New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

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Bar Leaders Discuss Innovative Membership Initiatives

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Jersey State Bar Association took a critical look at its membership and the future when bar leaders met to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and trends affecting New Jersey attorneys. The wide-ranging Board Retreat held on Sept. 16 and 17 at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch was the initial step in a multi-phased approach to strategic planning for the state bar.

“The aim of the retreat was to initiate a strategic planning process by sharing our ideas, experiences and resources in order to improve services and other offerings to our members and the wider legal community,” said NJSBA President Stuart A. Hoberman.

Bar leaders were assisted at the retreat by Antonio (Tony) Alvarado, Esq., a former executive director of the State Bar of Texas. Alvarado led participants in an intensive series of discussions and breakout groups on a wide variety of topics, including:

Analyzing NJSBA general and section membership issues;

Recognizing the need for and increasing the use of technology to enhance bar activities and the practice of law;

Bridging generational, gender and ethnic gaps between different segments of the lawyer population;

Evaluating the importance of various bar activities and events to current and prospective members; and

Fostering better cooperation among bar groups.

As part of its comprehensive strategic planning process, the state bar will also be conducting an extensive membership survey, as well as surveys of former NJSBA members and lawyers who never joined the state bar in order to assess the needs and concerns of lawyers throughout the state.

“The information gained from bar leaders at this retreat, coupled with information developed through the membership and lawyer surveys will help the NJSBA develop a strategic plan to guide the state bar into the future,” said Hoberman.

The retreat was divided into two segments. Day one was designed to assess current bar initiatives and offerings, identify trends among practitioners and in the practice of law, and examine the various factors affecting decisions about whether to join and participate in the work of bar associations. The second was devoted to developing ways in which the work of the state bar could be strengthened and promoted. Stressing his yearlong theme of “Back to Business”, Hoberman noted that this includes the business of the bar association.

Alvarado will prepare a report for the NJSBA Board of Trustees that will serve as one aspect of the blueprint for the bar’s strategic plan. President Hoberman will appoint a special committee to ensure implementation of the recommendations developed at the retreat.

The New Jersey State Bar Association, incorporated in 1899, is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public, to reforming and improving the legal system and to aiding in the administration of justice.