No, it's not Trump Tower, but close. Welcome to Orlando, site of the 2015 meeting of the NABE Communications Section.

No, it’s not Trump Tower, but close. Welcome to Orlando, site of the 2015 meeting of the NABE Communications Section.

In early October, a few of us from Arizona Attorney Magazine had the opportunity to present at a national conference. Today, I’m happy to share great recaps of those two presentations.

Karen Holub, our Art Director, and I spoke at the annual conference of the National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section. It was held in Orlando, which is a (head) trip of its own.

My plenary presentation was on the topic of “the art of presenting.” It was a blast, and I was privileged to share the podium with the talented and long-suffering Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association. She provided invaluable content to the banquet room of communicators. And I provided … well, why don’t you read the terrific coverage we got from the talented and generous writer Marilyn Cavicchia.

Attendees gather to hear us talk about the art of presenting.

Attendees gather to hear us talk about the art of presenting.

True professional Catherine Sanders Reach exudes patience while Communications Section Chair Russell Rawlings and I trade picture-taking.

True professional Catherine Sanders Reach exudes patience while Communications Section Chair Russell Rawlings and I trade picture-taking.

The day before, Karen presented with terrific colleagues from San Francisco and Nashville on design for the non-designer. Her presentation was funny and valuable, and she simply crushed it. Here’s how Marilyn described that session.

And here is a photo of Karen presenting.

Karen Holub explains design for a roomful of non-designers. She spoke slowly.

Karen Holub explains design for a roomful of non-designers. She spoke slowly.

Her slides were eye-opening (which is what you want in slides). Among my favorites was this one, which chastised all of us in legal publications for our often too-easy use of images like gavels (and scales of justice, omigod the scales) to illustrate complex concepts. Try harder, she suggested, and you’ll be surprised what can happen.

Enough with the gavels in legal journalism, ok?

Enough with the gavels in legal journalism, ok?

Finally, at the Friday closing luncheon, those of us in the State Bar of Arizona were recognized for professional achievement. My terrific colleague Alberto Rodriguez accepted an award for the Bar’s “Finish the Ballot” campaign. And I got an award for leadership.

Alberto Rodriguez and I with awards from the National Association of Bar Executives, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 2, 2015.

Alberto Rodriguez and I with awards from the National Association of Bar Executives, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 2, 2015.

You can read more about the honors here.

Alberto Rodriguez, State Bar of Arizona, right, and fellow honorees at the National Association Of Bar Executives Communications Section workshop, Oct. 2, 2015.

Alberto Rodriguez, State Bar of Arizona, right, and fellow honorees at the National Association Of Bar Executives Communications Section workshop, Oct. 2, 2015.

Over time, I’ve learned that presenting and participating in professional service yield great benefits, and that the considerable time we put in garners much in return. I hope you agree.

Congratulations to my great fellow-workers on your achievements and willingness to lead.

Advertisements
Free is something anyone can support. Fastcase is free for State Bar members, and discounts are available for other services.

Free is something anyone can support. Fastcase is free for State Bar members, and discounts are available for other services.

You may have noticed that the July/August issue of Arizona Attorney had more heft than usual.

No, that’s not due to our awesome cover story on the wisdom of having a beard on your witness. (Spoiler alert: It’s complicated.) Instead, it is due to the inclusion of a great booklet filled with State Bar of Arizona member discounts.

Normally, that’s not my neck of the woods. But a colleague, Michael Peel, designed the book this year, and when I got my hands on it, I was very impressed.

So much so that I made a Vine (a short video that has nothing to do with vines … just roll with it). You can watch it here (though they do even better if you watch them on your cellphone!).

The State Bar of Arizona 2015 Member Discounts booklet

The State Bar of Arizona 2015 Member Discounts booklet

And because you may be in need not just of a stunning piece of videography, but of discounts themselves, here is where you can find all of them on the State Bar website.

Congratulations to Michael Peel on a job well done!

