CLOC Group Guide

Congratulations and thank you. By leading a CLOC group, you are extending the reach of CLOC to better educate and inform your colleagues in our legal operations profession. We commend you on your commitment and are excited you are giving back to the community. We believe that by helping other CLOC members, this experience will also enrich your own professional standing, enhance your leadership skills, and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Again, we sincerely appreciate you stepping up for the CLOC community.
CLOC Board of Directors and Staff


Table of Contents


CLOC Groups Overview:

Groups are extensions of CLOC and support our strategic pillars of Content, Community and Conversations. We created this Guide to assist volunteer leaders in developing and managing a CLOC group. It is your central place to find information. We want you to feel free to apply creativity and personalization, and encourage you to leverage your industry knowledge, your peers, your strengths. Your enthusiasm and drive will sustain your Group over time.

CLOC achieves its goals through not only its large scale in-person events, but also the more frequent meetings of Groups. Groups also support and enhance membership value and to help attract new members. We ask that all Group leaders become familiar with this Handbook. The CLOC Community Team is also available to support your efforts and answer any questions you may have.


FAQ’s:

What is a Group? A Group is a community of members committed to a shared interest – whether a region, a demographic, or a topic of interest, such as an element of the CLOC Core 12. Groups collaborate, share, and network within their community segment in the spirit of evolving the business and practice of law.

I don’t see the Group I am interested in. What do I do? If CLOC doesn’t already have the group(s) you are seeking, we welcome you to complete the Group Application Form to propose a new Group.

For regional groups, you may request to join other regions that you frequent or do business with.

Why start and lead a Group? One of the powers of CLOC community is leveraging others that may have “been there, done that.” We rely on members who want to help facilitate connections and relationships and Groups provide the platform for these connections. Group leaders are not required to be subject matter experts, but rather should possess an interest in driving engagement and facilitating peer learning opportunities within the Group.

Who can join a Group? CLOC Groups are open to all CLOC members in good standing. New members will be automatically assigned to a regional Group when joining, but may join any additional Group, whether regional or otherwise, at any time. New CLOC members within a geographic radius of a current region are assigned to that Group by the mailing address associated with their record. New members are also prompted to join other Groups as part of the join flow.

Are there limitations on participating in Groups? No. Previously, Groups were limited to in-house members. As of 2023, Groups will represent the entire membership. Please note, a Group may elect to have meetings with a particular section of CLOC membership (i.e. legal operations professional members only).

What is expected of a Group Leader? A Group Leader is expected to coordinate meetings (virtually or in person) at least two times a year. This includes selecting topics for discussion, speakers, the location, communicating relevant details to Group members and facilitating an engaging member experience. Groups leaders are also expected to maintain an online community presence on CLOC Community Connect, which includes the event calendars, Group discussion forum and document sharing library. See Group Communications for more detailed information.

Is there any support from CLOC staff? Yes, the CLOC Community Team provides operational support for Group leaders, including help with setting up a new Group, providing strategic direction, setting up meeting logistics, assisting with communications, and CLOC staff can also assist with speakers and content by request.


Group Leader Terms and Service:

CLOC members may only hold one leadership position at a time – a Group leader, Board Member, Council member, or Committee Chair. Please consider your desired impact and participation before applying for any opportunity.

Group leaders will commit to a two-year term. Group Leaders that successfully meet the requirements during their 2-year term are eligible to renew for an additional term as Group Leader unless they notify CLOC of their desire to step down (with a minimum of 2 weeks notice). If at any time a Group Leader needs to step down, CLOC staff will work with the departing Leader, or remaining co-leader (if any) to find a replacement.

By volunteering as a Group Leader you are serving a critical role of providing opportunities to CLOC members, so it is important that Group leaders understand the expectations before applying.


Group Leader Requirements:

  • Commit to a 2-year term as a Group leader.
  • Spend at least 2 hours per month on Group activities (the hourly commitment can vary, and can extend up to an average of 6-8 hours per month).
  • Serve as the Group’s primary contact with CLOC staff liaison.
  • Attend Group leader calls and webinars for new process instructions, changes, and general CLOC announcements.
  • Promote the Group and CLOC and its endeavor to engage membership.
  • Welcome new CLOC members and help them navigate CLOC resources and events.
  • Schedule regular meetings and prepare agendas.
  • Curate topics of interest to your Group
  • Secure meeting venues for in-person Group events.
  • Source speakers and coordinate speaker logistics (slides, welcome, introductions, etc.)
  • Ensure meeting minutes/notes are taken and submitted to CLOC staff.
  • Monitor, maintain and update the online Group community as needed.

Guidelines:

Group Leaders are expected to follow these guidelines and abide by CLOC’s Group policies described below, so that members have a consistent experience in all aspects of CLOC activities.

