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The Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALAMN) is a membership of legal administrators and legal professionals dedicated to the support, education, and growth of legal management professionals. ALAMN seeks to benefit the individual, the law firms and other organizations to which they belong, and the legal industry at large.
ALAMN membership offers development, education, and resources, but is also ripe with opportunities for personal growth and service learning through volunteer projects. This can be done at the national level by supporting the various ALA programs, or at the local level through any of our service teams. These teams offer many ways to get involved behind-the-scenes, from membership development, conference planning and working with our valued business partner sponsors.
Community Service is a core value of ALAMN. Our Community Service Team coordinates community service events throughout the year on behalf of the chapter. These events have twin purposes of benefiting our members while also serving our neighbors in need.
Over the years we have endeavored to create a variety of campaigns to appeal to all members while searching for ways to be impactful in the most-needed areas. We sponsor causes in the downtown area, metro-wide, and state-wide. We vary events from in-person to virtual, from lunchtime to evenings to some weekend events. We have fed the hungry with Feed My Starving Children, The Food Group, Second Harvest Heartland, The Sandwich Man and more directly at People Serving People and the Simpson House shelters. We have mentored youth at The Cookie Cart with bakery help, interview training and filled their pantries with needed supplies for the students. We’ve also worked with Ronald McDonald House, The Fisher House and other organizations that support families of those with illnesses. We’ve had blood drives and other financial campaigns to help those needing support and care. These efforts not only help those in need, but also increase the exposure of ALAMN, our industry, and participating law firms. This may encourage others to choose a career in legal. These events are created by the Community Service Team with input from members and business partner sponsors. There is something for everyone.
For the members, volunteer experience helps us connect to the community and creates a pathway to be actively involved in helping others. Reading or hearing about issues is not the same as getting personally involved. It helps us recognize the barriers others may face and allows us to gain empathy. Volunteering also helps members gain experience and skills toward professional growth. Serving at an in-person event can strengthen communication skills. Creating materials to promote an event or writing a follow-up article can help one’s writing, editing, and marketing skills. All of this and more will help boost self-confidence and increase one’s skill set.
Another advantage for members is that they may discover a new area of passion in their career. A human resources manager may discover that they enjoy marketing. An accountant may stumble upon a passion for design.
Best of all, being part of ALAMN community service projects leads to connections and friendship. It helps one grow their professional network. We are united by the common bond of the legal industry, but our individual roles may be very different. Through our connections we come to better understand each other’s roles, the business of law, and how law firms operate. Getting to know our business partner sponsors on a more personal level through community service events helps everyone get to know the people behind the business cards. This is especially valuable when we find ourselves in need of a new vendor to provide some good or service to our firms.
This article was authored by Tracy Smith, Office Administrator at Smith Gendler, P.A.