2009 Annual Conference – Chicago

The National Network of Law School Officers held its annual meeting in conjunction with the annual meeting of AACRAO April 13-16, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. What a great host city! The annual meeting provided professional development and networking opportunities, and the city served as a great backdrop, offering a host of opportunities to adventure for those who had a little extra time to spend before or after the conference was over.

The NNLSO Opening Session provided Executive Director Lylene Pilkenton the opportunity to welcome attendees to the annual meeting and discuss the latest NNLSO happenings. The ABA Offices are located in Chicago, so we took the opportunity to invite a representative from the Section on Legal Education to address the group. Topics discussed included the annual questionnaire and issues related to reporting ethnicity as we move toward compliance with the latest standards of the Department of Education.

Lynette Petty of Washburn University School of Law presented the session The ADA – How Law Schools Try to Level the Playing Field. Lynette gave an overview of this very important subject and what her office does to help students achieve their goal of law school completion.

The Admissions and Registrars Roundtables were combined and provided an opportunity for members from both areas to discuss issues and share ideas.

Roberto Koch, NNLSO treasurer, presented the session, Issuing Digitally Signed Certified PDF Transcripts: A Case Study. Roberto talked about the technology used for his law school’s move to this process. He shared pros and cons of the process and gave the group an overview of what was involved in adding this service to his program.

Janet Ward, Associate Vice President of Seattle Pacific University, presented for the session Let’s Get Organized; Helping School Administrators Get a Grip on Chaos. Janet is known for her organizational skills and works in a fast pace office that requires her to be able to perform at a high level with many priorities. She shared encouraging advice on this topic.

Julia Yafee, Santa Clara Law School, and Hollis Kulwin, UC Davis Law School, presented the session, FaceBook and Beyond: A look at the social and legal issues of communication trends at our schools. This hot topic was very popular among our members and non-NNLSO attendees as well.

Julia and Hollis discussed the “ins and outs” of the social networking world, ramifications for students who participate, and how law schools use social networking for various purposes. We were very pleased that this session was selected by AACRAO to be shown as a webinar for members who could not attend the annual meeting. The room for this session was full to capacity!

Our final session of the conference, The Importance of Providing a High Quality of Customer Service by the Registrar’s Office, was presented by Ray Grant, Assistant Registrar at New York Law School. Ray discussed the importance of customer service, what it means in a law school culture, and how his office is organized in a manner to achieve the goal of providing a high level of service to students.

The NNLSO Social was held at a Miller’s Pub which was a nice walk from the host hotel. The food was great and the company was even better! We had a good crowd at the event. We so appreciate Miller’s for being a great site for our social. The Business Meeting and Luncheon was also well attended. Lylene Pilkenton shared the latest news with the membership in attendance, recognized the executive committee and area representatives in attendance, and outgoing executive committee members.

We were so pleased with the many aspects of the conference. Attendance was great and our sessions were a success.