Meet The Team
Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD
CEO and Founder
Catherine is an award-winning innovator who is known for consistently launching first to market offerings to the legal industry for nearly 30 years. She is driven by a passion to help people work even better together and to assist organizations in developing competitive advantages.
A former corporate counsel, legal technology marketing and sales professional, and law firm executive, Catherine now teaches and provides training and consulting services in the areas of process improvement, project management, operational and process excellence, innovation, organizational development, business development, and strategy.
A Legal Lean Sigma® Black Belt and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Catherine is the CEO and a Founder of the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, which remains the first and only process improvement and project management certifications, courses, and workshops designed specifically for the legal profession.
Catherine created Legal Lean Sigma® to bridge the concepts employed so successfully in manufacturing for more practical and relevant applications to the unique aspects of the legal industry. She also invented both the Legal WorkOut®, a collaborative method of engaging in process improvement that harnesses the power of diverse, cross-functional teams, and Legal Lean Sigma Design Thinking™, an amalgamation of methodologies and tools used in process improvement and Design Thinking that unleashes creativity and produces rapid improvements.
Catherine is an adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School and George Washington University (Master’s in Law Firm Management). She is a frequent guest lecturer at other academic institutions and a highly rated keynote and presenter at industry events.
Her publishing credits include:
- Author of the groundbreaking Lean Six Sigma for Law Firms
- Co-author of The Woman Lawyer’s Rainmaking Game and The Law Firm Associate’s Guide to Personal Marketing and Selling Skills
In addition to numerous articles, Catherine is also a contributing author to:
- Business Development for a New Legal Ecosystem
- Design Thinking for the Legal Profession
- Redefining Matter Management: A Best Practice Guide to Improving Processes and Profitability
- The Lawyer’s Guide to Strategic Practice Management
- The Bigger Picture: Driving Client Value Through Collaboration
- The Lawyer’s Guide to Process Improvement
- The Procurement Handbook
Catherine’s honors and awards include: Fastcase50, which honors “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders;” 2018 Process Excellence Award for Best Business Transformation Project; elected Fellow, College of Law Practice Management; Legal Marketing Association Hall of Fame (the association’s highest honor); Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40; two years on the prestigious MLF 50 (Marketing the Law Firm Top 50) List; and multiple Legal Marketing Association Your Honor Awards.
Legal Lean Sigma Institute team awards include: Hall of Fame and Top 3 Management Consulting/Strategic Planning: 2019 National Law Journal’s “Best Of” awards. Top 3 Lawyer/Law Firm Business Development Training and Coaching, Legal Times “Best Of” 2018, 2017, and 2016
A serial entrepreneur, Catherine also offers coaching, training, and strategic planning consulting services through her practice, FIRM Guidance, and is the Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Mocktails LLC, which offers training programs with a completely novel and experiential approach to networking training for lawyers and everyone else. The Mocktail program is used as a standing part of the curriculum at two business schools.
Catherine is also is a founder of the Legal Sustainability and Social Impact Movement (Legal SASI), the Coalition of Professional Services Providers and the Legal Sales and Service Organization, which has presented the annual RainDance Conference since its launch in 2003.
She has a long service history with the Legal Marketing Association, including: International Board, LMA New England Chapter President for two terms, co-chair of the Education and Sponsor Relations Committees, Annual Conference Advisory Committee and on many task forces. She is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators and served on the Standards Review Committee, where she contributed to the development of the Uniform Process Based Management System’s standard code set.
Catherine lives in the suburbs of Boston, MA, USA and has three Havanese dogs. She is a sports fan and enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and smart, nice people. Catherine is deeply committed to engaging in volunteer work and, as a suicide loss survivor, has a particular interest in removing the stigma around depression and suicide. Her work in this area includes more than five years of service on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Greater Boston Board.
Currently, Catherine is supporting multi-year, Legal Services Corp funded pro bono projects involving three legal aid offices. Part of the team’s mission is to design, test, and build process improvement training for legal aid that will serve as a national blueprint and address access to justice and legal counseling issues.
