Lots of great change ahead!
I always start a new year feeling refreshed, full of optimism and curiosity about the potential that lies ahead. This year at the CBA is no different.
At the Branch office, we have gone through a significant restructuring, eliminating a senior director position and two mid-level admin roles. We have trimmed our budget, and freed up our resources to put them where they’re most valuable – into direct member services. In the Member Services department, we’ve hired new, talented staff who are focused solely on serving members. Their main task is to work with our hundreds of volunteers to build the best Sections, Forums and PD offerings in the country.
We know that you look to Sections and Forums not just for education, but also – and perhaps more importantly – for real connections, community and collegiality. CPD credits are easy to get these days; there are multiple suppliers and course options. The real difference with the CBA is that it’s done in the context of building ongoing relationships – with experts, and with each other – that will enhance not just your career prospects but also your enjoyment of life in the law. We focus on serving not just individual members, but also on building up the CBA Community as a whole, within which you can both benefit and contribute. That’s why we chose to make all 77 Branch and 41 National Sections and Forums free with CBA membership.
The second thing you’ll notice that’s new about CBABC this year is that after nine years of holding our annual Branch Conference south of the border, we’ve revamped the Conference based on direct input from members. The end result is an amazing new Conference in Whistler on April 8-9, 2016.
Some things haven’t been changed:
- A GORGEOUS SETTING – the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, right on the mountain.
- HIGH-LEVEL SPEAKERS – former SCC Justice Marshall Rothstein, Chief Justice Hinkson, Attorney General Anton, Chief Judge Crabtree, plus 13 experts in fields as varied as “Dealing with High Conflict Personalities,” “Unleashing Your Inner Geek! Digital Evidence in the 21st Century,” “Practical Strategies for Powerful Writing” and “Uppers, Downers, All-Rounders” by BC’s former Chief Coroner, Dr. Diane Rothon.
- MUST-GO SOCIAL/NETWORKING EVENTS – receptions at the Chateau and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (plus a possible late night band gig by BC lawyers in support of the Bar Benevolent Society).
What has been changed is the time of year (spring instead of fall), a BC location (where your dollar goes further), and a stronger focus on practical take-aways from the entire program, regardless of your practice area or year of call. Our aim is to bring together the right people and provide the right opportunities for every lawyer who attends to build-up their skills, knowledge and networks to ensure a great 2016!
The other big construction project underway right now is at the National level. Many BC members participated in the CBA ReThink consultations and online Virtual Community last year. That input from across the country, combined with in-depth work with organizational design and govern-ance consultants, the CBA Board and Re-Think Steering Com-mittee, is now at a stage where there are concrete proposals being discussed and debated by the National Board, which includes all Branch Presidents, the National Executive Officers, and the Chairs of the Sections Council, Forums, Equality and Diversity Committee, CCCA and Young Lawyers. The end goal is to build a more member-centric organization with member dollars being used more effectively to deliver what you expect of us at both the National and Branch level.
These are just a few of the projects we’re working on to build a better CBA experience for you. Let us know if you think of more!