Times are changing in the world of mandatory continuing legal education (CLE). At one time, few providers for continuing legal education existed in the state. Now, a simple Google search for continuing legal education in Indianapolis nets more than 80,000 results.
At the same time, membership dues invoices for associations across the board are increasingly being scrutinized, and the ability to articulate clear member benefits plays a more important role than ever in attracting and retaining members. IndyBar leadership takes the responsibility of communicating a clear value proposition to members seriously and is committed to a constant self-evaluation of the bar’s delivery of benefits and services to members.
This year saw the introduction of a pilot program to test the viability of bundling CLE with section membership. The pilot program, which was tested with four IndyBar sections—the Appellate Practice Section, the Family Law Section, the Government Practice Section and the Real Estate and Land Use Section—proved overwhelmingly successful, attracting new members to each of the sections and boosting attendance levels at CLE programs.
For 2014, the Plus CLE option is being extended to all sections and divisions, though members have the option to remain at the “basic” section or division membership level, which will provide access to basic section/division benefits, like open meetings, social events and section/division communications. Members choosing the Basic membership option will register for section/division programming at standard IndyBar CLE rates.
Choosing the Plus CLE membership option will allow members to join a section or division and attend all of that group’s one-hour brownbag CLE programs at no additional cost throughout 2014. Each section or division will offer a minimum of four programs, providing a savings of at least $80 per year.
Through Plus CLE, the IndyBar hopes to help members:
• Save money. While section dues will increase by a small amount, members of participating sections will see savings of at least $100 per year versus paying per credit hour for each section program.
• Save time. No more pulling out a credit card to pay for individual programs or submitting individual invoices for payment.
• Invest your money in what matters. Pay one lump sum for section or division affiliation, providing practice area and CLE that is meaningful and relevant.
This membership change, along with potential options in the future for bundling for membership, services and resources, is guided largely by the IndyBar’s Strategic Plan, which is drafted every three years. The IndyBar Board of Directors approved at its October meeting the 2014 to 2017 Strategic Plan, much of which contemplates evolution in membership structure and an increase in tangible value and member benefits to meet the demands of a constantly evolving legal marketplace.•