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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.

Speaker Bios

As always, this year's speakers are proven leaders, strategists, practitioners, and peers. No matter how long you've been in the legal industry or what position you hold at your organization, there's always something more to learn.



Insights on Today's Legal Environment
Zena Applebaum is the Director of Competitive Intelligence at Bennett Jones LLP, a leading International law firm based in Canada. Zena’s primary responsibilities include practice development, market and competitor performance analysis, client relationship management, counter-intelligence and marketing. Zena brings a unique perspective to intelligence as a result of broad business development, data management, marketing, and corporate research experience in a variety of sectors. A regular speaker and writer on competitive intelligence topics in Canada and abroad, Zena authored "Business Intelligence for Law Firms" published in November 2012, by The Ark Group. Zena currently serves as a The Chair of the Special Library Association Competitive Intelligence Division Board of Directors, is a former member of the SCIP Board of Directors and has been designated a Competitive Intelligence Fellow in 2015‎.


Resilience and Balance: Your Personal North Star Lights the Path
Terrie Campbell is the Chief Executive Officer of Esquire Deposition Solutions having joined the company in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer to drive improved and consistent operating practices. As CEO, Terrie is committed to premium client care, achieving optimum effectiveness, and enabling true innovation. She is well-versed in change management, operational process and methodology design, output management and optimization, vertical solutions, and strategic design. Terrie has many years of experience studying generational workforce behaviors and is a driving force behind engaging Millennials in the legal industry.


The Surprising First Step to Breakthrough Career Success
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business expert, writer, speaker, and co-founder of SixFigureStart®. Caroline has coached executives from leading firms including Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, Goldman Sachs, Google, Pfizer, and Tesla. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Caroline spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search, and human resources. Caroline has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC, and Fox Business and has been quoted in major media outlets, including BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, and Success Magazine. Caroline is a career columnist for and formerly wrote for CNBC, Money, and Portfolio. She is the author of three books: Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career (2015, Forbes Media); Six Steps To Job Search Success (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times (2010, Two Harbors Press). Caroline teaches Professional Development and Negotiation courses at Columbia University and is a graduate of Barnard College. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, Caroline stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy.


The 10-80-10 Principle
Sunjay Nath travels globally sharing insights on leadership and performance. He is best known for his trademark, “The 10-80-10 Principle” which is a framework that helps individuals and teams improve performance. This methodology combines best practices with small wins to help people empower themselves. Sunjay was a founding Vice President of an e-learning company based in Toronto that has gone on to become a multimillion-dollar company. He started an international speaking business when he was 19. As a speaker, Sunjay has travelled extensively and addressed in person well over 1,000,000 people around the world since 1995. In 2005, Sunjay became the youngest Canadian (and third youngest in the world) ever to earn his CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). The CSP is the highest internationally recognized designation that a speaker can aspire to achieve.


How to Structure your In-House Legal Dept and Relationships with Law Firm Paralegals
Fiorella Bellissimo is director - business services and one of the main paralegal Toronto office. She is responsible for the general management and day-to-day operations of our Toronto office, where she conducts training seminars for students and lawyers and develops and implements policies and procedures. for paralegals in business law.
Fiorella Bellissimo, a paralegal for more than 25 years, has extensive experience in public and private companies. She assists lawyers in various transactions such as tax restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and securities offerings. Fiorella Bellissimo also has extensive experience in due diligence, incorporation and updating of corporations, and other corporate services offered by our business law paralegals.


Navigating A Merger: Understanding Us, Them, You and the New "We" 
Tara Kim Eberhart is the Director of Paralegal Services and Docketing at Dentons US where she oversees the paralegal program of 150+ paralegals and the national general/litigation and intellectual property docketing teams. Prior to her tenure at Dentons, Tara created and supervised the national paralegal program at McKenna Long & Aldridge. She began her career in a small, general practice firm, Michael Murphy and Associates, before moving to an IP boutique firm, Oblon Spivak, and ultimately joined the bio/chemical litigation team at Morgan Lewis where she specialized in large scale, eDiscovery intense intellectual property (patent) litigation. Tara earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington and her Masters in Legal Administration (MALA) from Marymount University. She served as co-chair of the DC chapter of the International Practice Management Association (IPMA), is a past president and advisory board member of the National Capital Area Paralegal Association (NCAPA), and was the recipient of the Paralegal Program Excellence Award in 2010. Tara is a member of The George Washington University faculty (Adjunct Professor, Litigation) and Paralegal Studies Program Advisory Board.


New Recruiting Techniques and Options


Educating and Developing your WorkforceHow to Structure your In-House Legal Dept and Relationships with Law Firm Paralegals
Michelle Hess is the Paralegal Manager for Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP. She is a graduate of the Master of Paralegal Studies program at The George Washington University. Michelle received her Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012. In 2000, she received an Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal studies from Hillsborough Community College, graduating with Highest Honors. Michelle obtained the Advanced Certified Paralegal Designation in Discovery in 2010 and Trial Practice in 2013. She has worked with notable Florida law firms in various areas of litigation and trial practice, including commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, media law, medical malpractice, nursing home litigation with an emphasis on fraudulent corporate schemes, and technology and on arbitrations, mediations, and trials across the nation. Michelle has lectured to paralegals on trial practices through the Institute of Paralegal Education, sat on panels for COALSP and the Arkfeld ASU eDiscovery conference, and spoke on eDiscovery at the GW Alumni Association annual eDiscovery conference.



Crash Course in Social Media


Educating and Developing your Workforce
Toni Marsh, JD, is the founding director of The George Washington University's paralegal studies programs and an Associate Professor of Paralegal Studies. She designed and launched the paralegal studies program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and designed the first-ever formal paralegal program in the nation of Tanzania at the University of Bagamoyo. Professor Marsh teaches Legal Writing, American Jurisprudence, and Contracts and presents regularly on paralegal careers, unauthorized practice of law, and paralegal utilization to increase access to justice and firm profitability.


IPMA Managerial Skills Seminar 
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 the current President of the International Practice 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 a 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.


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


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


How to Structure your In-House Legal Dept and Relationships with Law Firm Paralegals
Laura Porter, Manager, Corporate Secretariat at OMERS, is responsible for department administrative matters, staffing, developing, training, budget, implementing departmental policies and procedures, providing information regarding corporate procedures, and monitoring workflow. She has over 20 years of experience in a legal environment, and prior to joining OMERS in 2014, Laura 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. Her expertise covers 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, and regulatory filings for SEDAR, EDGAR, and SEDI including preparation of public filing documents. Laura is a member of the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and the International Practice Management Association.


How to be an Effective Coach for Your Employees


Rethinking the Annual Performance ReviewDamaging Communication Mistakes and How to Avoid