The control and administration of the ABA is vested in the House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the association.
The House of Delegates, established in 1936, meets twice each year, at ABA Annual and Midyear Meetings.
At the Midyear Meeting, the Nominating Committee nominates officers and members of the Board of Governors. During the Annual Meeting, the full house votes on these nominees and on any nominations made by petition.
Action taken by the House of Delegates on specific issues becomes official ABA policy.
As of January 1, 2012, the House of Delegates consisted of 560 members (see §6.2 et seq. of the Constitution):
State Bar Association Delegates
Local Bar Association Delegates
Present and Former Officers and Board members
Section, Division and Conference Delegates
Ex Officio Members
Affiliated Organization Delegates
Virgin Islands Bar Association Delegate
American Samoa Delegate
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Island Delegate
The Committee on Scope and Correlation of Work studies the structure, functions, and work of sections, committees, and other ABA entities, making recommendations to the House of Delegates or Board of Governors to help correlate the work of the association as a whole and better allocate the ABA's resources. The committee is responsible to the house and has no other powers or duties.
The committee consists of five members of the association, one of whom is elected each year by the house to serve a five-year term beginning with the adjournment of the Annual Meeting during which the member is elected.
The chair of the house appoints a liaison member from the sections, who serves without vote, from among three nominations submitted by the Section Officers Conference. The liaison serves for a term of three years, may be reappointed only in the manner described above, and may not serve for more than two consecutive full three-year terms. The chairs of the board's Program/Planning and Finance Committees or their designees serve as ex-officio liaison representatives to Scope, without vote.
In 1981, the House created a Scope Nominating Committee. It consists of the following ex-officio members: the chair of the House of Delegates, as chair; the chair of the Board's Program/Planning Committee; the chair of Scope; the member of Scope with the longest continuous service on the committee who is not the chair; and the chair of the Section Officers Conference.