MO ZAIN AJAZ
Affiliated Consultant and Scholar in Residence
Recognised as one of the six in-house role models for the Financial Times 2018, being in the Hot 100 for the Lawyer Magazine in 2016, as well as being recognised for his contribution for numerous industry awards include best in-house team of the year 2017 and best legal technology adoption.
Mo is a Director of global energy giant with responsibilities for the legal function, change, process and communications. A practicing lawyer with deep experience in environmental, real estate and planning law. Holding a MBA from the prestigious Warwick Business School and a Masters degree in Science in Lean Enterprise from Buckingham University with a Distinction.
As part his consultancy work he has helped numerous GC’s undertake strategic reviews, efficiency and people development programmes, process optimisations, legal technology deployments and outside counsel best practice reviews. In addition, he has helped law firms in client journey improvements, alignment of service delivery, process optimisation, what clients want and pricing strategies.
Mo is also the chair of Winmark’s Centre of Legal Operational Excellence, a regular writer for Thompson Reuters and Legal Business World and an active member of CLOC and ACCA. Mo has presented key notes in Spain, Ireland, England, New York and Scotland.
Mo is has had excellent feedback his regular training programmes including topics like design thinking, digital transformation, process optimisation, legal operations, KPI’s and metrics, legal strategy and spend management.
Mo lives in Birmingham, England. He is married with two boys. He has a keen interest in diversity issues, exploring lean, operational and process excellence in the legal market.
AMANDA K. BRADY
Senior Consultant and Scholar in Residence
Amanda is a Scholar in Residence and Senior Consultant. She is a skilled instructor and facilitator and is especially focused on LLSI’s Legal Workout®, an award-winning customized program that enables diverse cross-functional, law firm-legal department teams to achieve rapid results. save money, reduce risk and cement mutually beneficial corporate-law firm relationships.
Amanda brings 30 years of experience in the legal industry. As a leading executive search consultant for 20 years, Amanda provided market trend and operational intelligence to law firm and corporate clients in addition to recruiting chief and director-level executives in operations, finance, marketing, business development, strategy, pricing, human resources, recruiting and professional development, technology, knowledge management and practice management.
As Managing Partner and Global Practice Leader of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Law Firm Management Practice, Amanda and her team specialized in placing business executives across the law firm management suite in firms ranging from AmLaw 5 to small boutiques. Amanda also served as Managing Partner of MLA’s Houston, Texas, office. In addition to advising clients on industry process improvement and project management trends, Amanda utilized those same principles to organize and streamline the executive recruiting process at MLA and in her prior role as a Director during her 10 year tenure with executive search firm The Alexander Group.
In her most recent role as Chief Operating Officer of the boutique defense firm National Litigation Law Group, she was responsible for directing all business operations supporting the practice of law and working collaboratively with the Firm’s CEO and Principals to ensure that strategic goals were achieved. At NLLG, Amanda initiated extensive litigation process improvement measures and PI-PM training. She also worked collaboratively with the firm’s largest client to identify mutually beneficial process and policy improvements, enhancing collaboration and efficiency across organizations.
Amanda’s deep experience in legal industry operational, administrative and consulting roles has given her a comprehensive understanding of the challenges the legal industry has faced over the last two decades and the transformations required of law firms and corporate legal departments to meet changing market demands. Her distinctive background and knowledge enable her to provide clients with a unique perspective as a true business partner and a new lens through which to view and tackle even the most challenging operational obstacles.
