ALA Conference Recap: Karen Wilhelmi

The SVALA was well-represented at the ALA Annual Conference and Expo in Denver! We have a few recaps of the event which will be posted over the next few weeks but I thought it would be appropriate to start with one from a member who had never been to an Annual Conference before.

First conferences are always so exciting and inspiring!

Karen Wilhelmi is the SVALA Website Chair and the Chief Financial Officer at Weintraub Tobin. Please read all about her experience and then check out the Virtual Conference Sessions!

From Karen:

Joelle Stone and Karen Wilhelmi hanging out after a full day of the Conference

This was my first time I have ever attended a National Conference of ALA; previously I had only attended a Regional Conference. Right out of the gate I noticed the sessions they offered were two-three-four times the amount than offered at regional.  This is great but actually makes it really hard to pick what you want to listen to. Although, I went to a Newcomer’s Reception on Sunday night and one of the things they really encouraged was if you aren’t getting what you thought you would out of a session don’t be hesitant about getting up and leaving and going into another session that was your second choice.

They offered different tracks to make it easier for you – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced education tracks, a 2020 education track (core competency sessions that will help you prepare for what lies ahead in the future of the business of law) and a new track called LPM (Legal Project Management).  It is hard for me being a CFO to not want to go to the Finance related sessions, but I really made an effort to stay away from them as much as possible. I was happy that I did as my best sessions were not finance related. My best sessions were: (1) Generational Marketing Strategies and Tactics for Engaging Different Generations, (2) Social Media, Digital Marketing Mechanics and More, and (3) How to Help Senior Partners and Administrators Transition Out of Practice and Prepare Their Successors.  I didn’t come away with any handouts that said how to do or implement any of this but it got the light bulb and momentum going for making or suggesting some changes.

Yep, that’s snow!

Just a personal fun fact, I told Joelle how much I hoped that the snow that they predicted would come in on Tuesday so I could just walk to the conference in the snow . . . and it did! Joelle admitted she enjoyed it too. 🙂

Thank you for sharing your experience, Karen! It sounds like it was a terrific experience for a first-timer. Hope to see you at more Annual Conferences! For those planning ahead, information about future conferences can be found here.



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