Oklahoma Bar Journal

Bar Journal Changes Include Court Issue Electronic Delivery in 2018


Changes are coming to the Oklahoma Bar Journal beginning January 2018. Here is an interview with President Linda Thomas to explain the changes proposed by the OBA Strategic Planning Committee and approved by the OBA Board of Governors.

Q: What are the bar journal changes that will take place?
A: Beginning in January 2018, you will no longer receive the court issues (24 per year) in the mail, but rather they will be delivered to you by email. This has been an option for quite some time that about 5,000 of our members are already utilizing. The delivery method is the only change; the bar journal will look exactly like the printed version you are used to, and you will continue to receive it twice a month when a link is sent directly to your inbox. The OBA will continue to mail you the monthly theme issues (10 each year), and I think you will like the improvements we are making. They will be a slightly larger size with color throughout printed on glossy paper. After doing some research on ad rates for similar-sized state bar associations, some advertising rates will increase, but frequency discounts for display ads will be added.

Q: Why did the Strategic Planning Committee recommend changes?
A: With today’s technology it just makes good sense, both financially and for efficiency sake. Many members access almost everything online, either on their desktop or mobile devices, and more and more of us are becoming comfortable with this method as a source of retrieving information. The court opinions contained in the court issues have been available online at oscn.net for years and are accessible almost immediately. By the time the printed court issue arrives at your home or office, it is old news. Another significant consideration is the cost of printing and mailing the 24 court issues each year. As the cost of printing and mailing continues to increase, and as we strive to continue to be good stewards of your dues dollars, the huge cost savings was a major factor in the committee’s decision. By making this simple change in the way we deliver the court issues to you, it is anticipated the savings could be as much as $165,000 per year.

Q: How will the cost savings benefit OBA members?
A: Like all cost savings at the OBA, this creates an opportunity for enhancement of existing programs and/or creation of new member-oriented projects.

Q: Some bar members prefer the convenience of reading the bar journal in print at the courthouse between cases, not having to depend on the strength of Wi-Fi. What options do they have? 
A: When you receive the link from the OBA in your inbox, open it on your desktop, and from there it will be easy to print out the entire bar journal or just the sections you want to carry with you to read at a time and place that may be more convenient for you. Additionally, most mobile devices allow you to save documents, making them always available.

Q: Do members need to do anything as a result of these changes? 
A: No, but it would be a great time to make sure your email address is current in MyOKBar, the password-protected portion of the OBA website for members only. While you are there, make sure all your contact information is correct.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- OBJ 88 pg. 2421 (Dec. 16, 2017)