Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

A Message from DBA President Janet Drake ~ June 2016: The Denver Bar Association’s Five-Year Plan

Over the course of the past year, the Denver Bar Association developed a strategic plan that specifically articulates our mission, vision and values. We spent a great deal of time considering the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. A strategic planning committee met with Susan Spero, a strategic planning facilitator, and analyzed input from DBA members and staff. The committee presented and evaluated ideas with the Board of Trustees. Action steps were created to improve our members’ experiences and develop core programming.

This is a membership organization, and service to our members is a top priority. The DBA is committed to becoming a more inclusive organization. Inclusion is critical to our success and takes the meaning of diversity to another level: In addition to encompassing diversity based on race, gender, sexual orientation and age, inclusion embraces the invitation to engage.

The engagement of young and new lawyers is a vital component of the strategic plan. The DBA will be creating more professional development opportunities and paths to leadership for young lawyers. This organization benefits from a vibrant, engaged Young Lawyers Division. Continued efforts will be made to engage experienced members with young lawyers for programming, professional development and community outreach.

Access to justice is another priority for the DBA; however, it is a complex concept that has a variety of interpretations. Service to the Denver community is important, and as attorneys, we are uniquely qualified to help people through legal clinics, pro bono work and community outreach. Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) is the DBA’s primary vehicle for delivering pro bono services. The DBA currently offers a number of additional opportunities for community engagement. As we move forward, leadership will more critically assess whether our programs have mission alignment and are the most efficient use of our resources.

Ongoing evaluation is another important piece of the strategic plan. The DBA will be evaluating the impact of our services. Moving forward, we will strive to improve meaningful, inclusive engagement within the legal and broader communities.

As I conclude my term as president of the Denver Bar Association, I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Vaught, Greg Martin and Patrick Flaherty for initiating the self-assessment process and encouraging me every step of the way. I would also like to thank Nancy Cohen, Franz Hardy and Mo Watson for their support and commitment to developing and implementing the strategic plan. Finally, I would like to thank the staff and the Board of Trustees — you are the heart of the organization. It has been a privilege to serve as president of the Denver Bar Association. I hope I’ve made a difference. D


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