Mission & Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Mission Statement:The Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is the premier forum for strategies and information for environmental, energy, and resource lawyers, advisors, and decision-makers.

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Strategic Plan

1.The Section Will Provide Quality Programming, Information and Materials to Its Members.

The Section will act to establish and maintain the Section as the “go-to” source for current, high-quality information for environmental, energy and resource lawyers.  To that end, the Section will provide educational opportunities, multi-format publications, website enhancements, and other information to members. The Section will accomplish all of these goals in a manner that emphasizes the importance of professionalism, camaraderie, work/life balance and enjoyment in Section endeavors and the practice of law.  Quality publications, committee based web pages, and other internet resources, social media, in-person conferences and web-based programming, and multi-media means of communication are essential to retaining and attracting membership in the Section.
1.1Educational Programs
  1.1.1The Section will develop standards of excellence for educational programs that shall be updated every four years.
  1.1.2The Section will ensure that educational programs are crafted with the sophistication and nuance that will make them the first choice for experienced practitioners seeking insight into seemingly intractable legal problems and for those new to the practice.
  1.1.3Stand-Alone Programs
   (a)The Section will:
    (i)Sponsor at least two stand-alone educational programs annually.
    (ii)Ensure that the scope and breadth of the programs provide the premier education venue for continuing education. The Education Service Group (ESG) will evaluate each standalone program through attendee evaluations, planning committee evaluation and other member feedback.
    (iii)Ensure appropriate diversity in speakers and moderators by complying to the extent practicable with ABA Goal III guidelines and the rules set forth by the ABA Diversity and Inclusion CLE Policy.
    (iv)To the extent practicable balance maximizing net revenue with maintaining a reasonable price of attendance for members. This objective includes managing costs and revenues that meet set budgets for such programs.
  1.1.4Web-based programming
   (a)The Section will:
    (i)Embrace web-based programming as the most effective manner of providing timely and relevant information to members in order to help them best address their practice needs;
    (ii)Offer at least four web-based programs per year for continuing education credit in accordance with ABA guidelines;
    (iii)Conduct web-based continuing legal education programming in a manner that generates revenue but also keeps costs at a level that encourages participation;
    (iv)Encourage committees to use web-based programming without continuing education credits to engage with their members or in collaboration with other committees and to provide speaking opportunities for underrepresented committee members.
  1.1.5The ESG will implement and evaluate the implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.1.
 1.2Section Publications
  1.2.1The Section will use all appropriate forms of communications to disseminate information to members and encourage collaboration among members.
  1.2.2The Section will develop and update its standards of excellence for publications every three years.
  1.2.3The Section will ensure that existing and proposed publications are crafted with the excellence, sophistication and nuance that will make them the first choice for experienced practitioners seeking authoritative texts on key environment, energy and resources law issues, expert analysis of emerging trends, and insight into seemingly complex legal problems.
  1.2.4The Section will:
   (a)Produce the following Section-wide publications:
    (i)Trends at least six time per year in electronic format;
    (ii)Natural Resources & Environment at least four times per year, in both hard copy and electronic format;
    (iii)The Year in Review once per year in electronic format.
   (b)Produce in conjunction with committee leaders, committee related information on a regular basis through newsletters or other means, such as blogs, committee or group web-site posts, e-blasts, etc.
   (c)Publish in hard copy and/or electronically high quality books that add to the understanding of topics in environment, energy, and resources law, assist in the work of practitioners, academics, and others in these fields and provide value to the members.
   (d)Research the use of new formats and technologies for disseminating information to cost-effectively reach groups that have not participated consistently in the past in Section activities (for example, government lawyers, tribal lawyers, and lawyers serving non-governmental organizations).
  1.2.5The Publication Service Group will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.2.
 1.3Section Publications in the form of internet web pages.
  1.3.1The Section home page and related web pages will be a resource for members and visitors to the Section to obtain general and specific information and communication about Section activities, important events and programming.  The web pages must be easily accessible and kept up to date.