Areas of Study
Graduate certificate in Business Analytics: From Data to Insights at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Graduate certificate: Women in Leadership, Cornell University
Graduate certificate: Virtual Leadership: Leading Dispersed Teams, The University of Texas, McCombs School of Business
Master’s degree, Law Firm Management from The George Washington University
Certified Yellow Belt, Legal Lean Sigma Process Improvement and Project Management
B.B.A. in Management, summa cum laude, with minors in Marketing and Latin American Studies, University of Houston
Member, Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key Honour Society
Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management (2017)
Named to Lawdragon’s “100 Leading Legal Consultants and Strategists” (2016 – 2019)
Ronna West Cross, JD
Consultant and Scholar in Residence
Ronna is a Faculty member and Senior Consultant with the Legal Lean Sigma Institute. She teaches Legal Lean Sigma® process improvement and project management White Belt and Yellow Belt certification courses for law firms, legal departments and military law offices. She has a particular focus on working with General Counsels and Chief executives to reduce legal costs, increase budget predictability, improve legal outcomes, break down silos and barriers between groups and organizations, and achieve greater employee satisfaction through our Legal WorkOut®.
She stands out in the growing field of PI and PM with her proven track record in applied Project Management (PM). She helps lawyers and business professionals extrapolate the concepts and tools of PM and apply them to their matters and projects. Working with someone who actually has been both a successful practicing lawyer as well as a project manager is highly effective for those who want to do more than just learn the PM stages.
As a lawyer, Ronna represented and advised Boards of Education and school Superintendents on education, employment and constitutional matters in North Carolina. In Boston, she represented clients and managed matters in all phases of commercial, employment and securities litigation and arbitration. She then transitioned to trademark law and counseled clients in trademark clearance, registration, and enforcement. A testament to her abilities and skills, Ronna managed the firm’s Trademark Practice as an Associate.
As Global Director of Client Initiatives for an AmLaw100 firm, she was responsible for progressing projects through all stages of project management. Ronna’s primary focus was the Global Strategic Advisors team, comprised of firm leaders and former United States Presidential Cabinet members, Ambassadors and Senators. Her experience and skills inspired trust and qualified her to originate, plan, execute, monitor and close a complex and sophisticated engagement to form a $1.325 billion fund-of-funds to invest in a Canadian pension’s $12.5 billion global infrastructure alliance.
She was the designated manager for a former United States Treasury Secretary’s legal projects in Europe, China and the Middle East including a $9 billion infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia with a former European Prime Minister’s team, as well as projects in London, Spain, Hong Kong and Shanghai for one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in China.
At the Department level, Ronna’s legal matter management expertise resulted in her team and the Business Department lawyers repeatedly engaging the highest number of new clients with the fewest number of meetings. At the Practice Group level, Ronna was responsible for strategic planning, execution, budgeting, monitoring and closing business with the leaders and lawyers for the Private Investment Funds, Construction & Real Estate, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Corporate Finance, Securities and M&A, and Tax practices.
Ronna lives in Dallas. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, travelling, experiencing new cultures, hiking, and horseback riding. She is a board member for Refuge City, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking.
FREDERICK J. ESPOSITO, JR., MBA, CLM
Senior Consultant and Scholar in Residence
Frederick J. Esposito, Jr, MBA, CLM is a member of the Faculty and a senior consultant for the Legal Lean Sigma Institute LLC. In May 2018, Fred earned a Yellow Belt Certification in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management and is working toward his Green Belt Certification.
Fred specializes in financial, operational, and organizational management and has managed and worked in a consulting capacity with several law firms, both international and domestic. Fred brings considerable “real world” experience to his role with LLSI. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the regional law firm Rivkin Radler LLP and has been a Certified Legal Manager (CLM)SM since 2006.
Fred has developed streamlined and results-oriented processes in the areas of business development/communications, client intake, contemporaneous time entry, billing, collections, electronic/document retention and destruction with a focus on client focus, value add and resource efficiency through the application of key process improvement methodologies and selected lean tools.
With more than 25 years of law and accounting firm experience, Fred is a thought-leader, frequent speaker, and an author of articles on a wide-range of topics and best practices. He has been published on topics such as billing and collections, profitability, attorney compensation systems, alternative fee arrangements, process improvement, project management, pricing legal services, the use of key performance indicators, and strategic planning by Law Practice Magazine, Law Practice Today, and Attorney at Work, among others.
