Case Study: The Macomb Bar

The Macomb Bar
Mt. Clemens, MI
Rick R. Troy, Executive Director

“The Marketing Automation is great for keeping members engaged; the Continuing Education Module is invaluable. “

The Macomb County Bar Association is a voluntary, metropolitan bar located in Southeast Michigan. The Association provides members educational and economic opportunities and advocacy for the profession of law. Over the past five years, they have averaged membership of 1,300 in a county with approximately 2,000 attorneys.

Q: What were the issues and pain points that drove you to evaluate an association management solution?

A: Over the past two decades, the Macomb Bar has used iMIS, Affiniscape, YourMembership, and now GrowthZone. Along the way, we seriously considered Member Central, Member Clicks, and Wild Apricot. As a smaller bar association, the main pain point has always been cost.

Like many bar associations, we provide a Lawyer Referral Service. This service area has long been neglected by AMS companies. Our history of Lawyer Referral data management starts with 5×7 notecards and file cabinets filled with forms.

There was some early integration with iMIS, but it was a failure. We found the Alleghany Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Extended (LRX) product in the early 2000s. It was cumbersome, but it worked to a degree as a stand-alone product.

Around 2008 we worked with the founders of Affiniscape to create a Lawyer Referral Module that tied into the AMS – this was by far the best LRS system we’ve ever experienced. When Affiniscape was bought out by YourMembership, they literally pulled the plug on the module, leaving us stranded. Our only option was to go back to LRX, now a completely outdated software program. To add insult to injury, they then began their upward fee climb with serious deficiencies in customer support. They simply neglected the bar association industry while they pursued other industries and became Community Brands.

Our exploration for a Lawyer Referral system led to Community Lawyer, and we remain very satisfied with the product.

Q: What were there specific strategic objectives and outcomes you hoped to accomplish through the solution?

A: We were looking for a new AMS and came across GrowthZone. We needed an AMS that saved time and got the job done. I was impressed that GrowthZone’s website was a WordPress website. The Marketing Automation is great for keeping members engaged; the Continuing Education Module is invaluable.

Q: Have you been able to accomplish those objectives? 

A: We have been able to accomplish everything we need from an AMS. 

Q: What is the biggest value you’ve achieved using GrowthZone?

A: I would say contact with our members – Email, Marketing Automation, Lists, Events, etc. and the Continuing Education module.

Q: How did GrowthZone impress you or stand out from your prior AMS? 

A: At the time we were looking to exit YourMembership, the first stand out for GrowthZone’s was the price point. It is in our ballpark.  

Q: What do you like about the GrowthZone platform?

A: The GrowthZone platform is user-friendly and offers a lot of functionality for the price. 

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