Leadership Opportunities - FAQ

1. Have the dates for our meetings been set yet? What are they?
2. What should go into the statement of interest for the Director and Officer three-four page expanded statement of interest?
3. How are candidates selected for Regional Representative, Nominating Committee, Conference Planning Coordinator, Board and Officer positions?
4. What bylaws requirements guide the Nominating Committee during the Board slating process?
5. Does NALP have future planning documents I can see? (e.g. 5-year Strategic Plan, current year's business plan)
6. Who am I running against?
7. Who nominated me?
8. If I am elected, do I have to attend the NALP conference next year?
9. Do I have to tell my employer if I decide to accept my nomination?
10. How much time commitment is involved?
11. How do I apply?
12. What documents do I need to submit?
13. Do nominees need to submit more than one set of materials?
14. When will I know if I won?
15. What leadership opportunities are open to Canadian members?
16. How is the Regional Representative position different from the Regional Coordinator position?
17. How is the Conference Planning Coordinator different from the Regional Coordinator position?
18. How can I evaluate which of the elected positions may be most appropriate for me, given my level of experience?
19. What leadership opportunities may each of the elected positions lead to?
20. Which Conference Planning Coordinator positions are open for 2017-2018?
21. Who should I select as a reference, and what sort of skills might they be asked to address?
22. I see there are only a limited number of elected NALP leadership positions available.  Why does NALP seek such a large pool of nominees?




1. Have the dates for our meetings been set yet? What are they?

Officers and Directors:

Board of Directors Meetings for 2019-2020

Pre-Conference Partial Meeting: Mon - Tues, April 8-9, 2019
(San Diego, CA)
Board Orientation: Thurs - Sat, May 9-11, 2019
(Washington, DC)

Board Meeting:

Wed - Fri, July 17-19, 2019
(Woodinville, WA - Seattle)

Board Meeting:

Thurs - Sat, November 7-9, 2019
(Scottsdale, AZ)

Board Meeting:

Thurs - Sat, February 27-29, 2020
(Savannah, GA)

Pre-Conference Board Meeting: Mon - Tues, April 27-28, 2020 (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Board of Directors Meetings for 2019-2020
Pre-Conference Board Meeting Mon - Tues, April 27-28, 2020 (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Board Orientation TBD, Washington, DC
Board Meetings (Summer, Fall, Winter) Dates TBD
Pre-Conference Board Meeting Mon - Tues, April 26-27, 2021
(Scottsdale, AZ)

Officers and Directors should also attend the annual conferences during their term on the Board:

San Diego, CA, April 9-12, 2019
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 28 - May 1, 2020
Scottsdale, AZ, April 27-30, 2021

Conference Planning Coordinators

Annual Conference Planning Meeting
Wed - Fri, June 19-21, 2019, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Conference Planning Coordinators should also attend the annual conferences immediately prior to (2019) and during their year (2020) as Conference Planning Coordinator:

San Diego, CA, April 9-12, 2019
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 28 - May 1, 2020

Regional Representatives

Regional Resource Council Meetings
During Annual Education Conferences

Monday April 8, 2019, 1:00 - 5:00  pm and Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 8:00 -11:30 am
Monday, April 27, 2020, 1:00 -5:00 pm and Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 8:00 - 11:30 am

Nominating Committee Members

Nominating Committee Orientation
TBD - Sept or Oct 2019 (1 day meeting)

Nominating Committee Slating Meeting (2.5 day meeting)
TBD - January or February 2020

2. What should go into the statement of interest for the 3-4 page Director and Officer expanded statement of interest?

Content for the Director and Officer expanded 3-4 page statement is detailed in the document entitled: Director and Officer Expanded Statement of Interest.  You may also want to review the recently adopted Competencies of Effective NALP Leaders and the videos: What Traits the Nominating Committee Looks for in Officer and Director Candidates and NALP Advice for Those Interested in a Board of Director Position.

3. How are candidates selected for Regional Representative, Conference Planning Coordinator, Nominating Committee, Board and Officer positions?

