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American Bar Association rethinks membership proposition

Facing declining revenues, organization seeks to woo lawyers with simplified dues structure and sweetened benefits package

RivesRives

July 27, 2018
By Walt Williams

Roughly one out of every four lawyers in the U.S. is a member of the American Bar Association, but the 140-year-old organization believes it can do better.

ABA is in the process of making major changes to its membership model in hopes of bringing more lawyers into the fold. Among the proposals under consideration are lower dues for many members as well as radically simplifying the process used to determine those dues. If implemented, the association projects the changes could grow its dues-paying membership by at least 35 percent in five years.

“The real issue is we have to prove ourselves to show that we’re worth the money they pay and the value proposition is there,” ABA CEO Jack Rives told CEO Update.