April 2020
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Upcoming Events


Sign Up for the NABE April Webinar and Small Bar Town Hall

NABE members, register for two virtual events coming up in the next couple of weeks--April's Small Bar Town Hall and the next NABE webinar. The town hall will be geared toward small bars and how they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will be led by Mandy Wren from the Richland County Bar Association (SC) and Whitney von Haam from the Wake County Bar Association/10th Judicial District Bar (NC). For a change of pace, others might be interested in the webinar, which will focus on pro bono volunteers and how to recruit and retain them for your bar programs. Megan Cooley and Kayla Dailey, both from the Tarrant County Bar Association (TX), will lead the discussion.


Share with Your Members: Free or Discounted Services for Law Firms

Working remotely presents a variety of challenges for law firms, from client intake processes to managing a remote team, and legal tech companies have stepped up to help! Here is a list of free products and services a variety of companies are offering to support legal professionals through the COVID-19 pandemic, compiled by Bob Ambrogi/Lawsites.


Steal This Idea: Virtual Ask a Lawyer

The Indianapolis Bar Association has launched a "Virtual Ask a Lawyer" online chat service in response to COVID-19. Lawyer volunteers are responding to questions from the public via chat during the workday, and the program is hosted on IndyBar's website here.


Why We Need Exceptional Board Governance More Than Ever

Joy Folkedal of BoardSource advises organizations that "while it might be tempting for our nonprofit boards to ignore their usual board practices and good governance procedures to address the COVID-19 situation, I would encourage you to stay strong and be intentional about your board practices, and instead, use this time to work towards exceptional governance. Here's Folkedal's refresher on how to leverage the "12 principles or good governance exhibited by exceptional boards."


What’s New with You and Your Association?

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

April 2020

President’s Message

By Julie M. Armstrong

Julie M. Armstrong

As the COVID-19 pandemic explodes around us, it’s clear that these are the days for which our associations were built. Never before have we been more in need of community and the ability to associate.  Our bar associations are best situated to provide the information and guidance that our members need in these uncertain times - virtually or at a safe distance, six feet apart. 

NABE is here to do the same for you – we’re sharing timely programs others have already created and creating opportunities to group-think new ideas. Our weekly all NABE member video chats help. The digest of information on the NABE website also has an ever-growing wealth of information for bar executives and our bar association members. What are we missing? How can we help the helpers?

Read more...


NABE Elections Uncontested, Final Slate Announced

The following candidates for the NABE Board of Directors were unopposed and will take office on July 1, 2020:

  • Vice President: Kevin Ryan, Executive Director, Monroe County Bar Association
  • Secretary: Stacy King, Executive Director, Federal Bar Association
  • State Bar Director: Tony Weiler, Executive Director, State Bar Association of North Dakota
  • Local Bar Director: Megan Cooley, Executive Director, Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Director-at-Large: Gregory Conyers, Director of Diversity, State Bar of Michigan

Congratulations to all, and NABE thanks you for your commitment to the organization.


Join Your NABE Colleagues for Thursday's COVID-19 Roundtable Session

Join your NABE peers at the next scheduled COVID-19 roundtable on Thursday, April 23, at 3:00 PM Central. Thursday's session will be moderated by NABE Vice President Ellen Miller from the California Lawyers Association. She will encourage discussion on how bars are addressing business operations, contract issues, communications and employee issues. Or, just join the call to be with your NABE community during these difficult times. If you plan to be on the call, register by clicking this link.


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, if you haven't already, to let him know your interests by completing the committee appointments request form 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. The deadline to submit your request has been extended until April 30.


Nominate a Colleague or Your Bar Now for a NABE Award

Nominations are still being accepted for the 2020 LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Awards and the Peer Excellence Awards. The Peer Excellence Award is presented to a NABE member who has made a unique contribution to the development of their bar executive peers. The LexisNexis Awards honor outstanding bar public service and law-relate education programs. If your bar or foundation has conducted an exceptional innovative program to teach and inform laypeople and students about the law or that promotes access to legal services or engages your community in a law-focused or civic-related effort, please nominate the program for the LexisNexis Awards. Award nominations may include a video intended to support the nomination. The nomination deadline for both awards is April 30. Please visit the awards pages for the LexisNexis and Peer Excellence Awards for more information and to fill out the nomination form. Also, please see these spotlighted past winners.

The Missouri Bar Welcomes Mischa Buford Epps as New Executive Director 

Mischa Buford Epps has been appointed the new executive director of the Missouri Bar. Mischa replaces Sebrina Barrett, who had been executive director since 2013 and an active member of NABE. Mischa is a former partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in Kansas City, where she practiced for more than 20 years. At SHB, she was a founding member and past chair of the firm's diversity committee. Mischa provided leadership to several bar organizations, including the Jackson County Bar Association and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. As The Missouri Bar's fifth ED in its 76-year history, Epps stated, "I'm honored, and I'm grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization." We welcome Mischa in her new role and to NABE!


Belinda Macauley Named New ED of BHBA

The Beverly Hills Bar Association has appointed Belinda Macauley as its new executive director. Belinda comes to BHBA after more than two decades practicing law and serving in senior management of national nonprofit organizations. Belinda began her career as a deputy district attorney in northern California and continued practicing law in Washington, D.C. She has spent the last five years as vice president of development and senior counsel at a leading legal nonprofit. Best wishes, Belinda, in your new position!


NCWBA Welcomes New ED, Christina Simpson

The National Conference of Women's Bar Associa-tions has selected Christina Simpson as its new executive director. Simpson's current legal practice focuses on small business and branding. Christina is an active member of the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts, where she co-chairs the Women of Color Committee. Congratulations, Christina, and welcome aboard.


Priya Purandare Selected as New ED at NAPABA

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association has named Priya Purandare as its new executive director. Priya most recently served as the executive director for the National Association of Women Judges. She started her career at the NAPABA Law Foundation in 2009, returning to NAPABA in 2014 and rose through the ranks, becoming deputy director before her time at NAWJ. "I am thrilled to rejoin the NAPABA family," said Priya. NABE looks forward to working with Priya in her new capacity.


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