Oct. 3, 2012 – Increasingly, State Bar of Wisconsin members are turning to WisBar’s online Lawyer Search, rather than the State Bar’s print annual directory, to find contact information for Wisconsin-licensed lawyers. With approximately 10,000 changes to member contact information each year, the online directory is updated daily, which means Lawyer Search is more current than the print Wisconsin Lawyer Directory.
“A 2010 survey reveals that more than 40 percent of respondents never use the print publication or prefer to use the online Lawyer Search to find lawyer contact information,” says State Bar Executive Director George Brown, “and another 35 percent use the publication less than monthly.”
“The State Bar, like every other organization, regularly evaluates the services it offers,” says Brown. “With increasing production costs, and a downward trend in publication use, State Bar leadership decided to discontinue distribution of the print directory to all members. Instead, it will use its limited resources to improve the online Lawyer Search.
Print directory available for sale
The State Bar recognizes that some members – and their support staff – prefer a print directory for a variety of reasons, says Brown. For those who find online access inconvenient, the State Bar will print a limited number of directories for sale. However, effective with the January 2013 edition, the State Bar will no longer send free copies of the print directory to members.
The Oct. 17 issue of InsideTrack will provide more information about the cost of and how to order directories. Orders placed by late November will receive prepublication discounts. If there is insufficient interest by this date, the State Bar will assess whether it will proceed with producing a print edition.
Upcoming enhancements to Lawyer Search
Later in 2012, the State Bar plans to launch a new WisBar website, which will improve the functionality of Lawyer Search. Lawyer Search also will soon offer options for enhancing member profiles, such as adding photos, biographies, current State Bar activities, and admission to other courts. These enhancements encourage information sharing between members, says Brown, which in turn fosters networking and referrals. Watch for more information in the near future.
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