Science & Technology Law Strategic Plan

Science & Technology Law Strategic Plan


On October 16-18 2008 volunteer leadership and staff of the ABA’s Science & Technology Law Section met for a long-range strategic thinking and planning session.   The purpose of this session was to assemble a volunteer leadership and staff group to strategically focus on the Section’s future.   The outcome of the session was to create clarity and focus on how the Section should invest its valuable resources in meeting the future needs of its members and other stakeholder groups it serves.

The resulting strategic thinking includes the following:

§        A set of “Assumptions About the Future” of the profession the Section represents and the professionals that work within it;

§          A list of relevant factors in the long-range horizon (10-15 years into the future) including a core purpose, core values, Big Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a vivid description of future success;

§          Focused goal areas that identify where the Section will direct its energy in the next five years. The goal areas focus on outcomes beneficial to the Section and its members.

§          A set of strategic objectives in each goal area setting measurable direction for the Section to head in to achieve its goals.

§          A set of possible strategies that identify the actions the Section could undertake in the next 1-3 years in order to achieve each goal area.

The Section’s leadership views strategic thinking and planning as ongoing process within the organization.   This is not a “strategic planning project” that is completed. Adoption of a plan is an affirmation of the general intent and direction articulated by the vision, goals, and objectives.   Progress toward achieving the plan’s objectives will be assessed annually, and the plan will be updated based on achievement and changes in the needs of the stakeholders served.


5-10 Year Planning Horizon

~ Assumptions About the

Relevant Future ~


In order to make progress against the 10-15 year Envisioned Future, an organization must constantly anticipate the strategic factors likely to affect its ability to succeed and to assess the implications of those factors. This process of building foresight about the future will help the Section to constantly recalibrate its view of the relevant future, a basis upon which to update the strategic plan annually.   The outcome-oriented goals of the strategic plan are based on this foresight; therefore, annual review of these “Assumptions” is an appropriate method of determining and ensuring the ongoing relevance of the strategic plan.


Competition and Structure

1.       Business and legal issues will increasingly become more global in scope and influence.

2.       There will be increased commoditization of legal services from external sources such as the Internet.

3.       The role of “specialist” will grow in importance.

4.       “Information overload” will increase creating greater pressure on people’s time and attention.

5.       The number of lawyers interested in science and technology law will increase.

6.       Science and technology issues will continue to be imbedded in everything that we do.

7.       Lawyers will experience increased competition from such sources as consultants, accountants, and the Internet.

8.       International lawyers will play an increasingly important role in U.S. science and technology law.

9.       Younger lawyers may have an advantage due to their use and knowledge of technology, although they may not have the depth of experience, understanding of risk, and attention to personalized service necessary to compete.

10. There will be increased competition for how law firm dollars will be spent.

11. Industry rather than lawyers may drive policy issues.


Global Business and Economic Factors

1.       The current global economic downturn may impact the profession in several ways:

§          Increased competition for legal dollars.

§          Decrease in capital expenditures.

§          Slow down in expansion of new offices.

§          Emphasis on frugality, which may be positive as it may drive new technology.

§          Increased pressure to bring in new business. 

§          Awareness of a global world, but inability to travel.  This may help push new technologies.  

§          Change in the investment time horizons.

2.       Science and technology issues will become more global in scope.

3.       There will be increased growth in the research and development of alternative energy sources.

4.       There will be a greater emphasis on “sustainable” business practices.

5.       With an increased reliance on technology, the use of paper will decrease.

6.       There will be a growing demand for climate change solutions and determining the impact on business.

7.       Digitization will continue and it will become less expensive.

8.       Legal issues will become more global.

9.       There will be increased outsourcing of services.

Legislative and Regulatory Environment

  1. There will be increased regulations of the financial and securities industries.
  2. There will be restructuring of technology to address the irregularities in financial and securities systems.
  3. Proposed new PTO regulations that may result in increased cost of filing for patents.
  4. The current patchwork of privacy laws are ineffective and may lead the way for federal data breach laws.  
  5. There will be a loosening of rules regarding stem cell research.
  6. Cyber security concerns will continue.
  7. There will be increased concerns over privacy issues relating to medical records and healthcare databases.
  8. There will be changes to social security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlements.
  9. There will be increased legislation to protect environment and questions about how pay for it and the impact on business.
  10. There will be increased immigration legislation and technology solutions for enforcement.
  11. Concerns over the Federal budget deficit will bring about new budgeting priorities.
  12.  The Department of Homeland Security will develop federal and state partnerships to deal with the war on terror.
  13. There will be increased access to medicines from foreign distributors.
  14. Nanotechnology will continue to be largely unregulated.
  15. Tax policy will increase in complexity.
  16. The Federal government will look at ways to regulate biometrics.
  17. There will be increased standards for health and safety on imported products.
  18. The Bio GENA (Genetic Non-Use Act) may be implemented.
  19. There will be decreases in federal and state budgets and more regulation.
  20. Regulations will become more global in scope.
  21. There will be continued challenges to regulate and enforce food safety globally.

