By LMA International
These last several months, in the face of crisis, we have seen many LMA regions adapt to unexpected changes. Staying true to their missions, each region found ways to maintain connection, learn from each other and even create career growth-focused resources in the process.
We spoke with a few LMA regional presidents to learn more about the moments that made them most proud to be part of these groups, during a time of unique challenge.
“When times get tough, we continue to turn to each other for help, support, guidance and connection. This has never been more true than in recent weeks when stress and workloads went off the chart; and yet, our regional board remains strongly connected and our relationships with our sponsors are genuine and reciprocally valued. Our communication and appreciation for our Eastern Canada LMA Board Members was also amplified during this time. Our two regions collaborated on a few initiatives — some of which may have long lasting benefits for all Canadian LMA members. We are looking forward to a bright future.”
—Susan Van Dyke, LMA Western Canada Regional President
"There's probably no regional president who thought they were signing up for what we got in 2020! In Eastern Canada, I'm incredibly proud of how our board and our volunteers changed gears and banded together to reimagine how we would deliver our objectives for the year. Our content and social events, delivered in the webcast setting, have been tremendous and well received by membership, and prospective members have taken note of the high value we are offering. Crisis has truly revealed the agility commitment and creativity of our group. We've even discovered a few processes and practices we want to keep up and improve upon, even after things return to 'normal.'"
—Chandler Lauzon, LMA Eastern Canada Regional President
“The LMA Northeast Region has continued to find ways to meaningfully connect during the COVID-19 crisis. At the very beginning of the pandemic, at the suggestion of a member, we created a Facebook Focus Group as a means for members to connect, share resources and support each other during a very challenging and rapidly changing time. The group grew to over 1,000 members in the legal marketing community in a few short weeks, and continues to serve as a discussion forum today.
“In addition, our region quickly turned to virtual programming to fill the educational element through webinars and virtual roundtables for networking, including a few format of hyper-focused topics to meet the needs of our members today. Since the pandemic, we have hosted five webinars and 13 virtual programs, with over 2,200 attendees across these events, showing the strength of our region and the hard work of our members.”
—Dawn Sheiker, LMA Northeast Regional President
“LMA Southeast has partnered with Calibrate Legal to recently launch its ‘Opportunity Screenings’ program, which helps Southeast members who have been or might become laid off due to the COVID economic downturn. The complimentary screenings conducted by Calibrate Legal evaluate a candidate’s experience and skills to see if they might be a good match for future full-time or remote project opportunities. The program will be offered for the remainder of this year and is available to professionals who were a paying member of Southeast region in 2020.”
—Danielle Smith, LMA Southeast Regional President
“As LMA Midwest joined other regions in pivoting to exclusively virtual settings, our Local Steering Committees opened up their programming for attendance by all of our members and friends, and created innovative networking opportunities like a mixology class and a trivia night. Our LMA Tech Midwest Conference is also going virtual, and sessions will include topics adjusted to our current crisis, along with perennial favorites.
“LMA Midwest is also honored to be taking the lead on LMA’s Careers in Transition initiative, providing valuable programming and information to our colleagues who are making career changes. We have also created a weekly digest that includes all of the programming and resources available, plus timely articles, program summaries, and interesting information, in an easy-to-read format.”
—Megan McKeon, LMA Midwest Regional President
“I am so proud of the Mid-Atlantic region volunteers. From our board of directors to every committee member, they have stayed engaged and pitched in to seamlessly change gears with each new piece of information. They created a space for our members to learn, network and support one another during these difficult times.”
—Rachel Shields Williams, LMA Mid-Atlantic Regional President
“I am humbled by and proud of our LMA Southwest Region volunteer leaders who quickly identified that while the way we delivered programming and networking opportunities to our members had dramatically changed, our mission and our ‘why’ remained the same. We were nimble, thoughtful and purposeful in the face of an immense change.”
—Amy P. Verhulst, LMA Southwest Regional President
“I am most proud of the LMA West and its leaders for spearheading the following initiatives since shelter-in-place was enacted:
- LMA West pivoted to relevant online programming in less than a month after shelter-in-place
- The local steering committees across the region are working together to develop and deliver programming to the region, not exclusively to their local
- Integrated Sponsor Spotlight program to highlight LMA West’s educational ambassador sponsors
- Revised systems and provided training to support these initiatives.”
—Clare Ota, LMA West Regional President