Public Announcements


Big Hearts Campaign


2018 Spring Social


WALA Membership Renewal Special!

As a 40th anniversary special, dues for members renewing prior to January 31, 2018, are only $40!  After that time, renewal dues will increase to $125.  To download the 2018 Renewal Form, please click here.  Note that you must renew your ALA dues in order to be a member of the Wisconsin ALA.  
We look forward to another exciting year!  Check out the new membership campaign, “Celebrating 40 Years of WALA Excellence!” here.


2017 Wisconsin ALA Award of Excellence Recipient Named

The Wisconsin ALA Award of Excellence is the highest honor bestowed to a chapter member who has dedicated volunteer service to the ALA and to the Wisconsin ALA Chapter. To be named a Wisconsin Chapter Award of Excellence recipient is a true honor. 

This year’s award recipient is a shining example of a supreme volunteer, committed to the continued excellence of our beloved chapter. The recipient joined the chapter in 2005 and immediately got involved to ensure our chapter continued its success. She has served in many official capacities on our Wisconsin ALA Board including:  

VP of Membership – 2009/2010 
VP of Business Partner Relations – 2010/2011 
President-Elect – 2011/2012 
President – 2012/2013  
Immediate Past President -- 2013/14 
VP of Membership – 2013 
President – 2016/2017 
Immediate Past President – 2017/218 

This recipient is currently serving at the ALA level on the Regional Nominating Committee to further her personal goal of bringing emphasis to the legal community at large. Another example of her commitment to the legal community and to the ALA.  

It is our distinct honor to present the 2017 Wisconsin ALA Award of Excellence to Laurie Dey-Canales.


WRAP-UP: East vs. West BIG HEARTS Campaign

The East vs. West Big Hearts Campaign wrapped up at the Fall Social held at the American Legion Post 294 in Hartland, Wisconsin. To say it was a smashing success is an understatement. 

The competition was neck and neck up until the very last minute when Action Digital (member of the East team) came in with a large donation resulting from donating 3% of paid invoices from firms with WALA members of $2,500. The combined fundraising efforts of the WALA members and WALA business partners totaled $13,314.44.  

The winner of the Big Hearts Campaign was the East team with a total of $7,576.44 to be donated to Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  

The West team raised $5,738 to be donated to Badger Honor Fligh



2017 WALA Award of Excellence Nominations Sought

n 2005, the Wisconsin Association of Legal Administrators (WALA) created an honor called the WALA Award of Excellence. This award pays tribute to a member who has helped make our chapter one of the best ALA chapters in the country. 

In order to be considered for the WALA Award of Excellence, a member must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a regular member as defined in the Chapter Bylaws;

  • Be in good standing; and

  • Have been a WALA member for a minimum of five years.

WALA members are asked to nominate a member who has gone "above and beyond." Some suggested traits were given as guidance for the nomination process:

  • Service and contribution to local, regional and national association;

  • Education, skills and experience;

  • Charitable and civic activities; and

  • Leadership skills, judgment and professionalism.

The 2017 Award of Excellence winner will be announced at the Fall Social on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Past recipients of the award are:

2005 Brenda A. Majewski 
2006 Cecelia A. Vanderlip 
2007 Lori J. Kannenberg, CLM 
2008 Kathleen A. Johnson 
2009 Steven D. Wingert, CLM 
2010 Robert A. Miller, CLM 
2012 Tracey L. Reams, CLM 
2013 John D. Schellinger, CLM 
2014 Sandy McGee 
2015 Mark A. Bridgeman, CLM, CRM 
2016 Stephanie S. Dantinne

Please consider nominating a WALA member for this year's WALA Award of Excellence. The nomination form can be found here and should be e-mailed no later than Monday, October 23, 2017


Hurricane Harvey Support

In support of all those affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Wisconsin Chapter happily joins other chapters of the Association of Legal Administrators in donating $5 per member to the American Red Cross to show support to our Texas ALA members. Click here to donate.


East vs. West BIG HEARTS Campaign


The East versus West Big Hearts Campaign is under way!! We currently have one large ticket item up for bid…get a sweet deal on Suite for the Brewers game on September 13! This awesome package includes 20 Tickets (in Suite 66 at Miller Park) + 6 Parking Passes.  You can bid on this incredible deal here. Catch the Brewers as they fight for a Wild Card spot in this year’s playoffs! 


What:  WALA’s East v. West Big Heart’s Campaign 
Our business partner teams (Madison and Milwaukee) will be selecting a charity (stay tuned on the selection) for our teams to embark on fun and enthusiastic fundraising efforts.  We need you to be one of our “Big Hearts” in helping our community thrive. 
Where: Rustic Manor 1848 - 3115 State Road 83, Hartland, WI 53029 
Cost:  None! There’s Motivation to give back if there ever was. 
When:  Thursday, July 13, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

  • 3:15PM – 3:45 PM – Welcome by WALA President and ALA Update with Debbie Elsbury, Region 3 Director (In the Expo Hall)

  • 3:45 PM to 500 PM – Business Expo, Games & FABULOUS PRIZES Give Away #1

  • 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM– Saz’ Picnic Menu Delights & Cocktails

