One of my goals as your 2013 president is to create more transparency within the association as it relates to the business of the Association and the initiatives being undertaken by your Board of Directors. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on two things: our annual conference and the recent Board of Directors meeting.
Annual Conference: VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!! I am thrilled to tell you that as of 2/4, we have 528 registered attendees, 120 of which are first-time attendees. This time last year, we had approximately 404 registered attendees. Guess Vegas is the place to be in April! I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Las Vegas in April.
The 2013 Board of Directors met in Chicago on January 30-31. Below are the key decisions/initiatives and projects that were discussed and/or resulted.
Education: As I mentioned in my Strategies article this month, the Board will be focused on goal three of the Association’s strategic plan which is to “be the leading provider of legal marketing learning and networking opportunities.” To assist us with this undertaking, we are seeking the assistance and expertise of SmithBucklin. Chris Peck, a senior director at SmithBucklin whose focus is on educational strategy and development will serve as project manager and will work with a team of 7 other of our SmithBucklin team members as well as in close collaboration with the Education committee. The initial focus will be on developing a profile or our primary and secondary member and non-member market segments and a review or how we deliver education. This will be accomplished through a series of focus groups and field research. Chris Peck and her team will present a recommended education strategy to the Board, at the July meeting, with recommended staffing plan.
Annual Conference: As many of you are aware, the LMA has been in a partnership with the American Conference Institute since 2008 to deliver first-class annual conferences. Our contract with ACI is up in 2013. It is a best practice for our Association that we purposefully review all such circumstances with our key service providers to ensure we make the best decision for all members. As such, a task force has been created whose primary goal is to provide a recommendation for the production of the LMA Annual Conference over 3-year timeframe (2015-2017). The task force is being chaired by President-Elect, Tim Corcoran and includes representation from chapters, SIGs and related committees. The task force will make their recommendation at the April board meeting and the recommended providers will present at the July meeting and the Board will make a decision at that time.
ABA: In late 2012, the American Bar Association named a task force to review and make recommendations on the state of legal education and its responsiveness to the needs and opportunities of the legal market. (http://www.abanow.org/2012/07/aba-president-names-task-force-on-the-future-of-legal-education/) This task force has asked for help to identify how the bench, bar and legal education community can work together to provide meaningful opportunities for law students and graduates that benefit clients and the public at large. LMA submitted comments for the task force to review during their meeting in February 2013. I’d like to thank Tom Helm, Jeff Dennis, Jeanne Hammerstrom, Mark Beese, Tasneem Goodman and Silvia Hodges for providing their input on our comments. As the authority for legal marketing worldwide, LMA provides the legal marketing community with thought leadership, professional advocacy, and personal enrichment. One of our strategic goals is to be a leader in forming and driving a cohesive global legal marketing community. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the ABA in these efforts.
Chapter Presidents Committee: The international board has 13 members, one of whom is our Chapter Presidents’ Committee (“CPC”) Chair. This position was created several years ago to be the voice of the chapters in decisions made at the international level. Each year, the current chapter presidents select from their ranks, someone who will chair the CPC the following year. This past year, during the nomination process, we learned that many 2012 chapter presidents would have a busy year in their role as the immediate past president of their chapter and were concerned about time to chair the CPC. Thus, the board chose to expand the pool of candidates for this position. When the 2013 CPC selects the 2014 CPC chair, we will open the nominations process to chapter presidents in 2012 and 2011 as well. Given feedback from chapter presidents, the board agreed this will take pressure off an immediate past president and open the process to those recent chapter presidents who may have more time to devote to the role.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be April 7 in Las Vegas.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any comments or suggestions for the Board of Directors or for me. I welcome your feedback.