Nominees for all positions are solicited through an open solicitation process. NALP members may nominate their peers and/or themselves for any of the leadership roles.

Regional Representatives, Conference Planning Coordinators, and Nominating Committee members are elected by the Primary (Voting) Member of each NALP institutional member in the same membership class (school or employer) - in other words, school members elect the school representative from their region and employer members elect the employer representative from their region (except in the Canadian Region where there is a general election amongst Canadian members). Nominees for Conference Planning Coordinator, Nominating Committee, and Regional Representative who accept their nomination submit a one page resume/biographical sketch with a brief statement of interest.  The resume/biographical sketch and statements of interest are posted to the NALP website for review by the membership.  Elections usually take place in late February and early March. While past elections often required 2-3 rounds, including one or more runoffs, recent changes to NALP's bylaws adopted the Borda count voting process which has greatly reduced the need for runoff elections.  Election results are shared with candidates once they are verified by the Nominating Committee.

Board and Officer positions are slated by the Nominating Committee and presented to the membership for election at the Annual Business Meeting at the Annual Education Conference. Nominees who accept their nomination submit a resume/biographical sketch with a list of three references and an expanded statement of interest (3-4 pp) for review and consideration by the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee reviews these documents, interviews each candidate, and contacts each candidate's references. The Nominating Committee gathers at the slating meeting to develop the 'slate' of officers and directors that meets bylaws requirements and best represents the diversity of the membership. Board and officer candidates are notified regarding their status immediately after the slating meeting.  See the videos on the Nominating Portal (www.nalp.org/nominating) for more information about the process, specifically the Overview of the Nominating Committee Process for Officers and Directors.

4. What bylaws requirements guide the Nominating Committee during the Board slating process?

NALP's Bylaws call for a thirteen member Board of Directors each of whom must be employed by an institutional member of the Association. The Board consists of the President, President-Elect, Vice-President for Member Services and Education, Vice-President for Finance and nine Directors. The officer positions (4) must be equally balanced between school (2) and employer (2) members. Of the nine director positions, five must be law school member representatives and four employer member representatives. Commencing with the 2012-2013 election cycle, there are no regional restrictions. The Vice-President for Member Services and Education, Vice-President for Finance, and Director terms last for two years. The person slated as President-Elect serves over a three year arc: one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as Immediate Past President.

In 2019, the Nominating Committee will slate a Vice-President for Finance, a President-Elect, and 5 Directors (3 from law school member institutions and 2 from employer member institutions).

5. Does NALP have future planning documents I can see? (e.g. 5-year Strategic Plan, current year's business plan)

Yes, NALP's strategic plan and business plan are on the NALP website (www.nalp.org) under About NALP. The 2015-2020 Long Range Strategic Plan has its own page at http://www.nalp.org/strategicplan.  The current year's business plan appears within the description of the Sections, Work Groups, Advisory Groups and Committees at http://www.nalp.org/sections.  Next year's business plan will be developed by the 2019-2020 President and reviewed and approved by the Board at the April 2019 Board meeting.

6. Who am I running against?

Regional Representative, Conference Planning Coordinator, and Nominating Committee candidates will learn who else is on the ballot when the election information is distributed to the membership in February.

The names of Officer and Director candidates are not shared outside of the Nominating Committee. Because of the confidential nature of the process, the Nominating Committee is not in a position to release this information. We encourage all qualified candidates to put their names forward.

7. Who nominated me?

When the Nominating Committee member contacts you to let you know about your nomination, she or he will let you know who nominated you.  The committee encourages broad-based nominations from the membership, and the committee also encourages nominators to let the members they have nominated know.

8. If I am elected, do I have to attend the NALP conference next year?

Generally yes.  Officers and Directors should attend the annual conferences during their term on the Board:

San Diego, CA, April 10-13, 2019
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 28 - May 1, 2020
Scottsdale, AZ, April 26-27, 2021

Conference Planning Coordinators should attend the annual conferences immediately prior to (2019) and during their year (2020) as Conference Planning Coordinator.

