Section Chairs and their designees should email firstname.lastname@example.org for any requests related to the management of/support for their Section. This email address is sent to several team members at the same time to ensure the email is acted upon promptly.
To access the Section Event Flyer and Section Newsletter Content upload forms, click the buttons below. Be sure you are logged in under the email associated with your MSBA membership.
Section leaders should be focused on the health of the Section defined by engagement of new attorneys into the ranks of volunteer leadership, a focus on programming that would entice members to want to continue to belong, rejoin or join, a focus on effective outreach and communication approaches (i.e. MSBA can support social media communications, assist with marketing, etc), creation of technical content that is of use to members and generally be focused on reinforcing the Sections’ value proposition (i.e. why do existing members belong and what needs to be done so that those who don’t belong become more interested in doing so).
Below are the responses to some basic questions and outlines examples of when to email email@example.com.
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How do I update/change my Section web page, including uploading documents?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for all site updates for your Section. These changes include, but are not limited to, updates to Council roster, bylaws, newsletters, announcements, minutes, etc. The page will be updated within 3 business days of receiving the request.
How can a Section Council member change his or her contact information on the website?
Currently, the Council roster displayed on each Section site is not tied to an individual’s MSBA account information (i.e., the contact information on their profile). To make changes to the Council page, please email email@example.com with the Council member’s name and new contact information, and the page will be updated within 3 business days. It is the responsibility of the Section chair (or designated Section member) to make sure Section Council information is accurate.
How do I access minutes, or other locked content on my Section page?
Section members must login to access any locked content on the site, including minutes on their Section page. To login, you will need to enter the email address associated with your MSBA Member account and use the one-time use passcode to enter the site. If you have any issues with logging in, please use the chat feature in the bottom right-hand corner on each page of the site. Do not create a new MSBA member login account, as this will result in duplicate mailings, etc.
How do I get a roster of my Section?
Rosters may be requested by members of the Section Council. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the request. It will be fulfilled within 3 business days, and sent as a Google sheet. The standard roster includes the following fields:
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What kind of meetings/events do Sections generally present?
How do I schedule my Section’s Council meetings?
First, please check the MSBA calendar (https://www.msba.org/calendar/) to see if a date is free. We also recommend that Sections review their calendars for government and religious holidays, and avoid scheduling meetings on these dates. Note that all Section Council meetings are required to appear on the MSBA calendar. After checking the calendar to confirm you have selected a date without conflicts, please email email@example.com with the date, time, location, and meeting details. Please allow 3 business days for these events to be added to MSBA’s online calendar.
How do we schedule Section marketable events?
First, please check the MSBA calendar (www.msba.org/calendar) to see if a date is free. We also recommend that Sections review their calendars for government and religious holidays, and avoid scheduling events on these dates. Note that all Section meetings/events are required to appear on the MSBA calendar. After checking the calendar to confirm you have selected a date without conflicts, please complete and submit the Section Event Request Form. This form details all support services the MSBA offers for our Sections’ various programs. Due to limited MSBA resources, the availability of these resources will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Can we have a photographer/videographer present at our Section’s event?
The MSBA has limited photo/video capacity, but does strive to cover as many events as possible. When submitting the Section Event Request Form, please indicate your photography/videography request. If your event is an educational event and you are not seeking CLE credit with surrounding MCLE states, our CLE Department may be able to provide staff to video the event, which may be posted on your Section website as a free member benefit, as long as the CLE Department can also post the video on its CLE catalog, for sale at the price your Section charged for the live, original event.
Can we publish our Section event in the MSBA Weekly (sent out on Mondays)?
Yes. Please indicate this request on the Section Event Request Form. The MSBA will need 5 business days notice in advance of the intended date of publication to include the event. Ad hoc requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can the MSBA send ‘Save the Date’ announcements for our Section event?
Yes. The MSBA’s marketing team will either use a digital flyer template or, for larger events, create personalized flyers. These should be requested when submitting the Section Event Request Form.
Is there an approved list of restaurants for meetings/events?
Yes, visit MSBA.org/restaurants to find an approved list of restaurants.
How do I request a restaurant be added to the list?
Please email email@example.com with this request. Include the name, address, and phone number of the restaurant in your request. Note that these additions take time.
If our meeting is at MSBA Headquarters, is it our responsibility to order food?
No. MSBA staff will order the food. The preferred venue is Jay’s Catering, however, if the Section has a different suggestion, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include any dietary restrictions in your initial request.
Our Section is planning an event – who should pay the deposit and sign the contract?
MSBA staff pay deposits and sign all contracts. Email email@example.com with deposit/contract requests and the MSBA will communicate directly with the venue/restaurant.
Can we have sponsors for events?