Social Values and Demographics

  1. The population will get older creating a dearth of leadership in the mid-age group.
  2. More young lawyers are coming into the profession.
  3. Lawyers will continue to stay in profession longer, delaying retirements.
  4. There will be a growing number of second career law students.
  5. Younger lawyers will expect greater work/life balance.
  6. There will be decreased loyalty in the work place.
  7. Society will increasingly become more mobile.
  8. Consumers will increasingly expect customized services.
  9. There will be greater immigration and emigration.  
  10. There will be increased demand for care giving for children and the elderly.
  11. There is a perceived reduction in civility.
  12. Consumers will continue to be financially over-extended.
  13. Technology will continue to become more integrated into society and mainstream.
  14. There will be greater concern for justice system fairness.
  15. There will be a greater spectrum of core values in society impacting the work place.
  16. There will continue to be weaknesses in math and science within the U.S. education system.
  17. Clients will increasingly expect immediate responses.

Science and Technology

  1. Technology will increasingly impact all aspects of life.
  2. Handheld technology will continue to emerge into one platform.
  3. There will be positive change in energy technology.
  4. Government and business investment in technology and science will continue to decline.
  5. There will be increased competition to get technology products to market.
  6. There will be an increase in international research and development.
  7. There will be greater introduction of technology and science products introduced by non-U.S. companies.
  8. There will be an increase in diagnostic technology.  
  9. Stem cell research will increase especially internationally.
  10. There will be an increase in ocean technology.
  11. Nanotechnology product development will accelerate.
  12. The energy sector will expand faster than the healthcare sector.
  13. Virtual/distance learning will increase.
  14. The future of U.S. space technology is questionable.
  15. There will be an increase of infringing technology and will weaken legal protections.
  16.  Global cultural norms will increasingly influence science and technology priorities.  
  17. There will be a transition from 2D to 3D Internet.
  18. There will be increase dependence on artificial intelligence and robotics
  19. There will be a constant balance between the risks and benefits of new technology.
  20. Technology is becoming increasing more complex.  
  21. Technology will drive diverse business models for law firms.

Most relevant assumptions to the SciTech Law Section:

  • There is an increased need for a “global view.”
  • There is a greater need for creating content.
  • There is a greater need to assess how information should be disseminated in the future.
  • What is the future role in technology expertise going forward?   Perhaps shift emphasis from tech to science.
  • How do they serve those interested in our content, but not in Section membership?
  • With whom should we collaborate?
  • Do we want to increase size vs. increase influence?
  • Do we want to be recognized as the primary authority on certain issues?
  • There will be a need for diversifying revenue sources and increased funding.
  • How do we serve our future within the opportunities/limitations of ABA?
  • Huge opportunities for Section, but confined because of ABA/Section model.  
  • The discretionary time of lawyers is shrinking.    Competition for time is increasing.
  • Information dissemination - how should we meet the increasing demands for information?
  • There is too much information thrown at members.
  • Which issue do we want to be the primary authority on?   How do we decide which issues to respond to and focus on?

10-15 Year Planning Horizon

~ Core Ideology & Envisioned Future ~


Core ideology describes an organization’s consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment.  It consists of two elements - core purpose – the organization’s reason for being – and core values – essential and enduring principles that guide the organization.   Envisioned future conveys a concrete yet unrealized vision. It consists of a Big (hairy) Audacious Goal (BHAG) – a clear and compelling catalyst that serves as a focal point for effort – and a vivid description – vibrant and engaging descriptions of what it will be like to achieve the BHAG.

Core Ideology

Mission :

The mission of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law is to provide leadership on emerging issues at the intersection of law, science, and technology; to promote sound policy and public understanding on such issues; and to enhance the professional development of its members.

Core Purpose:

Leading at the convergence of law, science, and technology.

