Wisconsin Lawyer: Inside the Bar: The Need for Innovation:

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    Inside the Bar: The Need for Innovation

    Make a decision. Move forward. These qualities inform how member leaders and staff work together to provide products and services to help you succeed.

    George C. Brown

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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 85, No. 11, November 2012

    George BrownMost of us have reminders to help keep perspective on how we do our jobs or relate to people. Mine tend to be quotes. A favorite is, "Make a decision. If you're wrong, make another one." For people (like me) who like more rather than less information and perspective, the quote reminds one that in pursuing more of both, at some point all one is doing is avoiding a decision. So make the decision.

    Another favorite is, "Remember this; when you're through changing ... you're through." Because the legal profession looks backwards to move forward, and the pace of change can be glacial in a supersonic world, this maxim reminds me of the need for innovation, the need to keep moving forward.

    Being decisive and embracing change inform how State Bar member leaders and other volunteers and staff work together to provide products and services to help you in your practice. These qualities also affect business decisions when evaluating products or services based on how you actually use them and on other market forces. Recent examples include the following.

    By year end, you will be accessing a brand new WisBar, the State Bar's website. After a complete reengineering, the website will be cleaner, faster to navigate, easier to search, and more useful to you.

    In response to members' increased use of the Ethics Hotline, we have added part-time Assistant Ethics Counsel Susan Walker. After many years in private practice, soon, along with full-time Ethics Counsel Tim Pierce, she will be taking members' calls. Growth in the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program, WisLAP, means that we also will soon hire a part-time assistant program coordinator to help WisLAP Coordinator Linda Albert provide direct services to members who need help coping with the stresses of practicing law.

    Telephone companies know that most people now use technology to search for addresses and phone numbers, so they forego the expense of delivering telephone books to their customers. Similarly, beginning this January, we will no longer send the print Wisconsin Lawyer Directory to you. More of you are turning to WisBar's Lawyer Search to find current contact information for Wisconsin lawyers. The State Bar makes more than 10,000 changes to members' contact information each year. WisBar's Lawyer Search is updated daily, making it your most accurate listing of Wisconsin-licensed attorneys. But we also know that some of you still prefer a printed directory, so one will be available for a small fee.

    Finally, this magazine will undergo a dramatic change in 2013, presenting a fresher look and a new content mix, with more opportunities for writer involvement and reader interaction, while retaining the core substantive articles.

    Nobody said change had to be glacial.