  • 5:45 PM – 6:30PM – Matt Booth -  Successful Teams = Attitude, Commitment and Focus  - followed by East vs West contest instructions

  • 6:30PM to 8:00PM – Networking, Expo, Games, Team Brainstorming & FABULOUS PRIZES Giveaway #2

A little about the Keynote Speaker, Matt Booth:  
Matt’s humor, quick wit, and ability to connect with your people will create meaningful attitude changes. Matt has enjoyed getting to share his message throughout the United States and with international audiences around the world. 
Matt grew up on a farm in Southwest Wisconsin in the heartland of America. He lives in Dubuque, Iowa on the banks of a small creek that feeds into the mighty Mississippi with his lovely wife Joie and their sons Carter and Graham. He received his undergrad at University of Wisconsin and then graduated with his Master’s Degree in Communication from University of Dubuque.


2017 Spring Social

Please join us for the annual Spring Social.It's the first social event of 2017 for the Wisconsin ALA Chapter and we would love for you to join us at the Delafield Hotel. 

This fun-filled event is intended to foster conversation, learning, and laughter! We are excited to welcome Mojo Dojo Comedy for improv entertainment. We all have a story to tell about our experiences in the legal industry and Mojo Dojo is going to help us recreate those stories with merriment. 

At this event, Maria Morales will be honored as a Lifetime Member of the Wisconsin ALA Chapter. Maria retired after 45 years of service from Weiss Berzowski. She spent 35 of those years as the firm administrator. 

Mojo Dojo Comedy fosters community in the Metro-Milwaukee comedy scene, to help it grow, and to blur the boundaries between long form improv, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, storytelling, and theater. 

Please RSVP by April 27, 2017 to Jess Beyer at 262-754-1326.


2017 Scholarships Awarded -- ALA Conferences

Scholarships for attendance at an ALA Conference in 2017 are awarded to members in good standing who submit a written application, the yearly points scholarship spreadsheet or whose name is drawn at a Social or at the Wisconsin Annual Conference of Education. Please review this news article for updates. 

2017 ALA Conference of Education & Exposition in Denver, Colorado (April 2017)

Via drawing at 2016 Wisconsin Annual Conference of Education – Holly Coyle, Accounting Manager, Murphy Desmond s.c., Madison; Alternate (Attending): Lori Waldron, Financial Services Business Unit Practice Manager, Husch Blackwell LLP, Waukesha 

2017 Diamond Scholarship sponsored by Gordon Flesch Company, Inc. (via written application) – Kevin Lawrence, Office Administrator, Parrett & O'Connell, LLP, Madison 

2017 Diamond Scholarship sponsored by Associated Bank (via written application) – Laurie Dey-Canales, Firm Administrator, Halling & Cayo, S.C., Milwaukee

Thank you to our Business Partners for their continued support to our Chapter in 2018!


2017 ALA Antitrust Guidelines

Professional associations such as the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), although well recognized as valuable tools of American business, are subject to severe scrutiny by both federal and state governments. 

The single most significant law affecting professional associations is the Sherman Antitrust Act, which makes unlawful "every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce…" 

A professional association by the very nature of the fact that it is made up of competitors is a combination, thus satisfying one of the elements in proving an antitrust violation ... excerpt from ALA Antitrust Guide for Members of the Association of Legal Administrators. 

Please review the full Antitrust Guide on the ALA website. You must log in as an ALA member.


2017-2018 Wisconsin ALA Board of Directors Announced

Wisconsin ALA is pleased to announce the following individuals as the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. Their term begins on April 1, 2017. 

President Sue K. Thome-John, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP, Milwaukee
President-Elect Mark A. Bridgeman, CLM, CRM, U.S. Attorney's Office, Chicago

Kathy J. Pline, Boardman & Clark, LLP, Madison

Past President
Laurie D. Dey-Canales, Halling & Cayo, S.C., Milwaukee

Holly G. Coyle, Murphy Desmond SC, Madison

Kevin K. Lawrence, Parrett & O'Connell, LLP, Madison
VP of Business Partner Relations Kathy J. Pline, Boardman & Clark, LLP, Madison
VP of Communications Pamela Zacharias, Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols SC, Milwaukee
VP of Education Bridget Lueck, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Waukesha
VP of Membership Sandra A. Schmitt, Galanis, Pollack, Jacobs & Johnson, S.C.
VP of Special Projects Jessica A. Beyer, The Schroeder Group, S.C., Attorneys at Law, Waukesha


2016 Wisconsin Law Journal's "Unsung Heroes" Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Wisconsin ALA members (and one of our Business Partners) at the Grain Exchange to support fellow member Maria Morales for receiving the Unsung Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations Maria on receiving a well-deserved award!

To read more, please visit the Wiscosnsin Law Journal's website.


Hiring a Law Firm Administrator

In this video clip, Nerino Petro, Former State Bar of Wisconsin Practice Management Advisor, talks with Cec Vanderlip of the Wisconsin Association of Legal Administrators (WALA) about the role of law firm administrators. In addition, Vanderlip identifies resources for firm administrators or lawyers who handle their own law firm management.