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How Bar Associations Can Scale Their Efforts to Help People With Legal Issues

Bar associations, whether state bars, the American Bar Association or niche bar associations are constantly helping people faced with legal challenges.

The problem is their efforts don’t scale.

Beyond supporting their lawyer members, helping people is part of the bar association mantra.

From the ABA:

Increase public understanding of and respect for the rule of law, the legal process, and the role of the legal profession at home and throughout the world. Hold governments accountable under law. Work for just laws, including human rights, and a fair legal process. Assure meaningful access to justice for all person. Preserve the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary.

The Missouri Bar Association, like other states, has a separate website dedicated to helping the public.

Members of the public may  find a lawyer online or download one of our 25-plus publications on topics ranging from family law to living wills. The Missouri Bar also offers workshops and publications for teachers.

The Indiana Bar makes clear its mission includes promoting the public’s understanding of the law.

The bar goes on to provide resources for locating a lawyer, niche focused handbooks and more.

The problem is that the efforts of bar association don’t scale.

There’s a limit to what bars can do – in bar personnel time, distribution of resources, the areas of the law needed to be covered and the lawyers needed to publish content and appear at events.

A few days ago I ran across the below tweet from the Missouri Bar.

First thing I thought was it sure looks like a Legal Zoom ad (good in the comfort level for consumers).

A real business person now able to get the information they need to start and run a small business.

In this case, a free resource guide written by Missouri lawyers. Pretty slick.

The second thing I thought was what if the Missouri Bar scaled legal resources for the people of the state.

This guide only covered one area of the law and how was the guide going to be regularly updated.

What about covering most consumer and small business areas of the law and updating daily the information freely available.

What if, like the Wisconsin Bar Association did with WisLawNow, Missouri aggregated and curated all credible legal blogs from Missouri lawyers.

A never ending flow of free legal information – the type of information that consumers and businesses are looking for.

Need more areas of the law covered? Need more lawyers from various communities? Empower Missouri lawyers by providing them with a blog publishing platform – maybe for free – and teach them how to blog, the right away.

It’s a win/win for the Bar, the public and lawyers who see their name and business grow.

A scaled public resource built and executed by legal professionals – in private practice and bar associations – who care.

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