MSBA's Access to Justice Commission partners with the Attorney General & Governor Hogan to secure $11.7 million for Civil Legal Services to ensure housing security – READ MORE >>

What is MSBA Connect?

MSBA Connect is a new MSBA communication forum to interact with other sections and council members.

Why has MSBA moved to the Connect platform?
The existing system is no longer fully supported by current technology. As MSBA modernizes its tools, including our interactive website, we want to ensure that members continue to communicate seamlessly. MSBA Connect automatically integrates existing membership profiles into this communication platform, and allows for more modern functionality, including the ability to respond via web portal, Like or Dislike content, and share attachments.

There are many ways to customize your experience on MSBA Connect to make sure you are seeing the content you want in the way you want it. Alerts, notifications, and emails are customizable on a per-topic basis, and with global settings on your account.

How is this different?
MSBA Connect offers many customizable features, including delivery methods, frequency, and a comprehensive index of all messages available at-a-glance. All of these options make the program more user-friendly and easier to navigate. While the prior system was email-based only, MSBA Connect is an online platform that you can access through our website or via email, depending on your preference.

View Our Community Guidelines

Joining and Communities

How do I join MSBA Connect?
If you are already an MSBA member and belong to at least one MSBA Section, then you are automatically part of MSBA Connect. You have already been migrated to the new system and don’t need to take any further action. You can start participating in all the communities you have access to.

How can I confirm that I have been transferred to the MSBA Connect community or communities?
You will automatically begin receiving emails from MSBA Connect. You can also check your Connect communities online to make sure you have access to them. Please do not take any actions, such as sending a test email or message to your MSBA Connect Community. As mentioned above, you are automatically part of your existing communities in MSBA Connect.

Which communities can I access?
MSBA Connect offers many different communities, each organized around a broad theme or shared professional experience/role. Your access to any community is based on your MSBA membership settings. Current communities are only available to those who are members of specific MSBA committees or sections. These memberships are indicated in your account profile at MSBA.org.

Use these email addresses to post a new topic to your community via email:

SECTION

CONNECT EMAIL

Administrative Law adlaw-section@connect.msba.org
Agriculture Law aglaw-section@connect.msba.org
Alternative Dispute Resolution alternativedispute-section@connect.msba.org
Animal Law animallaw-section@connect.msba.org
Bench-Bar bench-bar-section@connect.msba.org
Business Law businesslaw-section@connect.msba.org
Construction Law constructionlaw-section@connect.msba.org
Consumer Bankruptcy consumer-bankruptcy-section@connect.msba.org
Correctional Reform correctionallaw-section@connect.msba.org
Criminal Law & Practice criminallaw-section@connect.msba.org
Delivery of Legal Services delivery-legal-services@connect.msba.org
Elder and Disability Rights elderanddisabilty-section@connect.msba.org
Entertainment & Sports Law entertainmentandsportslaw-section@connect.msba.org
Environmental & Energy Law environmentallaw-section@connect.msba.org
Estates & Trust Law estate-trust-section@connect.msba.org
Family & Juvenile Law family-section@connect.msba.org
Health Law healthlaw-section@connect.msba.org
Immigration Law immigrationlaw-section@connect.msba.org
Intellectual Property intellectuallaw-section@connect.msba.org
Labor & Employment Law laborlaw-section@connect.msba.org
Legal Education & Admission to Bar LegalEdandAdmissiontotheBar-community@connect.msba.org
Litigation litigationlaw-section@connect.msba.org
Veterans’ Affairs and Military Law veterans-military-section@connect.msba.org
Negligence, Insurance & Workers’ Comp negligenceinsuranceandworkerscomp-section@connect.msba.org
Real Property realproperty-section@connect.msba.org
Senior Lawyers seniorlawyers-section@connect.msba.org
Solo & Small Firm Practice soloandsmallfirm-section@connect.msba.org
State & Local Government Law stateandlocalgoverment-section@connect.msba.org
Taxation Law taxsection-section@connect.msba.org
Young Lawyers yls-section@connect.msba.org

Default Settings

What are the default settings for the MSBA Connect Communities?
We have set the default for the majority of communities to “Watched,” where you will receive all posts except your own. This setting mirrors the current Lyris system of receiving all posts via email, with the exception that in Connect you will not receive your own postings via email. If you wish to mirror your experience in the current Lyris system (where you receive all posts by email including your own), you may enable Mailing List Mode. You can also decrease notifications and receive weekly or daily summaries, only see replies to topics that you have already participated on, or turn off emails completely and interact with the platform online only. All of these options are available and customizable to your needs.

