach, traditionally found in many legal environments.  Collaborative leadership is a constructive way to foster engagement, empower talent and drive accountability, even if your team isn’t working in the same building.  


Amber Hunt, President, Legal Talent Solutions, Trustpoint.One

As President of Legal Talent Solutions, Amber Hunt oversees Trustpoint’s legal staffing business nationally, encompassing recruitment for both law firms and in-house legal departments. She has been leading virtual teams for the last seven years.  She is responsible for leading the overall growth and strategy for this division, which provides legal talent on both a direct hire and interim flexible basis.    Prior to joining Trustpoint, Amber spent over ten years working in leadership roles for Kelly Services, Inc., driving revenue production and managing teams specialized in offering legal recruitment solutions to Kelly’s Fortune 500 and AmLaw 200 clients across the U.S. Throughout her career she has leveraged her experiences to advise clients, talent and team members to deliver the highest quality product in the legal staffing industry.    


IPMA Talk Live!:
Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Discussions

Thursday, October 14, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Get ready for a new take on the IPMA Talk Live Roundtables! Trust us, you won't want to miss this general session. IPMA members will be acting out common situations you find yourself in all the time. Then you'll benefit from the open discussions about these situations and potential solutions.


Brian Bernhard, Office Administrator, Dentons

Brian Bernhard is the Denver Office Administrator for Dentons US LLP.  His career in the legal industry spans 25 years working for both the government and law firms, with a primary focus on the field of immigration law.  He has built and managed high-performing and cohesive teams of legal support professionals at the firms where he has worked.  Brian has been a member of the IPMA since 2007 and is a Past President of the Association.  He currently serves as Chair of the award-winning Communications Committee, which produces Inspired Leadership, the IPMA’s quarterly e-Magazine and the Chair of the Colorado Chapter.  Brian is also an active member in his local chapter of the ALA and sits on the National Federation of Paralegal Association’s Certification Standards Committee.  He and his wife are the founders of Foster Source, a non-profit supporting Colorado’s foster parents and children in care, and are the overwhelmingly proud parents of three crazy kids.  Brian enjoys networking, laughing and moderating the IPMA Talk Live session this conference. 


Diversity & Inclusion

Friday, October 15, 11:00 am - 11:40 am


The Center for Legal Inclusiveness will lead a 40-minute training on Zoom for the IPMA Conference that will define and equip the viewers with tools to counteract inequities in the following categories: equity, diversity, inclusivity, systemic racism, microaggressions,
unconscious bias, and antiracism.


Sara Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Legal Inclusiveness

Nearly fifteen years ago Sara Scott started her career representing foster children in Washington D.C., at the Children’s Law Center (CLC). At CLC she supervised attorneys, managed dozens of cases, and watched as the foster care system disproportionately impacted black families while creating a further disenfranchised community. After CLC, Sara honed her oral advocacy skills as the founding partner of Zamani & Scott LLP – a full-service family law firm where she most enjoyed her assisted reproductive technology practice and serving same sex families. In 2005, Sara and her family moved home to Denver to be near family. Sara’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to start a family law practice in Denver. She became active in the community as one of the founding board members of Lawyer’s for Equal Justice and was appointed as a Uniform Law Commission. Sara has always had a strong passion for Diversity and Inclusivity. She was one of the first students to earn her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University, where she also won the Community Building Award. Sara has followed Diversity and Inclusivity throughout the duration of her career and has received her Certificate in Diversity and Inclusivity from Cornell University. Sara’s passion, enthusiasm and drive make her the perfect fit for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness.


Seize the Opportunity:
Reimagining a Better Workplace in a Challenging World

Friday, October 15, 3:30 pm - 4:10 pm


Do you feel like your entire workforce has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the havoc unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic? Is your head spinning trying to define paths forward for your organization and employees in a world where change is happening at a seemingly warp speed?
In this empowering, interactive, and hope-filled message, keynote speaker and adversity expert Heather R. Younger inspires attendees to reimagine the workplace, their roles, and offers a high-level roadmap for succeeding with more ease. 
Your audience will learn how to …

  • Use proven psychology to reframe challenges and see opportunities more clearly
  • Feel more confident, empowered, and in control – even in a chaotic world
  • Lean into their inherent resilience and reduce their stress
  • Collaboratively reimagine workspaces and roles to develop win-win processes and an inclusive culture
  • Become better advocates for themselves and others
  • Lead in new, powerful, and sustainable ways 

If you’re ready to ease the impact of chaos for your team and help them develop the skills and mindsets necessary to navigate change with agility, confidence, compassion, and character, invite Heather to bring this timely topic to your next event.


