By Craig Shoup • JBA Executive Director
Often, the articles in The Bar Bulletin focus on what the members of the Jacksonville Bar Association are doing. From insightful commentary on new issues in the law to the events that we offer these articles focus on our members
I am the first to say that members are the lifeblood of our association. In this article, I want to focus on lawyers who are not members.
Those who know me must have just taken a large gasp. Everything I do is to focus on our membership and their needs.
When I started working for the association in December 2017 as chief of staff one of the first things I did was reach out to local attorneys that I knew were not members.
I wanted to know why they were not a member.
When I spoke with attorneys, many of their responses were valid. They said it is too hard to sign up to be a member, it is too hard to pay for membership, it takes too much time to come to the programs and I don’t know anyone when I come to a luncheon.
As an association, four years ago we were looking at how do we do business easiest for the association, not necessarily the membership.
We have changed. Now when someone wants to join there are a couple of ways to do it. You can go to our website at jaxbar.org/join and complete the form.
You can call the office at (904) 399-4486 and we will take your information over the phone. You can send me an email at [email protected] that you want to join and we will take your information and create your profile and then send you an invoice.
We want to make sure you get a full year of membership beginning the date you join so we created the 365 Membership, meaning that your membership is good for a full year from when you join.
For the past four years, we have taken American Express and all major credit cards.
Some attorneys want to join but paying the full membership fee at one time is difficult, so we offer quarterly payment options to help with those.
If you need something other than quarterly, reach out to me and we can make that happen.
We have examined the programs for our member luncheons. We strive to be adjourned within one hour, sometimes within 45 minutes.
With the increased use of videoconferencing, you can join most of our meetings through Zoom.
A great benefit of JBA membership is the networking opportunities.
If you come to a program, and you do not know anyone, you know me.
I often find new and not-so-new members looking for a seat at our luncheons and find them a seat and introduce them to the table to make sure they have a great time at the event.
We have built-in time at our luncheons to talk and meet colleagues at your table. For those on Zoom, we put you into breakout rooms to have the opportunity to connect virtually with others.
The JBA makes it easy to join, connect and be part of this amazing association. I look forward to connecting with all of you and helping each member connect with our association.
Craig Shoup is Jacksonville Bar Association executive director.