  1.3.2The Section will evaluate its web pages on a regular basis and make changes, updates and improvements on a timely basis as determined necessary. The Section web pages should have substantive information as well as Section events or activities.
  1.3.3Section web pages will be produced with access features (including hyperlinks) so that non-members can review certain content of interest to the profession as a whole, in order to attract potential new members to the Section and to demonstrate that the Section is the premier forum for environmental, energy and natural resource law.
  1.3.4Substantive committees shall be responsible for maintaining their committee-specific web-pages, including posting resources, publications, upcoming events, leadership, new case or regulatory updates and other items.
  1.3.5The Publication Services Group with the Webpage Board Special Committee will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.3.
 1.4Other Technologies
  1.4.1The Section will make existing technology based interfaces mobile device friendly.
  1.4.2The Section will develop applications and interfaces that allow simple connection to Section information organized in a manner that highlights aspects of particular interest.
  1.4.3The Publication Service Group will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.4.
 1.5Maximize Use of Content Convergence
  1.5.1The Section will evaluate the means and measures that can be employed to provide meaningful content to members by subject matter or interests in a manner that allows content searching and retrieval capability.
  1.5.2The Section will identify a Knowledge Exchange Group that can evaluate information and content that may lend itself to different types of content that could be delivered to the Section.
  1.5.3Through the Content Convergence and Coordination Committee ("C3 committee") or as otherwise directed by the Executive Committee, the Section will facilitate the convergence and coordination of content information within the Section and help determine the best methods of delivering it to Section members. To that end the C3 committee will:
   (a)Oversee any Section-wide content initiatives selected by the Knowledge Exchange Group, including selecting the chair of the working group involved with developing each initiative.
   (b)Oversee the Knowledge Exchange Group to consider how Section-wide content should be disseminated.
   (c)Communicate with Council Liaisons about topics that do not rise to Section-wide development, but are nevertheless worthy of coordination among committees.
  1.5.4The Section will launch the Master Calendar as soon as the procedures and technical aspects of doing so are in place.
  1.5.5The Education and Publication Services Groups will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.5.
 1.6Communication and Marketing Goal
  1.6.1The Section will establish and implement a coordinated communication and marketing plan based on the substantive strength of the Section, exchange of ideas with thought leaders, and generation of superior content integrated with a unified marketing message that the Section is the Premier Forum to serve environmental, energy and resource practitioners.
  1.6.2The Section communication and marketing plan will be based on Service Group and committee communication plans.
  1.6.3The core of the communication and marketing plan is the sharing of content that is used to promote discussion and attract interest in the Section.
  1.6.4The goal of the implementation of the communication and marketing plan is to increase the flow of communication between the Section’s committees and Service Groups, the Section’s members and anyone anywhere interested in the topics of interest and expertise of the Section and its members.  The assumption is that the ongoing flow of information and discussion in a variety of formats and presented on a variety of platforms will draw an audience of members and non-members who will be interested in attending Section programs, acquiring Section publications and joining the Section.
  1.6.5The Special Committee on Marketing and Communications will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.6.
 1.7Outreach with other Organizations
  1.7.1The Section will work with other entities to enhance coordination and additional membership, including law schools, Environmental Law Institute (ELI), state bar associations and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.
  1.7.2The Section will develop and maintain relationships with State and Local bar associations, including the establishment of liaisons;
  1.7.3The Section will coordinate activities with related Committees from other Sections and Fora;
  1.7.4The Section will Encourage interaction with foreign and international bar associations (such as the International Bar Association (IBA), Canadian Bar Association- National Environment, Energy and Resource Law Section (CBA NEERLS), United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA) and the Mexican Bar) including, as appropriate, joint programming and reciprocal invitations of foreign bar association leaders to Section events;
  1.7.5The Section will establish liaisons with other related professional and legal entities as determined by the Chair from time to time.
  1.7.6The Section will work with law schools to increase member benefit.
  1.7.7The Special Committee on Outreach will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 1.7.
2.The Section will position itself so that its input and support are sought during the formulation and discussion of public policy.

