2023 DRI Law Firm Leaders and Managing Partners Conference

November 14–15, 2023 | Austin, Texas

Lawyers in a meeting

Tackle Issues Facing Law Firm Leaders Around the Country!

Join the Law Practice Management Committee in Austin for a look at the new “Wild West” of issues facing law firm leaders in defense firms around the country. Law Firm Practice Management has entered a new frontier with fast-changing technology, evolving client claims management philosophies, an uber-competitive job market, novel post-pandemic employment law issues, and ongoing generational differences in the practice of law. This seminar is packed with cutting-edge presentations to arm law firm leaders on how to respond to and handle new and novel issues we face on a daily basis.

View registration information here, and make sure to register by October 16 for the best pricing!

What You Will Learn:

  • Candid insights from all attendees on the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of managing an insurance-defense law firm.
  • Recommendations for employment best practices geared specifically toward small to medium-sized law firms.
  • What your clients expect from their outside counsel in the post-COVID era.
  • Young lawyer attitudes toward—and expectations of—their Baby Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial law firm leaders.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Meeting law firm leaders and managing partners from firms all across the country in a small, collaborative group atmosphere.
  • Joining attendees for delightful dine arounds in the heart of Austin.
  • Mingling with DRI members attending the Retail & Hospitality and Asbestos Medicine Seminars occurring simultaneously with this conference.

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Thank You to DRI's Law Practice Management Committee

Mandy J. Kamykowski
Mandy J. Kamykowski
Co-Program Chair
Robert A. Luskin
Robert A. Luskin
Co-Program Chair
Mario J. Delano
Mario J. Delano
Committee Chair
Audrey K. Bentz
Audrey K. Bentz
Committee Vice Chair
Mark A. Fahleson
Mark A. Fahleson
Law Institute

Join the Law Practice Management Committee

Registration Information

Save up to $500 when you register on or before October 16!

Register Now

Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing
Non-Member Bundle ^
Early Bird Registration* $895 $1,095 $1,095
Regular Registration* $1,095 $1,395 $1,395
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $795 per person $795 per person $795 per person
Government Government members will receive the applicable government rate for the seminar upon login. If the government rate does not appear after logging in, please call DRI directly at (312) 795-1101 to receive the discounted rate. Invoices can be sent after purchase upon request.

Not a DRI Member? Select the Non-Member Bundle and Save!

^ Not a DRI Member and new to DRI? Take advantage of the Non-Member / Trial Membership Bundle and receive up to 9 months of membership when you register for the DRI Law Firm Leaders and Managing Partners Conference. You’ll be able to add this special offer to your cart at check out. Note: Trial membership processing can take up to 30 days from the date of purchase, please contact DRI Customer Service with any questions.

Learn more about membership at DRI and get started on your DRI journey today!

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate. If you would like to join DRI to receive the member pricing and see the benefits of becoming a member, click here to go to the Application page.

**Group registration is for registering four or more attendees, members and non-members. There is one free registration with every 10 registrations. You must lock in the rate three weeks prior to the seminar. If you want to register for the group pricing, fill out the form here (online registration is not available for this offering).

Networking Events

Premier Networking Reception
Sponsored by TBD

Date: TBD from 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free when you register for the seminar; all attendees must be 21+ (guest tickets are $100 each, available at check-out. A limited number of guest tickets may be available on site for $125 each.)
Location: TBD


Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
1:00 p.m. Registration
2:30 p.m. Law Firms as Employers: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

We may not like it, but law firms are “employers” with all the attendant legal and HR responsibilities. What questions can you lawfully ask law students in summer associate interviews? How do you handle the associate who habitually fails to record hours in a timely manner? Do you need to address the behaviors of the longtime legal assistant whose performance is stellar, but has become a cancer within the firm? What do you do when the partner discussion takes an uncomfortable turn when deciding whether to offer partnership to an associate? This interactive session will invite participant “hypotheticals” on personnel situations that commonly arise in law firms and will offer practical advice on how to handle those “hypotheticals” in a lawful and productive manner.

Bailey Sabulis, Huff Powell Bailey, Atlanta, GA
Mark A. Fahleson, Rembolt Ludtke, LLP, Lincoln, NE

6:00 p.m. Networking / Cocktail Hour
7:00 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own).

