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Forming A New Substantive Law Section


Forming a new section requires a core group of approximately 6-10 people. Organizational meetings can be held at the Bar office. An interim chairperson should be selected until such time as regular elections can be held. The names of all interested persons should be forwarded to the Board of Governors along with a letter requesting the formation of a new section. The Board will vote on the matter at its next regularly scheduled meeting. See sample letter. (pdf)

Membership in ONE section is covered by your Bar dues. The cost for each additional section is $15. Non-Bar members may join a section for $15 per section. However, non-Bar members are restricted from serving on the Executive Committee and are non-voting section members. They may attend all section meetings and will receive all section mailings, including the monthly Section News.

Membership Benefits
All section members receive the monthly Section News and may receive one copy of the Annual Professional Updates at no charge. In addition, all section members receive any section mailings or information materials sent by the Chair of the Section. Members outside of Anchorage can attend section meetings via teleconferencing paid for by the Bar.

Section Responsibilities
Each section must (1) present one continuing legal education seminar (CLE) a minimum of every two years, (2) hold an annual section meeting and election of chair either at the Annual Bar Convention or at another time and place chosen by the section, (3) present an annual report to the Board of Governors in May of each year, and (4) prepare Annual Professional Updates discussing significant legal issues and legislation for distribution to section members each year, (5) hold all section meetings in a location with teleconference capability to allow participation by members outside of Anchorage.

Bar Support for Sections
Meetings: The Bar can arrange for monthly section meetings in the Bar conference room, set up teleconference calls for members outside of Anchorage to attend the monthly meeting, and photocopy and mail informational material to members. The Bar will assist those sections meeting in sites with teleconference information for members.

CLE: Once a CLE topic is approved by the CLE Director, the Director and the CLE Coordinator provide administrative and logistical support for presenting the program. The CLE Director develops a budget for each CLE and administers the program. The Section provides members to assist in planning and presenting the topic and developing materials

Updates: Annual Professional Updates covering significant cases (federal & state) and legislation affecting the section’s area of law are due in April for distribution in May at the Annual Convention. After receiving via e-mail or hard copy, the Bar copies and has the Updates available for distribution. The Updates are posted by section on the Bar website, and a copy of Section Update.

Annual Report to the Board of Governors: The Section Chair(s) is responsible for preparing a brief report on the section’s activities for the past year. This is due in April for distribution to the Board in May.

There is no specific line item for each individual section. There is one Bar line item to cover costs for ALL sections including teleconferences for members out of Anchorage, section photocopying and mailing of information materials, Section News photocopying and mailing, and miscellaneous expenses. Individual sections do not have discretion over any budget.

For additional information on forming a section please call JoAnne Baker, Section Coordinator, at 907/272-7469 (fax: 907/272-2932). The Alaska Bar Association is located at 840 K Street, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501. E-Mail:


Updated 1/13/2010

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