November 17, 2017 Dialogue

You Don’t Have to Struggle Alone! Two Programs That Help: The ABA’s Program of Assistance and Review and 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, 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 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 were at the Lawyer Referral Workshop, the "PAR BAR" was available 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. At this year's Workshop in Portland, there was the opportunity to network with colleagues, learn new approaches to the work, gain valuable tools, and problem solve. The "Nuts and Bolts" session for newcomers provided 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, and learning from one another is a constant during the conference sessions.

For more information about PAR and the annual Lawyer Referral Workshop, contact ABA Staff Counsel and LRIS Liaison, Will Hornsby, at Will.Hornsby@americanbar.org or by phone at (312) 988-5761.