Attendees from across the United States converged on the Crowne Plaza Houston for the NALS 63rd Annual Education Conference & National Forum from Thursday through Saturday, October 2-4. The Houston Association of Legal Professionals (HALP) was responsible for recruiting some amazing speakers that offered more than 17 hours of CLE focusing on litigation/civil law, corporate law, real estate, estate planning/family law, and general law.
We began the conference with our keynote speaker, Courtney Clark, who shared with us how to gain perspective. We gain perspective by i) giving back; ii) understanding that no matter how low you are someone still needs your help; and iii) when we are under a lot of pressure, we hit a greater height. We left this amazing, thought-provoking, life-challenging session knowing that It's About How You Deal, Not What You're Dealt. After the keynote speaker, there were four concurrent sessions to choose from every two hours over the three days of sessions. The speakers ranged from a certified graphoanalyst sharing with us the Seven Significant Signs of a Serious Liar, to a session on the Workflows with Acrobat XI, to ethics and estate administration, to learning exactly What the Frack is Fracking and so much more. HALP did a fabulous job at recruiting wonderful speakers!
On Thursday during the Exhibitors’ Luncheon, we had the pleasure of hearing from each exhibiting company who was present at the conference. This is always a treat because you get to hear exactly what each sponsor has to offer. It is great for us because even if we do not need their services at the time, we have the opportunity to share their services with others in the legal industry. Wrapping up Thursday evening was the NALS Welcome Party. It was a fabulous time and we were able to wind down from the day’s CLE sessions, meet new attendees, spend time with old friends and, of course, dance the night away!
This year we also had the opportunity to network with attendees in our particular area of practices at the Networking Lounges. We hope you had an opportunity to network with other attendees at this conference. As we know, networking is a valuable asset of attending a NALS conference and the Networking Luncheon on Friday gave everyone in attendance the ability and opportunity to network with attendees, exchange contact information, and enjoy each other’s company.
The NALS Foundation Gala-Houston Hoedown on Friday evening proved to be a wonderful night! Everyone came dressed in their best western attire and learned new line dances. The highlight of the evening ended up being a "Jail and Bail" fundraiser where over 40 people were "arrested" and forced to either pay bail, do their time in jail, or have fun and participate in one of the activities that eventually produced their freedom. It was a great night and the NALS Foundation raised $805 at this event!! There were some fabulous live auction, silent auction, and sweepstakes items to be won and acquired over the course of the conference as well, and Leslie Keys did not disappoint us with her live auction skills! Overall the NALS Foundation raised a whopping $14,153.
Every year during the Recognition Luncheon on Saturday afternoon we recognize NALS volunteers, certified attendees, and present the prestigious NALS Award of Excellence. Doris T. Compton, PP, PLS-SC (AR), Nancy M. Gates, PP, PLS (MS), and Tara Hughes, PP-SC, ACP (AZ) were the three finalists for this year's AOE. Each of these ladies have made amazing contributions to NALS and to the legal industry as a whole. Tara Hughes, PP-SC, ACP of Arizona was announced as the 2014 NALS Award of Excellence recipient! Congratulations to these fabulous ladies; they are all winners!
Finally, after all the CLE sessions, networking events, lunches, and dinners, everyone had the opportunity to join the NALS Board for an Open Forum. During this session, the Board shared information regarding the new NALS website which launched on September 1, the new NALS App—which is in the final approval stages—and the new opportunity to pay conference fees in two installments, with the first installment due by the Early Bird Deadline and the second installment due by the Regular Deadline. The Board also shared that NALS is seeking volunteers, who are interested in being at the table and who understand the value of the grassroots-levels of NALS, to participate in a brand new Grassroots-Level Think Tank! NALS is better because of YOUR input and suggestions. The formation of the Grassroots-Level Think Tank will bring members and leaders together to share their experiences, their bright spots in their local chapters, the ability to create new innovations, and allow NALS to work for its members and the legal community. If you are ready to participate, click here to read more about the GLTT and sign up today! To help attendees offset some of their conference expenses, the NALS Foundation is offering a select number of $150 scholarships. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship to participate in the GLTT and attend the NALS 2015 Education Conference & National Forum in Tulsa this February, please complete and submit the Scholarship Application before Saturday, November 15. Two videos from the Board are below. These videos highlight and further explain some of the announcements listed above. Please watch and share with others!
After the NALS Board shared their updates to members in attendance at the Open Forum they opened up the floor to the members who voiced their opinions, asked questions, and brought their concerns directly to the Board. We want you to know that we heard you then and we continue to listen to you now. All items that were discussed during the forum will be discussed amongst the board. Be watching this blog for additional news/updates from the Board. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please email the NALS Board at email@example.com.
In the end, the NALS 63rd Annual Education Conference & National Forum was a huge success! Attendees left with a wealth of continuing legal education, friendships new and old, and many memories. Be sure to check out the Houston conference photos to see what you missed! Please note, you must be signed into the NALS site as a member in order to view the photos. We are looking forward to seeing you at:
2015 NALS Professional Development & Education Conference
February 25-28, 2015
DoubleTree Warren Place
64th Annual Education Conference & National Forum
October 8-10, 2015
Riviera Casino & Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada
- NALS 2014-2015 Board of Directors