The Bridge January 25, 2021 Print

It's Time to Vote!

LAST CHANCE! Cast your votes for the 2021-2022 Golden Gate Chapter Executive Board

The Elections Committee is pleased to offer the following slate of candidates for Chapter Officers for the 2021-2022 Executive Board. Please review the biographies and cast your vote by selecting one candidate for each position.  

Your vote must be cast no later than 5 p.m., January 31, 2021.

Voting Directions:

Go to and log in.  Return to this newsletter, click on the link below, and cast your vote.

Alternatively, after you log in, go to the Member Area, click on surveys and vote. When you go back to surveys after you have voted, it shows you have already taken the survey (e.g., voted). 

Ballot: 2021-2022 Golden Gate Chapter Executive Board Election - Please vote by Jan 31st (click here to access) 

Candidate for President

Ellen Pace

I am currently the Senior Administrative Operations Manager at Morrison & Foerster,  LLP  and  have
 had  the  great  good  fortune  to  work  at  AmLaw  50 firms my entire career.

Prior to joining the  Golden Gate Chapter of the ALA (GGALA) several years ago,  I  served  as  the
 co-chair  of  what  is  now  the  International  Practice Management  Association.  In  the  past,
 I  have  served  as  the  co-chair  of  the GGALA  Leadership  &  Management  Committee  and 
currently  serve  as  the Vice-President/President-Elect   of   the   GGALA   and   lead   the  
Large   Firm Roundtable.

It  has  been  a  great  honor  and  wonderful  experience  to  serve  as  Vice- President.    I 
look  forward  to  working  with  our  new  Board  and  Executive Committee and continuing to serve
the amazing members of the Chapter.


Candidate for Vice-President/President-Elect

Hannah Lincecum

I am a regional Human Resources Manager at Reed Smith and oversee the HR function for its four California offices. I began working in law firms as a receptionist when I was just 19 and what an adventure it has been! My career has given me opportunities to assist with the practice of law as a legal secretary and paralegal, and now I contribute to the business of law where I have found my true calling in Human Resources.

I was born in the Midwest but spent a significant portion of my life in New Orleans, Louisiana. About five years ago, I took a chance and pursued a life-long dream of living in San Francisco. It was the best decision I’ve ever made… so far. The Golden Gate Chapter of the ALA has been a single and tremendous source of knowledge, mentorship, job opportunities and, most importantly, friendship. I am very grateful to be a member of this Chapter and pay forward the kindness and generosity its members have shown me.

I love music. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you would almost certainly find me at a live concert any day of the week somewhere in the city: the Bill Graham, the Fillmore, the Great American Music Hall, the Masonic, the Swedish American Music Hall and Café de Nord and the SF Symphony Hall. In these days of social distancing, I am content to play the piano in my apartment and mediocrely serenate Page Street in the Lower Haight.

As a member of the Chapter, I have served on the Board and worked with the Membership Committee, the Leadership & Management Educational Section, the Business Partner Committee and the Executive Board as Director At Large. It was my honor to chair the Chapter’s signature Knowledge to Leadership Conference in 2019, and I humbly and enthusiastically accept the nomination of Vice President in support of President Elect, Ellen Pace.

Candidate for Director-at-Large

Jeff Johnson

I am the Office Administrator for Sheppard Mullin’s Silicon Valley office.  I started my legal career just after college, and moved through the positions of receptionist, secretary, and paralegal at two small law firms.  I was fortunate to be offered the position of office administrator at one of these firms, and found it rewarding and challenging.  I joined GGALA in 2016 and after much encouragement from my peers, became a member of the board in 2019.  The networking that I have gained from both my local and national peers is invaluable.  I could not imagine being where I am without the support of ALA and am truly grateful.

I only recently started at Sheppard Mullin, following the shelter-in-place orders brought on by COVID-19.  I still have not met most of my team in person, and to say that this year has been a struggle would be an understatement.  However, I take solace knowing that this is uncharted territory for all of us and we’re all in this together.  I feel the support from all of my fellow chapter members as we navigate these crazy times together.  I have served as your Treasurer for the last year and am honored to be nominated for Director-at-Large for the upcoming year.  I look forward to serving the chapter however I am needed.

When not working, these days I find myself taking many long walks and bread baking.  Before COVID-19, you’d find me on long distance bike rides, yoga classes, and backcountry hiking with my husband and dog.  Like all of you, I look forward to a time when we can get back to the things we miss. 

