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STRATUM
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Colorado Bar Association Strategic Plan

COLORADO BAR ASSOCIATION STRATEGIC PLAN
Updated in January 2006

 


The Colorado Lawyer
Membership Department
Local Bar Relations/Access to Justice
Legislative
Law Practice Management
Internet and Technology
Public Legal Education
Sections and Committees
Communications

 

Priorities:

One: Assist members in improving practice quality, economics and efficiency

Two: Support and Improve the Justice System

Three:  Enhance public confidence in the legal profession

 

 

THE COLORADO LAWYER (Fall 2005)

 

The mission of The Colorado Lawyer is to provide, as a benefit to Colorado Bar Association membership, an informational and educational resource to improve the practice of law. To accomplish this, The Colorado Lawyer content is geared toward helping attorneys keep current on changes in the law, court rules, and practice strategies. Here is some specific information The Colorado Lawyer currently publishes to help the CBA meet its long-term goals:

Current and Ongoing Content:

  • Publish and promote CBA programs and projects that illustrate how membership and involvement in the CBA can improve members’ professional lives and help them make a difference in the community (1)
     
  • Provide tips and trends on technology and law practice management in an easily readable format for attorneys, judges, and professional legal staff, including lists of resources and links to helpful and pertinent websites (1)
     
  • Publish information on pro bono and access to justice issues, including profiles of commendable members, highlighting what attorneys do to help their clients and communities (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Publish articles that provide a historical perspective of the legal profession in Colorado (2, 3, through edification)
     
  • Publish profiles of outstanding lawyers in Colorado history (2, 3, through edification)
     
  • Educate through the publication of high-quality substantive law articles to help members hone their professional skills and stay current issues of the law (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Provide information from the courts, including proposed new rules and adopted changes to rules (1, 2)
     
  • Publish announcements of awards, accolades, and acknowledgements of CBA members to help promote professional achievements and outstanding community service, serving to improve the image of members of the legal profession on a local and national level (3)
     
  • Keep members apprised of upcoming CLE seminars, programs, publications, and classes through calendar items and notices (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Publish articles written by judges containing practice pointers for attorneys (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Publish articles that instruct readers on the correct use of legal language in written and oral presentations (1, 2)
     
  • Publish updates of new legislation introduced during the Colorado legislative session, which may be of general interest to attorneys (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Provide a forum for communication and dialogue among members (1, 2)
     
  • Publish annual theme issues of special interest to members, which include several articles on one topic (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Offer free CLE credit, including ethics credit, for reading themes issue articles, making it easier for members to meet their annual CLE requirements, as well as providing an incentive for members to become acquainted with other emphases of law (1)

Future Content:

  • Report on how to conduct legal research and publish tutorials on the best ways to use the CBA website and Casemaker database, including quick tips or ready referencing (1)
     
  • Publish information for attorneys, judges, and legal professional staff on cutting-edge legal trends (1)
     
  • Publish articles with information that is specifically pertinent to solo/small firm practitioners, possibly under the umbrella of law practice management (1, 2)
     
  • Expand on information that may be published in TCL-online only—e.g., annual reports, ABA Delegate Reports (1)
     
  • Continue to create a body of work to build the CBA’s reputation as a provider of quality legal education and law-related education material (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Continue to publish material provided by CBA departments, sections, and committees to promote benefits of CBA membership (1, 2, 3)
     
  • Add "Time Management Tips" to tips and trends on technology and law practice management (1)
     
  • Publish substantive articles from the CBA Elder Law Section with information that is specifically pertinent to practitioners in this specialty (allocate three articles per year, separate from Trust & Estate Section (1, 2, 3)

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MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT (Fall 2005)

The Membership Department has goals of increasing our membership base, retaining longtime members, and providing value for membership dues. Attorneys in Colorado are a diverse group, including a range of geographic locations, demographics, and areas of practice. The Membership Department should offer a good value and tangible benefits to members and then communicate these to a diverse population. Members and prospects need to see the CBA as a vital, active focal point for the legal community - an organization you wouldn't want to practice law in Colorado without joining. This department wants to project the bar as a place with a variety of benefits useful to every attorney, a place to share camaraderie and to network, a resource that offers ways to be active in the legal and outside community, a place to hone leadership skills and a conduit through which to keep up on technology.

Ongoing:

  • Continue to promote our existing membership benefits and develop new ways to communicate them to members. Including developing marketing materials and promoting through our website, listservs and a membership guide.
     