Heather R. Younger, Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host and CEO & Founder, Employee Fanatix

Heather is the founder and CEO of Employee Fanatix, an International TEDx speaker on Adversity, Leadership Podcast Host, Business Coach, Facilitator and Attorney, who has earned a reputation as “The Employee Whisperer”. She holds a law degree, is a regular contributor to "Forbes" and "LinkedIn" and is the best-selling author of The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty, which hit the top of the "Forbes Must-Read List for HR Professionals." Her upcoming book, The Art of Caring Leadership, was picked up by Berrett Koehler Publishers and teaches the radical power of caring support in leadership and in the workplace. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, on the boards of Mile High SHRM, National Speakers Association of Colorado, and the American Cancer Society. That’s a lot of accolades and titles – but what is most important to know about Heather is that she brings a breadth of experience, extensive quantitative and qualitative research, and a truly deep passion for advocacy, resilience, human relations, and connection to every audience, every workshop, every consultation.


Breakout Sessions

Evaluation Cycle Panel

Wednesday, October 13, 2:10 pm - 2:50 pm


Our recent experience with remote work arrangements has impacted most all aspects of the work experience. In particular, the opportunity for managers to give ongoing and annual performance feedback has changed. The panel will discuss different types of evaluation cycles and how traditional feedback methods can be adapted to address the needs of a remote or hybrid workforce. Everyone is encouraged to bring questions to this session and participate in a lively discussion on offering timely and effective evaluations.


Kathy Anderson, Manager, Corporate Services, Bennett Jones LLP

As Manager of the Corporate Services Department in the Toronto office of Bennett Jones LLP, Kathy is responsible for management, administration and training for the department as well as the mentoring of the firm’s law students and junior associates. Kathy has over 30 years of legal industry experience and remains up-to-date and active in the paraprofessional community, taking certificate courses through the IPMA, where she has been an active member for many years. Kathy currently sits on the board of directors in the role of Secretary-Treasurer and as a member of the Membership Committee. Kathy is also an Associate member of the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario.

In addition to managing the Corporate Services Department and assisting clients, Kathy is involved in firm Continuing Legal Education. She has also presented at the First Time Attendees Orientation at the annual IPMA conference on numerous occasions and has presented at the Canadian Association of Paralegals conference."

Gary Meluish, Manager of Litigation Support Services, Ballard Spahr LLP

Gary Melhuish is the Manager of Litigation Support Services 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 40 years' experience as a paralegal including more than 30 years as a manager of paralegal, eDiscovery and docket clerk teams. He is a Past President and Life Member of the International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA). He was Adjunct Faculty at the Georgetown University Paralegal Studies Program where he taught Legal Ethics and Legal Technology. Gary is a former member of the ABA's Approval Commission of the Standing Committee on Paralegals and served on the National Federation of Paralegal Association's PACE Advisory Committee. 

Tracy Schumm, Director of Legal Professionals/Professional Services, Snell & Wilmer LLP

Tracy Schumm is the Senior Director of Legal Professionals for Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.  She is responsible for the daily business affairs and training of the firm’s paralegal, paralegal assistant, and litigation support programs for the Firm.  She earned her B.A. from Illinois State University and her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.  Tracy worked previously as the Legal Professional Program Manager for four years before being promoted to Director in 2018.  Tracy serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Legal Studies program at Phoenix College.  She also serves on the IPMA Board as Division I Chapter Development Chairperson. 


A Leader's Role in Times of Change

Wednesday, October 13, 2:10 pm - 2:50 pm
Sponsored by: Beacon Hill Legal


In alignment with the conference theme, it is essential for leaders to understand how they impact and influence the effects of change.  We often feel like change is happening to us or that we have insufficient control over a situation.  And while we may not be able to predict everything that comes at us, we can control how we prepare and how we respond.  This session focuses on the approaches we can take as managers & supervisors to proactively plan for change and how to support our team in times of change, enriching the employee experience that directly contributes to productivity, profits, and the employer reputation.