Candidate for Treasurer

Penny Evans

I am the Firm Administrator at Cooper, White & Cooper LLP.  My entire career has been in the legal field.  I have been an active board member of the Association of Legal Administrators since 2014, co-chairing the HR Section for the past 6 years.  

I had never heard of the ALA until interviewing for a new position after my then current firm was closing its office.  I was offered the job, but decided against it.  However, during the interview process I met Suzanne Lawler who asked if I was a member of the ALA.   That was the beginning of the next 6 years of my ALA journey ..... and what an incredible journey it has been  (thank you Suzanne).  I have met amazing, knowledgeable, dedicated people.   I am so fortunate to have such great friendships and resources within the organization.  I have enjoyed serving as co-chair of the HR Section and I am honored to have been nominated for the Treasurer position.

 My life outside of work is limited for the time being, going for walks, zoom calls with family and friends, learning to cook and watching Lifetime Channel movies.  I look forward to spending in person time with family, traveling the world, eating in restaurants, going to movies, never having to wear a mask again and hugging my friends.     

Candidate for Vice-Treasurer/Treasurer-Elect

Vani Singleton

I have 20+ years of professional experience in finance and accounting.  I was fortunate to begin my career at KPMG LLP, where I served as a Lead Engagement Management Coordinator and then moved to Ernst & Young LLP as a Lead Financial Management Associate.  After 10+ years at the two of The Big 4 Accounting firms, I transitioned into the legal industry.  In 2011, I joined Morrison & Foerster’s finance team, where I served as the Lead Client Account Manager.  I am currently working as an Accounting Manager at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP with an amazing group of individuals, who teach me something new every day.

I was born in Delhi India. I moved to the Bay Area with my family, at the age of 11 years old.  Bay area has been home ever since.  I currently live in Oakland with my fur baby, Puma.  I received my undergrad from California State University East Bay in Human Development. I recently graduated from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, with Masters in Studies of Law (MSL). I have been a member of the ALA / Golden Gate Chapter since 2016.  I had the pleasure to serve on board as the Finance Co-Chair in 2018-2019.  Like many others, I also enjoy being part of the community where we can share ideas and learn from each other.  I cherish learning and make an effort to learn something new each day, as written by Vernon Howard, who was a teacher and a philosopher, “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will”. I am honored to be nominated as the Vice Treasurer and I look forward to getting more involved with the ALA in the coming years.

Candidates for Secretary

Kira Hansen

I am the Office Administrator for Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld, where I direct the day-to-day operations of our twenty-three attorney firm in San Francisco.  With a background in big law firms, no smaller than 600 lawyers, this is my first year in a small firm, and it has been a wild and fulfilling ride in 2020.  Since joining GGALA in 2016, I have been privileged to serve on the Community Connection committee as Co-Chair, and more recently, I have served as the chapter’s social media liaison, as well as the small firm roundtable host.  For ALA nationally, I was recently one of the recipients of the 2020 Susan L. French Emerging Leader Fellowship award, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to work closely with other leaders in our national association during a time of increased isolation due to Covid-19.

 If elected as our GGALA Chapter Secretary, I would be honored to serve and deepen my knowledge of how the chapter functions.  No other association, that I have been a part of, has given me more return on my investment, both professionally and personally.  I look forward to continuing to serve the diverse members and business partners of GGALA for many years to come, in whatever capacity I can be useful.

 Outside of ALA, I am a wife/daughter/sister, and the mother of three active children ages 6, 4, and 1 years old.  Once the world weathers the pandemic, I would love to get back into one of my former passions as a Tap Dancing Christmas Tree, where my highest claim to fame was social dis-dancing down the Macy’s Day Parade route in NYC in 2012.


Mike Lewis

I have worked for law firms for the past 21 years (mostly as a legal secretary) and I am currently the Secretarial Coordinator at the San Francisco office of Lewis Brisbois where I work with 40+ secretaries in a heavy insurance defense litigation practice.  For the past year I have been responsible for the ALA-Golden Gate website’s job bank and I served as Co-Chair of the Ops & Tech Committee.  As a legal secretary, I have been a past member of the San Francisco Legal Professionals Association.  While fairly new to law firm management generally and the ALA specifically, membership has been very beneficial to me and I look forward to continued professional growth and service with the organization.  Outside of work, I am a proud resident and homeowner in Oakland, CA with my spouse and two cats.  I spend my weekends taking brisk walks and jogs around Lake Merritt and working in our lovely backyard garden.

