With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education and builds public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Developing standards for professional ethics
The Center for Professional Responsibility advances the public interest by encouraging the high ethical conduct and professionalism of lawyers and judges.
Created in 1978, the Center has provided national leadership and vision in developing and interpreting standards in legal and judicial ethics, professional regulation, professionalism, client protection and lawyer specialty certification.
ABA members are invited to contact ETHICSearch to speak with lawyers on staff about specific ethics matters.
Accrediting and promoting quality legal education
The Council and Accreditation Committee of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar are recognized by the US Department of Education (DOE) as the national accrediting agency for law schools. In this function, the Council and Section operate independently of the ABA, as required by DOE regulations.
ABA-approved law schools are recognized by all state supreme courts as meeting the legal education requirements to qualify for the bar examination. Forty-six states limit eligibility for bar admission to graduates of ABA-approved schools.
Members of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar are part of a 10,000-member group that strives to improve legal education and lawyer licensing by fostering cooperation among legal educators, practitioners and judges through workshops, conferences and publications. The Section also studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process.
Leading policy and practice innovations
The ABA is proud to offer 34 practice specialty groups that center on a specific area of law or career stage, facilitating more in-depth examination of issues, regulations and trends.
These groups offer members numerous opportunities for business networking and career advancement, and a large portfolio of professional and business development products, including books, periodicals, CLEs and webinars.
Many groups play an active leadership role in bringing the views of the ABA to the attention of federal and state courts, Congress, and other federal and state judicial, legislative, and executive policy-making bodies.