Michele Bush, CEO & Owner, Meglyn Consulting

Michele is the owner of Meglyn Consulting.  After an extensive 30 year career in corporate HR, she bravely reinvented herself and now helps businesses to improve their productivity and employer brand through leadership behaviour and employee engagement. Michele is also a Certified Coach Practitioner, providing customized career transition and job search support for her clients. Michele is known for being a charismatic speaker, an engaging facilitator and a progressive mentor for aspiring HR professionals.  She has worked in both private and public sectors, with entrepreneurs, large multinational and global corporations, across various industries from insurance to biotechnology, spending 10 years in Senior Executive roles in mining and heavy equipment. Michele holds a degree in Psychology and a Business Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, an Executive Management Certificate from McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business, and a CHRM designation from the Human Resources Professionals Association. Michele has a genuine desire to advance the profile of the front-line leadership function, ensuring that they have a sustainable, profound impact on their team’s success and ultimately the business results. She is actively engaged in multiple Women In Leadership and local community groups and has a side gig as an actor/model, which keeps things interesting.


How Does Remote Work Fit into our Culture?

Wednesday, October 13, 2:10 pm - 2:50 pm
Sponsored by: American LegalNet, Inc. 


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift toward remote working. With many organizations heading toward fully remote or hybrid working models, how do we navigate this new way of working while maintaining connection and culture? This interactive session will offer law firm and in-house perspectives on remote work, with a focus on tools and strategies for managing teams and supporting your organization’s unique culture in a dynamic virtual environment.


Katherine Simmons, Office & Paralegal Manager, Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien, Doherty & Kelly, P.C

Katherine Simmons is a Paralegal Manager with Marks, O’Neill, O’Brien, Doherty & Kelly and has served in various management roles throughout her 16 years with the firm.  Katherine has been a licensed claims adjuster for over 30 years.  Prior to her role with Marks, O'Neill, she was a Claims Adjuster and Litigation Specialist with AIG.  She has been a long-term active member of the Delaware Claims Association and a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of IPMA for the past 2 ½ years.     

Emily Lidard, Manager Global Mobility & Immigration, CSG International

Emily Lidard is the in-house Manager of Global Mobility & Immigration at CSG, a publicly traded technology company with worldwide operations.  She is based out of CSG’s corporate headquarters in Denver, CO and is the project manager for CSG’s transition to a virtual-first operating model.  Emily previously held paralegal and paralegal manager positions at Ogletree Deakins (Denver), Steptoe & Johnson (Washington, D.C.), and Gibney, Anthony, & Flaherty (New York City).  She is an Emeritus member and first joined the IPMA in 2013.  Emily served on the IPMA’s board of directors from 2017-2018, and was Chair of the Communications Committee and Chair of the Colorado Chapter from 2016-2017. 


The Solutionist Mindset:
Where Legal Project Management Meets Legal
Operation Creating the Future Paraprofessional

Thursday, October 14, 12:20 pm - 1:00 pm


Who is the paraprofessional of the future? And what value and benefit do they add to the legal team? In this session, attendees will learn what it takes to hire and retain the best talent, understand the core competencies of paraprofessionals and provide the innovative framework to coach, mentor and empower paralegals, legal operations professionals and limited practice professionals to be the leaders of today and innovators of tomorrow. Come learn what it takes to effectively utilize these paraprofessionals and provide pathways to succeed in the legal industry. 


Carl Morrison, Manager of Legal Services, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Carl H. Morrison, ACP, CAS, RP, PP, AACP, is an experienced and award-winning legal operations manager and advanced certified paralegal, and has been in the legal industry for over two decades. Carl’s highly sought after speaking expertise has afforded him numerous opportunities to share his devotion to the paralegal profession.  Since 2017, he has been the award-winning podcast host for The Paralegal Voice and loves to share his passion and dedication to the legal industry with his listeners. He is a published author for nationally recognized legal professional and award-winning magazines, as well as a contributing author for an educational legal textbook, Advanced Manual for the Legal Professional, 13th Edition. An active member of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), IPMA, NALA, as well as NALA affiliates, Las Vegas Valley Paralegal Association and State Bar of Nevada Paralegal Division, and the ABA, Carl is passionate about educating and mentoring future paralegal professionals. Since 2012, he has provided superior instruction of paralegal students as adjunct paralegal studies professor for ABA-approved paralegal studies programs in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in Las Vegas, Nevada. Carl also serves as an ABA Paralegal Education Approval Commission Site Team Representative, examining paralegal programs in depth, nationwide.

