Education (Session Descriptions & Speaker Information)

Welcome and Morning Keynote


Taking Law Firm Leadership in a New Direction: How, Why, and When

There is no question that leadership in law firms is facing tremendous change. The focus on diversity in society is forcing firms to look for innovative ways to retain and advance diverse employees, while Millennials are driving firms to reconsider structure and operation strategies and the overall way in which work gets done. The Mansfield Rule is one approach to diversity that has been adopted by 40 firms around the country. This Rule, modeled after the Rooney Rule used by the NFL, increases the visibility of women and minorities and provides real opportunities to enter the leadership ranks of law firms. To make this rule work however, firms must concentrate on building the pipeline of qualified diverse employees to serve in leadership. That means increasing business development opportunities as well as addressing implicit biases. What role can professionals in the legal industry play in helping their firms adapt to this changing law firm environment? This will be the focus of Ms. Gillette's presentation on one of the hottest new topics in law firm management.
Key Takeaways:
  • How the Mansfield Rule was conceived and what it hopes to accomplish
  • Why the Mansfield Rule can have immediate and lasting impact
  • What kinds of infrastructure needs to be in place to implement the Mansfield Rule
  • Why the Mansfield Rule may significantly increase the retention of women, minorities, and Millennials
  • How your role is central to meeting client demands for diverse leaders and teams in our law firms


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Lunch Keynote


Ellie Krug

Bridging Divides: Perspectives on Grit, Resiliency, and the Four Commonalities 

“Make America Great Again.” Of all the phrases tossed around during the last two years, this one has the most profound meaning. For many, it represents the difference between hope and despair. For others, it’s a dog whistle to rally “us” against “them” or “other.” How can it be that we are seemingly so divided according to geography, race, religion, LGBTQ status, and a host of other things? With her keynote presentation, national speaker and author Ellie Krug offers ideas on how to get past the Great Divide by focusing on our human commonalities and by facing fear head-on. This talk will motivate you to believe, that yes, you can make a difference!
Key Takeaways:
  • Recognizing that fear drives most of what divides us
  • Understanding that our commonalities provide a pathway past division
  • The value of grit and resiliency, and that most of us have far more of both than we realize
  • Realizing that the great divide is often fueled by internal divisions within ourselves. 


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Closing Keynote


Eve Rips

Engaging Millennial Employees: What Does It Take?

By 2020, nearly half of all U.S. workers will be Millennials. This session explores how generational shifts in work habits, training, and economic priorities of Millennials affect our workplaces. Eve pulls directly from national focus groups, roundtable discussions, and surveys with Millennial workers to provide data and concrete recommendations on engaging with Millennial employees and building forward-looking workplace systems and structures.  
Key Takeaways:
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the demographics and workforce priorities of the Millennial generation
  • Have a list of new ideas for concrete changes in the workplace to improve Millennial engagement and retention. 


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Plan Well. Retire Well.

(Book Signing: Protect Your Assets: Are You Ready for Retirement?)
Bring all your questions for David as this will primarily be your session while we discuss social security, retirement planning, and the financial market.  Consider estate planning and how new laws may affect the family.  Planning for long term care and why estate planning documents are so important. 
Key Takeaways:
  • How new laws could affect you and your family
  • Helping you understand the basics of Social Security, including “Will it be there?”
  • Selecting an appropriate time for you to retire and to start receiving benefits
  • Learn what you can do today to prepare for Social Security and/or retirement that’s 5 to 10 years away
  • If you delay receiving benefits, which accounts should you withdraw from first?
  • How retirement income can cause taxation of, and potentially reduce, your Social Security benefits
  • Planning for long-term care and why estate planning documents are so important


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Workshop: Using the Law Firm Cybersecurity Due Diligence Toolkit

Designed as a “hit-the-ground-running” workshop rather than just a boring presentation, James Gast & David Myers of SpliceNet Legal Tech give detailed instructions and exercises on how to use their Law Firm Cybersecurity Due Diligence Toolkit.
There wasn’t a "nationally recognized standard" that would meet the ABA Model Rules or the rules of each attorney’s state. The good news is Jim & Dave created and donated a standardized process to remove the subjectivity and help firms assess and improve their cybersecurity posture. Each attendee will get a copy of the Law Firm Cybersecurity Due Diligence Toolkit AND during the workshop take immediate action on their firm’s Cybersecurity self assessment and plan. 


