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Executive Director's Message: Building for tomorrow

As I complete my fourth year as executive director of the State Bar of Montana, I want to express my deep gratitude to all of you for the opportunity to continue to lead this organization.

Since arriving on the job in January of 2018, my focus has been to build on the efforts of my predecessors, and to work toward a State Bar that is both efficient and effective in delivering on our mission to serve the public and our members.

Toward that end, this year we completed several important information technology projects. Some were behind-the-scenes changes as we work to improve organizational efficiency.

Other projects are more visible. In December, after months of diligent work, we began a soft launch of our new association management software. This database software is what sits behind the website that you see when you visit our online home. It manages your membership records, as well as things like our online store, event pages and powers the State Bar website.

After more than a year exploring options for a new software platform, we settled on a vendor that is now supplying these services to our neighboring western states of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.

When you log in, you will see a new member dashboard where you can update your profile and preferences, see your purchases, pay your dues and assessments and even print a certificate of good standing and your license card.

In the coming months, as we test them, you will be seeing even more new features, including Licensed Lawyer. This new lawyer referral platform ultimately will replace the State Bar’s older, mainly telephone-based, referral service.

Licensed Lawyer uses a series of questions to help point potential clients to your profile, which you control. Current members of the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service will be automatically moved to this new platform. Of course, new members are also free to sign up. A new, flat annual fee of $185, less than $4 a week, will be billed to all Licensed Lawyer subscribers through our new system.

While there will always be some bumps with changes such as these, and we do hope those are minimal for you, we truly believe that this new association management system will continue to pave the road to a seamless member experience for you in the coming years. It has been a busy year here at the State Bar. On behalf of our team, I want to thank you for your continued work on behalf of your clients and support for our profession.

We wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022! 

John Mudd is the executive director of the State Bar of Montana, a position he has held since 2018.