~A guide to the new and improved online home of the MSBA~
By Pat Yevics
Those of you that have visited www.msba.org recently
may have noticed that the look of the website has changed. We made these changes
for a number of reasons, though the primary objectives were to 1) more effectively
use the entire screen and 2) make it easier for us to update pages throughout
the site (the site has over 7,000 pages, so making it easier to update was
There have been several major changes made with the user
in mind. For example, we have changed the order of the navigation bar from
the previous site. The Member Directory, listed at the top of the navigation
bar, is now followed by the “Members Only” area, for which login
is necessary. All other items are then listed in alphabetical order. We have
also added drop-down menus to the navigation bar to make it easier to find
We really do welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please forward
any comments on how we can make it easier for you to find information to Pat
Yevics at email@example.com.
Additionally, it should be noted that much of the credit for the website goes
to web coordinator John Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and web assistant Elizebeth Wescott.
Again, the navigation bar remains on the left side of the screen. For a
quick view of where to find information, click on “Site Map” in
the top right corner of the home page.
The boxes on the right side of the home page are new and
will highlight such items as upcoming programs, the Legislative Report and
the Ethics Hotline. In addition, MICPEL courses will be listed on the homepage.
The top right corner of the home page also features an “FAQ” link
to a list of frequently-asked questions that will be updated regularly.
All MSBA members (and only MSBA members) are listed on the website
unless they have requested to not be listed. The directory is available to
the general public, and it is possible to search for a lawyer in a variety
of ways, such as by last name, law firm, county, practice area, section membership
and state. For example, a member of the public could find a family law lawyer
from Baltimore County who is licensed in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
For Members Only
There are a number of areas and services that are for use by MSBA members
only, and you will have to log in to use these areas. To create a login, you
will need to have an e-mail address on file. In the very near future, we will
begin implementing a number that corresponds to the Client Protection Fund
Number for all members to allow access “Members Only”
areas. “Members Only” areas include:
Electronic Bar Briefs (EBB) – This
service will e-mail you a daily synopsis of Court of Appeal and Court
of Special Appeal opinions. It is free and for members only. You can
choose from a list of 15 practice areas ( www.msba.org/members/ebb/ ).
Ethics Opinions – A searchable list
of all MSBA Ethic Opinions is online and can be printed ( www.msba.org/members/ ).
Mentoring Program – This is a list
of 250 MSBA members who have volunteered to answer questions on a variety
of topics. They are listed by county and have practice area information
Change of Address/Membership Data – You
can change your membership data online by clicking on “Update Member
Info” at www.msba.org/directory/update/index.cfm. To update your
information, you will need to have an e-mail address on file with the
MSBA. When you use the online member update, your information is updated
in the database at the end of that day.
Additional Member Benefits
All of the exclusive MSBA member benefits are listed under this heading.
It is broken down by:
Member Services, such as Court House ID
badges and legal brochures
Vendor Discounts include information and
links to all vendors that give discounts to MSBA members (these discounts
are for MSBA members only).
LOMA (Law Office Management Assistance) provides
management and technology information for solo and small firm practitioners
Lawyer Assistance Program provides help
for lawyers with drug, alcohol and stress-related problems.
Ethics Hotline provides the monthly list
of names and numbers of the MSBA members of the Ethics Hotline, which
also appear on each month on page 3 of the Bar Bulletin.
Board of Governors
A list of all members of the Board of Governors (BOG) and BOG Section and
Committee Liaison assignments are listed on the site, in addition to the minutes
from the monthly meetings.
All meetings and programs are listed on the MSBA calendar. The site also
features a list of all approved restaurants and directions. In addition, local
and specialty bars can electronically submit an event for inclusion on the
Committees and Sections
There is a list of all Section Council and Committee members. In addition,
all Sections have websites with information specific to the Section’s
practice area. Section newsletters are available online exclusively for the
Section’s members. A description of all Committees and the work that
they do is available at www.msba.org/sec_comm/.
You can also join any of the Section Email Lists, on which you can post questions
and get answers (www.msba.org/sec_comm/lists/).
The Real Property, Planning & Zoning Section currently
is the only Section using forums to have detailed discussions on specific topics.
These can be saved and searched. These forums are available to all Sections,
and there are links on all Section websites with directions.
Many of the Sections include minutes from council meetings,
as well as links appropriate for Section members.
The site also features a list of all MSBA staff and each person’s
responsibilities to help you get the right person or department when searching
for the information that you need. There are also FAQs for the MSBA under this
This gives detailed descriptions of all MSBA departments and the services
provided by each.
ID Badges – Applications for Court House ID badges
can be found at www.msba.org/departments/administration/idbadge.htm.
They can be printed and mailed to the MSBA for your ID Badge.
Legal Career Center
The Young Lawyers Section sponsors the Legal Career Center, where attorneys
and employers can go to find or list jobs. This is a national search engine
and can be found at http://msba.legalstaff.com.
These are links to all local and specialty bar information and sites, law
schools, Maryland and Federal Courts as well as other legal sites. Links to
all listings for the Maryland Lawyers’ Manual are also listed
Legal Vendor E-Mall
This is the place to go to find vendors that provide services and products
specific to the legal community in Maryland. This should be the first place
you look to find what your firm needs ( www.msba.org/links/emall/).
Maryland Bar Foundation
In addition to information about the mission of the Foundation, there is
a grant application for any Section or Committee who may wish to ask the Foundation
to fund a special project. Details are available online.
The Tables of Contents for all issues of the Maryland Bar Journal are
listed here. The complete Annual Report is online. The Bar Bulletin is
available online one week after it arrives in the mail. All issues are listed
in this area.
A list of all legal brochures as well as the text of each brochure
is available online. There is also information on ordering the brochures ( www.msba.org/departments/commpubl/publications/brochures/).
Many other publications, such as the Gender Equality Report and
the Code of Civility, are also available.
This area of the site features all MSBA press releases and other information
of interest to the public or media.
Information that is of specific interest to the public is listed in this
portion of the website, including information on nursing homes, assisted living
facilities, legal brochures, fee disputes and legal referral services.
Keeping the website up to date and easy to navigate is a
constant challenge. Work on improvements continues, and we are planning additional
changes during the coming year. If you have any suggestions, please do not
hesitate to contact us, and we urge you to keep current by visiting www.msba.org today.