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Thriving at Work: Exploring the Tools of Mindfulness to Ease Stress, Promote Focus, and Create More Resilience in Your Workday

The legal profession shows no signs of slowing down, but, paradoxically, it is by learning how to slow down and stop multitasking that we can meet its increasing demands. Unfortunately, emerging connectivity tools are making it challenging to be productive and focused in the workplace, and this can have consequences for our overall wellbeing. Mindfulness is being widely explored in the legal profession, and it's time to bring more mindfulness to our use of supposedly "useful" technologies. This session will explore a variety of tools offered by mindfulness teachings and facilitate an honest dialogue about our relationship with technology. Mindfulness can help us chose better focus habits and prioritize our mental health, while simultaneously increasing our productivity, and finding more enjoyment in our day to day lives. Participants will be guided through several simple mindfulness practices and will leave with ideas for seamlessly incorporating these tools into a busy workday.
Key Takeaways:
  • Refresh your understanding of the basic tenets of mindfulness
  • Learn new science about the effects of connectivity technologies on our attention spans
  • Link mindfulness practices to improving attention span, focus, and productivity
  • Understand the link between good focus habits and overall mental, physical, and emotional well-being
  • Re-examine your own relationship with technology and set an intention to improving that relationship if need be
  • Try several mindfulness practices that can be done in your workplace, and make a commitment to bringing them back to the office with you!


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From Body Art to Unisex Bathrooms

Welcome to the modern workplace, where an employer's right to regulate an employee's appearance and behavior with dress and appearance codes, restroom access rules, and other standards of conduct may conflict with a variety of employment laws. What do you do when your receptionist pierces her nose? When an associate comes to work with a new tattoo that can't be covered up by clothing? When a long-term male employee announces that he is transitioning and wants to use the women's restroom? This presentation will explore cutting edge workplace legal issues and the best practices to minimize the risk associated with those issues.
Key Takeaways:
  • Analyzing how discrimination laws impact workplace rules
  • Identifying commonly accepted practices and policies that may pose legal risks in today’s workplace
  • Exploring best practices and policies to create an inclusive workplace while mitigating legal risk


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Coaching Pi-Shaped Professionals

Top rainmakers seem to attract clients as if they have an irresistible gravitational pull. They don't 'sell.' Instead, clients seek them out. While others are prospecting and selling, great rainmakers have more work than they can handle, give lots of work to other attorneys and often turn down work that they don't want to do. How do they do it? More to the point, how can you help other lawyers do it. The Pi-shaped Professionals model for business development outlines the three essential qualities observed in dozens of rainmakers and why these qualities attract clients. The presentation serves as a roadmap you can use to coach attorneys in developing their practice and attracting a larger client base.
Key Takeaways:
  • A simple framework you can use to quickly evaluate a lawyer’s Business Development program
  • Pragmatic advice on the unique challenge of coaching from within the organization
  • A simple, four-step coaching model to ensure every session contributes to the attorney’s growth and performance


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60 Legal Tech Tips, Gadgets, and Websites in 60 Minutes

A fast paced, fun session where we go through the best of legal technology, practice management, electronics and incredibly useful websites for legal professionals – all in 60 minutes! It is a rapid-fire, entertaining hour full of great ideas you can immediately incorporate into your firm.
Key Takeaways:
  • Recognize technology solutions that can help increase productivity
  • Discover solutions for common problems/challenges
  • Identify easy to implement changes that make an impact


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Analyzing the Language of Bias

Diversity and inclusion are buzzwords that everyone is talking about in the #MeToo era. Reports of bad behavior, along with discrimination and harassment lawsuits, make the news weekly. But how does this all relate to law firms and legal work?
In this fast-paced session, you'll learn about diversity and inclusion from the perspective of language and culture. Dr. Wertheim explains the systematic principles that govern our interactions, and the places where bias creeps in. She focuses on gender in the workplace, and shows how our cultural programming results in different expectations and treatment for women, both in and out of the courtroom. She also explains some of the ways that power dynamics affect language, including legal outcomes.
The talk is based on academic research in linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics and original research by Dr. Wertheim on language and discrimination in the workplace. Participants leave with a better understanding of how language plays a role in unfairness, both in legal workplaces and in other legal contexts. 