Member discounts booklet 2 2015

A new icon is available to indicate accessibility in the City of Phoenix.

A new icon is available to indicate accessibility in the City of Phoenix.

This morning, a group gathers in the Phoenix City Hall to announce the launch and allowed use of a new symbol designating accessibility (you can see it above). It’s been a long time coming.

The new icon is described as “reflecting a disabled community that is active, motivated and determined.” Phoenix is the first Arizona city to adopt the icon.

Mayor Greg Stanton will speak at the event at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Also offering remarks will be Alisa Blandford, Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department Director; Edward Kim, President & General Manager of Cigna; and Jennifer Longdon, disabled rights advocate (and a neighbor of mine!).

As an Arizona Republic article has explained, Cigna was the company in Arizona that instigated the requested use. The new icon was designed by Sara Hendren, a professor of design at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. She also helped found the Accessible Icon Project, “a group dedicated to providing people with supplies and services they need to make the switch.”

As the Accessible Icon Project so well describes it:

“The symbol does not ‘represent’ people with disabilities, but symbolizes the idea that all people with disabilities can be active and engaged in their lived environment. Our active accessibility symbol helps re-imagine how society and individuals view people with disabilities.”

The Project also provides a timeline of sorts of accessibility icons over time:

Accessibility icons through the years (from the Accessible Icon Project)

Accessibility icons through the years (from the Accessible Icon Project)

Below you can see the symbol that is being phased out (it is called the International Symbol of Access, which was created in 1969). Congratulations to the City of Phoenix for your leadership in this area.

This accessibility icon, designed in 1969, may become less prevalent in Phoenix.

This accessibility icon, designed in 1969, may become less prevalent in Phoenix.

Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition ad 2013 cropped

Our current grinning look for the Arts Competition

We’ve hit the 10-year mark for our Creative Arts Competition at Arizona Attorney Magazine. Here is how I drafted the opening to our arts pages in the May 2013 issue (on newsstands soon!):

“10 years is a long time to do most anything. But here at Arizona Attorney Magazine, it stuns us that we’ve been privileged to host our lawyer–artists since 2004. It may not feel like just yesterday that we launched the finest attorney arts competition in the country, but a decade? It’s hard to believe.”

“In those years, we have had the opportunity to enjoy sharing parts of the legal brain beyond pleadings and contracts. And we have been pleased beyond words by the commitment of hundreds and hundreds of lawyers, each of whom answers ‘Yes yes yes’ to the question of whether there is more to life than work work work.”

A lot of amazing occurred in those 10 years. But one thing that struck me was this: What nervous Nellies we were.

When we decided to launch this new initiative early in the 2000s, the Editorial Board and I were concerned that our lawyer–readers would see it as fluff, and that no one would submit. And even if they did, how talented were the lawyers, really?

Pretty funny concerns, I think, now that I look back. But if we want a glimpse at the odd worries that possessed us, we need look only to the evolution of our “call for artists” ads through the years. As you’ll see below in this sample of work, we began with a look that would have fit in a 19th-century paleontology journal. And our categories were strictly legal—and included zero visual-arts content!

Over time, as we saw the popularity of the competition, we loosened up a bit, on our categories and our design. Finally, in the past few years we have posted ads that could be run in any magazine of general circulation.

Write to arizona.attorney@azbar.org and tell me your favorites.

Here is a selection of our ads through the past decade.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Every now and then, an editor runs across a magazine article that he wishes he had run in his own publication.

That’s what happened earlier this month when I came across a piece in the online version of a California county bar publication. The topic is trends in law offices, and it opens like this:

“The law firm industry is currently undergoing a significant transformation affecting both large and smaller firms, urban as well as suburban, that cuts across all subcategories of legal specialization. There are a number of issues simultaneously impacting the legal industry ranging from increased cost efficiencies, major changes in technology, cultural differences between attorney age groups, as well as the globalization of industry and commerce including law firms.