Kristine Custodio-Suero, Senior Paralegal / BusinessDevelopment Director, Butterfield Schechter LLP

Kristine Custodio Suero is an award-winning legal professional and a highly sought-after speaker in her profession inspiring legal professionals to achieve authentic, purpose-driven careers and lives. Her nonprofit service with local, state and national paralegal associations focuses primarily on leadership development. A champion of equity, diversity and leadership, Kristine’s contributions to community whether as an Administrator of her family’s small business (an adult residential facility for developmentally disabled adults) or as an officer of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of San Diego County and Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council, her work has impacted people of all backgrounds and abilities. She also serves as a member of the University of San Diego School of Law Paralegal Program’s Advisory Board and as Adjunct Faculty.


The Delaware Update

Thursday, October 14, 12:20 pm - 1:00 pm
Sponsored by:  CT Corporation 


Stay informed about the latest legislative updates and key trends in the nation’s most popular state to incorporate.  Staying abreast of recent law is paramount to keep you or your clients compliant and in good standing.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to hear about pending and future legislation, as well as gain insight into changes in franchise taxes and annual reports.

 Topics covered:
•  Delaware – year in review
• Overview of Delaware Updates including new legislation, administrative policies, and services
• Changes to Annual Reports
• Key deadlines
• Form updates
• Status of Delaware’s IT Initiatives


Alan Stachura, Senior Manager of Government Relations, CT Corporation

Mr. Stachura assumed his current role with CT Corporation as Senior Manager of Government Relations in 2009. He is a key liaison for CT vis-à-vis the fifty State governments across the U.S. with a particular focus on Delaware. Mr. Stachura regularly shares his Delaware corporate law expertise through a series of seminars focusing on statutory compliance, the process and advantages of incorporating in Delaware, and recent statutory updates.Previously, Mr. Stachura has held a number of important positions at CT, including Senior Manager of the Delaware Fulfillment office, and Team Leader for Wilmington Fulfillment Team Two, where he supervised the completion of Delaware orders for nine service teams around the country. He also has been responsible for leading CT’s Delaware Service of Process Team, the Delaware Night Shift and the Delaware Administrative Group. Prior to joining CT, Mr. Stachura was a Branch Manager for Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB. He has also worked in management roles for two market research firms in Philadelphia. Mr. Stachura majored in Psychology and Business at the University of Delaware.

Michael Powell, Manager, Government Relations, CT Corporation

Mike Powell is the Governmental Relations Manager for Wolters Kluwer, CT Corporation. In this role, Mike leads a team of Government Relations Specialists and Regulatory Compliance, responsible for monitoring relevant nationwide legislation and lobbying for the company’s interest, maintaining positive relationships with state and federal officials, and manages multiple streams of incoming information with internal and external stakeholders. The Regulatory Compliance team ensures CT’s compliance with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. Before joining CT Corporation, Mike was the Deputy Director of the Texas Secretary of State, Business & Public Filings Division. He performed senior-level management work providing direction and guidance in operations, budgeting, and strategic planning for the Corporations & UCC Sections of the Business & Public Filings Division. Mike served on the Board of Directors and was the President-Elect for the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA), a professional association for government administrators of business organization and secured transaction registry systems at the state and international levels. Mike is a member of the Texas Business Law Section, Business Organizations Code Committee. This committee organizes and drafts a substantive codification of the Texas business entities statutes. He serves as an observer to various Uniform Laws Commission business entity drafting committees. Mike received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and his law degree from South Texas College of Law. He is a licensed attorney in Texas.


The Intersection of CyberSecurity and eDiscovery:
Preservation of ESI

Thursday, October 14, 12:20 pm - 1:00 pm
Sponsored by: Dye & Durham


This session will provide an overview of the conflicts that can often arise when complying with legal obligations to preserve electronically stored information and ensuring appropriate cybersecurity protections are in place.  These conflicts can escalate when faced with a cybersecurity incident.  The session leaders will provide practical guidance for ways to alleviate this tension between conflicting legal or institutional obligations.


