Time, talent, and resources play vital roles in business foundations of successful firms. Our panel of Subject Matter Coaches explored these areas of business interests with a focus on strategic planning, the role of collaboration, resources, professional development, and process.


Talk specifically about what's essential to the firm within the next 18-24 months and have a timeline associated with planning what needs to be accomplished. Planning requires accountability, and while many of us have great ideas of what we should be doing, sometimes we don't move to implementation. 

  • Reimagine what work looks like in the future without attachment to what has been done in the past
  • Have a change mentality
  • Process improvement
  • Prioritize people through diverse, inclusive, and collaborative initiatives
  • Learning from mission-driven organizations 
  • Review your plan regularly
  • Build in the opportunity to have some flexibility 


Organizations live and die by people, purpose, and profit. Firms are human-centric organizations, and successful firms focus on their people. The products that we sell and produce are from the minds of our people, and it's imperative to care for those people.

  • Engage our workforce
  • Create an environment where people feel valued, respected, and have a purpose
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access needs to be woven into all aspects of what the firm does
  • Approachable Firm Leadership


  • Business Partner Insight: rely on the experts of our industry leaders, our business partners
  • Resource Collaboration: build relationships and trust
  • Be open to learning about new solutions and options
  • Human Component: understand people's motivation for work


Prioritize professional development. Successful firms talk to their employees, find out where their natural strengths lie and find ways for the firm to support them. The path isn't always going to be the same. Likewise, the destination isn't always going to be the same.

  • Mentoring and leadership
  • Help find your employees strengths through open communication
  • Implement initiatives to advance diversity and inclusion
  • Improve training and onboarding processes
  • Attend industry-related conferences


A firm must commit to accepting the concept of a bit of failure for the sake of progress. We can course correct when a process breaks down or needs evolving through using design thinking principles.

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test
Laura J. Broomell, CLM
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Laura J. Broomell, CLM

Chief Operating Officer, Greene Espel PLLP

Laura is the Chief Operating Officer with Greene Espel PLLP, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this role, she works collaboratively with attorneys to oversee all aspects of the firm’s strategic and operational functions. Laura has held numerous leadership positions in the Association of Legal Administrators on the local and international levels, including serving as the ALA International President from 2016-2017. Laura was the recipient of the 2020 Women in Business award from Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, in addition to being selected in 2021 as one of Minnesota’s Most Powerful Business Leaders by Minnesota 500.

April Campbell

Executive Director, Association of Legal Administrators

April Campbell is a leader in professional service and not-for-profit organizations for more than two decades. She is passionate about developing leaders and productive teams. She focuses her energy on the philosophy of change experimentation, using innovation methods to foster new solutions and empower leaders to a deeper understanding of how change happens. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Association of Legal Administrators. She has held additional roles in both large and small law firms in the areas of HR, pro bono and operations. Before her career in legal management, she practiced as an attorney. April holds a Bachelor of Science in Spanish with a business option from Penn State and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oregon School of Law.

James Cornell

Office Administrator, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP

James L. Cornell leverages 20-plus years of management and leadership experience in law firms, along with service as a volunteer leader and Past President with the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) to bring together the holistic perspective of today’s legal management professional and the business of law. James focuses on communication, collaboration, leadership, vision, and creative solution-generation to address the administrative and operational challenges of modern legal organizations. James has the privilege of being the Office Administrator for Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP in their Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. offices, and can be reached at (202) 210.5321, jcornell@shb.com or via Linkedin.