Buncombe attorneys find a virtual gathering place at Bar website

The Buncombe County Bar website gets coverage from NC Lawyers Weekly!

From North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, August 18, 2014: http://nclawyersweekly.com/2014/08/19/buncombe-attorneys-find-a-virtual-gathering-place-at-bar-website (subscription required)

Almost a year after its launch, creators of the Buncombe County Bar’s website, www.bartrans.wpenginepowered.com, believe the technology puts the Buncombe County bar in the upper echelon of bar association domains.

The site’s creator, Gina Drew of NC Legal Marketing, said that before the site launched in September of 2013, the 28th district bar was using multiple tools for communications. Drew, a former bar administrator who has worked as a certified civil trial paralegal, described the state’s system generally as “a little bit archaic.” The new website, she says, is driven by member needs and allows for much more timely information.

“Before the launch of this website we were only reaching about 230 of our 700-attorney membership,” Drew said, adding that only about 24 lawyers remain aloof due to firewall restrictions or nonexistent or old email addresses.

The website’s clean design and user-friendly tabs make it easy to access that information, whether looking for upcoming bar events or recent (or archived) bar news, paying bar dues or updating attorney profiles and self-publishing firm news or press releases.

As the Buncombe County Bar administrator, Lisa-Gaye Hall facilitates all bar events, as well as the duties of the 17 member executive committee.

“Its really important for attorneys to have an online presence,” Hall said. “(The) website gives each attorney a free directory listing, which is searchable by practice area …. we do accept classified ads from our customers.”

Drew says that more than half the bar membership has logged onto the site and about that same number of lawyers access full stories – automatically generated and emailed – weekly from the Bar Briefs section.

In addition to serving the needs of the legal community, the website features a “For the Public” section that allows laypersons to find an attorney, familiarize themselves with local judges and, should they decide to represent themselves in Buncombe County courts, download the necessary forms.

“Pro se litigants can download packets from the website so that they can fo file their pro se divorce or their pro se evictions or whatever it is that people who can’t afford lawyers need to do,” Drew said.

Follow Heath Hamacher on Twitter @NCLW Hamacher