Laura Hunt, Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Laura Hunt is Counsel with Norton Rose Fulbright in the firm's eDiscovery and Information Governance group.  In this role, she formulates creative strategies for the defensible and efficient preservation, identification, collection, review, and production of electronically stored information in response to requests in civil investigations and litigation.  Laura also collaborates frequently with the privacy team to respond to cybersecurity incidents including managing the document review and analysis required to ensure clients are in compliance with federal and state laws.  Previously, Laura served as Senior Litigation Counsel for eDiscovery at the United States Department of Justice and provided legal advice to Civil Division litigators on topics such as the implementation of litigation holds in high-profile, complex matters, the identification and collection of large volumes of electronically stored information, negotiated with opposing counsel on the gamut of electronic discovery issues and the formulation of document review strategies.  Laura assisted trial teams with drafting discovery responses and discovery motions.  She provided extensive training to Civil Division attorneys and staff as well as several federal agencies on many electronic discovery issues.  She has also advised federal agencies on best practices for implementing defensible litigation hold policies and other electronic discovery best practices.  Prior to law school, Laura worked as a paralegal with the Department of Justice Civil Division’s Environmental Torts Office where she served as a support staff electronic discovery advisor.  Laura has written on e-discovery topics and participated in several e-discovery conferences including speaking at the Master’s Conference for Legal Professionals, participating in the drafting of the update to the Sedona Conference’s Commentary on Legal Holds, and serving as a mentor at the Georgetown E-Discovery Training Academy.  Laura is also an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University’s Washington College of Law where she teaches practical courses on eDiscovery for the Juris Doctor as well as the Master of Legal Studies’ programs, and is a former Advisory Board Member of the Georgetown Advanced E-Discovery Institute.  During law school, Laura authored a comment published in the University of Baltimore Law Review entitled, Trending: Proportionality in Electronic Discovery in Common Law Countries and the United States’ Federal and State Courts.  Laura graduated magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law.  She received her B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland – College Park.


Recruiting Hot Topics

Thursday, October 14, 2:00 pm - 2:40 pm
Sponsored by: Trustpoint.One


New and shifting workforce trends are having radical implications for attracting and retaining talent. In order to compete, hiring managers must have an effective recruiting strategy in place to make the recruiting process as successful as possible while they also focus on retaining the talent that they have. In
this session we’ll discuss:
• The impact of Covid 19 on legal recruiting
• Ways that hiring managers can customize their recruiting strategy to their audience
• How technology can be used to identify and screen candidates
• Methods for successfully integrating and retaining staff


Liz Richmond, Director of Recruiting, Trustpoint.One

Liz Richmond is a Senior Director of Recruiting with Trustpoint.One, a business and legal solutions provider for law firms and corporations nationwide.  A native New Yorker, Liz has been in the recruiting industry for over 20 years, specializing in legal recruiting.  Prior to joining Trustpoint.One in 2019, Liz was a Recruiting Director with Kelly Law Registry where she focused on the placement of both contract and direct hire positions for legal assistants, paralegals and attorneys on a nationwide basis. Liz began her legal career working as an Assistant Recruiting Coordinator in the attorney recruiting department of a global international law firm before becoming the Attorney Recruiting Coordinator at an Intellectual Property boutique, where she worked for 4 years.  Liz took her legal recruiting skills to a staffing firm, where she developed an affinity for placing paralegals in both law firms and corporations.  Over the years, Liz’s role has expanded to include the placement of attorneys, paralegals and law firm professionals on both a temporary and direct hire basis. Liz is passionate about what she does and genuinely enjoys helping people to achieve their career goals.
Liz is a graduate of Adelphi University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature  When she isn’t working, Liz enjoys spending time with her husband Rob and their beloved cat, Whiskers. She is an avid Disney fan who enjoys traveling and reading.

Cathy Boette, Director of Paraprofessional Programs, Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough

Cathy Boette is the Director of Professional Programs at Nelson Mullins Law Firm. She leads the firm’s Paralegal Program that spans 25 offices across the U.S. Cathy is responsible for all aspects of the operation of the paralegal program, including recruiting, training and development, and workloads. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a Paralegal Certificate from the National Center for Paralegal Training in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tanisia Charles, Recruiting Manager, Jones Day 

Tanisia V. Charles is the Recruiting Manager for the Atlanta and Miami offices of Jones Day.  With over 10 years of legal recruiting experience at various law firms around the southeast, Tanisia has worked with law schools, law students and law firms to foster genuine relationships that aims to provide a rounded and inclusive student experience and successful law firm outcomes.  She has been an active member in various city groups, served as President of the Atlanta Legal Recruiting Association and was a part of the 2020 NALP Nominating Committee.


