Web design and redesign seem to go in cycles, and judging from many of your sites, a lot of bars have been busy lately, freshening things up and making it easier for members and the public to find what they’re looking for.
Many, too, have been giving a nod to online social media—Facebook, Twitter, and the like—perhaps by high-lighting on the home page the bar’s presence on such sites, or by adding the little “share” icon that can help your bar’s message reach a much wider audience.
Whether the purpose was to jump on this trend, to rethink your public and members-only content, or simply to do some housecleaning and updating, we’ll highlight some recent bar Web site redesigns in a future issue of Bar Leader.
But first, we hope you’ll indulge us as we introduce you to the new features and new look of the Division for Bar Services’ own recently revamped Web site: www.abanet.org/barserv. What’s new there? Plenty—and we hope you’ll make use of it all.
Before you can use anything, though, you have to be able to find it—that’s why we put a lot of thought into how the navigation bar should be organized. We considered what you would likely call particular topics, rather than what we in the division know them as.
For example, “Assistance for Bar Leaders & Bar Associations” is a whole new heading, one that pulls together the front-line services you’ve come to rely on us for: our field service and consulting service programs, our leadership training resources, our information clearinghouse and library, and our job announcement service.
The “Information Center” contains a wealth of resources, including white papers, tool kits, and other documents created by the division and those we’ve pulled together from other sources. We’re particularly proud of our ABA Resources Page, which you’ll find as the first link in the Information Center. A key part of the division’s mission is to serve as your gateway to the broader ABA and to point you toward the work being done by its various entities that can benefit you and your bar. With as large and as active as the ABA is, it can be hard to know where to start when looking for helpful resources.
The ABA Resources Page gives you that head start; in addition to some of our own resources, we’ve scouted out some very helpful tools for you from across the ABA. Are you looking for guidance on nonprofit governance? The procedure to follow if you’d like to reprint from Bar Leader or another ABA publication? The latest statistics on the legal profession as a whole? You’ll find these and so much more at the ABA Resources Page. Check it out once, and we know you’ll come back often.
Speaking of nonprofit governance, we’re also proud of our newest e-newsletter, Board Link. You’ll find it on our home page, on the right-hand side. This quarterly newsletter highlights best practices for bar association board members and gives a refresher on the board’s roles and responsibilities. It’s not always easy to keep intelligent and often passionately opinionated leaders united; turn to Board Link to help your board stay focused and working in the same direction.
In short, we believe we’ve added some new features that will help make your life as a bar leader—whether staff or volunteer—easier, better, and more professional. We’ve also taken the great resources we already had and made them much easier for you to find. Thanks for letting us boast a little—and more important, as always, we look forward to helping you and your bar!
About this issue
It’s fitting that most of this column spotlighted our new Web site, because this issue is a particularly Web-focused one. Have you noticed that more and more bars are setting up pages on Facebook, “tweeting” via Twitter, or otherwise entering an online realm that used to be just for fun? Has your bar taken this plunge? Are you thinking about it? “Brave new world? Bars explore Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn” (page 8) provides some insights—and a caution or two—from bar leaders who have been making use of online social media.
And we all know that, like any tool, computers can be misused as well as used for their intended purposes. Two articles immediately following “Brave new world?” highlight the latest in Web site and overall tech system security for your bar.
We hope you will enjoy this issue and that your forays on the Web are both fruitful and safe!