Update Your Online Directory Profile
Sarah Petersen is one of MBA's talented, generous and much appreciated volunteers. She currently serves as YLS treasurer. Since joining the YLS Futures Committee in 2008, she has been involved in a variety of MBA projects and programs. She was instrumental in the redesign of the MBA website, which launched a little over a year ago. One website redesign feature that was important to her was the enhancement of the online directory to include members' biography information, education, volunteer involvement and social media links. We recently asked her a few questions about the online directory.
What was your goal for the members' online directory?
The goal for the directory was for members to have the opportunity to make their entries as complete or as simple as they wanted. We knew that many of our members wanted to link to their LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages, so we made sure that the directory would allow people to add those links. It was important to us that the directory allowed members to add a photo of themselves, too. It is much easier to recognize someone at a Starbucks if you have only met them through phone conversations or email, when you can see what they look like beforehand! Our overall goal was to create a tool that members would find easy to use and useful.
Can you describe how to update your online directory profile?
It's very easy - the hardest part is remembering a password, so if you can do that, you'll have no problems. To update a profile, the member just needs to log in to the Member Center, found under the Membership tab. This page offers a few options, including Judicial Preferences, access to free handouts from MBA CLEs, and "Update My Profile." After the member clicks on "Update," she will see her "Profile" page. Adding or updating information in the directory is very simple; the "Profile" page offers several prompts to "click here" to add certain information, like practice areas, a bio, educational background, or memberships. When I wanted to update my bio information, I clicked on the "click here," entered my bio in the text box and clicked "OK," and the info was added to my profile.
Why do you recommend that members update their directory profiles?
Updating your directory profile is as important as keeping your LinkedIn profile or your firm's website up-to-date. So many people begin their information or contact searches online that keeping everything accurate and up-to-date is critical for putting your best foot forward. This is one place where the MBA directory is a big help, because the contact information is updated on a regular basis via a link with the OSB, so even if you have not updated your MBA directory page, your current information - name, address, phone, email, bar number, etc. - will appear in the directory automatically. It's one more benefit of MBA membership.
If you have not kept your directory profile up-to-date, only the Bar's contact information will show up, without practice area, bio, education or any other personal information you would want to share. Go ahead: look up members of your firm and see who has been lazy about advertising themselves! Just stop and update your own information first.
How has updating your own profile on the members' directory benefited you and your practice?
Updating my profile has allowed me one more point of connection for people who might be looking for my contact information. The basic information is available through the OSB directory, but the MBA directory has allowed me to personalize my profile with more information about who I am and the work I do. Plus, it's fun to see what opposing counsel looks like before you meet for the first time.
See Sarah's profile at www.mbabar.org/Membership/Directory/View/34219/.
To update your own profile, log in at www.mbabar.org/Membership/Login.html and click on the "Update My Profile" link.
If you have questions about updating your profile, contact the MBA at 503.222.3275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.