Core Organizational Values

§          Objective, Balanced, and Rigorous

§          Forward Thinking

§          Diverse and Inclusive

§          Collaborative

§          Collegial

§          Intellectually Curious

Primary Value Discipline:

Product/Program Leadership (high quality, not necessarily large quantity)   

Envisioned Future

Big Audacious Goal (BHAG):

To be recognized as the premier global authority on science and technology law.

  Vivid Description of a Desired Future:

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Science & Technology Law (SciTech) is widely recognized and sought after as the premier global authority on science and technology law.  The ABA, external organizations, and individuals routinely consult with the Section’s leaders for their expertise and insights.   The Section is viewed by ABA, the media, policymakers, judges, scientists, and technologists as the authoritative voice on science and technology law.

Members of the SciTech Section value the organization for its innovative service delivery; access to up-to-date and customized information; and active community of experts always willing to share information and provide guidance.  Membership has expanded to include non-lawyer leaders and practitioners in science and technology such as scientists, policymakers and engineers.  Members are engaged in the Section serving as volunteers and participating in Section activities.  Every lawyer and student serving the science and technology sectors seek guidance and take advantage of the Section’s products and services.   Section membership is viewed as critical to a successful career in science and technology law and clients prefer to work with Section members.

3-5 Year Planning Horizon

~ Outcome-Oriented Goals, Objectives,

and Strategies ~


The following are the Section’s goal areas for the next three to five years.   These outcome statements define “what will constitute future success.”   The achievement of each goal will move the Section toward realization of its BHAG.   The goals listed below are considered of equal importance and are not necessarily in priority order.

Objectives and Strategies provide direction and actions on how the organization will accomplish its articulated goals.   Objectives are considered in the 3-5 year planning horizon while Strategies are considered within the 1-3 year planning horizon.   Success toward achieving the goals and accomplishing strategies are reviewed annually by the Section’s leadership.

Strategy Priority Key:

H = High priority and to be started in the next fiscal year

M = Medium priority and to be started in the next fiscal year if resources are available

L = Later priority and to be started in a subsequent fiscal year

Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

The Section has identified six primary goal areas:

1)      Information Source on Science and Technology Law

2)      Section Branding

3)      Member Communication

4)      Membership Expansion and Diversification

5)      Revenue Enhancement

6)      Shaping Policy

Goal Area:   Information Source on Science and Technology Law

Goal Statement:   The Section is recognized for its focused and comprehensive approach to content development and efficient and effective information delivery.

Objective (1):   Increase the effectiveness of existing publications and programs in responding to the BHAG.   (H)

Strategy :

§          Create opportunities for distribution and redistribution of content (H)


1.       Create a member benefit searchable archive of all Section content.

2.       Obtain electronic versions of all books and magazine articles moving forward and tag with metadata for search capability.

3.       Encourage members to distribute materials they are already creating for their practices and repurpose for ABA.


§          Enhance access and distribution of relevant and desired legal information to members (H)


1.       Encourage committee chairs to post content on website.

2.       Encourage Committees to provide weekly or monthly “current events” notices to members, archived and searchable. 

3.       Encourage committee members to put in plugs for Section resources on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and the new ABA LegallyMinded site.

4.       Repackage materials according to topic and market to target audience.

5.       Conduct research to assess member preferences for legal information dissemination.

6.       Explore the use of virtual worlds as a means of distributing content.

§          Create a plan to offer publications in multiple formats.

§          Create a plan to offer programs in multiple formats.

Objective (2):   Increase involvement of leading experts within ABA and externally in developing Section content.   (M)


§          Involve committee chairs in identifying leaders.

§          Create a plan to recruit involvement of leading experts.

Objective (3):  Increase member-to-member information exchange. (M)


§          Create and implementation a plan to improve the interactivity of the Section’s website.
Consider:   Format of new ABA LegallyMinded for sharing data.
Consider:   Adding new methods to “publish” preliminary (“non-approved?”) material from members.
Consider:   Formats for sharing forms and sample agreements.

§          Enhance member opportunities for web-based interaction.

Consider:   LinkedIn, Second Life, LegallyMinded, and other social networking applications.

Goal Area:   Section Branding

Goal Statement:   The Section will achieve greater recognition by the ABA, legal professionals, policymakers, and the public for its unique expertise as an information source.


Objective (1): Improve the Section’s brand identity and strategy relevance with members and non members.  (H)


§          Create a unified brand image for the Section. (H)

Tactics :

1.       Apply with the USPTO to register the service mark “SciTech” as the Section brand and other branding terminology where appropriate.