Elected Regional Representatives must attend Resource Council Orientation during the Annual Education Conference on Monday, April 8, 2019 (1:00 - 5:00 pm) and Tuesday, April 9, 2019 (8:00 - 11:30 am).  Regional Representatives elected in 2019 are strongly encouraged to attend the Orientation in the middle of their term: Monday, April 27, 2020, 1:00 -5:00 pm and Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 8:00 - 11:30 am.

Elected Nominating Committee Representatives must attend the Annual Education Conference following their year of election (e.g. those elected in 2019 must attend the Annual Education Conference in 2020).

9. Do I have to tell my employer if I decide to accept my nomination?

It depends.  For those candidates accepting a nomination for Nominating Committee, Regional Representative, or Conference Planning Coordinator, when you submit your application through the on-line application process you will be asked to acknowledge that you have discussed the nomination with your employer, and should you be elected, you will have the support of your employer to complete the duties affiliated with the position (including attending the required Annual Education Conference(s)). 

For those candidates going forward for officer (President-Elect and Vice-President) and director positions, you should anticipate that your employer would be supportive of your accepting the position should you be slated.  A Nominating Committee member will discuss this with you during your interview.

10. How much time commitment is involved?

The Leadership Position Descriptions lay out the tasks and time commitment affiliated with each position. The amount of time may vary from year to year. One of the best ways to get a sense of the time commitment is to speak with someone who has been in that position previously or who is currently in the position. The list of current NALP leaders is at http://www.nalp.org/directors.   A list of past NALP leaders is available at www.nalp.org/pastnalpofficersanddirectors.   You should feel free to contact any of the people on these lists for candid information on their experiences.

11. How do I apply?

The application process opens November 1, 2018.  To complete your application for a position, please access NALP's secure on-line application system by clicking on the application link at http://www.nalp.org/nominating/, complete the requested information and submit your application.  The deadline for accepting your nomination is Friday, December 14, 2018; the deadline to submit the required supporting documents is Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

12. What documents do I need to submit?

Candidates must complete the on-line application at www.nalp.org/nominating with the documents as noted below by Wednesday, January 9, 2019:

Candidates for President-Elect, Vice-President, and/or Director:

1. Your resume or biographical sketch with a list of three professional references-- At a minimum, your resume/biographical sketch should include the following information: name; current employment; relevant past employment (please include dates, names of employers and titles/positions); educational background; professional memberships and activities, especially past and/or current NALP activities and involvement (please include dates of any NALP activities). Your list of three professional references will aid the Nominating Committee in gathering information from people who know you on the skills and abilities you might bring to a Director or Officer position on NALP's Board. Please be sure to include a name, title, phone number, and how the person knows you professionally for each of your three references as well as alert your references that they may be contacted. Please also include a sentence on whether or not you have spoken to your supervisor about applying for NALP office. The committee will reach out to at least two of your references, so please rank them (1, 2, 3) in your preferred order of contact.  At least one reference must be a current or former NALP member. In addition, please be advised that additional inquiries may be made of other NALP members or former members, beyond the list of references you provide.

2. An expanded statement of interest -- Your expanded Statement of Interest is limited to three 8 ½ x 11 pages (four pages for President-Elect and Vice-President candidates). Please see the Guidelines for Expanded Statements of Interest.

Candidates for Nominating Committee, Regional Representative, or Conference Planning Coordinator

1. A combined resume/biographical sketch and brief statement of interest - Your combined resume/biographical sketch and brief statement of interest is limited to a single 8 ½ x 11 page. At a minimum, it should include the following information: name; relevant past employment (please include dates, names of employers and titles/positions); educational background; professional memberships and activities, especially past and/or current NALP activities and involvement (please include dates of any NALP activities); and a brief statement of interest. Please note that your biographical sketch will be posted as submitted as a one-page PDF to NALP's website during the spring election cycle.