Fred has delivered “An Introduction to Legal Lean Sigma®” for LLSI since 2018 with considerable success and popularity within the legal community. This has spurred interest in process improvement and project management, particularly amongst those responsible for legal operations and administration in law firms and legal departments. Fred is also a highly rated, frequent author and speaker for the ABA, ALA, BNA/Bloomberg, Lexis/Nexis, and Thomson Reuters. In the Fall of 2016, he became a Faculty Advisor and Presenter for the Nassau County Bar Association Academy of Law and in June 2013, he was inducted into the National Speakers Association.
In 2012 Fred received the Association of Legal Administrator’s (ALA) Outstanding Association Volunteer Award for his service as a leader and national speaker. He was also named CFO of the Year by Long Island Business News the same year. From May 2013 to May 2016, Fred was the Chair of ALA’s Certification Committee.
Fred resides on Long Island, New York and has a home in Ogunquit, Maine. He loves to travel. In 2016, Fred traveled on the legendary Orient Express from London to Verona, Venice, Vienna, Budapest and Paris, and has traveled to Peru, Argentina and Chile. He loves red wine, fine dining, Community Theater, and spending time with his friends and family.
He also volunteers his time and is a strong supporter of the North Shore Animal Rescue, the Marginal Way Preservation Fund, The Ogunquit Playhouse, In a Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild, and the Derek Rieth Project: Empowering Youth through Music and Dance.
Merry Neitlich is an affiliated consultant with over 25 years of experience. She assists legal departments and law firms to create winning solutions through process improvement strategies, including legal operations work that eliminates pain points in how legal services are delivered. Merry helps legal departments identify and solve business problems for their internal clients.
Legal operations solutions can take many forms. To assess which options best eliminate pain points and solve problems, Merry works with stakeholders in the legal department to gather information and analyze it. The end result is developing better efficiency, innovation and predictability in legal work product, both internally and from outside law firms.
Merry is frequently called upon to facilitate retreats, and conducts personality and learning style inventories to enhance communication within the legal department.
Merry is the founder and managing partner of EM Consulting, a leader in creating better collaboration and teaming for greater relationship success and long-term engagement. She has been inducted into both the LMA Hall of Fame and the College of Law Practice Management. Merry is the author of numerous nationally published articles on legal operations and is a contributing author to the 2019 book, Tipping Point: Transformation and Innovation in the Legal Department. She is also a champion figure skater.
Strategic Advisor, Consultant and Scholar in Residence
Jerry formally earned his Lean Six Sigma Certifications (Green, Black and Master Black Belts) while working in the Pharma space over the next several years. Since then, Jerry has served multiple organizations as an employee, an Independent Contractor and Consultant and now serves as the Director of Business Improvement for US Pharma Commercial Operations for GSK. Jerry is a published author and speaker and serves as a strategic advisor for several organizations.
Since the beginning of 2012, Jerry has applied Operational Excellence Principles (Strategy Deployment, Process Excellence, Performance Management and High Performance Work Teams) to the practice of law, primarily for organizations with in-house counsel. Jerry earned a BSME from Purdue University and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago.
Jerry grew up in Buffalo, New York. Now he and his wife make their home in Philadelphia.
Affiliated Consultant and Scholar in Residence
AUDREY RUBIN, JD
Audrey Rubin is a recognized expert on operational, financial, and cultural excellence in the workplace. She is an affiliated consultant on the Legal Lean Sigma Institute team and has proven track record of delivering profitability, diversity and inclusion, risk avoidance, business development and organizational optimization. Audrey’s skills include innovative methods to assure talent retention, proper use of technology to reduce risk and cost, and practices to drive the value add of law department and firms to business clients.
Most recently, she was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Law and Compliance Department of Aon Corporation. In that role, she was responsible for all budget, talent, strategic planning, technology, process improvement, and other business matters. She is also Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Illinois College of Law, teaching The Business of Law.