You can choose which posts to follow and how you’d like to follow them. Some users want an email for every reply to every topic. Some prefer daily summaries. Others want to see replies only to the topics that they have already participated in. It’s all up to you.


Adjusting Your Email Notification Preferences

To change your settings, click your avatar and then your username. A gear icon will appear in the drop down menu.

Set your email preferences on the “Emails” portion of the preferences menu.

What are my options for Email Frequency?

  • Activity summary – the user will receive an email summary of popular topics, instead of each posting. Frequency options: every 30 minutes, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, biyearly (every six months)
    • This is a global setting that applies to all sections to which they belong
    • If the user visits the online Connect platform or interacts with emails sent by other users, they will NOT receive the digest for the selected time period.
      Ex: If I have the daily summary but visit Connect today, I will not get the digest today.
      Ex: If I have the weekly summary but visit Connect during the week, I will not get the week’s digest
  • Mailing list mode – the user will receive an email for each message posted to the group (including topics and replies to the topic/thread)
    • This is a global setting that applies to all sections to which they belong
  • Watched – the user will receive an email for each message posted to the group (including topics and replies to topics/threads)
    • This is a category setting that will only apply to the user’s selected sections
  • Watching first post – the user will receive an email for the first post of a new topic/thread (this does NOT include replies to the initial post)
    • This is a category setting that will only apply to the user’s selected sections
  • Muted – the user will not receive any emails/notifications for posts and the user will not be able to access the community in Connect
    • This is a category setting that will only apply to the user’s selected sections
    • This is essentially unsubscribing from the group so we don’t encourage muting sections
  • Include previous replies at the bottom of emails – the user can choose whether they want all previous replies displayed in the emails they receive
    • This is a global setting that applies to all sections to which they belong
    • By default, this is set to only display replies if the replies have not already been sent for a topic.

How do I change my email settings generally for my Connect communities?

  1. Click on Connect Preferences, then on the left side of your screen click Categories, enter the section name under the frequency setting you want applied to the section and save changes. Available sections will appear in a drop-down menu
  2. Under Categories, click the “x” next to the section name to disable that setting for the section and save changes
  3. Each section can only be enabled for one of the frequency settings (Ex: If Consumer Bankruptcy is “Tracked” it can’t also be “Watching First Post”)
  4. Muting a category is basically unsubscribing from the section in Connect. The user will not receive any emails or notifications from the section, digests will not include posts from the section, and the user will not be able to access the community in Connect
  5. If a user doesn’t want any emails from a section but does not want to completely get rid of their access to it, just ensure that section is not listed under Watching, Watching First Post or Tracking
  6. If the user doesn’t want any Connect emails at all but doesn’t want to completely get rid of their access to it, ensure that none of their sections are listed under Watching, Watching First Post or Tracking
  7. Save changes

To change your notification settings, click your avatar and then your username. A gear icon will appear in the drop down menu.

Then, click “Notifications.”


About the Notification Settings

Notifications are shown next to your avatar when you log in to MSBA Connect. You can control the frequency and type of notifications you receive.

  • “Consider topics new when” allows you to adjust at what point topics are no longer considered new. If you check MSBA Connect frequently, you can set this to a shorter interval; if you don’t, and want to make sure you don’t miss new topics, set it to a longer interval.
  • “Automatically track topics I enter” controls at what point you will begin receiving notifications for a topic you’ve posted in.
  • “When I post in a topic, set that topic to” sets the default notification preference for a topic that you post in.
    • Tracking: A count of new replies will be shown to you. You will be notified if someone mentions you or replies to you.
    • Watching: A count of new replies will be shown to you. You will be notified of every new reply in the topic.
    • Normal: You will be notified if someone mentions you or replies to you.
  • “Notify when liked” sets your notification preferences for when another user likes a post you’ve made on MSBA Connect.

