State Bar of Arizona Strategic Plan


2020 Strategic Plan

Weigh in on the State Bar's Three-Year Strategic Plan!

From promoting the highest ethical standards for our self-regulated profession, to equipping lawyers with the tools for the ever-changing economy, the State Bar of Arizona's three-year plan intends to be an inclusive guide to help govern your State Bar.

We ask that you share your thoughts with us by October 16. Get started by reviewing the strategic plan, followed by providing your comments.



2015 Strategic Plan

To view a PDF of the 2015 Strategic Plan, click here.

Mission of the State Bar of Arizona:  The State Bar of Arizona serves the public and enhances the legal profession by promoting the competency, ethics, and professionalism of its members and enhancing the administration of and access to justice.

Goal 1:  Competency. 
Provide Arizona attorneys with the knowledge and tools to develop and enhance the skills
necessary to meet the needs of their clients and to promote the administration of justice.

1A. Continuing Legal Education Leadership:  In renewing its commitment to provide the highest quality CLE programs for Arizona's legal community, the State Bar will undertake the following initiatives:

  • Create and implement quality standards for professional development programs.
  • Explore the impact and efficacy of CLE on the competency of lawyers.

1B. Focus on Practice Management Tools and Solutions: Recognizing the manifold changes in the delivery of legal services, and the Bar’s responsibility to assist its members in successfully addressing these changes, the State Bar will:

  • Continue to use information and data acquired from the lawyer regulation process to inform and influence practice management programs and initiatives.
  • Re-explore the efficacy and practicality of mandatory professional liability insurance.
  • Expand technology and practice management assistance for members.

1C. Continued Support to Lawyers in Transition:  Taking into account the lingering effects of the Great Recession, coupled with significant changes in the demographics of our profession, the State Bar must continue to assist its members in the following areas:

  • Complete implementation of the recommendations of the State Bar's Succession Planning Task Force, and support regulatory changes necessary to ensure that the interests of clients and the public are protected when their lawyers leave, abandon, or are unable to continue their practice.
  • Continue to engage and assist newly admitted lawyers as they enter the practice of law.

1D. Lawyer Wellness: Recognizing the direct connection between a lawyer'’s wellness and his/her ability to provide the highest quality of legal service, the State Bar will:

  • Continue to provide and expand the peer support network, as part of the Bar's Member Assistance Program.
  • Continue to provide and promote the Health marketplace access to members

Goal 2:  Ethics. 
Promote and when necessary enforce the highest ethical conduct of our members.

2A. Lawyer Regulation: Building on the successful implementation of changes to the lawyer discipline system directed by the Arizona Supreme Court in 2010, the State Bar remains committed to exploring and implementing  ways to assess the efficacy and efficiency of the lawyer regulation system.

2B. Ethical Obligations in the New World of Legal Services Delivery:  As the delivery of legal services continues to occur across traditional jurisdictional boundaries, nationally and internationally, and as the public increasingly acquires services from sources outside the organized bar, the State Bar has a responsibility to the public and its members to:

  • Explore and recommend professional standards to the Arizona Supreme Court for legal services traditionally delivered by licensed attorneys that are now provided by non-traditional sources.
  • Monitor evolving trends in the legal profession and educate members about significant challenges.

Goal 3: Professionalism. Promote an environment in which lawyers can work together in a collegial spirit to serve their clients and promote the administration of justice.

3A. State of the Profession: It is important for the Bar to understand the state of professionalism among its members to effectively develop programs and activities that will enhance their professionalism and improve the public's confidence and trust in the State Bar. To acquire this understanding the State Bar will:

  • Survey stakeholders in the lawyer regulation process to attain feedback critical to the improvement of an efficient and transparent lawyer regulatory process.
  • Continue to identify trends and coordinate educational and communication efforts to improve the profession.
  • Evaluate the volume of complaints received against Arizona attorneys and recommend ways to raise expectations regarding attorney conduct.
  • Maintain effective communications with Arizona attorneys by better engaging them in dialogue regarding issues facing the Bar.

3B. Diversity: An ongoing commitment and responsibility under the Arizona Constitution, the Bar must continue to promote diversity and inclusion in the profession and the judiciary.  This commitment will require the State Bar to:

  • Support and develop SBA leadership in and outside the state to promote Arizona's participation in the national legal community.
  • Facilitate and support diversity in all Bar programs and activities to ensure that the legal profession reflects the community it serves and is able to competently serve all segments of the community.

3C. Protecting and Serving the Public.  Protection and service to the public remains a primary part of the Bar's mission.  To advance this important obligation the State Bar will: 

  • Continue to expand outreach to elected officials.
  • Maintain effective communications with the public.
  • Implement changes/enhancements to the SBA mission and structure resulting from the Arizona Supreme Court's Mission & Governance Task Force recommendations.
  • Maintain and improve the Bar's Speakers Bureau to engage Board members with the public and Bar members.
  • Work to enhance the image of the legal profession within the community.

Goal 4:  Administration of and Access to Justice. Promote efforts to improve the administration of
justice and make the legal system equally accessible to all Arizonans.

4A. Access to Justice: The Supreme Court of Arizona and the State Bar stand united in seeking and supporting opportunities to improve access to our legal system for all Arizonans, including those in rural counties. In meeting this challenge the State Bar will:

  • Monitor and evaluate evolving legal trends that affect the public.
  • Determine the Bar's role in protecting the public beyond services delivered by licensed attorneys.
  • Explore changes in Court rules (e.g. bankruptcy, civil and criminal procedure) to improve the administration of justice.
  • Explore a Lawyer Referral & Information System (LRIS) that complements existing referral systems and expands such systems into areas of Arizona that are not yet served.
  • Promote access to justice and support the newly established Arizona Access to Justice Commission.
  • Explore the Bar's role in improving access to justice and victims' rights.
  • Promote and support the practice of law in rural areas.
  • Educate the public about the legal process.
  • Support the Judicial Branch's Strategic Plan "Advancing Justice Together".

4B. Independent Judiciary.  An effective and accessible justice system requires that Arizona maintain an impartial and quality system of justice by supporting and defending the judicial selection and rule-making processes.  The State Bar will continue to educate the public and elected officials on the importance of an independent judiciary
and retention of merit selection.

Goal 5:  Organizational Excellence. Demonstrate excellence in every area:  operations, programs, resource management, policy and planning, and citizenship.

5A. Employer of Choice.  The quality of the professional staff and volunteers that serve the Bar are essential to meeting its mission and goals.  In addition to continuing to provide a competitive environment for recruitment and retention, the State Bar will expand internal and external professional development opportunities for staff,
to better position the Bar to meet the global challenges facing its members.

5B. Bar Resources. The State Bar is entrusted with the human and capital resources necessary to meet its mission and goals.  To ensure the proper use and stewardship of those resources, the Bar will:

  • Account for increased membership and complexities facing the profession, and make necessary programmatic changes to address those changes.
  • Maintain an organization-wide culture of planning and performance improvement.
  • Maintain the cash reserve policy and the financial stability of the organization.
  • Sustain organizational excellence by developing leadership and succession planning.

5C. Bar Fees. The Bar remains committed to maintaining member fees as approved by the Arizona Supreme Court, without additional increases to members, as long as practicable.

Adopted by the
Board of Governors on June 23, 2015.