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By Jill M. Kastner
In these difficult economic times, many young lawyers have been forced to cut costs to just the essentials. For some, that has included bar memberships. To make it easier for young lawyers, solos, and those working for the government or nonprofits, the ABA YLD voted during the Midyear Meeting to support a resolution cutting ABA dues. The ABA House of Delegates later adopted that resolution, retooling the ABA dues structure.
The new tiered structure reduces dues for young lawyers and solo practitioners and further reduces dues for those who currently receive a 25% discount: government lawyers, lawyers employed by nonprofit legal services programs, and judges. The new rates take effect for the 2010–2011 membership year beginning this September 1. The ABA hopes the reduced dues will allow even more lawyers to access the vast resources of the ABA.
New Dues Rates for the Coming Bar Year
To make things even easier, the ABA is also introducing new flexible payment options including installment billing and an auto renewal program to all its members.
Reducing dues is only part of the ABA’s plan to increase membership. The ABA (and the ABA YLD) is working hard to develop new tools and resources to benefit lawyers in their day-to-day law practices. With more professional development and technology resources, networking and career building opportunities, and member advantage discounts on everything from office supplies and travel to appliances and flowers, the ABA is offering more membership benefits than ever. The goal is to increase ABA market share to 50% of the profession.
If members of your bar group, friends, or colleagues aren’t ABA YLD members because of the cost, have them take a look at the new dues structure. For me, my dues were cut in half from last year. Even in this down economy, I can happily pay my ABA dues, knowing that the cost is far outweighed by the benefits I get in return.