  • Continue training efforts with other departments to educate members on our existing membership benefits including: Casemaker, LexisNexis, etc.
     
  • Research and offer additional valuable/relevant Colorado membership benefits and legal resources, with a goal of providing discounts and value they receive only with CBA membership.
     
  • Continue efforts to increase non-dues revenue while partnering with legal vendors.
     
  • Support Colorado Bar Association events as needed, including the CBA Presidents' Visits, CLE Section Conferences and Law School Events.
     
  • Promote the CBA Web site to members by promoting Web site features and benefits and continue efforts to drive more traffic to Web site.
     
  • Establish more "brand identity" for the Colorado Bar Association through marketing materials/signage/promotional items.
     
  • Support other department programs and services with promotion to members with ads/other mailings and communication.
     
  • Continue membership survey efforts with all CBA departments, which is a cost-effective way to receive feedback from our members.
     
  • Continue marketing of sections and committees to members to encourage involvement, leadership and loyalty with the CBA.

ADDITIONAL PLANS FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR

  • Develop a new Colorado Bar Association membership guide to be mailed to all CBA members. It will contain a calendar, membership benefits, law practice management tools, approved provider and endorsed provider programs, discounts for members, Web site information, staff guide, volunteer opportunities and CLE information.
     
  • Colorado Bar Association Web Site: Coordinate with IT Department and other departments, a reorganization and revision of the CBA Web site, for easier navigation and searching.
     
  • Research non-traditional areas for CBA membership including: Additional Government attorneys, Corporate Counsel and Academia.

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LOCAL BAR RELATIONS/ACCESS TO JUSTICE (Fall 2005)

This department, which in the last year has combined the Family Violence Program, Local Bar Relations and Pro Bono outreach, has taken on lots of new projects. One main objective is education about, and prevention of, violence in many forms: This is done by trainings all over the state, talks, educational materials and networking with the many other groups. Another main objective is being a central point for the local bars so that they can get inspiration, help and information from the CBA and the other local bars.

Some specific projects this year and ongoing:

  • Co-sponsor training on the link between animal abuse and family violence and children living in substance abuse and domestic violence.
     
  • Training on facilitation of conditions of Protection Orders.
     
  • Education regarding the financial exploitation of seniors.
     
  • Education on workplace violence, especially the impact of domestic violence in workplace.
     
  • Coordinated series on Access to Justice and Family Violence in The Colorado Lawyer.
     
  • Various collaborations with Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention, Domestic Violence: Make It Your Business, and many other groups.
     
  • Legislative Luncheon.
     
  • Work with pro bono issues-legal system improvements.
     
  • Staffs the statewide Access to Justice Commission and its subcommittees
     
  • Assist with new ATJ local committees.
     
  • Publicize issues through articles in The Colorado Lawyer.
     
  • History of Legal Services video.
     
  • CLS reunion - fundraiser for CLS.
     
  • Work with CLS to provide easy access to list of pro se clinics and information
     
  • Developed and produced Local Bar Leaders listserv, Pro bono listserv and Access to Justice listserv.
     
  • Set up and maintain Web sites for pro bono, Access to Justice, local bars, family violence, Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention, Domestic Violence: Make It Your Business, and Kids and Court.
     
  • Support local bars with visits, a list of possible CLE speakers available on http://www.cobar.org.
     
  • Provide support to pro bono projects and coordinators around the state.

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LEGISLATIVE (FALL 2005)

The mission is to be the watchdog of the legislature for the legal and judicial system. This includes getting to know all the players so that the bar association knows ahead of time issues that we need to discuss and possibly fight or promote. When we need to oppose some issue or bill, we marshal our forces by getting people from the appropriate section to strategize and testify. Another goal is to keep CBA members up-to-date with what's going on at the legislature.

Some of the activities to meet these goals:

  • Weekly meeting of Legislative Policy Committee.
  • New legislative update listserv to all members who wish to receive it.
  • Make speeches at local bars to give updates.
  • Report to Board of Governors to give legislative status report.
  • Help form coalitions when important issues need to be addressed.
  • Continue to build Legislative Grassroots Network

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LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT (Fall 2005)

This department has as one goal: helping lawyers with the business of practicing law. This involves staying on the rocketing edge of technology and helping CBA members navigate it. They shoot for the best and highest use of technology to facilitate a law practice. They counsel individual lawyers who call with technical and law practice questions, and they stay busy putting out helpful information attorneys didn't even know they needed. They work on anything in the realm of Law Practice Management, including malpractice prevention, file retention, human resource issues, financial issues, legal research, marketing and ethics issues.