Yes, sponsors usually cover the alcohol cost. Sponsors can either send payment directly to the MSBA or pay the venue directly. Indicate on the Section Event Request Form about potential sponsors. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can we offer CLE credit at our Section event?
The desire to offer CLE credit should be indicated on the Section Event Request Form when first requesting the event. The MSBA must apply for CLE accreditation to the surrounding mandatory CLE states. Thus, to allow adequate time for these applications, Sections should submit requests for CLE credits to the MSBA at least three months prior to the event. Please submit materials to Andrea Terry at email@example.com.
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Can we have a digital flyer (social media and electronic communications) created for our event?
Yes. This should be indicated when first submitting the Section Event Request Form for the event. Please note, due to the large number of events MSBA presents each year, not all events will receive custom-made marketing materials. The MSBA marketing team will utilize templates for repeating events.
Can we have a registration link for our event on MSBA.org?
Yes. Please indicate this request on the Section Event Request Form. The MSBA will have a registration link attached to the event on the calendar. Events will also be posted on the Section’s page under upcoming events.
Can our event be posted on MSBA’s social media accounts?
Yes. Please indicate this request on the Section Event Request Form. The event will be posted to social media once the marketing materials have been approved by the Section.
Can I utilize other Section email discussion lists for marketing?
The MSBA needs approval from other Section Chairs to accommodate this, but if you receive approval, you can cross-market using another Section email discussion list.
Digital Newsletters & Reports
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When is the Annual Report content due?
The Annual Report content deadline is in the end of March. Section Chairs will be emailed at the
end February with a specific date and reminder.
Finance & Budget
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How are Section budgets determined?
The MSBA expends resources to support Sections including but not limited to, marketing, staff support, communications, infrastructure including technology, interface with auditors and other third parties in relation to Section finances and activities, etc.
The budget for a Section is allocated so that the Section can provide value to its members and as an investment in the growth of the Section due to perceived value by prospective members.
The exact funding figure is calculated via a funding formula whereby dues revenue is projected using the membership count of the Section at the end of the prior fiscal year. Although the MSBA cost to support Sections far exceeds 15% of the total dues collected (for any given Section and all Sections combined), Sections are allocated 85% of the projected dues revenue as their ‘budget’. Unspent Section funding at the end of a fiscal year is aggregated and used by the MSBA to offset the costs the MSBA incurs, which are well above and beyond the 15% it retains in the initial budget development process.
How do we obtain our Section’s budget?
An automated monthly report will be sent to the Section Chair, Chair-Elect, and Treasurer by the 20th of each month. These will be preliminary budgets and subject to changes due to reconciliation. Additional questions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How may a Section member be reimbursed for an expense paid out of pocket?
Please direct the member to the reimbursement form available on each Section page; members will need to email the completed form to email@example.com. Reimbursement is generally made within 30-45 days of submission.
Although the MSBA operates on a net-30 basis, it seeks to reimburse volunteers more quickly than that. Reimbursements can be issued as either a check or an electronic payment. Once the form is submitted, the member will receive an email invitation from bill.com to complete the electronic payment process. Bill.com is the payment system for MSBA and allows us to direct deposit reimbursements which speeds up the process.
If the member prefers a check, they should not accept the invitation, and a check will be mailed within 30-45 days of the request.
Can the Section pre-pay for events for the following fiscal year using the current year’s budget?
No. Anything paid in advance is recorded as a prepaid expense until the actual service is rendered or the event occurs. The MSBA uses the remaining unspent allocated budget to reduce the losses associated with supporting Sections.
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Are Sections allowed to take positions on bills?
Yes. Sections are allowed to take positions on any proposed legislation they deem to be within their area of interest, UNLESS the BOG is taking a contrary position on the bill. The MSBA Legislative Office refers bills to Sections that are related to their respective practice areas. Among those bills referred, Sections communicate any proposed position on a bill to the MSBA Legislative Office to make certain that there is no conflict with a position of the BOG.
Are there any types of bills upon which Sections are not allowed to express a position?
Yes. Generally, there are issue areas where virtually any bill introduced is likely to be outside the purview of the MSBA advocacy role in Annapolis. As examples, invariably controversial bills, such as those related to gun control or abortion would fall into this category.
Is it permissible to submit bill testimony after the date of the bill hearing?
Yes, although it is best to have the testimony submitted on-time, which is no later than 11:00 am on the day of the hearing.
Are Sections allowed to take opposing positions on a bill?
Yes, as long as neither Section is seeking to take a position that conflicts with a position of the BOG. Generally, we try to avoid having Sections express conflicting opinions on a piece of legislation before the General Assembly. However, there are situations where such conflict cannot be avoided. When Section conflict arises, the MSBA Legislative Office will work with Section Legislative Liaisons to determine whether amendments can be developed that address the concerns of the Section(s) involved.