Ombuds Day

What is Ombuds Day?

On Thursday, October 8, 2020, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution Ombuds Committee invites you to participate in the third celebration of a profession that has existed for centuries yet remains relatively unknown and underutilized: the ombuds.  This year’s theme is “Ombuds: Unusual name.  Important service.”

Ombuds Day serves as an additional opportunity to educate and raise awareness among the public about the history and practices of the ombuds profession including the various ombuds models, the roles they play, the services they offer, and the value provided.

Statement from the Chair

The American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section is proud to recognize and support ombuds as a valuable form of alternative dispute resolution serving as third parties to address and resolve individual and systemic issues outside formal channels. Ombuds use dispute resolution skills and processes, as well as other creative avenues, as a means to address disputes and concerns. In fact, the ABA has issued five ombuds resolutions since 1969 addressing the important roles of ombuds and encouraging the greater use and development of ombuds programs that comply with generally recognized standards, as an effective means of preventing, managing, and resolving individual and systemic conflicts and disputes. 

In February 2018, the ABA Board of Governors declared the second Thursday of October Ombuds Day to celebrate ombuds, a profession that has existed for centuries yet remains relatively unknown and underutilized. This year’s Ombuds Day theme is Ombuds: Unusual name. Important service. There will be a variety of virtual national and independent local events worldwide to raise awareness of the different types of ombuds, the functions and services they provide, and the value they offer the constituents and entities they serve.

Joan Stearns Johnsen
Chair, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution

Ombuds Day Toolkit

Interested in hosting your own Ombuds Day event or activity?  Perhaps obtain a state or local Ombuds Day proclamation?  Find materials, templates, inspiration and more in the Ombuds Day Toolkit.

Archives of Previous Activities