“At the same time, there is a greater understanding by architects, design gurus, attorney administrators and partners on the importance of design, layout, decor and functionality of the law firm office on recruitment, attorney retention, client and staff satisfaction, competition within the same legal subsector and increased bottom-line profitability.”

Congratulations to the Contra Costa County Bar Association for this great content. You can read the entire piece here.

Gibson Dunn law office design

Down in the article, I noted that the author addressed that hoary old beast, the law firm library. You may have seen that I wrote about libraries yesterday. Here is what the Contra Costa Lawyer piece had to say on the topic:

“Once the hallmark of a law firm’s heritage, bookshelves with rows and rows of law text, regulations, interpretation and rulings used to line many hallways. Major firms had entire law libraries with thousands of square feet of bookshelves, law books dating back to the 1800s, and ample space for research. However, over the past twenty years those symbols of firm stability have been almost entirely replaced by online resources. There is a growing realization that not only are most law libraries seldomly utilized, and that they may now portray old-school thinking not in line with modern technology, there are also economic considerations. Just a 500 ft2 space can cost the firm $150,000 at a $30/ft2 annual rent figure over a 10 year lease. If this amount was invested in technological upgrades how much more efficient would attorneys and legal assistants be in accessing legal information online?

“Mobile devices allow research from almost anywhere, while wireless connections facilitate printing and collaboration. There is also a growing use of legal outsourcing, either in the form of legal staffing companies or offshore research.”

In the October issue of Arizona Attorney, we’ll have some content on mobile lawyering (though we still love libraries!).

Last week, Nashville was the site for a great conference attended by me and a few Arizona colleagues. Now, I’m pleased to report that the Bar won awards in two communications categories at the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) workshop.

NABE is an affiliate of the American Bar Association. Last week’s meeting was the annual gathering of the NABE Communications Section, one of NABE’s oldest and most established (I am privileged to be a member of the NABE Communications Section Council, though I was not a judge in this year’s awards).

In addition to the many great educational programs the Section offers at the annual meeting, it also honors bar products and services in multiple categories and based on bar association size (the State Bar of Arizona is considered a large bar). This year’s awards were sponsored by legal research service Fastcase, which is a partner to a growing number of bar associations nationwide (click here to see the list).

At Friday’s awards luncheon, State Bar products were recognized in two categories: Website Design (click here for the Bar’s site) and Special Publications (recognizing the annual report).

Congratulations to everyone who helped brainstorm, design and produce the projects.

Here are a few photos from the event:

State Bar of Arizona Chief Communications Officer Rick DeBruhl and Art Director Karen Holub, center, hold Luminary Awards. Also pictured: Christina Steinbrecker, Fastcase Bar Relations Manager, and Philip Rosenthal, Fastcase President

2011 Luminary Award winner representatives, National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section, Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 21, 2011

Are you in need of a cosmopolitan pick-me-up, perhaps to perch on your own desk?

If so, New York in a Bag may be the ticket.

On this Change of Venue Friday, I share a small item that my sister- and brother-in-law got for me when they recently traveled East. As we enter the holiday-laden months, you may find that it suits your workspace, or that of a colleague.

Here’s the burgeoning little berg, carved out of wood (the coin is for size comparison).

 

The NY set includes the Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty, Guggenheim Museum, the original Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) buildings, and six cars.

And yes, there IS a bag.

Japanese firm MUJI manufactures these unique sets of blocks—and then packs them in a bag, hence the name. According to MUJI, they’re made of sustainable wood. And they’re as charming as all get-out.

One of the best places to purchase it is MOMA itself.

New York not your choice of great cities? You also may choose other locales, including Barcelona, Tokyo, London, Italy or Paris—or more. Use your imagination and create your own wooden metropolis.

I’ve also been led to believe that they have created Outer Space in a Bag and Suburbia in a Bag, but I haven’t been able to locate them to purchase. If you do, let me know.

Have a globe-trotting weekend.