Candidates for President-Elect, Vice-President, and/or Director AND Nominating Committee, Regional Representative, or Conference Planning Coordinator :

1. Your resume or biographical sketch with a list of three professional references (for your Officer/Director nominations(s))-- At a minimum, your resume/biographical sketch should include the following information: name; current employment; relevant past employment (please include dates, names of employers and titles/positions); educational background; professional memberships and activities, especially past and/or current NALP activities and involvement (please include dates of any NALP activities). Your list of three professional references will aid the Nominating Committee in gathering information from people who know you on the skills and abilities you might bring to a Director or Officer position on NALP's Board. Please be sure to include a name, title, phone number, and how the person knows you professionally for each of your three references as well as alert your references that they may be contacted. Please also include a sentence on whether or not you have spoken to your supervisor about applying for NALP office. The committee will reach out to at least two of your references, so please rank them (1, 2, 3) in your preferred order of contact.  At least one reference must be a current or former NALP member. In addition, please be advised that additional inquiries may be made of other NALP members or former members, beyond the list of references you provide.

2. An expanded statement of interest (for your Officer/Director nominations(s)) -- Your expanded Statement of Interest is limited to three 8 ½ x 11 pages (four pages for President-Elect and Vice-President candidates). Please see the Guidelines for Expanded Statements of Interest.

3. A combined resume/biographical sketch and brief statement of interest (for your Nominating Committee, Regional Representative, or Conference Planning Committee nomination) - Your combined resume/biographical sketch and brief statement of interest is limited to a single 8 ½ x 11 page. At a minimum, it should include the following information: name; relevant past employment (please include dates, names of employers and titles/positions); educational background; professional memberships and activities, especially past and/or current NALP activities and involvement (please include dates of any NALP activities); and a brief statement of interest. Please note that your biographical sketch will be posted as submitted as a one-page PDF to NALP's website during the spring election cycle.

13. Do nominees need to submit more than one set of materials?

No.

14. When will I know if I won?

Regional Representatives, Conference Planning Coordinators and Nominating Committee - Election results will be shared with candidates once election results are tabulated and verified.

Board and Officer - Board and officer candidates are notified regarding their status after the slating meeting. The 2018 slating meeting will take place February 11-13, 2019.

15. What leadership opportunities are open to Canadian members?

Canadian members are eligible for all Board positions including officer positions. The 2018-2019 Nominating Committee will also be soliciting nominations for Canadian members to run for election in 2019 to serve as the 2019-2020 Canadian Representative on the 2020 Annual Education Conference (Montreal) Planning Committee and the 2018-2019 Canadian Regional Representative. With the Bylaw changes and the establishment of the Canadian Limited Region in 2006, the Canadian Region elects a Member to the Nominating Committee or as a Conference Planning Coordinator each year. In 2018, the Canadian members elected a member to serve on the Nominating Committee in 2018-2019, and in 2019 will elect a member to serve on 2020 Annual Education Conference Planning Committee in 2019-2020.  In addition, with the 2011 Bylaws changes, the Canadian Region will elect a Regional Representative each year to serve a one year term.

16. How is the Regional Representative position different from the Regional Coordinator position?

The Regional Representative position was new in 2012.  The primary Regional Coordinator role of Annual Education Conference planning is now the Conference Planning Coordinator’s role – see question 17 below. Regional Representatives will serve an ambassadorial role focusing on regional interests, concerns, interaction, and communication.  Collectively the Regional Representatives will form the Regional Resource Council, which will be led by NALP’s Vice-President for Member Services and Education.   A cornerstone of NALP’s mission is to help our members connect with each other so they can collaborate and share expertise, research and best practices. Regional Representatives will play a critical role in fulfilling NALP’s mission and will help us to strengthen lines of communications between and among members, volunteers and staff. 

