Vol. 85, No. 9, September 2012
When the resumé arrived from an applicant for State Bar PINNACLE® director, it was hard to believe. She had experience as a lawyer in private practice; as executive director leading an association and as state-level program manager for CLE seminars and publications, and national experience in CLE; and in training paralegals. She had a master's degree in marketing and a pending graduate certificate in distance learning. We hired her.
Meet Trish Carrera. She's smart, positive, and detailed in her responses and has a sense of humor. She is even better on the job than the resumé and interview suggested. She gets it. She's a planner. She can execute and motivates others to execute. She welcomes and fosters change for improvement. She's direct without being confrontational but is not afraid of conflict. She's a leader and a contributing team member.
Trish leads the PINNACLE department, a talented team of lawyer editors and seminar planners and product managers. Before Trish arrived, this team had put in place the institutes, delivering in-depth knowledge focusing on one or two practice areas, and Books UnBound, an online library of books, with links to research materials.
"The State Bar of Wisconsin's CLE and publishing program is highly regarded by the American Bar Association," Carrera says. "When the opportunity to head PINNACLE presented itself, I didn't hesitate to explore it." Now that she's here, she has many ideas for building on PINNACLE's success.
Trish and her team, including a newly formed business development group, plan to extend existing seminar and other PINNACLE information products in ways that are more convenient and useful to Wisconsin lawyers. Here are just a few of the things they are doing.
They developed a series of webcast CLE seminars to address practice areas that were currently underserved, such as criminal and insurance law. Here's the concept. Each week for a month, on the same day and time (say, every Wednesday at noon), a focus topic, such as criminal law, will be explored in one-hour webcasts. Beginning in 2013, each month will focus on a different practice area. Lawyers can better plan ahead to get the CLE – on the topics – they need.
They introduced new books, including the award-winning Alcohol Beverages Regulation in Wisconsin, and are developing a new line of "info bundles" of related material on discrete topics. For example, a health law bundle – introduced in August – includes material from PINNACLE seminars and books (such as outlines and chapters), and other articles from State Bar resources. The goal, Carrera says, is "to take the information from our extensive practice library and make it available in as many different relevant contexts as lawyers need."
However, Trish is not without her faults. Hailing from Chicago, she is an inveterate Cubs and Bears fan. I know. Given time, she may see the error of her ways.