A successful C.O.O. of law departments and firms, a General Counsel, Professor of Law, Vice President of Human Resources, Board Member, and law firm Partner, Audrey and her projects have been recognized for their successes. This includes process improvement projects with the Legal Lean Sigma Institute that helped develop the Legal WorkOut®, which garnered the Process Excellence Network’s Award for Best Business Transformation Project. Audrey and her teams have been recognized by other organizations including Thomson Reuters, Chicago Bar Foundation, National Immigrant Justice Center, and Legal Aid Society (for stellar law department pro bono services).
Audrey understands all facets of the legal business. She has experiences as General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and Human Resources for global companies: Orbitz, Grant Thornton, and Apollo and its international affiliates, C.O.O of the law and compliance department of an international public company, C.O.O. of two prominent law firms, a partner in private practice, and a law school Adjunct Professor.
She chaired the Illinois Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts, was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force on Women in the Profession, and serves on the Chicago Bar Association Special Task Force on the Sustainability of the Profession. Audrey has also served on many not-for-profit boards, including Metropolitan Family Services, the Yale Alumni Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. She is a highly regarded writer and speaker, and is frequently quoted by the press on diversity, business development, the legal industry, and elevating the value of lawyers and law departments.
Identify and improve processes to make them more effective and efficient, often with law departments and law firms together Implement best practices to integrate law departments with their businesses
Design innovative tools to attract and retain the best talent – especially of D&I professionals -around the world
Business development for professionals
Fashion law and compliance department budgets to produce more cost-effective results
Focus of cover story in Inside Counsel: “Comrades in Ops”
Featured in Crain’s Chicago Business, in “How Lawyers are like Office Supplies”
“Early Adopter Award” from Illinois Legal Aid Online
“Women of Achievement” award from the Anti-Defamation League
Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers Awards North American 2017 Shortlist
ACC Value Challenge Award
Jose Antonio Sanchez
Affiliated Consultant and Scholar in Residence
José Antonio Sanchez is an affiliated consultant and the Legal Lean Sigma Institute’s connection to Latin America. He is located in Ecuador.
José gained more than 10 years experience as a corporate legal advisor until he became a Legal Manager. A certified Legal Lean Sigma® Process Improvement and Project Management Yellow Belt, José began his academic training in law and then completed his master’s degree in Quality Management Systems, which he complemented with several courses on strategy planning, business management, logistics chain, entrepreneurship, design thinking, finance and continuous improvement processes with focus in legal processes.
He is currently the founder of Bridge-L and CEO of Corporative Law Worldwide. The first is a startup that provides an automatic task prioritizer and communication tool for lawyers, while the second is a law firm specializing in corporate law for triple impact companies (ESG).”
Senior Consultant and Scholar in Residence
Kyla Sandwith is a senior consultant, a scholar in residence, and the Legal Lean Sigma Institute’s connection to Canada.
Kyla is a lawyer with a Masters in Law Firm Management and is the founder of De Novo Inc. a legal operations and technology consulting firm. Kyla is also a certified Legal Lean Sigma® Process Improvement and Project Management Yellow Belt and sessional instructor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law, teaching Leadership for Lawyers.
Kyla incorporates her training, teaching, and consulting experience along with her keen interest in technology to help clients build customer-centric, streamlined, sustainable, and practical processes and solutions at the individual, team, and organizational level.
She is also eager to share and amplify her knowledge to help develop lawyers and legal organizations that are more agile, responsive, relevant, accessible, and valuable to their stakeholders and the community at large.
Kyla lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, three adorable (sometimes) kids, and their much-loved, long-suffering Cairn Terrier, Maggie.
Gabe Teninbaum, JD
Director, Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation, Director, Legal Technology & Innovation Concentration, Suffolk University Law School. Visiting Professor, MIT, Media Lab/Human Dynamics Group, Visiting Fellow, Yale Law School, Information Society Project
Gabe began his legal career by attending law school at night while serving in the U.S. Secret Service. After graduating from Suffolk Law in 2005, he worked as a trial attorney at a Boston firm before joining the full-time faculty at Suffolk University Law School in 2007. Since then, he has taught 9 different courses – largely in the areas of legal tech/innovation and legal analysis/writing – and has more than 20 law review articles and other publications to his name. He is also the founder & CEO of an educational technology company, SpacedRepetition.com, which uses artificial intelligence to help law students learn more efficiently and effectively.
