In a lot of bar organizations, the association has a very clear mission statement, while the purpose of the foundation is left quite vague. That's starting to change now, as many bar foundations realize that clarity in the mission statement leads to increased focus, energy, and effectiveness.
Stephen N. Zack has many goals and initiatives for his upcoming year as ABA president. At this year's ABA Bar Leadership Institute, there's one point he made extra sure to get across: the need to prepare now for a possible natural or manmade disaster. If a disaster struck today, would your bar and your area be ready?
It's been said that encouraging more lawyers to become legislators is one way to ensure balanced separation of powers and adequate support for the legal system and the judiciary. But how can you persuade your members to run for office? The Iowa State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division recently held a Legislative Leadership Academy, and has plenty of good ideas for you to borrow.
As a leader, you have new ideas, projects, and concerns flying at you all the time. You can't pursue them all, so how do you decide which ones to focus on? Just like in baseball, it can be helpful to practice the fundamentals. For bar associations and foundations, one of these fundamentals is the mission statement. William R. Bay, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services, suggests that bar leaders strengthen their focus by taking a good look at the organization's core purpose.