ALA-Detroit chapter celebrates 35 years

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The Metropolitan Detroit Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) celebrated its 35th anniversary recently at the Greektown Casino in Detroit. Among those enjoying the evening were (kneeling, left to right) Kathy Batts with Grace M. Thomas & Associates; Larry Halicki with Pepper Hamilton; Norm Bornstein with Office Star; Cyndi Deittrick with Kienbaum Opperwall; Karen Comfort with Saurbier & Siegan, ALA assistant treasurer; Lori Rubinstein; and Vivian Strafforn with Miller Canfield, ALA Meetings & Publicity chair; along with (standing, left to right) Pat Costigan with Orlans Associates; Sandy McCarrick with Colombo & Colombo; Pam Fontana with Steinhardt Pesick; Roberta Mathie; Sue York with Bodman LLP; onnie Shannon with Foster Swift; Mary Ann Dunham with Bush Seyferth, ALA treasurer; Dawn Baffi with Kienbaum Opperwall; Ronda Harris with Miller Canfield, ALA Membership Committee chair; Janet Manley, owner of A Design Line, former ALA member; David Rubinstein with Kelley Uustal in Florida; Jane Schaefer; Lois Martin with Secrest Wardle, ALA vice president/president-elect; Beth Lockwood with Zausmer  Kaufman; Denise Doherty with Sommers Schwartz, ALA immediate past president; Lyn Calu with Bowman and Brooke, ALA president; and Pam Davis with Sommers Schwartz.

By Christine L. Mobley

Legal News

The year was 1975. It was the year that brought TV viewers “Wheel of Fortune,” extended “The Price is Right” from a half-hour to its current hour-long format, and it was the year that the Association of Legal Administrators — Metropolitan Detroit Chapter (ALA) was formed.
The Detroit Chapter of the ALA was formed in 1975 and was later renamed the Metropolitan Detroit Chapter to more accurately reflect and represent its membership, according to the chapter’s website.
Formed four years after the national ALA, the Metropolitan Detroit Chapter currently has more than 100 members.
To celebrate ALA’s 35th anniversary, members — current and former — gathered on May 14 at Greektown Casino in Detroit.
The room where the event was held featured hundreds of photos, awards and mementos highlighting the chapter’s activities, accomplishments and awards over the last 35 years.
“I’m excited about the anniversary,” Lyn Calu, ALA president and office manager at Bowman and Brooke LLP, said. “I’m excited to be a part of (ALA) and learn things from those who have been in this organization for so many years because I know that I’ve gained a lot in the five years that I’ve been involved in the organization.
“To see all of the information to be shared, the people that are met, the relationships that can be built — I’m excited about it and I think it speaks volumes about the organization to be continuing after 35 years,” Calu continued. “We’re still going pretty strong.”
The ALA provides support and information to professionals involved in the management of law firms, corporate legal departments, and government legal agencies.
“This anniversary is a big deal,” Calu said. “We had a big celebration for our 30th ...We have to — every year that we can — celebrate the achievements of our chapter.”
“It really says it’s a big deal when you have people who have moved away and have been out of the chapter for a long time who are still excited to be coming back,” Laura Allen, an office administrator at Fildew Hinks and a past ALA president, said.
“It’s about honoring the members,” Denise Doherty of Sommers Schwartz and ALA immediate past president said. “This is an opportunity to say, ‘We appreciate this chapter.’
“We already have the next level of people coming in to carry this forward and you can see when you’ve been through it how much more committed you are, so this is an opportunity to really bring back the people who have been such a big part of this — not necessarily those who’ve been on the board, but just members who’ve gotten a lot out of (ALA),” Doherty noted.
“It was truly a memorable event and so much fun to see and talk to those who have been involved with this organization; some for almost as many years as it has been around,” Calu added. “I am very proud to be a part of the ALA.”

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