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Chinn: Tell Us How We Are Doing

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iba-chinn-scottThe leadership of the IndyBar is an active lot and my sense is that most members of leadership feel positive about the bar’s activity level and performance. And by any objective measure, the IndyBar’s event calendar is full and its service offerings are growing. Let me give you just five examples.

Recently, we had the quarterly meeting of the chairs of the IndyBar’s sections, divisions and committees at the offices of the IndyBar. The oral reports of section activity disclosed an impressive list of CLEs, social networking events, membership recruitment efforts, and governance tweaks. For example, as just one measurement, the bar’s 17 sections and four divisions will put on an estimated 150 CLEs and other programs this calendar year. As we did last year, we will be assembling a mid-year report of section activity for review and dissemination. Let me say “thanks” in advance to the chairs and executive committees of the IndyBar for all the good work going on.

As I hope everyone knows, on June 14-16, the IndyBar will host the 19th annual Bench Bar Conference in French Lick. Sponsors have stepped up, registrations are flowing in, and thanks to BenchBar Committee Chair Judge Tim Oakes and his committee members, the programs for this year’s conference promise to be some of the best ever. I hope to see you at French Lick for one of the bar’s signature events.

It was graduation time recently not only for high school and college students, but also for the participants of Class IX of the IndyBar’s Bar Leader series. For the 25 lawyers selected to participate every year in this series, this has truly become one of the premier leadership courses in Indiana. Merely to mention the names of the Bar Leader Chair and Moderator for the 2011-12 Class – Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson and Justice Ted Boehm, respectively – is to prove the quality of the program. But the real highlight is the civic and professional interest of the class members and how it comes alive through interaction with a wide array of speakers and panelists throughout the course of the year. Graduation day concluded with presentations of group projects and (I am told) some revelry at a certain German restaurant known for its Biergarten.

Next, we are proud to announce the launch of the Indy Lawyer Finder service. Moving lawyer referral into the technology age, the IndyBar now sponsors a web-based platform for clients to find lawyers in Central Indiana. Indy Lawyer Finder offers members of the public user-guided searches of IndyBar attorneys in a variety of practice areas. This service is aimed at continuing the bar’s mission to provide the public with access to legal representation, as well as provide revenues that keep dues low. Take a moment to review Indy Lawyer Finder online at www.indylawyerfinder.com.

Finally, as an example of the less high profile but worthy activities of the bar, IndyBar Vice President Andy Klineman has been reaching out in various ways to corporate and in-house attorneys on the bar’s behalf. We recognize that this important group of lawyers sometimes feels neglected by bar associations and want to try to develop programming and social networking opportunities to bring them into the fold. To that end, First Vice President Jeff Abrams will be working on opportunities to expand 2013 Bench-Bar programming to attract more corporate and in-house attorneys.

And there is so much more going on. But here’s the question – are these programs and activities reaching you? Are they scratching your itch for bar participation? At the end of the day, we are and should be conscious that the IndyBar is a member service organization that should strive to serve all its members. We want to know what you think. What are we missing? Did we make a mistake that you noticed recently? What would make you a more active member?

Let me confess what prompted me to ask these questions. Last week, I got two emails that happily turned on a light bulb for me. The first was a forwarded email with constructive criticism about a recent CLE program that IndyBar sponsored. The second was an email from a large hotel chain responding to an electronic comment card I had submitted after a recent stay. I rarely fill out those surveys, but my recent stay was plagued with issues and I thought it worth saying so to the hotel. In response, I received a personalized email from hotel management expressing regret for the problems and the hope that it wouldn’t lose my business.

So, take this as a comment card. Email me at scott.chinn@faegrebd.com or call me at 317-237-1291 with your feedback. Or if you run into Executive Director Julie Armstrong or a member of the IndyBar board, let them know what you think. We’ll take constructive comments seriously (except about the linens).

Be well.

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