For most women’s bar associations, the thought of drafting or updating a strategic plan is daunting. It may mean hours or months of work. It sometimes means realizing that what the organization is doing is not meeting long-term goals. It may mean coming to terms with the fact that promises have not been fulfilled, committees have dropped the ball or administrative practices are hopelessly outdated. Valued board members or staff may have very different ideas about priorities. And there always seem to be more pressing tasks: preparing for the next event or board meeting, updating membership records or writing a president’s message. Although there is no doubt that strategic planning can be complex and time consuming, in its simplest form, a strategic plan asks questions all organizations must answer: “Where are we?” “Where do we want to go?” and “How do we get there?” Answering those questions in a format that is easy to understand and accessible is the key to strategic planning.
Click here for a wealth of information about strategic planning for nonprofits.
If you decide that your organization would benefit from guidance from a facilitator, consider what is offered by the ABA Division for Bar Services.
Even the most beautifully crafted strategic plan is of little value if it is not frequently referenced.
Here are examples of strategic plans for women’s bar associations:
Colorado Women’s Bar Association
Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia
South Carolina Women Lawyers Association
Need inspiration for “big picture” planning? In June 2007, women’s bar association activists gathered in Boston to discuss Advancing Women in the Profession: Action Plans for Women’s Bar Associations.