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PROMOTIONS P PA I M E M B E R S S H A R E T H E I R S U C C E S S F U L P R O M O T I O N S

A challenge coin, deep-etched glass award and goldfoil coin stickers produced for the State Bar of South Dakota by Phelps Ad Specialties.

Promoting Change LAWYERS FLIP FOR A NEW MENTOR PROGRAM ROOTED IN MILITARY-STYLE CHALLENGE COINS. By Tama Underwood

Hoping to bring the same feelings of camaraderie and brotherhood found in the military to the legal profession, the State Bar of South Dakota enlisted Terri Phelps, owner of Rapid City, South Dakota-based distributor Phelps Ad Specialties, to help bridge the gap between the state’s young and veteran lawyers. How did they want to achieve this? Promotional products. “Historically there has been a disconnect between the young lawyers section and the general bar association,” Phelps explains. “The state bar president and the young lawyer president wanted to do something that would foster a relationship and close the gap—real or perceived—between them.” The association was also looking to address concerns over the dwindling numbers of lawyers in South Dakota’s rural areas. “If you can get a job at a law firm that

has 15 other lawyers, as opposed to being on your own in rural, isolated South Dakota, most young lawyers will choose this option because they are hesitant to start their own business,” Phelps says. To combat these problems, the state bar implemented a new mentorship program, and it asked Phelps to help produce military-style challenge coins as a way to promote it. Upon induction into the state bar, young lawyers receive two round, bronze coins decorated with the scales of justice, the state bar association’s seal and the words “Scientia et Amicitia” (knowledge and friendship) on one side, and the design found on the minted South Dakota quarter on the other. The coins were packaged in black velvet presentation bags. “We used the South Dakota quarter on the back so the program would be unique to South Dakota,” Phelps says, adding that this was her favorite part of the project. “They had no idea that OCTOBER 2011

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PROMOTIONS they would be able to do something like that, but the South Dakota quarter is public domain.” Young lawyers were instructed to keep one coin and give the other coin to their mentor—matches were made by a committee. By accepting a coin, recipients agreed to encourage, support and foster mentorship within the legal community. The exchange between mentee and mentor was done separately from the initial presentation of the coins, either privately or at receptions hosted by participating law firms. “The program is intended to promote goodwill and dedication to core values of the law among them, getting veteran lawyers to share their good, bad and ugly with young lawyers so they didn’t feel so isolated,” Phelps says. The mentoring program was a hit with young lawyers, or those with less than 10 years’ experience as defined by the state bar association. The program is credited with generating a lot of buzz among members of the association and producing true-life success stories in which young lawyers were able to start their own practices more easily with the guidance of more experienced mentors. After an initial mint of 500 bronze challenge coins, the association recently ordered 250 more. Phelps also worked with the bar association to produce 20 pure silver coins for it to award to dignitaries, judges and law professors in recognition of their professional guidance of others; a deep-etched glass award to recognize the efforts of the mentoring program’s co-founder, Sarah Sharp Theophilus, 20092010 young lawyer president for the association; and 1,000 two-inch gold-foil coin stickers for the program’s correspondence. After winning both a PPAI Pyramid Award and an AIA

Campaign Spotlight Client The State Bar of South Dakota Objective Build goodwill and camaraderie between the organization’s young and veteran members and educate them on the value of mentorship among legal professionals Target Audience Approximately 1,800 members of the State Bar of South Dakota, as well as dignitaries, judges, law professors and state bar association employees Campaign Duration Ongoing ROI After an initial mint of 500 bronze challenge coins, the state bar reordered 250 for incoming young lawyers. The campaign also appeared in magazines and newsletters published for legal professionals, and it inspired an Arizona judge to create a mentorship program for at-risk youth. Suppliers Wendell’s (coins), Gerald Fried Packaging & Display Co, LLC (presentation bags), Discount Labels, Inc. (stickers) and Modern Glass (award)

Mastermind Award, Phelps was invited to attend an annual meeting of South Dakota’s state bar and present a second PPAI Pyramid Award to its then president, Rob Morris, with whom she worked closely on the project. “PPAI sent a smaller version for him that looked just like mine,” Phelps says. “I surprised him with the award. He had no idea.” ppb Tama Underwood is an associate editor for PPB. The challenge coins were decorated with the State Bar of South Dakota seal (left) and the design found on the South Dakota quarter.

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Promoting Change  
Promoting Change  

Lawyers flip for a new mentor program rooted in militay-style challenge coin.

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