The Bridge - August 2011 - (Page 20)

CLM EXAM WAS NOT AN OVERNIGHT DECISION Patricia K. Cooper, CLM, Office Manager Pandell Law Firm, Inc. Sitting for the CLM Exam was not an overnight decision. It was a long, thought-out process. Making the commitment was huge. I would have to alter my personal life and other professional obligations. I am a member of both the Golden Gate (GGALA) and East Bay (EBALA) Chapters of ALA. I am fortunate to have two local Chapters that provide educational materials to continue my personal and professional growth and that also met the educational requirements necessary to sit for the exam. A few years ago I attended a sponsored ALA webinar that shared the educational and professional requirements and how to prepare for taking the exam. I contemplated taking the exam. The encouragement of my father sealed my decision and in early 2010 I joined a GGALA Study Group that was already preparing for the exam that would be offered at the September 2010 Regional ALA Conference in San Diego. I was welcomed into the study group and began the long process of learning and comprehending the many knowledge areas of information. Joining the study group not only expanded my knowledge, it added to my network capabilities and gave me the opportunity to learn how (small and large) firms ran their businesses. The study group all specialized in different knowledge areas; this was beneficial in the gathering of the various study materials that would be utilized. The icing on the cake was the friendships and professional contacts that were made. The study group arrived in San Diego the night before the test. We ate dinner together and did a brief last-minute overview of our study materials. The test started the following day at Noon and the next four hours and 125 questions flew by. After completing the test, I honestly was not sure if I had passed or failed. My mind was exhausted and various test questions and how I answered the questions haunted me until I was able to review my notes and determine if I had answered the questions correctly. I had already made my mind up if I did not pass, I would sit again for the exam. The ALA CLM web site stated it would take approximately six weeks to get the exam results. Just over four weeks I found in my mailbox a confidential letter from ALA. I did not open the envelope immediately, as I wanted my privacy and time to reflect on whatever I was to read. When I did open the envelope, I found a letter and a Candidate Feedback Report that reflected my performance in each of the six knowledge areas and a final Overall Performance. I had passed all knowledge areas except one! My letter had said “Overall Performance – FAIL.” After reading and re-reading the letter I was a bit numb and began thinking that ALA had it wrong! I did not fail – I had expanded my knowledge in all six knowledge areas. Many of the procedures and laws I learned in the study group, I had already implemented at work. I was a winner as far as I was concerned! I may have failed a knowledge area – but that was not going to hold me back from taking the exam again. I felt I would be one of the lucky ones at the next exam – I knew which knowledge area I would need to concentrate on but also knew I would keep the other five knowledge areas current in my studies. I am of the mind that if you take the time to look at an event in your life that did not turn out the way you wanted (like not passing the CLM exam) you can always walk away with something good from the experience. One just has to have an open mind and look for the good. I was fortunate to have many good educational and personal experiences from my study group, which made me a winner. Last January 2011, GGALA offered a forum for anyone that might be interested in learning more about the benefits and requirements of the CLM certification program and the possibility of forming a study group. Steve Morris, CLM, Region 6 Director and Diane Camacho, CLM, President of GGALA oversaw the forum and shared with us their views of the value of becoming a CLM. The attendees at the meeting all shared what they hoped to gain in joining the study group and taking the exam. When it came to my turn to share my views and thoughts, I knew there was no shame in not passing the exam and that my goals for the most part had been met with the educational learning I gained. I told the group that I had taken the CLM exam and had failed. A new study group was formed from this meeting and again I began to reap benefits from the study group. Being that I had taken the exam before, I became the “go to person”….the person the study group looked to and asked questions. Personally, I enjoy teaching and was happy to share my thoughts and past studying materials to help get the study group up to speed. As time went on, the study group lost its members except for me and one other. The others left the group due to job responsibilities, personal issues and the convenience of studying alone. As in any study group, it can be difficult to get everyone together to study at a certain time on a specific date. The study group continued with the target date of September 2011 to take the exam. I decided to sit for the exam in May 2011 at the Florida ALA National Conference. This decision was made knowing that if I did not pass, I knew I could take the exam for the final time (you have the opportunity to take the exam three times in a four year period) in September 2011 in Los Angeles. The time between both exams would be four months vs. eight months when I took the exam the first time in September 2010. continued on next page 20 Golden Gate Chapter August 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - August 2011

The Bridge - August 2011
President’s Message
Business Partner Appreciation Reception
A Tribute to Gayley Moore
Leadership and Committee Column: Region 6 Conference Leaders
Food From the Bar Update
Test Yourself
New Opportunities for Chapter Service
How Not to Get a Seat at the Table
2011 Annual Conference Recap—Orlando
Why is the Annual Conference Important?
Annual Conference Update
Member Appreciation Get-Together
CLM Exam Was Not an Overnight Decision
Operations & Technology Section Meeting Announcement
Annual & Regional Conference Announcements
Hot Topics From the List Serve
Member Anniversaries
Salary & Benefit Survey Order Form
2011—2012 Business Partners
Job Bank
Golden Gate Chapter Leadership
August 2011 Calendar

The Bridge - August 2011