One of the greatest benefits of belonging to a professional association is access to relevant and timely education and programming. At every level of their career, members turn to their association to get the most up-to-date information and stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Association educational content helps to build a common foundation of knowledge across members and provides a wealth of professional development opportunities. Thus, it is important for associations to have an agreed upon standard of knowledge for the industry or profession.
To assist with this, many associations are now looking to build a foundational resource called a “Body of Knowledge” (BOK) to help focus and drive their educational programs. At the most basic level, a BOK is a document that clearly defines the essential and accepted domains, competencies and associated skill sets for an industry or profession at every level. BOKs are developed by industry experts and leaders and are living, breathing documents that can change and grow with the organization.
Associations use BOKs as blueprints to provide education that meets the professional development needs of members. BOKs also serve to guide strategy, identify education gaps, influence priorities, reveal market trends, highlight thought leadership and increase member value. A BOK can provide a clear pathway for continuous development at every level of a career.
LMA is dedicated to continually developing and delivering learning opportunities and being the trusted resource for educational and professional development opportunities for our members. One of the key initiatives we are undertaking this year is building our very own comprehensive BOK. The project is being driven by our Education Advisory Council (EAC), a cross-section of the LMA membership, appointed on an annual basis to strategize initiatives, guide best practices and serve as ambassadors. As LMA’s education director, I’ve been working closely with the EAC to define the domains of the legal marketing industry. Next, we will move into identifying competencies and, ultimately, the necessary skills at different levels that are needed to be an expert in legal marketing. The results of this project will be a master blueprint of essential learning that we can provide to our members as a resource.
We believe this will elevate the industry’s professionalism, scope and value. The LMA BOK is slated to be released in spring 2016.
Holly Amatangelo is the education director at the Legal Marketing Association. Want to learn more about education offerings at LMA? Visit the Knowledge Center.