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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California January2007
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State Bar is more accessible than ever

By Sheldon Sloan
President, State Bar of California

Sheldon Sloan
Sloan

In the past 24 hours, I joined 21,544 other people. All together, we hit on the State Bar’s Web site 304,634 times, and on average, we stayed 10-and-a-half minutes. Some of us came back many times, bringing the total number of visits for the day to 37,574.

 Most of us went at least once to the popular Attorney Search function. A lot of us — well, those a tad bit younger than me — scoured the Admissions features trying to figure out how we can officially get our names listed in that Attorney Search. Just over 9,500 of us got on the site through a search engine; the rest of us, presumably, keep the bookmark(s) handy on our computers.

More than 3,000 of us were on the site from 4-5 p.m., the highest at one time during the day. Nine to 11 a.m. and the entire afternoon from 1 to 6 were almost as popular as the peak 4-5 o’clock time. Three hundred fifty of us were on the site from 3-6 a.m., a good time to find this early riser trolling there.

Use of the bar’s Web site has grown dramatically in the past few years. In the third quarter of this past year, the site recorded a total of 16,180,804 hits from 541,202 “unique” visitors. We are “unique” the first time we visit in the given time period; the second, third or fourth time back, we lose our “uniqueness” and become a returning visitor.

On average in the third quarter, the site recorded 175,878 hits per day, with 17 percent of the visits starting on our home page (calbar.ca.gov). Veterans most likely have their favorite parts of the site bookmarked. They should view the home page once in a while, however, because important information about State Bar membership often is featured there (like the fact that penalties attach this year to dues payments not paid online or postmarked by Feb. 1).

Speaking of dues payments, an average 116 members per day have been paying their 2007 dues online for free since the dues statement was mailed on Nov. 15. To do so, members need only create a My State Bar Profile and follow the step-by-step instructions.

To date, 103,000 members have created a My State Bar Profile; in fact, that includes 5,000 new profiles created just this fall. My guess is that many of these were created by members who are choosing to pay their 2007 dues online for free and those newly admitted attorneys who got the good news just before Thanksgiving.

If you are one of the other 103,000 bar members who has not created a My State Bar Profile, take a moment and do it now. Just use the eight-digit access code printed on your 2007 fee statement to the right of your name and address, just above your MCLE Group number. (Don’t pull an access code from an old statement: They are changed every year for security purposes).

Once you are in with the access code, you will create your own individual – and private – password. If your fee statement does not contain an access code, that means you already created a My State Bar Profile and probably forgot about it. If you need to reset your forgotten password, just give our Member Service Center a call at 1-888-800-3434.

In this past year, the My State Bar Profile site received 232,000 visits from 123,813 unique visitors. Those who take the bar exam have to go to this secure site to find out if they made it to the Attorney Search, most likely accounting for a big chunk of the unique visitors who outnumber the 103,000 existing My State Bar Profile accounts.

And just one note for the night owls like me: The My State Bar Profile feature, just like your checking account at your bank, is unavailable sometimes during the night because all that new information we provide has to be synchronized with the bar’s databases in order for it to become part of our membership records.

The biggest draw for the year, of course, is that popular Attorney Search feature. By mid-December, Attorney Search registered 6 million visits from one million unique visitors. And all together, the entire site for that time period registered 116,687,124 visits from 1,808,061 unique visitors. That means the Attorney Search feature draws more than half of our unique visitors on a yearly basis.

It also means that our Web site handles a heck of a lot of traffic every day with relatively few problems. And it means, as well, that thousands of pieces of information are being disseminated automatically to millions of people — all of this information that could only be obtained before by a phone call or what we now call snail mail.

By creating this service to replace the old-fashioned telephone calls, we have saved our members a lot of staff time, which translates to dollar savings for the bar. To not have done so would have resulted in either higher costs or less service. Just one more way (to paraphrase Bill O’Reilly) that your Board of Governors is “looking out for you.”

Our State Bar really is more accessible than ever. Why not take advantage of this and use www.calbar.ca.gov?

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