He has been named to the FastCase 50, which “honors the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, & leaders.” During the 2016-17 academic year, Gabe was appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
Gabe lives in Arlington, Mass., with his wife and two children. When he’s not chasing them around, he enjoys gardening (especially growing fig trees), traveling (especially to Martha’s Vineyard), and watching football (especially the New England Patriots).
Her career has been devoted to improving client service and financial performance in the legal industry. Kimberly has developed and implemented business strategy and process improvements, managed the successful integration of legal teams, and applied market data and performance metrics to set billing rates, negotiate alternative fee arrangements, optimize staffing levels, and increase client value.
Kimberly serves in leadership roles in civic and professional organizations including as current board member of the Friends of Radnor Lake, as past Treasurer of the international board of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), and as past President of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the LMA. She and her husband, Joe, are regular volunteers at the therapeutic horse riding center Saddle Up, and they live in Nashville with their two dogs.
Aly Lynch, JD
Since 2015, Aly has served on the Association of Legal Administrators’ Regional Legal Management Conference Planning Committee and is Chair of the 2017 Committee. ALA is a professional association comprised of almost 9,000 legal management professionals worldwide and the regional conferences provide education and networking opportunities to ALA members and non-members each fall. Aly also serves as Chair of the Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) Advisory Committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin and on the Board of Directors of the Dane County Bar Association.
Aly is the founder of Next Step Legal Consulting LLC, which provides tailored business strategy advice and implementation for law firms that lack those resources in-house. Areas of specialization include strategic planning, marketing and business development coaching, financial budgeting and data analysis, recruiting, process improvement, project management, and technology procurement. Aly founded Next Step to help lawyers manage their businesses so they can spend more time practicing law, mentoring, bringing in business, and pursuing personal interests.
Aly received her B.A. in Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison, J.D. from Marquette University, and M.P.S. in Law Firm Management from George Washington University. She also has a Yellow Belt in Legal Lean Sigma®.
Despite the diversity of job titles, volunteer positions, and areas of continuing education throughout her career, the core of Aly’s work has focused on one thing – helping lawyers better serve their clients.
Aly lives in Wisconsin with her litigator husband and two spoiled, but sweet dogs and is an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan. She volunteers with and serves on the Board of Directors for the Western Wisconsin chapter of JDRF, which provides funding to type 1 diabetes research and education.
In addition to TEOA, Jim champions the Law Department’s Extraordinary Customer Experience (ECE) initiatives in the areas of innovation, quality, delivery and on-going service and support. He also serves as the Law Department’s e-Discovery program manager, identifying and implementing tools and processes to enhance TE’s e-discovery capabilities, and driving efficiencies in responding to litigation, investigative, and regulatory requests.
Previously he served as a Managing Director at Huron Consulting Group. He was also an Adjunct Consultant with the legal consulting firm Altman Weil, Inc. and an Alliance Partner with The Counsel Management Group, LLC. Before starting the Michalowicz Consulting firm, Jim was a Director with ACT Litigation Services/DiscoverReady for five years. He also spent time at Tyco International Inc. as the Litigation Program Manager. For over a decade he worked at E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company as the Business Manager of its Legal Department, as well as the Manager of Legal Services where he was an integral part of the team implementing the highly regarded DuPont Legal Model.
Jim’s engagement experiences include:
- Counseling clients on creative solutions for managing electronic discovery and minimizing discovery risk and cost by building effective data management lifecycle programs.
- Coordinating law firm and supplier convergence programs, early case assessments, value based fee arrangements, eDiscovery management and performance metrics. Jim has developed “Litametrics™”, the use of analytics in litigation management. “Litametrics” is an extension of Jim’s creativity in building performance metrics, early case assessment protocols and value based fee models in his prior roles as Legal Services Manager and Litigation Program Manager working at DuPont and Tyco.