Recruitment: The key to our success

Don’t just be a member…come, particpate, and take no challenge alone!

Vincent D. Howard
2016 November

Recruiting new members (and staying on top of the lapsed members) is the most critical component to any organization’s success, especially OCTLA’s. OCTLA is only as strong and effective as its membership and for any trial lawyer association to be most effective at achieving its goal, it has to have members. The more members a TLA has, the better; better for the organization, better for the membership.

If you are already a member of OCTLA, then you are well aware of the amazing member benefits OCTLA has to offer; however, if you are considering joining our TLA, then please read further about the current benefits we offer; and for our current members, check out the new benefits!

Incentivizing new member recruiting

This year, we launched the “OCTLA New Member Referral Contest” as a way to incentivize our members to reach to their colleagues to get them to join. Any member who recruits five (5) NEW members to join OCTLA will receive an Apple Watch or Android compatible smart watch. The contest rules are simple. Get five of your colleagues who have never been a member of OCTLA (or whose membership has lapsed more than two years) to join our organization and make sure they list you as their referral source. It’s that simple! For full contest eligibility requirements, I encourage you to visit the website, I am proud to report that I already have TWO new Apple Watches and I am working on more for the rest of the family!

Professional networking

Whether you attend one of our professional seminars or join in the fun of our many social events throughout the year, you’ll find yourself in the midst of Orange County’s most respected attorneys, mediators and jurists. OCTLA is the place to build lasting professional and personal relationships. Membership also puts you in contact with Orange County’s elite legal support specialists. Our educational events and networking resources offer many avenues for expanding and sustaining your practice or law-related business.

Membership Directory

Have a client who needs assistance in an area of law you don’t practice? OCTLA’s online Membership Directory allows you to not only list your name in the multiple practice areas you focus on, you can also use it to find a member to assist your current client with that legal need you can’t help them with. You can also use the directory as a way to let other lawyers know you’re available to co-counsel or accept new clients in your particular area of practice. Plus, the Affiliate Member Directory helps you quickly find law-related products and services from local vendors that support OCTLA.

Forum/List Serve

The Forum helps our members instantly access information from hundreds of other trial attorneys in our network. Members routinely rave about how this benefit has assisted them in locating experts, preparing for depositions, preparing pleadings, and even resolving complicated legal research issues without spending any time. Why “re-create the wheel” when you can ask the question and have one of your colleagues help you out? Additionally, we are transitioning our current Forum to a more familiar community-based list serve to make it even easier for our members to reply to or read member posts or responses. 

Deposition Bank

And because our members asked for it, we have recently added an online Expert Deposition Bank that provides our attorney members with a resource for depositions, trial transcripts, expert-related pleadings, and impeachment information. Our members have contributed all the documents and are fully searchable by expert’s name, type of case, jurisdiction, date or attorney. Downloading transcripts from the bank is free for attorney members of OCTLA. As OCTLA members contribute their own deposition transcripts to the database, the OCTLA Expert Deposition Bank will grow to include numerous experts representing various disciplines.

Monthly MCLE programs

New attorneys and established veterans praise OCTLA’s interesting and informative MCLE programs. Every month, OCTLA offers educational programs taught by prominent attorneys, judges, appellate court justices and other professionals. Our primary goal is to present topics to help trial lawyers win cases. Of course, members earn MCLE credit while making key professional contacts in a friendly setting. We make it easy to fulfill your professional MCLE requirements by simply attending these short but mighty programs. And, if you register online for these programs, your MCLE units will be kept in your profile for up to four years to make your reporting compliance easy to monitor.

The GAVEL Magazine

OCTLA members receive our acclaimed quarterly magazine, The Gavel, presenting cogent and timely trial techniques, practice pointers, and new legal developments, on issues important to your practice. And as an added bonus, there is an article from me! Every issue contains up-to-date information about many of the things that impact our clients and us in our daily professional lives.

Judges – Mediators Annual Evaluation

This semi-annual program is strictly limited to consumer attorney members. The program is designed to review and evaluate judicial officers and ADR providers in Orange County and surrounding areas to arm trial lawyers with crucial knowledge about the judges, mediators and arbitrators who will decide their cases. Previous programs have evaluated judicial officers, arbitrators and mediators in the following counties: Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego.

Professional liability insurance program

And finally, OCTLA members are eligible to receive exclusive policy discounts on your legal malpractice insurance with an admitted carrier through Aragon-Haas Insurance Brokers, Inc., and its producers.

These are all outstanding reasons to join the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association! To get more information about these exclusive member benefits and to learn more about OCTLA, log onto and click on MEMBER DEALS under the Membership tab. Watch for the upcoming announcements in subsequent Gavel issues when we launch other new and exciting Member Benefits.

Vincent D. Howard Vincent D. Howard

Vincent D. Howard is the managing shareholder of Vincent Law, Anaheim.  His practice focuses on individual cases and mass torts involving personal injury and consumer protection. His experience in these areas stems from his work at Lopez, Hodes, Restaino, Milman & Skikos, where he handled high-profile mass tort litigation and pharmaceutical injury cases against such companies as Wal-mart, Merck  and Halliburton.  He is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno and received his J.D. at Western State College of Law, where he was a Dean's Scholar.

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