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2023 -2024 Leadership Guidebook

This Guidebook is designed to provide leaders of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution with quick access to helpful information about ABA Section of Dispute Resolution operations.  If you would like to see additional items included here, or if you notice an out-of-date item, please contact Jennifer Michel, [email protected] or (312) 833-5006.

ABA Overview

The ABA was founded in 1878 on a commitment to set the legal and ethical foundation for the American nation. