#MyAffinityStory: The Colorado Bar Association and Affinity's PMA Partnership Program

CO Bar Association

We recently had the opportunity to speak with some of our amazing clients as part of Affinity’s Client Appreciation Month. In the coming weeks, we’ll be spotlighting some of those clients in a series of posts tagged #MyAffinityStory. In this series of case studies, you’ll gain an insider’s perspective on some of the challenges faced by legal organizations today and get a peek at how the Affinity team works with clients to help them achieve their goals.

Founded in 1897, the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) is a voluntary bar association with approximately 18,000 members. The CBA prioritizes assisting its members in enhancing the quality, economic viability, and efficiency of their practices. As a non-profit organization, the CBA encourages membership by providing highly specialized information, resources, networking, and services that enable attorneys to excel in their practices.

The Challenge

As a forward-thinking bar association, the CBA has always strived to deliver services and resources that benefit members in immediate and tangible ways. Since membership is voluntary, the CBA knew that present and future members needed to continue to see demonstrable value in the CBA’s offerings. However, with the changing landscape of online search and technology-assisted information gathering, it was time for the CBA to innovate, to evolve, and to enhance the content it delivered to members.

“We put our members’ needs first when it comes to creating our resources. With the emergence of Google, blogs, and the vast sea of information available online, we saw that it was time to further develop our content and information services. This is where Affinity Consulting’s Practice Management Advisory program has been invaluable to us,” explains Sue Bertram, CBA’s Manager of Law Practice Management.

Throughout its history, the CBA has combined an ability to stay on the cutting edge of technology with the capacity to provide timely, relevant, and useful information to members. As the first bar association in the country to launch a website, the CBA was used to evolving with the times.

“Our team prides itself on being responsive to the requests and needs of attorneys. For us it’s not about providing just any answer, but the best answer possible—with the most useful advice and relevant content. Without a dedicated Practice Management Advisor in place for all 18,000 members, we had to look into how we would stay current with the times and also provide that highly specialized knowledge,” says Bertram.

The Solution

When Jennifer Ramovs, Director of Practice Management at Affinity Consulting, met with the CBA team, she knew that Affinity’s PMA partnership program was the solution they were looking for.

“For us, it goes way beyond delivering cookie-cutter information and services that may or may not fit the CBA’s unique needs. One size does not fit all. Instead, we focused on creating a tailored PMA program for the CBA, one which would provide real-world value to the legal professionals who make up their membership,” says Ramovs.

An online resource library is a key element of any bar association’s member benefits. The CBA needed to create such a hub for legal professionals on its website and market these resources—on topics ranging, for instance, from winding down a practice to document management best practices—to its current and future members.

With the PMA partnership program in place, the CBA could leverage Affinity Consulting’s legal technology and practice management experts to craft these valuable resources.

“The team from Affinity Consulting has created content which has proven to be quite popular with our membership base. On the CBA website we have our ‘MGMT HQ’ website pages where we host white papers, videos, tutorials, webinars, and more. This section of our website is now a deep resource which can accompany and inform an attorney from the beginning to the end of their legal career. We’ve also launched our brand new platform, CBA Community, which has replaced our previous listservs,” Bertram explains.

Additionally, the CBA has begun offering Affinity University, an online, on-demand training resource for software commonly used in the legal profession, to its members. From legal-specific courses on Microsoft Office and PDF applications to courses on practice management, document management, and time, billing & accounting, Affinity University serves as a one-stop shop for legal technology training. To date, over 500 CBA members have taken advantage of the Affinity University offering.

The Results

With the help and guidance of Affinity Consulting experts, the CBA’s website is now a popular hub for Colorado’s legal community.

“The consultants from Affinity Consulting are sharing their immense knowledge of and expertise with technology with our members,” says Bertram. “Resources created through their PMA program have attracted online visitors, generated new interest, and strengthened our position as a value-driven bar association. I would say that the content and resources generated by Affinity Consulting offer a great value to our members.”

Affinity Consulting has empowered the CBA to hold webinars twice a month on technology-related topics. These free webinars, many of which offer CLE credit, have become extremely popular among CBA members, with one webinar attracting 327 attendees. In the first half of 2019 alone, total webinar attendance was just shy of 1500. The CBA also hosts some of Affinity’s nationally recognized speakers at live events for members.

Affinity Consulting’s approach goes beyond simply addressing queries through resources placed on the CBA website. By making consultants available to field questions and requests from both CBA members and employees, Affinity Consulting ensures that all bases are covered when it comes to supporting the CBA.

“We don’t shy away from addressing specific questions. Being the opposite of hands-off, we instead see ourselves as a team of highly qualified problem-solvers. If the CBA or one of its members needs advice on technology or another aspect of running their practice, we are there with the answers. All they have to do is click a button on the CBA’s website to submit their question! It’s that easy,” says Ramovs.

So how does Bertram sum up her experience with Affinity Consulting?

“Our members are thrilled, and we are well on our way to being an on-demand hub for the legal community in Colorado,” says Bertram. “Affinity has only highlighted our strengths and supported our mandate.”

Want to learn more about how Affinity can help your organization thrive? Contact us at info@affinityconsulting.com or request a consultation.

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