2.       Maintain consistent SciTech branding across all products, such as inserting the SciTech logo into The SciTech Lawyer masthead.

3.       SciTech’s look and feel must be technologically savvy to generate member and customer enthusiasm.

4.       Explore co-branding with the ABA.  SciTech should still have a unique look and feel

5.       Create a tagline or slogan around core values.  To be within ABA parameters, the tagline will be separate from the logo in the letterhead or masthead.


§          Increase the on-line visibility and accessibility of the Section.   (H)


1.       Format SciTech website pages for search engine accessibility, including, The SciTech Lawyer articles and committee homepages.

2.       Work with the ABA, as new features become available, to add a RSS feeder on The SciTech Lawyer page.

3.       Partner with other organizations, such as AAAS, so they link to our magazine page.

Measurable Benchmark:
SciTech’s search engine optimization should increase to Google’s top 10, when a SciTech related search is conducted.


§                      SciTech should leverage Web 2.0 tools to increase their on-line profile.


1.       Work within ABA parameters to gain recognition in the blogosphere.

2.       Assist the ABA in defining policy for social media.

3.       Leverage technological channels, such as pod casts, as vehicles to deliver SciTech products and impart knowledge to the profession.

4.       Post podcasts on SciTech website.   Test idea with the SciTech 2009 Midyear programs being held at Suffolk.

Resources Needed:

Ø       There is no cost associated with the Suffolk test, since the school is waving the fee to record and host the site.  There may be costs associated with pod casts if the ABA records and hosts sites.


§          Encourage members to include their affiliation with “SciTech” in     their online bios, so that the Section appears in web searches.  


1.       SciTech should send out an email to the membership and have sample language about listing the Section in their bio.

2.       Include and article in The SciTech Lawyer and Section electronic communications encouraging members to highlight Section involvement in their bios.

Objective (2): Define and develop SciTech’s unique value within the ABA. (H)


§                      Position SciTech as the go-to expert on emerging topics within the ABA.


1.       Reinforce SciTech’s substantive expertise in key specialty areas within the larger ABA.

2.       Staff and leadership should regularly review and the ABA calendar of events for relevant sections for co sponsorship opportunities and/or to send a SciTech representative to attend those programs. 

3.       Encourage the ABA Journal and other key publications/sites to feature SciTech’s products and experts.

4.       Reinforce Section’s unique value by making Section focused postings to LegallyMinded site.


§                      Encourage ABA media relations to reinforce SciTech’s expertise. (H)


1.       Update the 2002 communications plan, including new newsworthy features, such as virtual law.

2.       SciTech members should be encouraged to submit articles to relevant publications, giving prominent mention to the Section when doing so.

3.       Encourage SciTech members to inform reporters of their SciTech role.

Objective (3): SciTech should be recognized outside the ABA as a major source of expertise on science and technology policy. (M)


§                      Identify significant science and technology policy issues on an ongoing basis.

§                      Draft a resolution to be adopted by the ABA House of Delegates for ABA policy, which may lead to model legislation to be adopted by various states.

§                      Prepare position papers.

Objective (4):   Increase the public’s use of the Section’s information and expertise.   (L)


§                      To be quoted regularly from national media, such as NPR, and international        media as the distinct expert on science and technology in the law.

Tactic: SciTech experts and written materials should be readily accessible to outside organizations, which include media.                  

Goal Area :   Member Communication

Goal Statement :  Section members understand the value and are well-informed of the tangible benefits of membership.

Objective (1): Improve member communications. (H)


§    The Section should improve the open-up rate of electronic member benefit messages.

Measurable Benchmark: Currently, the Section’s electronic member benefit messages receive an average open-up rate of 25%.  That number should increase to at least 30%.   The click-rate for links that are accessed should also increase from an average rate of 2% to at least 5%.


1.       Increase the frequency of emails from the Section Chair to every six months with short reminder/description of benefits and links to specific benefits on the Section’s website or social networking page (or both).

2.       Send emails to new members shortly after they join.

3.       Time emails to existing members in connection with major Section events in order to reinforce the benefit. 

4.       Consider sending emails that highlight a particular benefit in a timely way.  For example, if an online CLE teleconference is offered at a reduced rate to Section members, highlight that particular benefit.

5.       Links on Section website allow members to opt-in for Section-specific news, updates, or benefits.; members determine how frequently to received updates.