Work from Anywhere, but Not There

Thursday, October 14, 2:00 pm - 2:40 pm
Sponsored by: Capitol Services


COVID 19 has really shaken things up. The critical time is now to smooth things over. Now more than ever, people have an overriding need to be noticed and understood. In this engaging and insightful session, you will discover specific ways to connect with people you work with in a way that strengthens trust and builds greater loyalty. You will leave with an abundance of tangible tools, called Golden Nuggets of information, that will take your interpersonal skills and relationships to new and greater heights as we get back. 


Carol Van Buren, Director of Paralegal Services, Perkins Coie LLP

Carol Van Buren is the Director of Paralegal Services at Perkins Coie, LLP, where she is responsible for the paralegal program in all the US offices. She works with the firm’s practice groups managing the paralegals, including staffing, training, profitability, and policy innovation and development. Carol has worked as a paralegal director for the last 26 year at AM Law 100 & 200 firms. Carol is currently serving as a co-chair of the PNW Chapter of the IPMA and is a member of the Emerging Trends Committee. She is a member of the University of Washington’s Paralegal Advisory Board.


Rhiannon Schmieg, HR Policy & Compliance Consultant, Perkins Coie LLP

Ms. Schmieg supports the policy and compliance function of the Human Resources department at Perkins Coie, “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune for 19 years.  Her daily work involves planning for the firm’s new hybrid workplace, policy review, conducting investigations, and supporting employee relations.  Before her current role, she served as in-house employment counsel for companies in the industrial, logistics, and financial sectors for 15+ years.  In those roles she provided legal advice regarding contracts, marketing, employment law, benefits, and compliance.  Prior to joining an in-house legal department, she worked in private practice in Chicago, beginning with commercial litigation and specializing in employment litigation.  She proudly served a local non-profit to assist the homeless for 10 years through pro bono work and later as corporate secretary.  Ms. Schmieg earned her J.D. from University of Michigan Law School and a B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford University.

Micheal North, CFO, Meeting Expectations

As the chief financial officer for Meeting Expectations, Micheal North, CPA, manages the financial groups and accounts for the concurrent financial management of multiple clients. Prior to joining Meeting Expectations, Micheal was the external reporting manager for AT&T, Inc. He has previously worked for C. R. Bard Inc., Komatsu Forklift USA, Maxell Corporation of America and Georgia-Pacific Corporation, holding various positions of increasing responsibility. He is active on the Miss Georgia Board of Trustees and serves as treasurer for his homeowner’s association. Micheal is a licensed CPA. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from West Georgia College, and is a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs and American Institute of CPAs.

Kenny Hall, Manager of Information Security, Butler Snow LLP

Kenneth Hall (Kenny) is the Information Security Manager for Butler Snow LLP, a full-service law firm with approximately 400 attorneys and professionals collaborating across 24 domestic and two international offices. He leads the firm’s Information Security team which is responsible for the cyber security operations, information security architecture and deployment, risk management and incident response. Prior to joining Butler Snow in 2014, Kenny held multiple information security positions for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi and served as the Network Administrator for Heavyquip, Inc., a multinational provider of aftermarket heavy equipment parts and supplies. Kenny earned his bachelor’s degree in information technology from Kaplan University and went on to earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity from Liberty University. Additionally, he holds various professional certifications in data security and information technology. Kenny resides in Brandon, MS with his wife and two daughters. 


Knowledge is Power so Pass it Along

Thursday, October 14, 2:00 pm - 2:40 pm
Sponsored by: Divergent Language Solutions


How many times have you said to yourself “It would be faster if I did it myself”? How many people have you met through your career that just refuse to share their knowledge and mentor other individuals? If you always do it yourself how will you ever grow, if you don’t share your knowledge how will others grow?  Mentoring and sharing is important for the growth of everyone. Taking an hour to mentor someone to do what you can do in 5 minutes means the next time the task arrives at your desk you now have someone who can take this off your plate. By removing things from your plate it frees you up to learn something new. It also indicates to your team that you value them and want them to learn and grow which leads to loyalty. Join our session and learn why teaching someone else does not lessen your worth,  it expands it.


