As the number of lawyers who serve in their state legislature decreases, state and local bars have to work harder to ensure that legislators, elected officials, and their staffs understand the importance of the law. "It's not glamorous," says one state bar exec, but the efforts can pay off. Find out how.
Help for bar leaders and execs is just a mouse click away. Roseanne Lucianek, Bar Services Division director, provides an overview and URLs of ABA Web sites that offer concrete help on such matters as IOLTA programs, lawyer assistance programs, lawyer referral services, pro bono programs, and professional liability insurance carriers. Other tools include online media kits that can be modified for local circumstances.
One of the first calls that the Iowa State Bar Association executive director received during the Flood of 2008 was from his counterpart in Mississippi. Lawyers from across the country quickly joined their colleagues in Iowa and elsewhere in the Midwest. Thanks in part to the so-called Katrina Rule, out-of-state lawyers can provide pro bono services when disaster hits, and lawyers whose practices have been disrupted can practice in unaffected jurisdictions.
Tommy Wells, who assumed the ABA presidency at the 2008 annual meeting in New York, discusses his agenda for the next bar year. Four core values will be the focus of his presidential year-access to justice, judicial independence, diversity, and the rule of law.
Lost documents, whether paper or electronic, are expensive. A 2005 study showed that "version control issues" can cost a company as much as $3,000 a year in time wasted for each worker with a $60,000 salary. The author looks at the various issues involved in document management (set of rules that govern how documents are stored) and records management (policies that govern how documents are created, received, and maintained). Development of an association-wide policy is critical to avoid being held hostage to idiosyncratic systems developed by individual employees.