6.       Section members who restrict their e-mail address should receive a hard copy in the mail.

Resources Needed:

Ø       The benefit reminder messages may take 4 hours of the Chair’s time to review and finalize language. 

Ø       That may take 10 hours of staff time to confirm language, lists, send out and track.

Ø       The average cost to send that message is .25 each via bulk rate.  That will cost approximately $720 to send to all Section members, who restrict their e-mail addresses.  


§          The Section should develop a presence on a social networking site, such as LegallyMinded, where reminders of member benefits can be posted and linked.

Measurable Benchmark:  
The Section should track traffic to SciTech website from LegallyMinded.   The Section should track SciTech member presence in related groups on LegallyMinded.


1.       Section members will create at least one group on LegallyMinded with links to the Section website. 

2.       Section members will join at least two groups related to SciTech topics and cross-market our products and membership.

3.       Improve identification of member benefits on Section website, so they are more prominent when linked to from LegallyMinded group strings of communication.

4.       Create opt-in links for Section-relevant news and/or update lists. Those pages should be linked to from LegallyMinded.                   

Resources Needed:

Ø       That may require at least 5 hours a week of member time to edit and post on LegallyMinded.

Ø       That may require at least 5 hours of staff time to improve accessibility of member benefits and create opt-in communication pages from SciTech’s website.

Ø       No financial cost associated with tactics.


§          Members should be informed of committee membership value and opportunities.

Measurable Benchmark : Only 14% of SciTech members belong to a committee.   That percentage includes 18% of lawyer members and 3% of law students.   The goal is to increase the percentage of lawyer members to at least 20% and 10% for student members.


1.       Encourage committees to continually to generate engaging content that is exclusively available to committee members.

2.       Mail a post card to members that do not belong to a committee;   follow-up with an electronic message.

3.       Send follow-up message after four months to new members who do not already belong to a committee.

4.       Contact new committee members within the first two months to invite more active involvement.   Current automatic welcome from committee chairs should still be sent.

Resources Needed :

Ø       It may require 10 hours of committee leadership time to send follow-up messages to new members.

Ø       It may require 10 plus hours of staff time to generate lists, confirm messages, send and track results.

Ø       That may cost up to $1,000 annually for printing and postage costs.  

Strategy: Communicate substantive information to students.

Measurable Benchmark : There are 7,559 SciTech student members.  Of those, only 261 SciTech students belong to SciTech committees.  That is 3% of SciTech student members.  The target goal is to increase that number to at least 10%. 


1.       Send student members targeted committee recruitment drives.

2.       Convey the value of committee leadership opportunities and information to student members in messages.

Strategy:   Collect email addresses from members to enable better communication with them.

      Measurable Benchmark : 24% of SciTech members restrict their e-mail addresses for communication purposes.  That means they do not receive SciTech e-Merging News or committee newsletters.   That number should be decreased to at least 20%.  

Of 261 students belonging to a committee, we have only 173 e-mail addresses, which is about 66%.   That makes it very difficult to communicate substantive information to student members, because the majority of committee communications are electronic.   The benchmark is to increase the percentage of email addresses to at least 80%.   New student members restrict their email address at least 95% of the time.   At least 25% of those addresses should be confirmed through new student welcome kit messages.


1.       Send new members reminders of value they receive from e-mail communications in their hard copy welcome packets.  Include information about how to unrestricted their e-mail address for communication purposes.

2.       Send hard copy post card once a year to all members who restrict their e-mail address for communication purposes.

3.       Create a subscription list for SciTech e-Merging News and committee newsletters and invite SciTech members, who restrict their e-mail for communications purposes, to subscribe. They will then not receive promotional emails.

4.       Send all members who belong to a committee that circulates an electronic newsletter a hard copy once a year to encourage them to disclose their e-mail address.

5.       Post reminders to unblock email from the specified “sender” email accounts on the Section’s social network pages.

6.       Use consistent “sender” identification so that one “unblocking” will work for all communications.

Resources Needed:

Ø       It may take at least 10 hours of staff time to confirm language, format post cards, send mailings, update electronic pages and track results.

Ø       The annual hard copy reminder of electronic member benefits may cost $700 for print and postage.  That message will include details explaining how to subscribe to SciTech publication lists for free.


§          The Section should highlight availability of archived material from The SciTech Lawyer .