The Section will participate in public debate on critical issues related to the substance of the Section, through its input and support in the formulation, discussion and implementation of public policy.  To achieve this goal, the Section will:
 2.1Develop and identify emerging public policy matters on which the Section’s input would be most relevant and timely and, utilizing the Section’s membership, substantive committees, service groups and other resources, prepare and position the Section to be effective participants in the dialogue on such matters.
 2.2Actively initiate, as well as promote continued Section dialogue with Congress, Federal and State departments and agencies, international entities, foreign bar associations and non-governmental organizations on issues affecting the practices of Section members.
 2.3Actively promote the Section’s programs and publications as public forums for national dialogue on key environmental, energy and resources issues, pursuing the full participation of all stakeholders, including the media.
 2.4The Education and Publication Service Groups will implement and evaluate the implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 2.
3.The Section will increase and strengthen its membership.

The Section will retain its current members and recruit new student, lawyer, and associate members, particularly members who enhance the section’s diversity and public service.  To achieve this goal, the Section will:
 3.1Develop a membership development plan and update it every three years.  The plan will include an evaluation of current membership initiatives and will identify new measures designed to implement this goal. In addition the plan will include the following:
  3.1.1Programs and incentives directed specifically directed to retention of current lawyer members.
  3.1.2Programs and incentives to increase diversity in Section membership, committees, leadership, programs, and publications, and further ABA Goal III, which is to eliminate bias and enhance diversity; and,
  3.1.3Programs and incentives to increase membership and activity in the Section by law students, young attorneys, non-governmental organizations, and attorneys in academia, government.
 3.2Provide reports at Section Council meetings on membership information showing new members added, dropped and retained by category of membership, including demographic information.
 3.3Identify membership trends, incentives and activities that specifically relate to retaining lawyer members and attracting new lawyer members.
 3.4In the event of lawyer membership decline of more than two percent in an ABA year, identify and evaluate reasons for such membership decline and provide a report at such frequency as requested by the Chair.
 3.5Identify underserved environment, energy or resource practice areas and evaluate ways to provide service to these practice areas through leadership, outreach, programing and publications.
 3.6Provide meaningful opportunities for members to participate in Section programs, publications, preparation of Section activities, and leadership roles.
 3.7The Membership Service Group will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 3.
4.Identify and develop future leaders

 The Section will identify, recruit and develop future leaders of the Section.  To achieve this goal, the Section will:
 4.1Publish and maintain a current organizational chart that describes the ways members can become more involved in leadership of the Section.
 4.2Work with committees to develop vice chairs and succession planning.
 4.3Maintain general descriptions of the responsibilities of leadership positions, in order to enable those members not yet in leadership to understand what such opportunities involve, to provide Chairs with clear and fair basis for evaluating leadership performance, and to provide guidance to those holding leadership positions.
 4.4Create opportunities for Section members to participate in leadership development opportunities and to secure leadership positions within the Section.
 4.5Implement a leadership development program to identify and train future Section leaders.
 4.6Create and implement a leadership development progression to be implemented in conjunction with leadership appointment and recruiting.
 4.7Match appointments to leadership needs, ensuring that diversity in practice, age, geography, gender and ethnicity is considered.
 4.8Develop mentoring programs within each committee for leadership development and “lines of succession.”
 4.9Acknowledge and reward leadership performance.
 4.10The Governance Committee will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 4.
5.The Section will be a fiscally stable and well-managed organization.

