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    Inside the Bar: Stronger Together

    We are stronger together when we join forces to advance the legal profession and the justice system. As proof, simply take a look at the accomplishments reported in the State Bar’s Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report.

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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 82, No. 12, December 2009

     by George C. Brown, executive director

    George BrownThe past year at the State Bar was indeed busy, filled with accomplishments that benefit the members of the State Bar and the public. In our annual report, you will find a review of these accomplishments, including the introduction of Fastcase free legal research for all members, the installation of a Google search engine on WisBar that dramatically increases the relevant search results from WisBar and Fastcase, the creation of the Access to Justice Commission to help improve access to justice and the delivery of legal services, improving care for those lawyers and judges who suffer from addiction or other impairment, and the expansion of opportunities for ethics and practice management advice. We also introduced the Ultimate Pass to help you manage your CLE seminar costs. Subscribing members have unlimited access to live, video, Webcast, telephone, and OnDemandTM CLE seminars for a 365-day period for one low price. Many of those seminars also are a research tool, available and searchable on WisBar through the CLE OnDemand library all day every day.

    Every year at about this time, in the Wisconsin Lawyer, we recap the previous year in the State Bar annual report, but you will not find it in the pages of this magazine this year. Well, you will find a statement of the fiscal year 2009 financial results elsewhere in this issue but you won’t find the full narrative report. Instead, on Dec. 2, the report was delivered electronically through our new, nationally award-winning InsideTrack newsletter. (If you missed it, you’ll find the annual report on WisBar, too.) Why the change? There are a few reasons. One is money. It is cheaper to publish the report on the Web. More importantly, electronic publication frees us from the tyranny of the printed page, with all its limitations on length and communication techniques. In addition, we can take advantage of technology, creating links to other information for readers who wish to explore a topic more deeply and providing multimedia interviews of key actors on important topics.

    Take a look at the FY 2009 Annual Report through InsideTrack or on WisBar. You will find all the accomplishments I noted above and more, including interviews with Judge Rick Sankovitz on the Access to Justice Initiative and the second Equal Justice Conference, Diane Diel on the highlights of her presidency, Ed Walters, one of the founders of Fastcase, on the free legal research service, and comments from attendees of the Solo and Small Firm Conference.

    When you step back and look at the successes from this last year, it will become evident to you why professionals join together in association: we are stronger together. Please take the time to explore what your association offers you.