After a hands-on orientation session during the Annual Conference, Regional Representatives will be charged with coordinating communications within their regions to help members share knowledge and exchange ideas.  Regional Representatives will need to build an expertise about local issues and serve as a liaison with city groups and law school consortia.  Regional Representatives will also help the NALP Board communicate with members by, among other things, welcoming new members, participating in regional outreach calls, writing articles for NALP publications and otherwise helping advise the membership about NALP initiatives.  They can also help identify particular needs within the region, potential smaller-scale regional volunteer opportunities - and volunteers to take them on!  Essentially, Regional Representatives will funnel ideas and information back and forth between the Board and the membership and act as ambassadors within their regions.  Because this is a relatively new role for NALP, we hope that our Regional Representatives will be creative and innovative as they look for ways to fulfill their roles. 

This is an exciting opportunity for self-starters with energy, ideas and strong organizational skills.  Strong communication skills are also required!  

17. How is the Conference Planning Coordinator different from the Regional Coordinator position?

The Conference Planning Coordinator (CPC) plays basically the same role the “Regional Coordinator” has over the past several years.  In recent years, NALP’s Regional Coordinator position had focused exclusively on planning the Annual Education Conference, so the “new” Conference Planning Coordinator position is, for all intents and purposes, the “old” Regional Coordinator position.  The primary difference is in how the Conference Planning Committee will be formed: there will be five elected (six elected in alternate years when the Canadian Limited Region elects a CPC) and five appointed Conference Planning Coordinators for a total of 10 or 11. The team size has not changed, but the manner of selection has shifted from an all-elected body.  The Bylaws Committee opted to move to the elected and appointed model to ensure that NALP’s many and varied topical constituencies (e.g. recruiting, law school counseling, public interest, diversity, lawyer professional development, law student professional development, etc.) may be adequately represented in the conference planning process.


18. How can I evaluate which of the elected positions may be most appropriate for me, given my level of experience?

The first step in evaluating which elected positions might be most appropriate for you is to review the full text of the position descriptions.  As a second step you should talk to some colleagues.  You should always feel free to contact a member of the Nominating Committee to discuss your background and goals and get an idea as to the position(s) for which you might be best suited.  Similarly, you should contact members who either are currently in the position or who have held the position previously (their contact information is at www.nalp.org/nominating); they have some of the best insight as to what the position entails.  You may also want to talk with your colleagues, mentors, or supervisors to get input from them as to which position they think you might be best suited for (e.g., where your strengths lie or where you might want to get some additional experience).

As a general guideline, serving as a Conference Planning Coordinator is a great opportunity for NALP newcomers and legends alike.  Nominating Committee positions are best filled by members with NALP experience – i.e., those who have served in leadership positions – and the Bylaws require that Nominating Committee candidates shall have a minimum of three years of experience within the industry or experience as a NALP Committee Chair or Vice-Chair (including Section, Working Group, Advisory Group, Commission, Interest Group, and Task Force Chairs and Vice Chairs).  The Regional Representative role is still relatively new this year, and Regional Representatives will continue to focus on regional interests, concerns, and interaction.  They will serve an active intermediary role working with Board members, city groups, and all members in their region.  Because the role is new, Regional Representative will need to be creative and innovative as they look for ways to fulfill their roles, and will also need to be organized and strong communicators.  Members at all levels of experience can contribute as Regional Representatives.

See also an article written by Lisa Abrams from the November 2010 NALP Bulletin on "Finding Your Path as a NALP Leader: Moving Beyond the Barriers to Leadership" here.
and an article from the November 2009 NALP Bulletin on "When, Where, and How to Become a Leader in Your Profession" here.

