COVID-19 Resources for Lawyers

#OTR Roundup: News Bar Leaders Can Use to Connect, Engage & Assess

On the Road took a virtual trip to the National Conference of Bar Presidents midyear meeting to highlight signature programs on innovation, ideas worth stealing, best uses of data, and rooting out racial bias. 

The 2021 midyear, held jointly with the National Association of Bar Executives, covered lessons learned during a year of upheaval and change.

In these special reports, hosts and guests teased out key takeaways, often pulling silver linings out of the chaos.

While programs were bar-leader-focused, the messages and tips have a broad appeal. They include advice for those looking to improve relationships with clients and the best uses of technology to more effectively conduct outreach.

Addressing the shift from in-person to virtual with the flip of a switch, Ndidi Moses and Michael Burton spoke about achieving “impossible” innovation during a crisis.

Moses, the immediate past president of the Connecticut Bar Association, and Burton, the presiding judge in St. Louis County, explained how they used design thinking to create programs and services that best served members and court services consumers’ needs.

Connecting to Zoom and having a virtual meeting may be novel for a few minutes. But Zoom fatigue is real. Bar professional Karen Korr, of Full Korr Press, showcased some of the creative ways bar leaders kept members engaged in the bar and their communities.

Programs mentioned include:

  • Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens (New Haven)
  • Friends and Family Drive-In Movie Nights (Massachusetts)
  • Mask maker donation project (Baton Rouge)
  • Pro bono business interruption insurance reviews (Birmingham)

When it comes to deciding whether those pandemic-era programs were a success, metrics can play an important role. NABE president Terry Hill and IAALS researcher Logan Cornett recapped their program focused on how data can help evaluate programs.

One key takeaway is that money or the number of attendees may not be a winning metric. Along with host Patrick Palace, past president of the Washington State Bar Association, the three discussed how to identify success using data.

Rooting out racial bias remains a critical yet vexing problem for organizations. Following their NCBP keynote, Dana and Keith Culter shared anti-bias strategies for bar groups and tips to spot microaggressive behavior.

More LTN Special Reports

Listen to more On the Road special reports from Legal Talk Network by following this link.

Share This Post

Posted by

Molly McDonough, a longtime legal affairs journalist, is a producer for the current events show "Legal Talk Today." She also is a media and content strategist with McDonough Media LLC. McDonough previously served as editor and publisher of the ABA’s flagship magazine, the "ABA Journal." She writes about access to justice at "A Just Society."