Measurable Benchmark :  Every member receives The SciTech Lawyer in hardcopy.   That same document is available online.   That information is not widely known.   The SciTech Lawyer online page received an average of 137 hits a month over the last 6 months.   That number should increase to at least 150 hits per month.   Also, the current open-up rate of links to The SciTech Lawyer averages 1%.   That should increase to at least 2%.   Those open-up rates are averaged from The SciTech e-Merging News.   


1.       Create short teaser abstracts available to non-members; full access is only available to members.

2.       Create teasers for all current articles.

3.       Create teasers for back issues.

4.       Prominently promote the online availability of The SciTech Lawyer on the Section website and in filler ads in the hardcopy version.

Resources Needed:

Ø       The teaser messages for The SciTech Lawyer articles will require time from The SciTech Lawyer Board and ABA staff.   That may take approximately 10 hours of member time to confirm language.  

Ø       May take approximately 20 hours of staff time to coordinate steps with members, format electronically and track

Ø       The filler ad in The SciTech Lawyer and SciTech e-Merging News will require limited time.

Ø       No financial cost associated with tactics.

Objective (2):   Increase recognition for member involvement and for review of Section products and enhanced level of Section participation. (M)


  • The Section should provide tangible recognition for contributions (such as for contributing to books, articles, reports and/or maintaining a vibrant list serve).

Measurable Benchmark: The number of member articles, books, CLE programs and leadership applications and/or submissions should increase by at least 5%.  That baseline number is not yet available.    


1.       Recognize volunteers (published authors, administrators of list serves, chair committees or working groups, members who have made significant contributions) in the form of low cost “gold stars” such as lapel pins or similar item bearing the Section name or logo.  Stars should accompany a letter from Section officer or appropriate Division/Committee Chair.

2.       Publish volunteer/author names on website, etc. and in Section            publications.

3.       List authors’ names and affiliations prominently in The SciTech Lawyer, both in hard copy and on website.

Resources Needed:

Ø       The staff time requirement is 5 plus hours to order merchandise, confirm payment and distribute appropriately.

Ø       It will cost an average of $2.25 for each pin and $1 to mail.   If all book, magazine electronic news contributors and leaders receive one it may cost a total of $500 on a yearly basis.   Ideally, pins will be presented at Midyear and Annual Meetings to avoid shipping costs.


§          The Section will operate an active social networking site on which members can contribute and share questions, thoughts, and ideas.

Measurable Benchmark:
The Section should track links from group conversations on LegallyMinded. 
An exact metric is not yet available since no groups are established.   Therefore, there is no baseline at this time.


1.       Encourage members to create groups on LegallyMinded.

2.       Encourage members to actively participate in related groups to cross-market Section products and membership.

Resources Needed:

Ø       Need to appoint editors or managers of the SciTech social networking site, which will require time on the part of those members,   approximately 5 hours per week.  

Ø       No financial cost associated with tactics.


§                The Section will encourage member interactivity by “seeding” list serves and other interactive media.

Measurable Benchmark:
This should result in greater committee membership numbers and more active list serves based on at least 5% more committee members and 5% more list serve posts.


1.       Encourage committee leadership to identify a core group of members who are willing to post via list serves on a regular basis.

2.       Posts should include relevant substantive news and information.

Resources Needed:

Ø       The Section should appoint list serve editors for active committees, which require time on that members’ part or approximately 5 hours per week.  There is no monetary cost.

Ø       No financial cost associated with tactics.

  Goal Area:  Membership Expansion and Diversification

Goal Statement : To expand and diversify Section membership.

Objective (1):   Increase membership within the Section of Science & Technology Law. (H)

Retention Strategy :

§                Collect area of concentration and practice information from current members, so that we understand who our members are can provide relevant and targeted services and products. (H)

Tactics :

1.       Request practice information from members directly through e-mail and mail;

2.       Post notices in the SciTech Lawyer and the electronic newsletters requesting that members update information.

3.       Work with membership department to collect census information.

4.       Post link to on-line information form from SciTech e-Merging News and Section homepage.

Retention Strategy

§                Create and implement a plan to increase member recognition for participation and involvement.  (M)

Tactics :

1.       Strategically personalize contacts with individual members through individualized communications such as calls from leadership.

2.       Encourage new and existing members to participate in the Section with small projects that require limited time, so they will be engaged with the Section and feel connected.

Retention Strategy:

§                      Increase the conversion rate of law student members to lawyer members. (M)

Tactics :

1.       Improving relevance and connection through substantive information and small projects are important to retaining this group of members.