Adjusting Notifications by Community

You can control how often you’re alerted to new posts and topics in the “Categories” preferences.

  • “Watching first post” – receive an email every time a new topic starts. You will not see every reply to that topic (unless you’ve already replied or interacted with the topic yourself).
  • “Watched” – receive an email every time there is a new reply to any topic in the particular community.

See more about Advanced Notification Preferences below.

Customize Settings to Mirror Prior Lyris Delivery System (Receive all posts and replies via email delivery)

How do I continue to receive emails every time someone else posts on Connect or posts in the community (same level of email postings as in the previous Lyris system)?
Please know you are able to customize Connect to your preferences so that you can use it in the same way as the current system. In your settings, you can enable the “mailing list mode” so that you receive each new post as a separate email.

To choose the Mailing List option, click on your “Connect Preferences” below your name in the upper-right corner of the Connect page. Click on “Email” and check “Enable mailing list mode” at the bottom of the screen, then click “Save changes.”

Mailing List mode allows you to continue receiving emails as you did in the prior Lyris system, and is the only mode where you will receive an email for your own post. While we encourage our members to choose one of the other delivery options listed below and interact directly through the MSBA Connect tool through our website, we offer this “Mailing List Mode” option for members who want to continue receiving all communications via email, with a separate email for every message.

Please note that if you choose this delivery option, this setting applies to all of your Connect communities. You will no longer receive the “Daily Digest” emails.

If you have an account on MSBA.org then you are already a part of MSBA Connect, and you can start participating in all the communities you have access to.

Receive Email Summaries Only and Reduce or Mute Your Notifications

Summaries, Email Frequency

You can also decrease notifications and receive weekly or daily summaries, only see replies to topics that you have already participated on, or turn off emails completely and interact with the platform online only. All of these options are available and customizable to your needs.

To receive summaries, click on your “Connect Preferences” below your name in the upper-right corner of the Connect page. Select “Emails” on the left, then “Activity Summary.” Check the box for “When I don’t visit here, send me an email summary of popular topics and replies.” In the drop down menu – select your preferred frequency (30 minutes, hourly, daily, weekly, every month, every six months). Note that if you interact frequently through the online Connect portal, you may not receive summaries. You can also view and customize other email settings here.

Muting a Community

If you do not wish to receive any notifications, you can “mute” a community. Click on your “Connect Preferences” below your name in the upper-right corner of the connect page and select “Categories” under Notifications on the left. Scroll down to “Muted” and click on the term “Search” below and select your MSBA community.

Organizing and filtering Connect emails in your inbox

How do I organize messages/filter emails in my inbox?
Here are instructions on how to filter your Connect email messages if you don’t want your main email folder “cluttered” with emails from postings by other attorneys. If you want to see everything posted, there’s nothing further to do.

How do I “skip the inbox” and filter messages directly into folders?
When you create the filter (as listed above) you have an option to check a box that says “Skip the Inbox” (in Gmail). If you do that, then your messages will show on the left-hand side of your Gmail browser in the appropriate folder. You may need to recreate the filter to add this function. Here are steps to create the filter:

Why can’t I see a signature line or see the email address of the sender?
The current system does not automatically populate a sender’s email address or signature line (we are working on this improvement). As a reminder, members should include their name and contact information, including email address, in their signature blocks when sending messages to MSBA Connect so that members can view your email address. You can also edit your Connect Profile so when anyone clicks on your name in a post in which you have participated, they will see your contact information there.

How do I send a direct reply to a sender?
Under the default settings, if you reply to any email in your inbox from the email address notification@connect.msba.org and the display name “First Name Last Name via MSBA Connect” your response will be sent out to all subscribers/section members of the Solo & Small Firm Section. If you want to simply respond to one person, do the following:

  • Log onto https://www.msba.org/connect/ and select your community
  • Scroll down and click on the email title for a message string
  • Click on a user’s name listed in the upper left corner of a message
  • Click on the yellow “Message” button to send a direct message to the Connect user.
  • Click here for screenshots

How do I see all previous messages in an email string so that I don’t miss out on an important topic/conversation?
You can update your email settings to ensure that you receive all email strings for a particular topic. This is a global setting that applies to all communities to which you belong.