  • Name and refer to your Group as “CLOC (name of Group)” in all references.
  • Coordinate with CLOC staff to ensure that any distributed materials are in keeping with CLOC branding standards.
  • Create a welcoming environment for new and potential CLOC members, understand the goals, mission and vision of CLOC and how to advise interested parties on becoming a member.
  • Strive to provide CLOC members with engaging meetings and connections.
  • Abide by the CLOC Community Rules.
  • Follow CDC and local health department social distancing guidelines and group size limitations, as well as company policies for group gatherings.
  • To both protect CLOC member privacy and to ensure that the correct email addresses are being used for communications, CLOC will maintain a list of members who have opted in to receive communications. At the discretion of CLOC staff, the email addresses of those members who opt-in to receive communications from volunteer leaders may be shared with those leaders.
  • CLOC will maintain the updated alias for Group communications through the CLOC Community site.  Using one common database will allow a more efficient process and ensure the recently joined CLOC members are receiving the same communications.
  • As a Group leader, you are asked to participate in meetings with other Group leaders, as follows:
    • All Group Leaders are expected to attend the quarterly Group Leaders Meeting. These are your meetings and your opportunity to share process, programs, events, issues, meeting minutes and ideas with other leaders.
    • As part of your commitment as a Group Leader, we hope you are able to attend the annual CLOC event closest to your region to participate in any planned Group Leader activities. For example, at the CLOC Global Institute, we will typically host a meeting for the Group leaders to come together to network, share ideas, thoughts and best practices. All activities are coordinated by CLOC and relative to timing of sessions and other Institute activities.
  • Group meetings are only open to CLOC members.
  • Group leaders may choose to invite non-members to attend a Group meeting, provided they have been cleared through both the leader and CLOC staff. The Group leader should alert a prospective member that they will be subscribed to the CLOC general mail list to receive CLOC news and membership notifications.
  • A Group leader may elect to host a Legal Operations Professional only meeting. This is at the full discretion of the Group leader.
  • The CLOC Institutes and Summits are the flagship of CLOC and a great place to connect, learn and collaborate with your peers, and meet face-to-face with your Groups. Attending these events is a great way to grow interest in a Group and enhance both professional and department development.
  • If you would like to host an ad-hoc meeting during CLOC’s Global Institute or one of our Summits, CLOC’s community staff can assist with your reservation of space and communication with your Group. Please note that these requests much be submitted a minimum of two months in advance of the event.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

  • Plan ahead. Consider hot topics, topics in which your Group has expressed interest, topics you face professionally, new developments in the profession, etc.
  • Connect! It’s a virtual world. Tap a colleague from another Group to speak virtually at your meeting.
  • Poll your community regarding meeting times and meet with a regular cadence (quarterly, monthly, bi-annual).
  • Finalize your agenda at least one week before every meeting. Agendas should contain the meeting title, date, time, location and a bullet list of topics to be covered (see agenda template).
  • Host meetings that are professional and inclusive of all members. Consider a variety of meeting formats such as Happy Hours, panels, Q&A sessions, roundtables, socials at a bar/restaurant, lunch & learns, etc.
  • For in-person Group events: Choose locations that are accessible with easy parking.
  • Ensure sufficient audio and visual equipment/technology is available (as needed).
  • Submit the Meeting/Event Request Form. Please allow up to two business days for a confirmation of the event.
  • Take notes! After the meeting, review the notes and then post to your Group page.

Don’t:

  • Expect participants to just “talk” unless the meeting is purely social – aka a Happy Hour. Plan the topics for discussion and be prepared with seed questions to facilitate open discussion.
  • Give short notice. Make sure you allow sufficient time for scheduling.
  • Allow members to “pitch” their products or services in any way during meetings. (If this happens, please redirect the member. Please also notify CLOC staff for follow up.)
  • Require members to share personally identifiable information with anyone before, during or after the meeting.
  • Allow CLOC members to delegate participation in a meeting or event to a non-member friend or colleague (unless the event is open participation).
  • Maintain separate email lists for CLOC Group members (this task will be retained by CLOC staff).

Group Communications:

  • Each Group has a Community within Community Connect
  • Groups leaders and CLOC members communicate through the CLOC Community Connect site. CLOC staff can walk you through the process of how to do this, if you need help.
  • A Group leader should post the meeting details (and link to the event website page) in the Group Community, once the event is posted on the CLOC Community site. Experience has shown that having a local Group leader post the meeting improves responses (vs CLOC staff posting).
  • Make sure you have completely filled out the meeting form so the website page is as complete as possible.
  • Group leaders are encouraged to build up discussion prior to the event using the Community Forum. Engaging with your CLOC members in advance will entice more attendance at your meetings and could clarify some of the discussion points that members would like to bring up in advance.
  • There is a community group for all CLOC Group leaders on the CLOC Community site. This is your space to ask questions of each other, share ideas, recommend speakers, etc. Like the Group Communities, this area allows you to hold email forum discussions, share and store documents.