2.       Create a student membership outreach program and make contact upon graduation.

3.       Determine the reasons why student members convert to lawyer members.  Utilize that knowledge to help increase the rate of conversion.

Recruitment Strategy :

§                Recruit current ABA members with a high affinity for SciTech issues, such as members of the biotechnology law and cyberspace areas of concentration. (H)

Tactics :

1.       Create targeted messages focused on one substantive area of practice.

2.       Send issues of TSL with corresponding theme as a recruitment tool.

Recruitment Strategy :

§                Target and recruit members of outside organizations, such as specialty bars and state and local bar associations.  (M)


1.       Send direct mail solicitations to targeted mailing lists.

2.       Participate in professional meetings of outside organizations through co-sponsorships to share SciTech membership information and publications materials with potential members and to create awareness and recruit new members. 

3.       Explore free member exchanges with outside organizations, and opportunities for outreach with state and local bars for joint meetings and the ABA Annual Meeting.

Recruitment Strategy :

§                Increase membership of non-lawyer members affiliated with science and technology law. (L)


Create a plan to strategically expand Section membership to non-lawyer stakeholder groups such as scientists, engineers, and policymakers.

Measurable Benchmark : During the first year, the Section should work successfully with at least three non-lawyer professional groups, in addition to AAAS.  

Objective (2):   Increase the diversity of Section to be more inclusive. (H)

Strategies :

§                Create and implement a plan to expand SciTech membership of legal professionals outside the U.S.

§                Create and implement a plan to expand SciTech membership of solo and small firm practitioners.

§                Create a plan to diversify the Section’s leadership and membership by ethnicity, cultural background and gender.  

§                Consider opportunities in the future to expand membership in these additional categories: in-house counsel and legal academics.

§                Examine the possibility of cooperative memberships with other ABA Sections. 

  Goal Area:   Revenue Enhancement

Goal Statement :  The Section has an economic model that advances its strategic plan.


Objective (1):   Increase new sources for non-dues revenues. (H)


§          Increase TSL Advertising (H)


1.       Create a small committee to identify potential advertisers (i.e., e-discovery firms).

2.       Send sample copies of TSL to potential advertisers.

3.       Work with ABA advertising department to develop a Section specific advertising sales plan and share list of potential advertisers.


§          Create specialized training programs. (H/M)


1.       Test idea with EDDE committee.

2.       Have a live two day “boot camp.”

3.       Have a virtual program, where participants earn a “seal of completion” for completing a series of requirements.

4.       Reach out to non-legal communities (business schools) for partners in programs.


§          Encourage new/more books. (H/M)


1.       Create a FAQ sheet to outline the publishing steps; post online.

2.       Help link-up collaborators for book authors.

3.       Include book reviews in TSL.


§          Consider opportunities to repackage and leverage existing programs to create new revenue sources. (M)


§          Apply for grants to support projects of interest. (M)


1.       Reapply for DHS grant.

2.       Identify other funders who are interested in SciTech issues.

Objective (2):   Increase the assessment of current and future programs for their ROI. (H)


§          Create and implement an assessment strategy for current programs.

§          Create a process to assess future initiatives for their ROI.

§          Create a Finance Committee. (H)

Objective (3):   Increase revenue from membership dues. (M)


§          Increase Section dues.

Need more information to determine if timing is right.

o        History of dues and paying memberships.

o        ABA experience with regard to dues increase and membership drops.  

§          Increase membership.

o        Expanding and Diversifying Goal area is responsible for this function.

Goal Area :   Shaping Policy

Goal Statement:  The Section is actively contributing to the development of science and technology law public and private policy at the national and international levels.

1.       Objective 1 :  Increase Section-level, committee and member interaction with policymakers. (H)


§          Identify Policymakers – Identify U.S. and international public and private organizations and government agencies involved in science or technology policymaking activities (“PM Entities”).

Tactics :

1.       Identify relevant domestic and international private science, technology, and standards organizations (e.g., AAAS, ALI/ABA, Internet Society, IEEE, ANSI, ACM, ISO, NIST, and OASIS).

2.       Identify relevant federal government agencies/offices, Congressional offices, etc. – e.g., CDC, NIST, Congressional committees.

3.       Identify relevant international governmental organizations (and relevant divisions, offices, sections, etc.) (e.g., UNCITRAL, OECD, APEC, UNIDROIT, World Bank, EU Commission).

4.       Identify relevant NGO organizations (e.g., ICC).

5.       Prepare periodic SciTech profiles of such key PM Entities.

6.       Establish Contact with Policymakers – Establish formalized contact with such PM Entities as opportunities arise.