Sarah Spry

I am the Director of Operations at Braun Hagey & Borden LLP, overseeing the firm’s daily functions and working with the managing partner to meet all administrative needs. I have worked at Braun Hagey & Borden LLP for the past 6 years and have helped the firm grow from 8 to 25 attorneys plus the addition of a NY office. I have recently passed the SHRM-CP certification exam and am excited to continue to grow in my career as a legal administrator.

Since joining the ALA in 2018, I have loved attending the Small Firm Roundtables, the Golden Gate ALA Conference and the educational seminars. I look forward to continue being involved in the Golden Gate chapter in any way that I can.

In my free time, you can find me in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco going on hikes with my dog and husband or hanging out at the beach with my niece and nephew.


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Upcoming Events



January 29, 2021
8:30 AM - 4:15 PM

Zoom Details Published to Participants

A Collaboration of the CA Chapters of ALA




February 03, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Virtual - Telephonic

Please join your fellow Small Firm Administrators for an engaging, collaborative discussion.




February 04, 2021
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Virtual - Telephonic

February 2021 Board of Directors/Chapter Leadership Meeting




March 03, 2021
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Virtual - Telephonic

Please join your fellow Small Firm Administrators for an engaging, collaborative discussion.




March 04, 2021
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Virtual - Telephonic

March 2021 Board of Directors/Chapter Leadership Meeting




March 11, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Via Zoom

Join our Business Partners and other legal vendors as we travel!



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Thank you to our Business Partners for their GGALA Chapter Sponsorship

Michelle Wyllie 
Ph: (415) 235-9254




Amy Kosey
Ph:  (415) 800-0662
Ted Glutz
Ph: (512) 744-6913

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Legal Management Magazine

Click here to read ALA's latest Legal Management Magazine, which includes the following feature articles and much more!

Human Resources Management

By Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD

Help your firm leadership shift from underperformers to productive team members.

  • Legal Industry/Business Management

    By Erin Brereton

    How can firms satisfy continued client cost requests — and still stay solvent?

  • Legal Industry/Business Management

    By Paula Tsurutani

    One legacy of 2020 may be how legal organizations shift their focus more on social responsibility.

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Foundation of the ALA - Scholarship Opportunity

The Foundation of the Association of Legal Administrators is excited to review applicants for its 2021 Student Legal Career Scholarship. The program aligns with the Foundation’s Student Visibility and Scholarship Initiative, which champions students as the future of the legal profession. This scholarship will award up to $10,000 to eligible students! 

 The 2020 recipient, Monique Mahler, put her scholarship money toward earning a master’s degree in legal administration from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. Along the way, she surveyed ALA members for her thesis and published the results in Legal Management. Hear her thoughts on the scholarship on the Legal Management Talk podcast. 

The Foundation encourages juniors and seniors enrolled in an accredited college/university curriculum with an interest in pursuing a non-attorney legal career, including in legal management, paralegal studies or another legal support function, to apply. If you know someone in these circumstances, please pass along this information. The application is due January 29.

Please feel free to direct any questions you may have to the Foundation Trustees

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Job Bank



Access Job Bank listings here.

The Job Bank operates in the following manner:

For Job Seekers:

  1. The Job Bank is available to all who are seeking administrative or management positions within the legal industry.
  2. This is a free service to all job seekers.

For Employers:

  1. The Job Bank is a valuable recruiting tool and is available for use by law firms or corporations with in-house legal departments.
  2. Effective April 1, 2019, employers or recruiters posting ads to our Job Board will be charged $100 per 60-day posting. 
  3. An employer or recruiter may place an ad detailing the position, which will be posted on the Job Bank's listing page of the Chapter's website for 60 days or until the Chair is notified the position should be removed. The website listings are viewable by the public at large.  A link to the Job Bank is also included in each weekly broadcast email to ALA Golden Gate Chapter Members. 
  4. Go to our Job Bank to post a job.  Provide the particulars of the position as well as the direct contact information in the job posting.

All inquiries or materials should be directed to Mike Lewis.

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ALA Value in Partnership (VIP) Savings

ALA Value in Partnership (VIP)SM Savings

Discounts, Coverage Enhancements and More

Your membership gives you access to exclusive services and discounts from nationally known companies in solutions categories like security, technology consulting, office products and video conferencing. Savings can be up to 70 percent — enough to potentially cover your annual membership dues!

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