Meetings and Events:

  • Leaders are asked to provide CLOC staff with as much advance notice on a meeting request as possible, preferably no less than six weeks notice.
  • Once CLOC receives your meeting request form, CLOC will schedule the event on the CLOC Event Calendar and will distribute an invitation to register. Reminder email(s) will be sent out prior to the Group meetings, containing the final agenda and related logistical details.
  • Invitations will include location, logistical information and/or dial-in information, meeting purpose/agenda, and registration link. The emails will be sent to all of your CLOC Group members and posted to the CLOC Community Group Forum.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to CLOC staff for ideas and support to ensure success.

Group Events Sponsorships:

CLOC encourages and supports engaging sponsors in group events to support associated costs. However, sponsored events should not be simply marketing pitches, but should enhance the overall experience for group members. The goal is to ensure that the event offers genuine value, fosters meaningful connections, and aligns with the CLOC mission.

Sponsored Event Guidelines:

  • Event sponsors must be approved by CLOC Staff.
  • Group leaders may invite sponsor engagement in events, or CLOC Staff may support connection between sponsors and Group Leaders.
  • Sponsorship Terms & Conditions must be determined and agreed upon prior to approval. As a standard, sponsors will receive:
    • Sponsor recognition and logo inclusion on event materials.
    • Event access for up to 5 attendees from the sponsoring company.
  • Sponsor Terms & Conditions include, but are not limited to:
    • Educational content focus: : Sponsors agree to contribute educational and insightful content that adds value to attendees by sharing knowledge and industry insights. Purely promotional activities are prohibited.
    • Brand Guidelines: Sponsors should adhere to CLOC brand guidelines, including logo usage, branding colors, and other visual identity elements.
    • Compliance with laws & regulation: Sponsors must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those related to advertising, marketing, data protection, and any industry-specific guidelines.
    • Data Handling and Security: Sponsors must handle any data collected during the event responsibly and securely. This includes obtaining proper consent for data collection and storage.
    • Feedback and Reporting: Sponsors are encouraged to provide constructive feedback on the event and report any issues or concerns promptly. Open communication is essential for continuous improvement.
    • Termination Clause: Conditions under which either party can terminate the sponsorship agreement should be outlined, along with the consequences of termination.

As purely promotional activities are prohibited for sponsored events, following are suggested ways to engage sponsors in Group events to ensure adherence with this policy:

  • Prioritize an attendee centric approach.  Work with sponsors to emphasize the needs and interests of attendees as it relates to the event topic and encourage sponsors to tailor their event engagement to this specificity.
  • Promote the strategic advantage to sponsors to listening to and networking with attendees to better understand market needs and tailor their business development objectives.
  • Plan problem solving sessions in which sponsors and attendees collaboratively workshop real industry challenges in which the sponsor can provide industry insights and suggested resources to address these challenges.
  • Position sponsors as thought leaders and encourage them to share their industry knowledge, not just their product solutions.
  • Encourage sponsors to provide educational resources such as white papers, e-books, industry guides, etc. that offer valuable insights to attendees while positioning the sponsor as a knowledge contributor to the event.
  • Tell success stories: Consider case study approaches to event programming in which a sponsor is joined by an industry professional to provide an overview of how the sponsored company provided solutions for real industry challenges. 
  • Discover philanthropic or community support initiatives of the sponsored company and plan community engagement initiatives supporting those efforts, such as charitable activities of projects that contribute to a social cause.
  • Have mechanisms for feedback: solicit both attendee and sponsor feedback on the sponsored engagement to help tailor approaches for future events.

Financial:

Financial Considerations for Sponsored Events:

  • Sponsors will be required to sign a contract outlining the full scope of terms and conditions related to the sponsored event.
  • The CLOC Finance team will manage all financial transactions (i.e. invoicing the sponsor, paying event vendor invoices, etc).
  • In the event that a group leader assumes financial responsibility for associated event needs, they may request reimbursement from CLOC.
  • CLOC Staff will partner with group leaders to create/manage an event specific budget.
  • As needed, group leaders agree to support financial transactions by requesting associated needs from event vendors, such as W9, bank information for payment, credit card authorization, etc.
  • For in-kind donations, CLOC requests that a value be assigned to the in-kind donation and an invoice generation for CLOC financial data reporting and audit purposes.
  • CLOC supports wire transfer, ACH payments, physical check payments, credit card payments (subject to a 3% convenience fee) and PayPal for financial transactions.
  • International requirements and currency exchange vary by country. Group Leaders and Sponsors may be asked to provide additional administrative support for events taking place outside the United States.

Financial Considerations for Non-Sponsored Events:

  • CLOC does not have a dedicated budget per group for supporting regional group events. However, there is a limited general fund to support group events.
  • Group leaders will be asked to submit a proposal for financial support of events detailing the event plan and value proposition to the community.
  • When allocating funds for group events, CLOC will assess how the event supports strategic initiatives of the organization.
  • The CLOC Finance team will manage all financial transactions (i.e. paying event vendor invoices).
  • In the event that a group leader assumes financial responsibility for associated event needs, they may request reimbursement from CLOC.

Resources: