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Did you know there is more to practicelaw than just forms?  practicelaw is designed to be a repository of resources intended to help your practice.  Similarly, the MSBA’s practiceblawg is a blog for the Association to share with you how the MSBA can help you improve your efficiency and grow your practice.  The MSBA offers members a number of products and services and is always looking for ways to better serve its members and provide greater value.

Got questions, complaints, suggestions, or any thoughts in general?  Let us know: feedback@mnbar.org

Get to know the new MSBA Colleague Directory

by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 02, 2015

As noted on Tuesday, the MSBA launched its new member directories in January. In addition to the new public MN Find a Lawyer directory, the Association revamped its colleague program, creating a private members-only directory that is available exclusively to members and available 24/7 via the MSBA website. The new Colleague Directory includes the 'brief consult' functionality of the old program but offers members a number of other ways to connect, whether for expanded business opportunities or other reasons.

How does the new MSBA Colleague Directory work? As a private members-only directory, the Colleague Directory is behind the sign-on, and members must log in to mnbar.org to access it. Because it is password-protected, the Colleague Directory is an opt-out program, where members can choose to be excluded from the listing rather than included, as is the case with MN Find a Lawyer. Like MN Find a Lawyer, members have control over what information is displayed and to whom via a number of data fields and privacy settings. Members can update their profile here

Over 15,000 MSBA members are listed in the Colleague Directory. Members can search the directory by a number of criteria, including name, practice area, location, languages, licensure by state, keywords, certification, and member type. Members also can search for attorneys available to co-counsel, as well as those members willing to briefly consult (like the old colleague program) or provide contract services.

There are more than two hundred law students listed in the Colleague Directory. While MN Find a Lawyer is available exclusively to attorney members, any MSBA member can be included in the Colleague Directory and search for business opportunities or other members.

There also are over one hundred paralegal members listed in the Colleague Directory.

There are almost seven hundred and fifty MSBA Certified Specialists listed in the Colleague Directory, including roughly 260 Civil Trial Specialists, 40 Criminal Specialists, 110 Labor and Employment Specialists, and 340 Real Property Specialists.

There are almost four hundred members willing to briefly consult with other members, a significant increase over the former program. While some members post inquiries to the listservs, the 'brief consult' option in the Colleague Directory gives members another way to leverage the hundreds of thousands of years of legal experience available to them through their MSBA membership.

Almost three hundred and fifty members listed in the Colleague Directory are interested and available to co-counsel. The Colleague Directory provides a forum for members to find co-counsel with expertise beyond their practice areas or other members willing to share the cost and burden of litigation. Members also can use this feature to search for other members interested in working together on pro bono matters.

Almost two hundred and fifty members have indicated a willingness to provide contract services to other members. Whether looking to supplement your practice or explore an alternative legal career, the contract services search is a way for members to find new business or, on the flip side, find qualified candidates for limited scope engagements or subcontracting. Law students and paralegals can also indicate a willingness to provide contract services, and members can restrict their searches to a specific member type if so desired.

The Colleague Directory includes MSBA members from all over the state (and elsewhere in the world). However, two out of three members listed in the Colleague Directory are located within fifty miles of Minneapolis. There are ten members listed in Hawaii and six in Alaska. While there are other ways to find assistance for matters in other jurisdictions, the Colleague Directory offers members the ability to search for other MSBA members who are licensed or practice in the desired jurisdiction.

Whatever your current practice setting or needs, the MSBA Colleague Directory offers a number of features that members can use to find business opportunities or seek assistance with matters. Think something is missing from the Colleague Directory or have a suggestion for improvement? Email feedback@mnbar.org.

As a reminder, if you update your profile by July 31 you are automatically entered in a drawing to win an iPad and other prizes.