During its inaugural year, one of the first activities of the Standing Committee on Government Lawyers was to undergo a strategic planning exercise. The goal of this process was to create a strategic plan to guide the Committee as it begins its service within the ISBA. This "plan" is now complete and has been approved by the Standing Committee.
In the plan, the Committee concludes that it serves diverse populations with varied interests. These include attorneys and judges in a number of settings, such as: federal, state, county, university, special districts, boards and commissions, and, private practice (serving government clients)--just to name a few.
We also concluded that our constituency is generally overworked and underpaid, without significant technological resources, and the employer support for training and professional development is often lacking. While there are a number of groups within our constituency, there is minimal contact and communication between them. Thus, it was concluded that there is a significant need for someone (or some state wide professional organization!) to play a leadership role in addressing these needs.
In analyzing our capabilities, we concluded that the Committee is in a position to:
* make it easier for our constituency to do their jobs;
* act as a clearinghouse for information;
* through the resources of the ISBA, be an umbrella for the various associations seeking to serve the same people; and,
* be an access point for government lawyers to get more involved in the ISBA and to otherwise further their professional development.
After reviewing the questions of who we are and what we are capable of doing, the Committee proceeded to approve a series of long-range goals. These include the following:
1. To develop programs of interest to our membership;
2. To collaborate within the ISBA and with other organizations;
3. To improve the communication capacity of our membership;
4. To increase our membership's networking opportunities--both social and professional;
5. To establish partnerships with certain governmental agencies such that our membership may be served by an exchange of resources;
6. To enhance the image of our constituency;
7. To maintain a diverse Committee and constituency;
8. To establish and promote our position within the ISBA;
9. To recruit members to our constituency and to the ISBA;
10. To increase the activity of our constituency within the ISBA; and,
11. To periodically conduct self-assessments of the Committee's purpose in order to ensure that its activities continue to be consistent with its mission and this strategic plan.
The Committee is already hard at work in trying to meet these goals. We have begun by developing a series of "Action Plans" and are making every effort to ensure that your Committee becomes all it is capable of being.
Finally, what strategic planning exercise would be complete without a mission statement? The following is ours:
It shall be the purpose of the ISBA's Standing Committee on Government Lawyers to promote a representative organized bar by providing a forum for government lawyers to meet, identify, address and register common concerns regarding substantive and procedural laws relating to government practice. To work to ensure adequate government lawyer representation on the committees and section councils of the Association. To promote the representation of government lawyer interests in all aspects of bar activities and the profession. To present seminars and conferences, and conduct other appropriate activities in furtherance of these goals.
This gives you a quick overview of who we are, what we do and where we are headed. As this strategic planning process is a continuing exercise, I encourage you to let us know your thoughts about the above--both positive and negative. In this regard, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.