  • Log onto https://www.msba.org/connect/
  • Click on your “Connect Preferences” below your name in the upper-right corner of the connect page and select “Categories” under Notifications on the left.
  • Select “Emails” on the left, then select “always” under “Include previous replies at the bottom of emails”
  • Save changes

How do I start or reply to topics on MSBA Connect?

POSTING A MESSAGE

When I post a message, do I receive a copy of my post?
No, you will not receive a separate email message or Connect notification when you post a message to the community (unless you are in Mailing List mode). You will receive replies to your post via email and you can view the thread of messages (including your initial post) through the online Connect platform.

How can I post a message to my community?
You can post a message directly through the online Connect platform by clicking the “+Create New Topic” button. Alternatively, you may post to the list by sending an email to the section email address through the forum online. You can view the email address by clicking on the thumbnail to the left of the pinned topic “About the ____ Section category.”


Start a new topic using the online forum

  1. Click the “Create New Topic” button on a community’s page.
  2. Use the text editor to format your content.
  3. Press the “Create Topic” button.

 

Reply to a topic

When you’re on the forum, you can reply to a topic by pressing the “Reply” button on any post.

Starting a new topic using email

You can start a new topic on any MSBA Connect community by sending a message to that community’s dedicated email address. In most cases, this is the name of the community (with dashes separating spaces and special characters) followed by “@connect.msba.org”.

For example, to start a topic in the Family & Juvenile Law Section community, send an email to family-section@connect.msba.org.

Replying via email

When you get an email message with a new post on a topic you are following, you can give your public reply to that post just by replying to the email. Your post will appear as a threaded reply online in the forum page as well.

File attachments

Note that there is a 10MB maximum when uploading files as attachments to posts.


How do I upload a profile picture?
A profile picture can help other users get a sense of who you are. It helps “put a face to a name.”

Steps to add your profile picture:

  1. Go to your account settings.
  2. Click the edit pencil next to the profile picture field.
  3. Upload your photo and hit “Save Changes.”

Muting Individuals

How do I mute a specific user in Connect?
To disable all messages from a particular user, click on your “Connect Preferences” below your name in the upper-right corner of the connect page and select “Users” under Notifications on the left. Type in the name or email address of a user under “Muted” and click “Save Changes.”

Interacting with Posts

There are several ways to engage on MSBA Connect.

Ways to interact with a post:

  • “Heart” a post to like it, or as a way to show appreciation or agreement.
  • Click the Bookmark icon to save a post to your bookmarked posts list.
  • Click Reply to respond to a post.

Look for a topic? Use the search function!

How do I “flag” a post when content is inappropriate?
You are helping the community when you flag a post that is inappropriate for any reason. Sometimes, a post or message might simply be irrelevant in the wrong category. Other times (we hope rarely, if ever!), content might be rude, abusive, or explicit.

When you flag a message, you will presented with multiple options of how to address the behavior or content you find objectionable.

Categories

This is where you can choose settings for each of your communities. You can control how often you’re alerted to new posts and topics, either solely by email, solely online, or a combination of the two, in the “Categories” preferences. You can have different tracking settings for each of your communities. These include the following: 1) watched, 2) tracked, 3) watching first, or 4) muted.

If you want different settings in each community, how do you change settings for each community?
Connect provides four categories that you can use to track each of your communities. By clicking under each category, a list of your available communities appears. You can select which communities to include under each category.