Brendy Belony, Paralegal Supervisor & Training Coordinator, Perkins Coie LLP

Brendy Lynn Belony is a Patent Prosecution Paralegal Supervisor & Training Coordinator at Perkins Coie LLP. She supervises the Palo Alto patent prosecution paralegals and provides training, mentoring and general support to the whole patent prosecution paralegal team at Perkins. In 1998, she started her career in patent prosecution as a receptionist/clerk for a boutique law firm. Over the past 23 years, Brendy served as a paralegal, paralegal coordinator or paralegal supervisor at various firms including Vedder Price P.C., Katten Muchin Rosenman & Troutman Pepper Hamilton & Sanders. In 2018, she moved from her hometown of New York City to the Bay Area to join the Palo Alto office of Perkins Coie. In July 2021, Brendy transferred to the Perkins Coie Washington, D.C. office, where she remotely manages her Palo Alto team and the patent prosecution training program.

Patty Maxwell, Litigation Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP

Patty has been an IPMA member since 2006 and is the current President. She has served on the IPMA Board since 2015, chairing several different committees during her tenure. Currently, Patty is the Fixed Fee Litigation Specialist at Arnold & Porter. Before moving into this position, for 13 years she was the firm-wide paralegal manager at A&P, where she has been since 2005. Prior to joining A&P, Patty was at Cadwalder, Wickersham and Taft in NYC as well as Whitman Breed Abbott (Breed Abbott and Morgan) where she was a senior litigation and trial paralegal. She also did a short turn as a corporate record keeping paralegal at Schlumberger, Ltd. Patty has been a paralegal (primarily focused on litigation) since 1980. Patty earned her undergraduate degree from The University of Virginia.

Laura Porter, Manager, Corporate Secretariat, OMERS

Over 20 years of experience in a legal environment. Prior to joining OMERS in 2014, was a Manager and Senior law clerk at a Toronto law firm whose duties included department administrative matters, staffing, developing, implementing departmental policies and procedures, providing information regarding corporate procedures, conducting seminars for students and lawyers and monitoring workflow. Corporate and security matters including, incorporation, amendments, amalgamations, continuances, revivals, asset and share transactions, reorganizations, corporate record keeping, drafting closing agendas, agreements, prospectus documents, coordinating complex transactions, regulatory filings for SEDAR and SEDI including preparation of public filing documents.A member of the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and International Practice Management Association. Immediate Past-President and Director of the International Practice Management Association. 

Brandon Carney, Co-Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Divergent Language Solutions

Brandon Carney is the Co-Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Divergent Language Solutions, an international language service provider. He brings almost 20 years of executive experience having worked with global translation and interpreting companies. Brandon currently focuses on the strategic growth of the company, key partner relationships, and the day-today operations of Divergent. Prior to founding Divergent, Brandon established and oversaw the San Francisco office for Geotext Translations, a then industry leader in foreign language services for the legal community. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in Philosophy from Gettysburg College.


Hot Topics in HR- Canada

Friday, October 15, 12:10 pm - 12:50 pm


Working from home has upended how we lead our employees and manage work. What worked before no longer works in a remote-only or hybrid work environment. In this session you’ll learn how to effectively lead employees who are scattered across locations. You’ll learn the exact communication strategies that keep employees engaged, focused and productive. You’ll also learn how to help them deal with everchanging company policies so your team continues to perform at its highest level without skipping a beat.


Sadaf Shaikh, President, Caras Consulting Inc.

Sadaf Shaikh has over 20 years of business experience, a
majority of which has been in the professional services sector at public, private, family-owned, and not-for-profit companies.
Since 2017, she has run Caras Consulting, a boutique consulting firm focused on helping leaders create a high performance culture within their organization while focusing on people and processes.
With engagements spanning North and South America, Sadaf and her team have advised and coached CEOs and their senior leadership team on elevating and improving their HR strategy, organizational culture, employee engagement, leadership capabilities, and internal processes to get maximum results.
As an executive coach and culture strategist, Sadaf provides her clients with sharp insights on people and situations, honest feedback, guidance, and tailored, business-focused strategies that have saved or made her clients millions of dollars over the past three years.
Sadaf is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), Certified Executive Coach, a Six Sigma Green Belt, a certified Workplace Investigator with a degree in Human Resources and Labour Relations.


Hot Topics in HR- USA

Friday, October 25, 12:10 pm - 12:50 pm
Sponsored by: ESC


Our HR departments in the U.S. have likely never been busier than during the pandemic.  This session will be led by a seasoned HR professional and former IPMA member and association president.  We will learn from the HR perspective and discuss some of the toughest issues we are currently facing and will gain some much-needed insight to help us lead our teams and departments.  Some of these issues will include how to manage when and where people work, when and how to bring people back into the office, how to best handle performance issues in this new setting and thoughts on providing vaccination cards and having future employment based on vaccination status.  This is an interactive session taking questions and discussion of the most current and future work landscape. 


