You might be wondering about the title to this President's Message. This column is devoted to membership and I thought it fitting that the "I" be replaced with "you"; this is Your Bar Association. Many who read this are members of the Indianapolis Bar Association; some are not, and some may have just allowed their membership to lapse. Whether an oversight, a budgetdriven decision, or whether it is as simple as not being asked to join, this is your reason to join and your personal invitation.
You cannot overlook what the Bar is doing for you! In addition to the social, CLE and other networking opportunities, the IndyBar works hard for its members every day.
Legislative: We are your collective voice and connection. Already this year, the Bar has taken an active role in monitoring and educating members about pending legislation. The Legislative Committee and other Bar members have served you well in meeting with key legislators and testifying before the House and Senate to address legislative concerns. In February, the Senior Counsel Division and Meetings of Members Committee co-hosted a Lawyer Legislator lunch that afforded members an opportunity to meet with lawyer-legislators in a small group setting.
Pro Bono: We are your opportunity to give back and make a difference. The Pro Bono Committee is active exploring new relationships and programs for members to have a positive impact on our community and those in it who are under-served. In addition to monthly Legal Line opportunities, members also have an opportunity to participate in the semi-annual Ask a Lawyer event this April. Service to your profession and your community starts with the Bar.
Law Students/Young Lawyers: We are your gateway to an enriched legal career. In March, countless members will sponsor one or more law students to Take a Law Student to Lunch; our membership benefits start well before passing the Bar Exam. Through the Law Student and Young Lawyer Divisions, we create opportunities for early involvement, relationship building, and leadership experience. Our Bar Leader program for young lawyers offers unparalleled leadership training through one of the best programs of its kind in the country.
Practice-Related: We are your resource. Regardless of your practice area, we work hard to tailor educational programs to meet your needs. In addition, the E-Filing Task Force is working in conjunction with the judiciary to make a Marion County e-filing pilot project a reality. The Bar will play a vital role in the education of attorneys and implementation of this project. If you are a solo or small-firm practitioner, that Section is working to provide more resources, information, and tools to assist you in your practice.
Whether you are in private practice, a government lawyer or judicial officer, paralegal, law student, newly-admitted lawyer, or seasoned practitioner, the Bar has a place for you and is working for you every day.
You cannot afford not to be a member! Simply put: your dues dollars represent one of the best investments you can make in your career. Whether you are an attorney who believes that belonging is "just what you do," or a new lawyer hanging your own shingle and writing that membership check, from a dollars and "sense" standpoint, belonging adds up.
Your place for CLE. In exchange for your dues, you receive 50% off of all CLE's plus reduced rates on member gatherings. There is no better bang for your buck for quality legal education that is convenient, relevant, and covers all areas of practice. Average cost for members for twelve hours of CLE, $420. Cost to non-members for that same programming, $840. Members also receive twelve hours of free video replay CLE yearly. It pays to associate.
Your place for business development. Membership affords you the opportunity to join the Lawyer Referral Service, designed to connect lawyer members with cases. For a nominal cost, you are marketed, cases are screened, and clients are referred to you. There is simply no better value for the investment.
Your place for Connections. Membership also provides perhaps one of the most important benefits to you: connecting you with other members. From brown-bag lunches, to meetings of members, holiday gatherings, lawyer-to-lawyer referrals and relationships formed, the benefits are too many to list. For an attorney practicing from one to four years, the cost: 26 cents a day. For an attorney practicing five to seven years, the cost: a cup of coffee a week. How can you not afford to join?
Your personal welcome and invitation. If you are a member, please come visit the Indy-Bar office; introduce yourself, get involved. If you are a member who has not renewed, your membership lapsed on March 1st. We miss you and want you back. Contact the Bar at 269-2000 or visit www.indybar.org to renew today. If you are a non-member, join now. We welcome you and there is a place for you. This is YOURBAR. Membership in it: priceless.