  • Muted: You will not be notified by email or online of anything about new topics in these categories. Only choose this category if you do not wish to receive any communications about your communities.
  • Watching first post: Receive an email every time a new topic starts. You will not receive any email replies to that topic (unless you’ve already replied or interacted with the topic yourself). Also note that you will not receive an email with your own message. This category allows you to receive an email containing the first post of a new topic, but then you need to interact with the topic or click online to see the full thread of communications.
  • Watched: Receive an email every time there is a new reply to any topic in the particular community. This category ensures that you receive via email all messages for all topics within a specific community. (Note that you will not receive a copy of your own posts or replies on Connect.)
  • Tracked: A count of unread posts will appear next to the topic on your MSBA Connect community page. You can click through online to view the thread of communications and any messages that you have not reviewed since you last logged onto the Connect platform. You will not receive any email communications for your selected community. Instead, you will track all topics in this community within the Connect online platform only. This setting is appropriate for a user who frequently logs onto the MSBA Connect website to view and add any posts, as this mode is an in-app indicator only.

Customizing Your Global Email Delivery Settings

If you would like to set global email settings, click on the “Emails” portion of the preferences menu.

Email Settings
Your email settings determine what emails you will receive based on your Connect activity. You can choose to receive an email when someone sends you a direct message, replies to your post, invites you to view/participate in a topic or mentions you in a topic.

Do I have to choose between getting all posts by email and looking through the online platform everyday?
No. By the default setting of “Watched,” you will receive all posts and replies except your own.

I do not want to receive an email for every post and reply or a daily digest, but would prefer a weekly email digest. How do I set this up?
Go to Preferences → Emails → Activity Summary → Check box for “When I don’t visit here, send me an email summary of popular topics and replies.”

Drop down menu – select frequency (30 minutes, hourly, daily, weekly, every month, every six months)

If I am in multiple communities and want to continue receiving email notifications for all Connect communications, how do you change settings globally, one time for all communities?
Mailing list mode: To choose the Mailing List option (which applies globally), click on your “Connect Preferences” below your name in the upper-right corner of the Connect page. Click on “Email” and check “Enable mailing list mode” at the bottom of the screen, then click “Save changes.”

Mailing List mode allows you to continue receiving emails as you did in the prior Lyris system. While we encourage our members to choose one of the other delivery options listed below and interact directly through the MSBA Connect tool through our website, we offer this “Mailing List Mode” option for members who want to continue receiving all communications via email, with a separate email for every message.

Please note that if you choose this delivery option, this setting applies to all of your Connect communities. You will no longer receive the “Daily Digest” emails.

Customizing Your Connect Platform "Notifications"

Notification Settings

You can also customize online notifications to view alerts of new posts and topics that you interact with on your Connect community pages.

About the Notifications

To change your notification settings, click your avatar and then your username. A gear icon will appear in the drop down menu. Then, click “Notifications.”

Notifications are shown next to your avatar when you log in to MSBA Connect. You can control the frequency and type of notifications you receive.

  • “When I post in a topic, set that topic to” sets the default notification preference for a topic that you post in.
    • Tracking: A count of new replies will be shown to you. You will be notified if someone mentions you or replies to you.
    • Watching: A count of new replies will be shown to you under community settings. You will be notified of every new reply in the topic by email.
    • Normal: You will be notified by email if someone mentions you or replies to your message only.
  • “Consider topics new when” allows you to adjust at what point topics are no longer considered new. Note that this option only relates to your use on the online MSBA Connect forum. (If you only choose email notifications, this setting does not apply.) If you check MSBA Connect frequently, you can set this to a shorter interval; if you don’t, and want to make sure you don’t miss new topics, set it to a longer interval.
  • “Automatically track topics I enter” controls at what point you will begin receiving notifications for a topic you’ve posted in.
  • “Notify when liked” sets your notification preferences for when another user likes a post you’ve made on MSBA Connect.

If you do not wish to receive notifications, you can “mute” a community or go to your email settings and turn off the option to receive an email when mentioned.

Phase Out of Old System

When will my access to the old List-Serv format be removed? Will I be notified when this occurs?
The old List-Serv format will be archived in July, 2020. We’d encourage you to review the archive now for any topics you’d like to save. Once the transition is final and the old List-Serv format is archived, you will no longer be able to access information from the archive.

Further questions?
Questions about how to participate in any Connect community can be answered by our member service team. Please contact them at info@msba.org.