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
8:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee Service

Get to know the early risers in our group over a cup of coffee.
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Mark A. Fahleson, Remboldt Ludtke, LLP, Lincoln, NE
Robert A. Luskin, Chartwell Law, Atlanta, GA

9:15 a.m. Best Practices for Lawyer and Law Firm Marketing – It's Not Just for Clients Anymore (But Clients Are Still the Key!)

In today’s legal environment, law firm management needs to be conscious not only of how their firm is perceived by its clients and potential clients, but also how it is perceived by its attorneys and potential recruits. This wide-ranging panel will feature leaders from firms of all sizes who will offer their insights and facilitate an interactive discussion on the role marketing plays across the spectrum of firm operations. Client engagement and retention remains the cornerstone of any successful marketing effort, but it doesn't stop there. This presentation will include discussion on such issues as the roles of each level of the firm in its overall marketing, actively and effectively engaging with clients and potential clients, incorporating DEI and other initiatives into the firm’s overall marketing strategy, and ways to ensure that all firm stakeholders buy into the firm’s plans.

Mark A. Baugh, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Nashville, TN
Laura J. Gard, Kightlinger & Gray LLP, Indianapolis, IN
Jeffrey A. Holmstrand, Grove Holmstrand & Delk PLLC, Wheeling, WV
Dana K. Marjieh, Esq., Black Marjieh & Sanford LLP, New York, NY
10:15 a.m. Coffee Break

10:30 a.m. Bridging the Gap – Candid Discussion with DRI Young Lawyers

A candid conversation with a DRI Young Lawyer committee member, moderated by the seminar co-chair, in which pre-posed questions from law firm leaders will be asked regarding hiring, retention, DEI efforts, continuing education, work-life balance, and more. There will be a real-time Q&A session in attendees can engage with the panelist.

Mandy J. Kamykowski, Kamykowski and Taylor PC, Saint Louis, MO
Clare S. Roubion, Louisiana Legal Ethics LLC, Lafayette, LA

11:30 a.m. Fireside Chat: A Client’s Perspective on Staffing, Communication, and the Importance of Relationships

This fireside chat with an experienced claims manager will hit home for folks that work with carriers or any clients that have choice of counsel. Attendees will be provided guidance on expectations on properly staffing files and communication with clients and their thoughts on how to effectively communicate staffing issues, as well as the importance of communication and relationship development and how to effectively navigate some of the continuing changing times.

Robert A. Luskin, Chartwell Law, Atlanta, GA
Jeremy W. Richter, Gordon Rees, Birmingham, AL
Jaymi Rodgers, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance, Fort Wayne, IN

12:30 p.m. DRI Networking Lunch

1:30 p.m. DRI Cares

More details to come.
2:00 p.m. Get Ready to be Revolutionized by Legal Tech and AI

The presentation will tackle tech and AI trends and tools facing practitioners that may be changing the legal landscape. The conversation will focus on ChatGPT, generative AI, and large language models and how these products may streamline our legal practice and improve efficiency.

Stephen E. Embry, The Embry Law Firm LLC, Louisville, KY
Garrett M. Greene, Bowman and Brooke, LLP, Austin, TX

3:00 p.m. Taming the Wild West: Law Firm Risk Management

DRI member firms are not immune to being targeted in litigation. Firm Leaders must identify potential vulnerabilities and assure that systems are in place to effectively manage risk exposure. Join our panel of expert risk managers, including an insurer representative, an insurance broker, and a malpractice and discipline defense lawyer, for an enlightening discussion of the types of claims most frequently experienced by firms and ways for Leaders to avoid them.

Marta-Ann Schnabel, O’Bryon & Schnabel PLC, New Orleans, LA
Theresa Garthwaite, CNA Insurance, Chicago, IL
Brittany Alford, Gilsbar, Covington, LA

4:00 p.m. What Keeps Managing Partners and Law Firm Leaders Up at Night – A Redux

Every law firm leader has issues that keep them up at night. This is an entirely interactive session where attendees can put their concerns in front of the other attendees to get opinions, advice, and experiences. There is no panel, only a moderator to get the discussion going. When the pandemic was at its height the Law Practice Management Steering Committee concentrated our meetings on getting “State of the Courts” updates from our friends all over the country. This morphed into discussing problems and issues we had within our individual practices. We quickly learned two things. First, no matter what your situation is, you are not the only one experiencing it. Second, other people in similar situations are happy to help and offer possible solutions. There is no better way to learn that by experience (even if those experiences are from other people). Come with your problems and leave with plenty to think about.