The Section will be a fiscally stable and well-managed organization, working in support of its mission and membership, through the use of specific accounting best practices and internal controls, budgets that accurately and fairly present all sources of revenues, expenses and obligations, investment planning and asset allocation, funding for Section staff and operations, fundraising, proper management of revenue and expenses, and periodic financial reviews that reflect the status of the Section’s finances as approved by Council.  To achieve this goal, the Section will:
 5.1Develop a budget manual and update it at least once every three years.
 5.2Institute and maintain financial targets, strong financial controls, and fiscally responsible spending with the overall objective of maintaining a budget that minimizes the need to use long term reserves and protects the corpus of such reserves.
 5.3Develop and periodically update a reserve fund policy, review the fund’s investment allocation and performance, and consider fund allocation changes as deemed appropriate.
 5.4Clearly articulate the Section's financial status to Section leadership and membership.
 5.5Work to identify and enhance the amount and stability of non-dues revenue from sources such as the production and sale of Section publications, marketing and sale of Section educational program materials, and the management of revenue-positive programs.
 5.6Vigorously pursue diverse revenue sources to support the Section’s mission by seeking outside funding from foundations, corporate and consultant sponsors, and other sources.
 5.7The Budget Officer will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 5.
6.The Section will be structured and governed effectively and efficiently.

The Section will be structured and governed effectively and efficiently to achieve the Goals set forth in the Section by-laws, the mission statement, and the strategic plan.  To achieve this goal, the Section will:
 6.1Develop a governance plan to establish and maintain leadership positions in the Section, including descriptions of positions, means of marketing availability of positions to membership and a means of succession.


Delegate to the Section’s Executive Committee oversight and decision-making on matters relating to the routine discharge of Section business in a manner consistent with the Section By-Laws.
 6.3Require the Section Officers and Council to establish policies and plans in accordance with the Section’s goals and to dedicate Council meetings primarily to these tasks.
 6.4Conduct optimization reviews of the Section’s education and publications programs and activities at least every three years.
 6.5Recognizing that environment, energy and resource substantive practice areas continue to become more interrelated, the Section will position itself as a leader in interdisciplinary practice and will assist its members in focusing on an interdisciplinary environmental, energy and resource practice.  To achieve this goal the Section will:
  6.5.1Encourage greater coordination and interaction among substantive committees to encourage interdisciplinary discussion.
  6.5.2Create working groups of substantive committees based upon interrelated practice areas to be led by liaisons to the Council.
  6.5.3Liaison led working groups will hold regular conference calls to foster working relationships between interrelated substantive committees and encourage committees to work together on conference proposals, book proposals, newsletters and other member communications.
 6.6The Section will evaluate its existing committees, including existing interdisciplinary committees, and determine whether there are existing committees that should be combined or retired and whether new committees should be created.
 6.7The Governance Committee, working with the Executive Committee, will implement and evaluate implementation of goals and objectives in Paragraph 6.

This Strategic Plan will be implemented in a manner that focuses on its objectives, but recognizes the need for flexibility to respond as developments warrant.
 7.1The Strategic Planning Committee will review the strategic plan prior to the Section Annual Meeting with the Vice Chair and Section staff to allow for long range coordination of implementation of the strategic plan.
 7.2The groups charged with implementation and evaluation of specific areas of the plan shall have primary responsibility for such implementation and evaluation and shall do so in a timely manner working closely with Section staff.  The Strategic Planning Committee will consult with such groups when preparing the annual evaluation of implementation of the Strategic Plan.
 7.3In making decisions and planning activities, Section leadership and those various committees and groups designated to implement the plan's goals and objectives shall consider and pursue the relevant elements of this strategic plan.
 7.4The Strategic Planning Committee will routinely and consistently promote awareness of and adherence to this strategic plan through communication with Section leadership and through informal review and comment on the Section’s activities and decisions.
 7.5The Strategic Planning Committee will prepare and provide to Council at is Summer Council Meeting an annual written report on the Section’s implementation of the strategic plan.
 7.6Every three years the Strategic Planning Committee will review and evaluate the Section’s strategic plan and no later than at the Spring Council Meeting of the last year of the strategic plan, or at such other time as directed by the Chair, will recommend revisions or updates to the plan together with any necessary revisions. The Council shall take action to adopt the Strategic Plan as revised or updated by the Strategic Planning Committee and/Council at that Spring Council Meeting unless another time is authorized by the Chair.