Craig Hardesty, Regional Human Resources Manager, Jones Day

Craig Hardesty is a Regional Human Resources Manager at Jones Day. He served in a similar role at McGuireWoods and was previously the Manager of Paralegal Services at King & Spalding. Prior to entering the legal industry, he worked in a variety of human services settings including technology, higher education and the non-profit sectors. Craig served on the board of IMPA and is a past president.

Pre-conference Events

Managerial Skills Seminar

Thursday, October 7, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm 
Friday, October 8, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


American LegalNet, Capitol Services, CT Corporation, Dye & Durham, and ESC


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


Gary Melhuish, Manager of  Litigation Support Services, Ballard Spahr LLP

Gary Melhuish is the Manager of Litigation Support Services 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 40 years’experience as a paralegal including more than 30 years as a manager of paralegal, eDiscovery and docket clerk teams. He is a Past President and Life Member of the International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA). He was Adjunct Faculty at the Georgetown University Paralegal Studies Program where he taught Legal Ethics and Legal Technology. Gary is a former member of the ABA’s Approval Commission of the Standing Committee on Paralegals and served on the National Federation of Paralegal Association’s PACE Advisory Committee.

Susanne Fordham, Paralegal Manager Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Susanne has over 30 years’ experience in Paralegal Management. She has been the Paralegal Manager for Weil, Gotshal & Manges since March 2004 where she manages paralegals in the Corporate, Litigation and Bankruptcy practice areas. She also coordinates document reviews with Litigation Support and contract attorney agencies. Prior to that, she was the Paralegal Manager for Dewey Ballantine (aka Dewey LeBoeuf). She has also managed the End User Support groups for Information Systems Departments of White and Case and DavisPolk and was a Contract Manager for Doubleday/Dell/
Delacorte Press. She has a paralegal certificate from George Washington University and a BA in English from College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Angela Monroe, Paralegal Services Administrator, Dentons US LLP

Angela Monroe, Paralegal Services Administrator, based in Atlanta, Georgia office for global law firm, Dentons US LLP. As a Paralegal Services Administrator, Angela works with the Director & Management Team in overseeing the Paralegal Services program implementing, and aligning the firm wide mission of the paralegal program with the firm’s overall strategic objectives. She is also responsible for the daily supervision of 31 Paralegal Services team members within a wide range of practice areas in the Atlanta, New Jersey and New York offices.Dentons’ Paralegal Services program consists of
100+ paralegals, case assistants, analysts and other timekeepers supporting lawyer and other professionals in twenty-three (23) offices in the United States. The Paralegal Services Management Team handles various management and supervisory duties, including recruiting, hiring and training, encouraging continuing legal education, and promoting efficient and optimal utilization of non-attorney timekeeper professionals. Ms. Monroe has almost 25 years of legal experience, most specifically in the litigation practice area and is a Certified Litigation Support Project Manager. Ms. Monroe earned her undergraduate degree from California State University - San Marcos and her Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Personnel Management from Troy University. She is a member of IPMA and currently serves as Co-Chair the Management Resources Committee and a member of the IPMA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board. During the 2020 IPMA Conference, Angela Monroe, received the prestigious Rising Star
award for her individual contributions to the IPMA organization and was honored to receive along with her Dentons colleagues from the US and Canada the 2020 President’s Award from the International Practice Management Association (IPMA), the first time the association has bestowed its top honor on a crossborder team.

Karen Tuschak, Canada Director of Law Clerks and Paralegals, Dentons Canada LLP

As the Canada Director of Law Clerks and Paralegals, Karen Tuschak manages Dentons’Canada team of law clerks and paralegals across the Firm’s six Canadian offices. Having worked on both the in-house client and law firm sides, Karen brings broad experience from national law firms managing in-house paraprofessional teams. She also brings her knowledge of complex technology and governance projects from a previous national role in business development. In her role, Karen’s priorities include overseeing the talent and operations matters for Dentons’ Canada law clerks and paralegals, instituting best practice processes, leveraging technology, and ensuring collaboration opportunities between paraprofessionals and Dentons Canada team of lawyers. Karen is actively involved in several legal industry associations and regularly speaks at law clerk and paralegal management conferences across North America.


First-Time Attendee Orientation

Tuesday, October 12, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm