President's Message

Jessica VanTroost

The Association of Legal Administrators embodies what it means to be a leader in the legal industry, and I think the Jacksonville Chapter has one of the best membership bases in the organization.  We may not be the biggest, but what we lack in size, we make up for in heart.  We are small, but mighty!   It is my privilege to lead the 2021-2022 Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Chapter.  I am hopeful this year brings some closure to the difficult battle the world faced with COVID-19 over the last year and allows us to safely begin to meet in person again.  This year will be challenging as we settle into life after the pandemic and explore all the lessons we learned throughout this unprecedented event.  There were certainly challenges over the last year, but also a number of positives to take away.  For example, we have a much more tech savvy membership and business partner base than we have ever had before.  This will allow us to engage in new and exciting ways that we were not able to do previously. I look forward to navigating those opportunities and pushing the organization to new heights. 

I would like to thank the 2020-2021 Board for all of their hard work and dedication to the Chapter during an unprecedented year.  I am not sure that we have ever faced a more challenging or dynamic year in our Chapter’s history.  The Board worked tirelessly to pivot to a virtual setting while continuing to provide our members with current, relevant, and engaging educational and networking opportunities.  In addition, the Board did an outstanding job of bringing us opportunities to exchange information among members and most importantly, to have some fun and a get a break from the stress of dealing with a new “normal” in our day-to-day and professional lives. 

Last year also gave us the opportunity to upgrade our chapter website.  The website committee, in conjunction with selected Board and Chapter members embarked on a much needed overhaul of our website.  This was an incredibly difficult undertaking, but so worth the effort.  If you have not done so already, I strongly encourage you to visit our website and check out the finished product.  We hope that this new site is an easy to navigate place for members, business partners and visitors alike to find information about our organization, upcoming events, and relevant industry news.  The talent within our membership is truly phenomenal and something we should all be proud of. 

The completion of the website project has paved the way for The Jacksonville ALA Board of Director’s to focus on other improvements for our organization in 2021.  As incoming President, I have three main goals for my tenure.  First, we need to overhaul the Business Partner Sponsorship Plan.  The current plan has served us well for many years and has helped facilitate lasting and meaningful relationships between our members and business partners.  However, as the world evolves and the legal landscape changes, it is important to review this plan to incorporate new ideas and ways to connect.  This is an exciting opportunity to take some of the lessons of the pandemic and leverage our members’ new tech savvy skills to move the organization forward by bringing even more opportunities to connect with one another. 

My second goal is to increase membership.  This organization thrives because of its members.  I could not imagine doing my job without ALA.  The more members we have, the more ideas that are exchanged and the more knowledge we bring to each other, which strengthens our legal community as a whole.  In addition to traditional legal administrator roles, I hope we are able to gain additional members that work in legal management outside of traditional private firm environments, such as in-house legal departments and government entities.  These new perspectives will broaden and strengthen our membership body.

Lastly, in conjunction with our new membership goals, I would like to focus on expanding our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.  We have recently expanded our Diversity Committee and hope to work in conjunction with ALA International’s DE&I Committee to expand our local efforts to include great people from a wide variety of backgrounds to cultivate a more well-rounded, collaborative, and inclusive membership within our organization.

I am excited to get started on these new initiatives, as well as continue the numerous other traditions that make the Jacksonville ALA a fantastic organization!  Also, fingers crossed, I look forward to seeing all of you in person again very soon!

Jessica VanTroost
McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC
10407 Centurion Pkwy N.
Suite 200
Jacksonville, FL  32256
Phone: 904.224.4473
Fax: 904.353.8808
Email: [email protected]

 Mission

  • Advance the practice of legal administration and increase the professionalism of those managing the legal service delivery team.
     
  • Develop and promote continuing education programs in all aspects of legal practice management.
     
  • Stimulate the exchange of information about legal practice management.
     
  • Educate the legal profession about the value and availability of professional administrators.