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Elevate Your Organization: The Servant Leader Way

What core competencies do you need to be an effective and successful leader? The focus of servant leadership is on sharing information, building a common vision, self-management, high levels of interdependence, learning from mistakes and encouraging creative input from every team member. This session will show how your commitment to your organization’s employees will inspire the best in them. Companies including Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, and Fedex embrace the servant leadership model. Learn how you too can elevate your organization and achieve positive financial and human capital results and feel good about it!  


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Ellie Krug

Identity Game

(Book Signing: Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change)
Following her luncheon presentation on Bridging Divides: Perspectives on Grit, Resiliency, and the Four Commonalities, Ellie will lead a breakout session on the “Identity Game,” an audience-participatory training focused on how each of us has multiple identities and how we humans group and label ourselves. This session will include a group discussion and collective insight on how to better welcome those who are “different” from “us.” Audience members LOVE this exercise because it challenges participants to think differently; “Thank you for helping me to use a different part of my brain” is a common response to the exercise.
Key Takeaways:
  • Understanding that we internally group and label ourselves in a variety of ways
  • That no one is alone in how they feel about themselves - everyone is struggling in one way or another
  • That the human heart is wired for empathy - we must exercise empathy for others and for ourselves
  • The legal profession, in particular, is fearful of vulnerability, hampering inclusivity within the workplace


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HiPos: High Potential Identification

Law firms have seen the value in leadership development and are keen to learn more about ways to identify and develop future leaders both for client and firm leadership roles. Research shows that high potential employees, “HiPos,” number among an organization’s greatest resources but that few organization invest enough effort and “science” in identifying those who naturally positioned to succeed. This session will review the latest research, tools and processes for identifying high-potential talent, how to vet candidates including ways to extend consideration to diverse talent who may be missed because of immature or non-existent sponsor relationships.
Key Takeaways:
  • How to define your firm’s unique organization and leadership competency models
  • Strategies for selecting high potential candidates
  • How to evaluate and selecti the right kinds of psychometric tools and other assessment protocols
  • How to sell the results
  • How to develop high quality experiential opportunities as a part of a leadership development program – a key success factor


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Betting on Laterals: How to Improve the Return on Your Lateral Investment 

Fifty percent of lateral partner hires bring less than half of the clients they expected to bring to the new firm. One third leave within three years. And yet, lateral acquisitions continue to be a primary growth strategy for most large law firms. How can firm administrators, HR and marketing professionals help improve the ROI on the critical acquisitions? Learn how professional staff can help determine which lateral partner investments are most likely to succeed, identify ways to improve the return on the investment in lateral hires, and how to design a performance measurement system to track lateral performance and ROI.
Key Takeaways:
  • How to define in advance which lateral partner investments are most likely to succeed
  • The questions to ask candidates to determine the clients most likely to move to the firm
  • Identify ways to improvethe return on the investment in lateral hiring process
  • Be able to design a performance measurement system to track lateral performance and ROI


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Steve Morris

From Pre-Hire to Departure: Shaping the Employee Experience

Employee Experience is shaped by all interactions someone has within an organization. Because it is the totality of an employee’s experiences, it encompasses all aspects of how an employee perceives his or her everyday life at the office, both good and bad. Today, employees expect more from their employers. Top organizations are improving the workplace experience by making changes to services, processes and aspects of the workplace that affects the employee in some way.
Key Takeaways:
  • How the employee experience is connected to the client experience
  • How to optimize employee touchpoints to create an integrated experience
  • How to influence the employee experience through the physical environment, tools and technologies, and a commitment to the success of employees
  • Communication touchpoints


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