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Priorities & Policy

The Board applies the following nine criteria to determine whether an issue should be made a Priority: breadth and strength of ABA interest; importance to the practice of law; public perception of the profession; opportunity for impact; potential for achievement; timeliness of issue; expertise of lawyers on the issue; importance to society; and importance to the administration of justice.

The views of the leaders of the organized bar and the recommendations of the Governmental Affairs Office are also considered by the Board when establishing the annual Priorities. Current Priorities include:

Please click on any of the above priorities to see their pages.

The ABA House of Delegates (House) has ultimate authority for establishing Association policy. This policy-making body is composed of approximately 550 delegates who represent various groups within the ABA and legal profession as a whole.

Reports that recommend the adoption of specific policy positions are submitted by sections, committees, affiliated organizations, state and local bar associations and individual members for consideration by the House during the ABA Annual or Midyear Meeting. Each policy recommendation is debated and voted on by the House.

The Board of Governors is authorized, between meetings of the House, to consider new policy proposals that address matters requiring immediate attention.

ABA Policy Databases

Legislative Issues List - The Legislative Issues list contains a brief description of the ABA's more than 1,000 current legislative and governmental policies. The entries provide succinct summaries of each policy and should not be construed as official statements. 

ABA Policy library - The policy library offers a searchable database of all policy resolutions as adopted by the ABA.

Policy Implementation

The ABA House of Delegates, in its role as the policy-making body of the Association, meets at the Midyear Meeting in February and the Annual Meeting in August. At each meeting, the House considers and adopts new policy resolutions on a broad range of issues related to the legal profession. Once resolutions are adopted as official ABA policy, the Governmental Affairs Office coordinates implementation of the policies and serves as the focal point for the Association's advocacy efforts before Congress, the executive branch and other governmental entities.

View the policy implementation page here.