Mario J. Delano, Campbell Foley Delano, Wall Township, NJ

5:00 p.m. Law Practice Management Committee Business Meeting (Open to All)

6:00 p.m. Networking / Cocktail Hour

Headquarters Hotel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Austin Marriott Downtown, 304 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701. Take advantage of the group rate of $309.00 Single/Double in one of two ways:

The hotel block is limited, and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by October 17, 2023, to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after October 17 are subject to room and rate availability.

CLE Information

Earn up to 7.00 hours of continuing legal education hours (CLE) from this seminar.

Law Firm and Managing Partners CLE by State


DRI's Law Firm Leaders and Managing Partners Conference is proudly sponsored by:

Thank you to our Official Supporter: TBD

If you would like to contact DRI about seminar sponsorship opportunities, including pricing, or to reserve a spot, please go to Advertising and Sponsorship.

DRI Cares


Blessings in a Backpack Who Will Feed the Kids this Weekend?


To donate online:

  1. Click the "Donate" button or scan the QR code below.
  2. If you have an account with DRI, log in. Use the same login that you registered for this seminar.
  3. If you do not have an account with DRI, create a guest account.
  4. Select from one of the gift amounts or set your own amount. The default value is $100.
  5. Select your DRI Committee from "My SLC/Region" dropdown box.
  6. Click “Submit Donation.”
  7. The page will refresh. Click “View Cart” to checkout.
  8. Enter your credit card information and click “Submit Order” once all required information is entered.


Substantive Law Committee QR Code Foundation Contributions


NEW in 2023 – Four Additional On-Demand Programs Included With Every Seminar!

CLE Credit will be sought from every state requiring CLE hours in elimination of bias/diversity and inclusion, ethics, substance abuse/mental health, and law practice management. The CLE grid will provide updated information concerning hours that have been approved by each jurisdiction and for which credits. For states not requiring these special credits, general education credits will be sought.

View On-Demand Library

Diversity/Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Invisible or Mixed-Visible Diversity – Combatting Bias

Often diversity programs and initiatives are focused on visible traits such as gender or race, but bias exists related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and some disabilities that are not readily visible to the eye. This panel will discuss how to address these biases and to create an environment where those with invisible or mixed-visible diversity can operate at the highest level.

Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, CA
Gary Howard, Bradley, Birmingham, AL
Ronna Kinsella, Glassman Wyatt Tuttle & Cox PC, Memphis, TN

Law Practice Management Credit

Succession Planning: Failing to Plan Is a Plan to Fail

Succession planning is considered one of the most pressing issues facing not only law firms but also clients. Senior partners are working into their golden years and can sometimes be reluctant to engage in a succession plan, but clients want to know that there is a plan for the transition of their work without interruption. Join us to learn:

  1. the importance of succession planning for the benefit both the law firm and its clients;
  2. how succession planning impacts retention and continuity of the firm and client relationships;
  3. how to approach the subject with senior attorneys; and
  4. strategies for implementing a successful succession plan.

Marie E. Chafe, Conn Kavanaugh, Boston, MA
Matthew Cairns, Textron Inc., Providence, RI
Elizabeth M. Brotten, Foley & Mansfield PLLP, Minneapolis, MN
Meade Hartfield, Bradley Arant, Birmingham, AL


Technology, Ethics & Remote Work: What You Need to Know Now

The Rules of Professional Conduct regarding competence and diligence require all lawyers to keep abreast of changes in technology. This webinar will provide you with tips and information on new issues related to technology and the practice of law, including the challenges of the remote work environment. You will learn the ethics and professionalism considerations when using technology in your practice and your ethical duties when it comes to “keeping abreast of changes” in technology.

Amber Garcia, Deutsch Kerrigan LLP, New Orleans, LA
Alyssa Johnson, Barron & Newberger PC, Milwaukee, WI
Clare Roubion, Louisiana Legal Ethics, LLC, Lafayette, LA

Mental Health & Attorney Wellness

Lessons for Lawyers from the Science of Well-Being

This presentation will focus on the practical steps that we can take as individuals to improve well-being, drawing on recent research from cognitive science and beginning with the preface that happiness can be learned and applied. Specifically, we will provide an evidence-based arsenal of practical tools that lawyers can apply in their own lives to improve their well-being.

Emma Ross, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum, Chicago, IL
Shayna Cook, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum, Chicago, IL

Other Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI programs, please contact DRI Customer Service at 312.795.1101 or custservice@dri.org.