For those of you who have attended the ABA Bar Leadership Institute, you experienced the “Taste of the ABA” and had a chance to visit with the many staff members who represented a number of departments and services. The ABA serves as a central repository for much of the work of the organized bar, and it’s readily available for tapping.
There are online resources you can use in developing your messages to the public and to your members, for advancing the work of your committees and sections, and for enhancing service to your members. We’d like to share with all our readers the wide array of selections from the ABA “menu” and create for you an easy reference sheet that you can use throughout the year. A disclaimer: This is by no means all-inclusive, and you should look to www.abanet.org or to Bar Services staff to find additional sites that address your interests.
Division for Bar Services, www.abanet.org/barserv
Of course, we hope you all are frequent visitors to our Web site and are already familiar with what you can find there. Specifically, you may want to check the online directory of bar associations for addresses and links to the bars’ Web sites. Also click on “Topics of Interest” to find resource pages on membership, disaster planning and recovery, diversity materials for bar leaders, writing effective presidents’ pages, and the future of the legal profession. These pages include articles, presentations, reports, and links to other materials.
Also available at this location are all the editions of the Bar Leader Toolkit. These kits focus on a different issue each month, often with a consumer focus, and feature sample op-ed pieces and links to ABA resources to use in speaking, writing, and editorializing within your communities. Topics addressed to date include: legal services for service providers; advance directives; avoiding identity theft; a fair and impartial judiciary; work-life balance; and disaster preparation and recovery.
And for prospective BLI attendees, the BLI page will keep you current on registration deadlines, program development, and how to plan so you can maximize your experience.
Professional issues and advocacy
Center for Professional Responsibility, www.abanet.org/cpr/home.html
Clicking on “Client Protection” takes you to a section that includes several charts that track updates in the various jurisdictions on insurance disclosure; unlicensed practice of law; provision of legal services following determination of a major disaster; and planning for lawyer retirement, death, or disability. The Lawyer Ethics & Professionalism page includes links to a list of professionalism commissions.
Government Affairs Office, www.abanet.org/poladv
See the State Legislative Clearinghouse for the annual “50-State Lawyer-Legislator Survey” as well as an annual report on the number of lawyer-legislators in Congress.
Division for Legal Services, www.abanet.org/legalservices
Several directories identify IOLTA programs, lawyer assistance programs, lawyer referral services, pro bono programs, and lawyers’ professional liability insurance carriers, and then link to the individual program sites. In addition, there is substantial information on pro bono program management, policies, and funding on the Pro Bono page.
ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, www.abanet.org/judind/
Among the publications and resources on this site are talking points and model speeches, a Resource Kit on Fair and Impartial Courts, a Rapid Response to Unfair and Unjust Criticism of Judges, and a message platform on a fair and impartial judiciary.
ABA Market Research, www.abanet.org/marketresearchhome.html
In addition to a collection of surveys on lawyers and legal-related topics, see this site for statistical resources about lawyers, including lawyer population by state and demographics (age, gender, ethnicity, practice setting, etc.).
Current events and public education
Division for Media Relations and Communication Services, www.abanet.org/media/home.html
See Online Media Kits on several different topics, including attorney-client privilege, immigration reform, and evaluations of states’ death penalty systems. Check for updates to the list.
Division for Public Education, www.abanet.org/publiced
“LAWMATTERS—Educating the Public About the Law,” is a free e-newsletter, published three times a year, that reports on developments, ideas, programs, and resources in the field of public education about the law. You can easily subscribe online.
In addition to publications on law and the courts, the ABA Dialogue series offers resources to engage students and community groups in a discussion of fundamental legal principles and civic traditions in America. The featured topics include rule of law; youth and justice; separation of powers; and the American jury.
ABA Book Publishing Discount Program, www.ababooks.org
At 40 percent off ABA publications to state, local, and specialty bars, you can advertise and resell those publications to your members for a predetermined profit, or you can use them to enhance your CLE programming. The ABA will also track and fulfill orders, saving your staff time and hassle.
ABA Journal, www.ABAJournal.com
You can now include ABA Journal headlines, updated every business day, on your Web site, for free. ABAJournal.com produces 25 to 50 fresh stories daily and covers dozens of practice areas. You can have fresh content each day on issues of interest to your members.
Set it up now (only takes 10 minutes): 1) Go to ABAJournal.com/widgets and customize the size of the headlines box. 2) Click the “Get Widget” button, and a pop-up window will appear. From the list of options in that window, click on the “Embed Code” button to get the HTML code for the “widget.” 3) Paste the code onto your Web site where you want the headlines to appear.
Law Practice Management Section, www.abanet.org/lpm/home.shtml
Access articles on the home page on finance, marketing, management, and technology topics to assist you and your members in your law practices.
Young Lawyers Division, www.abanet.org/yld/home.html
There is both leadership and practice-related information within the resources menu on the YLD home page. “Resources for Local Bars” links to the YLD Bar Leader Toolkit, which includes articles on communications, diversity, fund-raising, leadership and strategic planning. The “101 Practice Series” is an online resource for new lawyers covering basic training in both the substantive and practical aspects of practicing law. Career Forum provides links to career-related Web sites, including the ABA’s Career Counsel page, which offers advice for job-seekers and services for employers.
ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, www.abanet.org/diversity
In addition to information regarding scholarships and professional development programs, the site includes the Pipeline Diversity Directory, an online, searchable database of projects, programs, and initiatives that encourage minority students to pursue legal careers.
There are ample resources, all just a click or a phone call away.