Supporting Tactics:

1.       Establish liaisons with the appropriate agencies/offices, divisions, or sections of such selected PM Entities (e.g., through the ABA GA Office, establish relationships with majority and minority staff of the key Congressional Committees).

2.       Identify key PM Entity staff members.

3.       Engage and coordinate with AAAS on matters of mutual interest.

4.       Prepare periodic SciTech profiles of key policymakers and constituent contacts within selected PM Entities.


§          Identify Opportunities – Improve early identification of public policy opportunities.


1.       Policy Committee -- Create a policy committee within the Section.

2.       Identify Issues – Develop a process to identify and assess emerging    policy issues of interest to the Section (“Selected Policy Issues”).  

3.       Identify PM Entities – Develop a process to: (i) identify those PM Entities       addressing or likely to address such Selected Policy Issues, and (ii) assess       opportunities with such PM Entities for Section involvement.    

4.       Monitor Existing Projects – Create structure within committees to ensure       awareness and monitoring of, participation in, and input to, existing policy       projects, such as:

o        Uniform Law Commission projects

o        ALI legislative projects

5.       Recruit young lawyer and student lawyer members to scan relevant     technology areas for possible issues and communicate the data,      unfiltered, to designated full members to evaluate it.


§          Increase Awareness of Section – Increase policymaker interest in the expertise of the Section as a credible source of information. 

§          Increase Marketing of Section Capabilities –Become known as a source of "dual skill" expertise, encompassing law, science & technology.


1.       Market ourselves to, and coordinate with: ABA Media Relations, National Association of Science Writers and other media.

2.       Encourage disclosure of Section affiliation in press interviews, writings and talks.    

Strategy :            

§          Promote Section membership and access to Policymakers (including ex-government).


1.       Create opportunities and motivation for involvement in committees by Policymakers (including ex-government) and key staff, as members, observers, or through other appropriate means.

2.       Have committees systematically identify key relevant private and public sector policymaking groups and key people within those groups for recruitment efforts at an "advisory" or member level.


§          Increase Section Member Involvement – Increase Section member motivation and involvement in policy activities.


1.       Identify Section members with expertise or potential expertise in public policy opportunities specified per Section 1(c) above.

2.       Disseminate policy activities of Section members and committees to council and membership.  Add a reporting element on public policy to the committee reports to Council.

3.       Convert the Section to be web-centric.  Use the web and its many tools to remove member location and travel financing as factors in            participation. Recruit members to provide blogs on specific policy issues.   Allow personal viewpoints if clearly marked.

4.       Encourage committees to "team up with" relevant policy groups, as a way to influence debate and to draw speakers, writers and members.


§          Develop Engagement Process – Develop process for Section          engagement in policy issues.


1.       Identify and clarify ABA rules and constraints regarding policy-related Section activities.

o Identify what requires Blanket Authority or a HOD Resolution, and what can be done without any prior approval.

o Identify and document additional appropriate Section-imposed constraints.


§          Create structure within committees to ensure quality and timely responses to PM Entity requests to comment on policy matters.

§          Identify and clarify existing ABA authorizations regarding specific policy-related topics of relevance to the Section, including:

o        Develop list of all ABA Resolutions relevant to issues the Section may want to speak on (both Section-sponsored Resolutions and other ABA Resolutions of relevance).

o        Develop list of relevant Blanket Authority authorizations.


§          Identify who in the Section has the expertise, getting that person in front of the right people or organization.

§          Developing relationships and engaging with organizations by inviting their staff to participate in ABA events.

§          Identifying resources within the Section to fund participation as observers in deliberative bodies, doing joint projects, etc, and how to leverage better off of what we currently do

Objective 2 :  Increase effectiveness of input into the public (including internal ABA) discussion on policy issues.   (H)


  §          Develop additional avenues for participation in ABA wide policy      efforts.

§          Improve relations with ABA Government Affairs Office. 

§          Make additional use of the ABA coordination mechanisms to pre-clear positions.

§          Coordinate relations with other sections.

§          Promote existing ABA policies relating to science & technology.


1.       Propose the inclusion of Section issues on the annual ABA Government Affairs policy matters priority list, and increase involvement to the extent included.

2.       A delegation of committee/council officers visit with the ABA GA Office and make known our areas of interest.

3.       Through the ABA GA Office, establish relationships with majority and minority staff of the key Congressional Committees.