By Janet Thoren

Like most lawyers, and most people in general, I often find myself in a position of needing to “upgrade” the way I have done something for years. I recall years ago when I started doing on-line bill pay with my bank. It seemed so strange to not write checks each month. As a lawyer and a business major, getting bills paid accurately and on time and keeping good records was something I was stubborn about, so making that switch was hard for me. Now, if I have to write a check, I often find myself staring at it for a few minutes to recall exactly how I need to write out the dollar amount. I can’t imagine going back to writing and mailing paper checks every month. I’ve also cleared out a lot of space in my home office by keeping electronic records, and they are easy to locate.

Last year, the Administrative Law Section discussed the possibility of changing the way in which it communicates information to members from the newsletter to the blog format. After much debate, the vote was to remain with the newsletter format. Some members prefer that – there is something comfortable and familiar with holding the paper in your hand, or carrying it with you as you travel and being able to read when and where you find the time.

This year, the topic came up again, but this time the Section performed a survey of its members and discovered that very few members actually read the newsletter, and most members indicated they were far more likely to read blog posts and contribute to blog posts rather than a standard newsletter. The survey results were enlightening and overwhelmingly in favor of moving to the blog format.

As we all know there will be some period of adjustment, but hopefully, we can reach more current members with interesting and timely new using the blog. Hopefully, contributing to a blog post or providing a link with important information for our members will be something more people are interested in doing on a regular basis. We might even attract new members who see these posts and decide membership in the Section is something they too can value.

As you adjust to the new format for communication, think about ways you can contribute and participate. Be stubborn about sharing important information with our colleagues, while we are all learning to be flexible in the methods we use.

Janet Thoren is legal counsel to the N.C. Real Estate Commission, and chair of the Administrative Law Section.