They offer:

  • Law practice management lending library - available around the state.
     
  • Presentations to local and specialty bars on topics such as: Time Management; Malpractice Prevention; Technology Tips; Client Satisfaction; File Retention; Legal Research; Calendar and Docketing Software, etc.
     
  • LPM has a Web site with LPM info, risk management info, links to other sites, which is continually updated.
     
  • "Hotline" to help members with LPM questions.
     
  • Help plan Tuesdays at the Bar programs on LPM topics.
     
  • Help plan and speak at annual "Preventing Legal Malpractice" program.
     
  • Help plan and speak at annual "Hanging a Shingle" program.
     
  • Help plan and speak at annual Solo-Small Firm Retreat/Symposium.
     
  • Coordinate three columns in The Colorado Lawyer – "Whoops" (malpractice prevention), the "Law Practice Management column", and the "Technology" column.
     
  • Annual presentations to DU and CU: "What the Bar Can Do For You."
     
  • Assist attorneys and judges with technology.
     
  • Coordinate the LEXIS Technology Center which offers hands-on software training classes.
     
  • Organize seminars around the state regarding LPM resources.
     
  • Edit two bi-monthly columns for The Colorado Lawyer – "Ask the Experts" and "Law Practice Tips."
     
  • Handle Casemaker training and hotline.
     
  • Contribute "Tip of the Week" to weekly COBARLink List Serve.
     
  • Work with COAll (Law librarians) in providing Casemaker tips for list serve.
     
  • Coordinate free membership to CBA for all Mile High ALA members.
     
  • Attend "Partnership Meetings" of Solo-Small Firm members around the metro area.
     
  • Attend Mile High Assoc. of Legal Administrator meetings.

Future:

  • Developing a "Lawyer to Lawyer" directory - in lieu of a mentor program.
     
  • Working on a new bar-wide technology survey.
     
  • Contemplating new economic survey.
     
  • Considering offering free classes in basic computer, Windows and e-mail to retired attorneys.
     

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INTERNET and TECHNOLOGY (Fall 2005)

The IT Department develops and delivers seminars that introduce new technologies to members which help them better utilize software/hardware to run their practices. The IT Department is also in charge of managing and improving the CBA's Web site, http://www.cobar.org, making it a valuable tool to our members. This department is also responsible for keeping the CBA's internal network of approximately 70 machines healthy through everyday maintenance as well major upgrades to both the hardware and software. This requires working knowledge of existing products as well as the ability to understand how new products can improve the efficiency of our network and users. Another primary responsibility of the IT Department is providing help desk support for users of the internal network as well as to members calling in with questions about the CBA Web site.

  • The IT Department is responsible for developing technologies that assist in the electronic delivery of information to our members via the CBA Web site, distribution lists, and mass e-mails.
     
  • Assist attorneys and judges with technology.
     
  • The IT Department is responsible for the continued enhancements of the CBA Web site, which is heavily used by the public as well as by our members.

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PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION (FALL 2005)

The mission is to offer education, educational materials, and educational experiences to the public, especially young people, about the legal and judicial system. Offers opportunities for attorneys to volunteer year-round with their community schools.

Some of the ongoing and new projects include:

  • Coordinating statewide mock trial competition which this year included 95 teams across the state that had teachers, students and attorneys involved in practicing a pre-designed case, and which taught students skills in critical thinking, speaking in front of an audience and some legal concepts.
     
  • Publications for use in classrooms, including Law in Colorado, Adult Rights and Responsibilities ("So You're 18") and Becoming a Lawyer in Colorado.
     
  • Working through CBA school mock trial teams and with school officials to conduct a special event for Law Week to promote jury appreciation and education for school students.
     
  • Work with pre-law group at Auraria's Campus to determine/develop a law educational program for pre-law students and/or law-related educational programs with other campus students.
     
  • Communicate and discern interest of CU and CSU of law-related educational programs for incoming freshmen about the rights and responsibilities of moving from Youth to Adulthood (modeled after publication); and if there's interest, develop educational materials and/or program.

