October 15, 2015 Dialogue

You Don't Have to Struggle Alone! - Two Programs That Help

The A.B.A.’s Program of Assistance and Review & The ABA Lawyer Referral National Workshop

By Sheldon Warren and Carole Conn

If your program is facing challenges, the ABA offers two programs dedicated to helping you meet those challenges and build the most effective LRIS program possible. Even if your service is not struggling or facing major challenges, but rather is doing well, you can still avail yourself of these programs to take your service to the next level by learning about recommended “best practices” for working internally with your Bar Association leadership or externally with your panel attorneys and the public. 

Through the ABA’s Program of Assistance and Review (PAR), an expert team of LRIS program consultants make an on-site visit to your program to learn about your aspirational goals and conduct an in-depth evaluation of your specific business processes. After observing a program's operation, the consultants provide concrete constructive recommendations for how to enhance a program’s operational policies and procedures, marketing, finances, and overall effectiveness, to better serve the public and its attorney panel members. These recommendations are made during the course of the on-site visit to the LRIS, and then distilled in a comprehensive written report that is provided to the LRIS and sponsoring bar or other organization. It’s like having your own mini ABA Lawyer Referral Workshop delivered to your door. And, if you are at the Lawyer Referral Workshop, you can visit the “PAR BAR” and talk with a PAR consultant live.

Speaking of the Lawyer Referral Workshop, this is the other program dedicated to helping your service reach its fullest potential.  If you are attending this year’s Workshop in New Orleans, you have already taken an important step toward being able to network with colleagues, learn new approaches to the work, gain valuable tools, and problem solve. The “Nuts and Bolts” session for newcomers provides an overview of every aspect of running an LRIS and serves, along with the ABA LRIS Clearinghouse Information website, as the foundational LRIS toolkit you need. From there, meeting in casual settings over coffee and dinner happen organically, and learning from one another is a constant—both in and outside of conference sessions. If you thought about coming this year, but you didn’t think your boss would go for it, here are some suggested ways to convince your leadership of the value of attending next year in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 5-8. Hope to see you there!

For more information about PAR and the annual Lawyer Referral Workshop, contact ABA Staff LRIS Liaison Jane Nosbisch.