August 2012 - Membership Has Its Privileges
by Dimetria A. Jackson
For over 110 years, the OCBA has faithfully served the professional needs of lawyers and the legal community. As a voluntary bar association, the OCBA continually strives to provide value to its members by offering several cost savings, including discounted member pricing on CLE, as well as discounts on professional liability, life, and disability insurance, legal research, staffing services, and wireless service plans. In addition to current member benefits, the OCBA plans to issue a rewards card to members, which would provide additional member discounts, including shipping and car rental services.
OCBA members may take advantage of members-only benefits through participation in HELP-Line, a hotline of experienced attorneys who assist members over the phone with various legal matters. Members seeking to develop client relationships through the Lawyer Referral and Information Services (LRIS) and who advertise in Orange County Lawyer may do so at discounted rates.
The OCBA’s benefits include networking with fellow practitioners and free education. In addition to numerous educational opportunities, including a new Health Law Section, the OCBA has expanded its educational programs to include technology and social media. For example, in March, the Masters Division held a seminar entitled “The Three Cs of Technology: The Courtroom, Clients, and Confidentiality,” and this month, the OCBA will host a free seminar on Social Media for Lawyers.
OCBA Mobile Member App
Keeping with the renewed focus on technology, hopefully by now, you are using the new OCBA Mobile Member app, which was launched this summer. The app enables OCBA members to access their member benefits and register for events, including monthly CLE luncheons, using their smartphones, iPads, or other mobile devices. Based upon a preliminary review of other voluntary bar associations, the OCBA is proud to be the first to implement an app with so many interactive features.
Through the OCBA app, all users can browse the latest OCBA news and events, review member benefits, and obtain information about joining the OCBA. Members may access the OCBA member directory, and the current issue of Orange County Lawyer magazine. The web app also enables members to access their OCBA accounts to renew their memberships, update their profiles, view upcoming registrations, and track CLE credits obtained through OCBA seminars. The OCBA app also provides links to the OCBA Facebook page and the OCBA President’s Page on Facebook, information about the OCBA, and a link to the OCBA’s website. This new benefit assists members to remain engaged and informed.
OCBA Rewards Card
Through its collective bargaining power, the OCBA seeks to enhance its member offerings and discounts. In addition to current benefits, the OCBA will offer a membership rewards card, enabling members to receive discounts at local restaurants, hotels, spas and other businesses, by virtue of their membership in the OCBA. The rewards card discounts will be available only to OCBA members. Many of the benefits that the OCBA offers began with a suggestion or recommendation from a member. If you have a suggestion for additional services, or a relationship with a local business that may be interested in providing discounts to OCBA members, please send an email message to email@example.com.
Social Media Presentation
On August 20th, the OCBA will present a workshop on the use of social media. The seminar will focus on the use of social media for firms and solo practitioners, and will answer questions regarding LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter used in legal practices. The presenters will provide examples of lawyers who are successfully using social media, and will provide methods to measure returns. The seminar will be held at the Microsoft Store at South Coast Plaza, a new venue for OCBA events. In addition to the proximity to shopping at some of your favorite stores, the Microsoft store is ideal for technology related seminars due to the availability of multiple overhead projectors and numerous laptop computers where attendees may view a PowerPoint presentation. If you have not yet registered for this seminar, please do so now. We anticipate that this will be the first in a series of OCBA technology and social media seminars for lawyers.
Networking with the Business Community
This year, the OCBA hosted two events for members who live and/or work in North and South County. The Spring Member Mixer was in Fullerton at the Summit House, and the Summer Member Mixer was held at Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach. As a result of positive feedback from its members, the OCBA will likely host similar networking events in the future. Member mixers are excellent opportunities to meet and network with fellow members of the bar and bench. Non-members are always welcome to attend OCBA member mixers, but the cost is at a higher rate.
On August 9th, the OCBA will co-sponsor a networking event with a professional business organization. The Orange County/Long Beach Chapter of the California CPAs invited the OCBA to co-sponsor the ABC (“Attorneys, Bankers and CPAs”) networking event at the Diamond Club at Angel Stadium. Please note that there will be no baseball game on the date of this event. The OC/LB chapter of CalCPA is focused on several initiatives, similar to the OCBA, including partnering with complimentary associations to provide valuable resources and networking opportunities for both entities. Please join me at the upcoming OCBA events and please feel free to bring prospective OCBA members.
Dimetria A. Jackson is 2012 President of the Orange County Bar Association, a freelance attorney with Montage Legal Group, handling corporate transactional matters, and the Chief Executive Officer of redBAMBINA.com. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.