19. What leadership opportunities may each of the elected positions lead to?

As with so many questions, the answer to this one depends on a variety of factors.  Ultimately the sky’s the limit, and any elected position in NALP may lead to NALP’s highest volunteer role, that of President-Elect and President, and can also lead to any number of other leadership roles, including a Director position or a Chair or Vice-Chair position on a Committee, Task Force, or Section.  For NALP leadership roles, there is no prescriptive pathway, but many different routes often depending on a person’s particular interests, be they topical (e.g., recruiting, clerkships) or task-centered (e.g.  public speaking, writing, organizing a group on a project).  Many people in elected roles subsequently take on appointed roles or positions or choose to seek additional elected or slated positions.  For example, a member may serve on the Nominating Committee, learn more about the Vice-President for Finance position during the nominating process, and subsequently decide to accept a nomination for that role.  Serving in any of the elected positions allows members to interact with colleagues and leaders of the association and provides exposure to the work of the association on a much more intimate scale.  That interaction and insight provides the member with unique and valuable information about various roles and projects within NALP.

See also the excellent series of Presidential and Director Profiles commencing in the September 2011 Bulletin.  This series is prepared by the Pathways to Leadership Work Group of NALP’s Experienced Professionals Section.


20. Which Conference Planning Coordinator positions are open for 2019-2020?

With the adoption of the updated bylaws in 2011, the membership agreed to the creation of the Conference Planning Coordinator position as well as the Regional Representative position.  Each year 5 Conference Planning Coordinators will be elected (6 every other year when a member from the Canadian Limited Region is elected).  The Bylaws Committee proposed and the membership adopted the following plan for the election of Conference Planning Coordinators:

 

W/RM

MW

SE

MA

NE

Employer

Even Years

Odd Years

Even Years

Even Years

Odd Years

School

Odd Years

Even Years

Odd Years

Odd Years

Even Years

So, in 2018, the membership will elect the following Conference Planning Coordinators:

West/Rocky Mountain School
Midwest Employer
Southeast School
Mid-Atlantic School
Northeast Employer
Canada (School or Employer)


21. Who should I select as a reference, and what sort of skills might they be asked to address?

You should select someone as a reference who knows you well and can speak directly to the skills and abilities that you will bring to the Officer or Director position.  The skills and abilities sought for Officers and Directors are broad and are detailed in the Board Directives for the Slate.  The competencies of NALP leaders are documented here.  The qualities of NALP leaders include:

-Diverse (broadly defined)
-Sense of responsibility (stewardship and integrity)
-Excellent oral and written communication skills (including public presentation skills)
-Strong organizational skills
-Smart/Hardworking/Motivated/Flexible
-Participatory management style (ability to build consensus, is a team player)
-Well-respected AND respectful of others
-Visionary/Innovative (ready to move the association forward)
-Dependable/Reliable/Able to juggle multiple priorities
-Attentive, careful listener
-Open-Minded (no pre-judgment, predetermined conclusions)
-Ability to adapt and act when emerging and urgent issues impact NALP membership
-Judgment (ability to come to a reasoned conclusion that balances the needs of diverse constituents)
-Confidence (will uphold a group decision even if personal opinion differs, willing to share opinions during meetings)
-Respectful/Courteous
-Trustworthy (ability to deal with confidential and sensitive issues)
-Integrity
-Cooperative (works well with others in a meaningful way, seeks joint solutions)
-Knowledge of the legal employment world
-Experience with NALP committees or other leadership positions within NALP
(also knowledge of NALP membership, goals and mission)
-Responsive (to our constituents, to fellow Board members and NALP staff, etc.)
-Committed (ability to devote the time necessary to being a successful leader and continue NALP’s role as the industry leader)
 

22. I see there are only a limited number of elected NALP leadership positions available.  Why does NALP seek such a large pool of nominees?

Each year, the Nominating Committee seeks to build a pool of candidates that will fulfill NALP’s various leadership needs. For example, NALP is committed to attracting a diverse pool of candidates that will reflect the richness of our membership. In addition, each year, the NALP President’s business plan might call for particular skills or perspectives that can be found only through a wide solicitation of the membership for nominees.  Also, not all nominees accept their nominations due to other professional and personal commitments.  Lastly, incomplete nominee applications may result in some attrition throughout the process. To meet these goals and offset this attrition, the Nominating Committee seeks to recruit a broader range of candidates than might seem necessary based on the number of available leadership positions.

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