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SECTIONS AND COMMITTEES (Fall 2005)

This department is the main major resource for our sections and committees with help in organizing, generating publicity, holding meetings, making sure that reservations and meeting details are handled smoothly. It makes sure these groups get the help they need from bar staff. The main goal of having a Sections and Committees department is to provide a place where our members can obtain information about their specific practice, to help them be the best lawyer they can be. In keeping with that goal we attempt to make members of these sections and committees happy so they will continue to volunteer. We keep track of what the groups are doing and try to help avoid duplication. We also attempt to bring in members from all over the state so they feel a part of these groups. We realize that this is where the work of the CBA gets done and how important it is that our members feel that they get solid information from their membership as well as value from the specific sections and committees

Some specific projects:

  • Help sections work with State Judicial in drafting and commenting on rule changes that affect their practice areas.
     
  • Send notice of rule changes public hearings to the section members.
     
  • Have section members serve on State Judicial Committees.
     
  • Increase communication between State Judicial and Bar on proposed rule changes.
  • Assist in creating and sending newsletter to members.
     
  • Continue to educate members on changes in the law and the Rules of Professional Conduct.
     
  • Act as a liaison between sections and Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, Inc.
     
  • Create a newsletter for sections and committees, which outlines current activities and programs.
     
  • Keep up on technology that allows out-of-state members to participate effectively by phone. Investigate technology for Internet and video conferencing.
     
  • Contact speakers at programs to see if they are willing to do programs out-of-state.
     
  • Continue to work with Membership/Marketing Department to create brochures for each of the Sections/Committees.
     
  • Cross-promote programs to other committees, including working with Membership/Marketing.

Future:

  • Investigate technology for Internet.
     
  • Help the sections/committees build better and more useful Web sites.
     
  • Highlight sections/committees on "What's Hot" portion of the Web site.
     
  • Highlight sections/committees in "Bar News" of TCL.
     
  • Help educate sections/committees on additional bar activities and departments and aid in furthering those relationships (i.e.: PLE, Mock Trials, LawLine 9; Membership, Swearing in ceremony; etc.)

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COMMUNICATIONS (Fall 2005)

This department has two main goals. One is to educate reporters and editors all over Colorado about the law and the legal/judicial systems so they will write stories and editorials with correct information. To this end, we promote the CBA as the place to call to find a lawyer or judge who will respond quickly and have good information on the topic. The other goal is to educate attorneys about the best way to respond to reporters: what they want, how to be quoted accurately, how to become a good source, how best to represent the legal profession, etc.

Some of the projects from past years and some ongoing include:

  • Setting up seminars at statewide papers and in Denver with selected water law attorneys to talk about this important subject with reporters and editors.
     
  • Traveling with the Colorado Press Association to nine locations in the state, bringing together judges, attorneys, reporters, editors and law enforcement officials to discuss common interests of concern.
     
  • "Media Day." This program, held May 23, was a daylong educational program at the CBA for reporters from all over the state. Topics included: civil courts, criminal process, water law, family law, and "hot topics." It was co-sponsored by the State Court Administrator’s Office, the Colorado Press Association, and the Boulder Bar Association.
     
  • Constant calls and e-mails to the press about big and little issues to let them know we’re reading and watching them and that we care that they’re accurate.
     
  • Other contact with the media includes taking them out for meals, sending out free Legal Directories, various press releases, and information they might need. We also suggest stories about lawyers, pro bono work, trends in the profession, etc.
     
  • Serve as consultants to any member who is going to talk to the press or is having a "PR" problem.
     
  • Help produce the Senior Law Handbook, which is distributed for free at Senior Law Day.
     
  • Regular workshops in Denver, and anywhere in the state we’re invited, on "Working with the Media." This three-hour workshop has 3 CLE credits and covers the basics on becoming a good source and representing yourself, your firm, your client and the profession when you get interviewed.
     
  • Publicize events, etc. requested by members or staff.
     
  • Coordinate with the Bill of Rights Committee and the Transitions Committee.
     
  • Stay prepared to respond to criticism of judges and the legal system; work with state judicial on this.
     
  • Send out "Legal Lines," a bi-monthly legal help column, to newspapers across Colorado, providing legal guidance for the public.

Future:

  • Monthly "Law School for Journalists" programs, coordinated with the State Court Administrator’s Office. Each month will feature a different legal topic. Journalists from newspapers, radio and TV invited. These 1-½ hour sessions will be at the CBA.

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