TJSL hosted a daylong seminar on Friday, August 5 – the Southern California Advancement Forum 2011. It was an exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices among representatives of Southern California law schools.
The event focused on Alumni Relations, Development and Communications, departments which usually work hand-in-glove at the law schools represented.
The attendees said they were very impressed with TJSL’s new campus and the opening presentation was from Thomas Jefferson’s Chief Information Officer James Cooper -- called “The Why Behind the Wow: Thinking Behind the 21st Century’s Newest Law School Building.” Cooper spoke about what “high tech” means to TJSL and the positive impact the law school is hoping to have on teaching and learning. He also spoke on TJSL’s commitment to being environmentally sensitive and how technology can play in to that -- using examples ranging from the rooftop solar array to the energy efficiency of the data center and computer systems.
“While these systems may seem expensive up front,” Cooper said, “they pay off in efficiency and purchasing down the road.”
Morning breakout sessions included some pretty lively discussions on engaging recent graduates, using metrics to measure success beyond alumni participation and whether to do your law school’s magazine in print or as an e-zine. In the afternoon the panels tackled these topics: alumni events, annual giving and how to use social media effectively.
The final session was a fascinating look at crisis communications and how to prepare for an eventual crisis that attracts media attention. The presenter was Teresa Valerio Parrot, a senior vice-president at Widmeyer Communications. Her most important point: create a crisis communications plan for your law school and get high-level approval.
Among the law schools represented at the event were California Western, Chapman University, Loyola Los Angeles, Southwestern, TJSL, UC Irvine, UCLA, USC Gould, University of San Diego, University of La Verne, Western State University, and Whittier.