At his final interview before being hired as executive director of what was then the California Bar Foundation, Christopher Punongbayan learned something big: As part of a major rebranding, the organization would soon be renamed as California ChangeLawyers.
The mission—to build a better justice system for all Californians—never changed, Punongbayan said. Still, the rebranding, which was overseen by Mission Minded, has transformed much more than just the organization’s name: It was an opportunity for a top-to-bottom rethinking of everything the foundation does.
The rebranding created a new way for the foundation's beneficiaries to think of themselves, too. In a recent video, recipients of California ChangeLawyers' scholarships and fellowships explain what led them to pursue law and how they hope to improve the legal system—and then they proudly declare, “I am a changelawyer.”
At the 2019 Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Foundations, Punongbayan shared a few “practice tips” for other bar foundations that might want to consider rebranding, whether via a name change or a more subtle reevaulation of what the foundation is and what it does.