March 2020
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Steal This Idea: Pre-screening and Connecting Individuals in Need of Low Cost Legal Services

The Memphis Bar Foundation launched 901 Legal Connect, an online pre-screening intake portal earlier this month. 901 Legal Connect is a mobile responsive web-application that connects underserved residents in the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and the surrounding counties to free or low-cost legal service providers. 901 Legal Connect serves as a pre-screening tool that connects appropriate applicants with the correct legal service provider on the first try. Learn more here.

Share with Your Members: #ABATECHSHOW Highlights

Did you miss last week’s ABA Tech Show in Chicago?  Check out ABA Journal’s coverage of the event conference and key panels here.

Vote Your Voice

If your bar is planning to promote voting and civic engagement, here are some resources that may help (including state by state voter information and resources).

Hot Tips and Actionable Takeaways from the Midyear Meeting

Missed the Midyear Meeting or a session? No worries! This 45-minute recording, hosted by Elizabeth Derrico and Karen Korr, covers all the highlights from the plenary sessions and workshops.

What’s New with You and Your Association?

Send news of promotions, retirements, awards, etc., to NABE News Editor Rachel Rojas-Brennan at or fill out this questionnaire

March 2020

President’s Message

By Julie M. Armstrong

Julie M. Armstrong

Corporate buzzwords make me sigh. Several years ago, an IndyBar board was so consumed with buzzwords that I played my own covert game of Boardroom Bingo to see just how many buzzwords were used in a single meeting. First came “lens,” then “leverage,” “value-added,” “change-agent” and ultimately, my personal favorite – “synergy.”  It was all I could do to resist the urge to yell, “Bingo!” when “synergy” finally made its way into the conversation. The latest buzzword to emerge seems to be, “soft skills.”   As much as I want to roll my eyes, I have to admit that this one resonates with me. Soft skills are personal rather than technical talents that enable someone to interact effectively and amicably with other people. As I’ve thought about the role models I’ve had in bar association work, it’s occurred to me that it’s their soft skills that made them stand out. 


Join Us for the NABE April Webinar on Pro Bono Volunteers

Join Megan Cooley, executive director of the Tarrant County Bar Association, and Kayla Dailey, Pro Bono Programs Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association, to discuss ways to recruit and retain pro bono volunteers for your bar programs. This webinar will also include tips on volunteer management for pro bono programs and ways to recognize their contributions. Plan to join us April 30 at 2 PM Eastern/1 PM Central by registering here.

Thanks to All Our Midyear Sponsors

NABE sends a big shout out to its sponsors for the midyear meeting in Austin, all of which are listed on the NABE Sponsor Marketplace page. An inadvertent omission from meeting signage meant that Legal Directories did not receive the proper acknowledgement onsite at the meeting.  NABE regrets the error and thanks Legal Directories for its continued support. 

Volunteer for a NABE Committee

NABE President-elect Terry Hill is in the process of appointing committees for the 2020-2021 year. Please take a few minutes to let him know your interests by completing the committee appointments request here. There are many places where your personal experience as a professional bar executive can help NABE to meet the needs of its membership. And, just the same as at your own association, it takes volunteers to make a healthy and relevant organization. Please respond by April 15.

Submit Your Applications for the LexisNexis Award

Has your bar association successfully implemented a new program or project? Did your association take a great idea from another bar and improve upon it for your bar and community?  Do you want more people to know about your association’s accomplishments? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are strongly encouraged to submit a nomination for the LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Awards (for outstanding bar public service and law-related education programs). To get an idea of what previous award winners have submitted, here are spotlights on 2018 winner Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis for their program, "St. Louis Attorneys Against Hunger," and 2016 winner The Florida Bar for their program, "#JustAdulting." The nomination deadline is April 30. Please visit this page for more information about the awards and to fill out the form.

The Colorado & Denver Bar Associations Name New ED

The Joint Management Committee of the Colorado & Denver Bar Associations have voted unanimously to appoint Amy Larson as the new executive director of both organizations. Amy previously served at the CBA and DBA as deputy executive director and COO as well as interim executive director and CEO. Amy is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she received her BA in English with a minor in political science, and her MBA with a specialization in intergovernmental management. Congratulations, Amy, on your new position!

Erie County Bar Association (PA) Announces Kresge as New ED, Says Goodbye to Smith

Julie S. Kresge joins the Erie County Bar Association as new executive director with over 30 years of executive nonprofit experience. Julie recently stated, ʺI am inspired by the commitment of the ECBA membership, the Board, and staff to serving the needs of our community, I look forward to working with them and continuing the growth of the ECBA and its Foundation.” She succeeds retiring executive director Sandra Brydon Smith after 38 years of service. The Pennsylvania Bar Association recently presented Sandra with a commendation for her 38 years of distinguished service at its November 2019 House of Delegates Meeting in Harrisburg. Sandra was also an active NABE member in the Small Bar community. NABE congratulates Julie on her new position, and best wishes to Sandra on her retirement!

Patel Steps in as New ED at the SPBCBA

The South Palm Beach County Bar Association has appointed Seema Patel as the new executive director. Seema has been with the association since 2014 in various roles and transitioned to executive director in December 2019. She earned her degree from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in political science and a BS in economics along with a minor in business law, and currently is working to obtain her Master’s in business administration. Seema says that "the association is like family and I intend on treating it like one throughout my tenure.” We welcome Seema to NABE and wish her the best of luck in her new position.

Know a NABE Member that Deserves Recognition? Send in Your Nominations for the Peer Excellence Award Now!

The nomination period for the Peer Excellence Awards is now open, so please start sending in your nominations! The Peer Excellence Award is presented to a NABE member who has made special contributions to the development of his/her bar executive peers. The Peer Excellence Award will be presented at the NABE Annual meeting in Chicago. Nominations are being accepted until April 30. The form and more information on the awards can be found here.

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