By Ona Alston Dosunmu
C.E.O. and Executive Director
I am excited to share upcoming changes to our membership and dues structure with you. We have heard time and time again from you, our members, that you want and need more options. Starting this fall, you and prospective members will have two new ways to belong to and engage with our association. The current flat amount per section, while simple, was not dynamic enough for members interested in multiple Sections or members who do not fit neatly into one of our existing Sections.
Regardless of which membership option you choose, you will receive new value and new benefits, including our quarterly digital publication (read the inaugural edition here); additional content on key areas of general interest to all lawyers, such as health and wellness and personal financial management; free and discounted CLE programming; and deeply discounted member benefits, such as a student loan refinancing program from So-Fi.
The Standard Membership
For our current members, we will be rolling you over into the new Standard membership for the rest of 2021. This option keeps things the way they are for CLA Section devotees with an important exception—you won’t have to add a whole new membership for each additional Section. Sections can be added as needed separately—a la carte, if you will—at $40 each, a substantially lower cost than a full membership. As current members, you do not have to do anything right now.
The Introductory Membership
One of the two new options we will be implementing may appeal to newer professionals or individuals who do not fit neatly into one of CLA’s existing Sections. The Introductory membership may also be attractive to individuals whose practice, and therefore what they need from CLA, changes frequently. If this describes you or your practice (or that of someone you know), then this membership will give you access to all CLA-wide benefits without having to choose a Section. Additionally, content from the Solo and Small Firm and Law Practice Management and Technology Sections will become a part of this offering. If you’re a member of either of these Sections or both, now is great time to add another Section.
The All-Access Membership
Finally, for our most engaged, involved, and active members, we will offer the All-Access option, which includes membership to all of CLA’s Sections. This membership, which will only be available via the CLA website, will give members electronic access to all the resources and content across CLA and all Sections. This is a great option for individuals who need broad visibility into the vast array of areas of specialization covered by CLA’s Sections, which may include in-house general practitioners, senior or managing partners, and academics.
CLA will also offer discounts to members or prospective members employed by the government (at any level—federal, state, municipal) and to individuals employed by nonprofit organizations. As a reminder, any member or prospective member facing financial hardship may contact our professional team and we will offer them complimentary membership for the duration of their hardship.
Law students will still be able to join up to three Sections for free. To take advantage of this offer, they must join on the CLA website. Judges and judicial officers may also choose complimentary membership—again, this is only available on the CLA site. The cohort for new professionals in CYLA will remain eight years, and individuals in their first eight years of practice will receive all CYLA communications. Newly admitted attorneys will receive the standard membership for three years without cost.
We wanted to inform you of these upcoming changes as soon as possible. We encourage you to invite any attorneys you know who are not currently CLA members to check us out. Handy resources for member-to-member recruitment are available here.
Look for more information on our website soon as we roll out these new offerings.