Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast sat down with Juleana Piper, the current president of the Association of Legal Administrators Jacksonville Chapter (Jax ALA), to discuss the association, her plans for the coming year and the association’s impact on her career.
AALM: As the new president, what are your goals for association in the coming year?
JP: This year the chapter is aiming our focus on advancing our DEIA initiatives, developing our student membership program, and expanding our membership reach outside the metro Jacksonville area by utilizing the hybrid platforms that we all became so familiar with during the pandemic. We want to build a stronger membership connection by offering our members the opportunity to participate in chapter events both virtually and in person.
AALM: How do you hope to advance the mission of the association? What steps have you taken toward that end?
JP: We hope to tap into the legal student community in Jacksonville and look for ways to collaborate with local colleges to develop a pipeline of potential members down the road. By networking and building relationships through community outreach and partnering with local law programs and schools such as Edward Waters University, FSCJ, Jacksonville University and UNF law programs. Additionally, we found there is an unmet need in surrounding Jacksonville areas and hope to see those areas incorporated into our chapter.
AALM: What lessons have you learned from your predecessors?
JP: “Just because someone else isn’t doing it, doesn’t mean it can’t be done” – We are always looking for innovative ways to engage with our members and welcome any suggestions to expand our organization from our members, supporting law firms and local business partners.
AALM: How has your involvement in the association benefited you and your career? How do you think it could benefit others like yourself?
JP: Joining Jax ALA has been instrumental to my career and has allowed me to develop my legal experience and paralegal skills into an administrative role. Whether you are just starting your career or have experience in the legal field, Jax ALA has something to offer everyone. Our organization offers networking, collaboration opportunities, access to the most up-to-date information and professional development opportunities to help members maintain career-relevance. Jax ALA creates valuable market leaders in our growing legal community.
AALM: How would you describe the main goal of the association in your own words? Do you believe the association meets its mission? How can it continue to improve its reach?
JP: Jax ALA’s mission is to advance the practice of legal administration and develop and promote continuing legal education programs in all aspects of legal practice management, as well as educate the legal profession about the value and availability of professional administrators. We hope to expand our reach by broadening our membership footprint and continuing to stimulate the exchange of information and ideas about legal practice management across the community.
AALM: What trends do you think will impact legal administrators (and their firms) most in the coming year(s)?
JP: Since the pandemic more and more law firms are considering hybrid remote work options as that continues to be a demand in the recruiting and employee retention. With that also comes technology, of course, during the pandemic, nearly every court in America adopted virtual platforms to conduct hearings and many of those courts continue to provide virtual options for appearances meaning firms need to have better cybersecurity software and training and we expect that to continue to impact the legal market, our firms and administrators as we learn to adapt.
AALM: Tell us about some upcoming events in 2024 you’re excited to host.
JP: Jax ALA is excited to partner with our other Florida ALA chapters for the 2024 Florida ALA Statewide Retreat in Orlando next year.
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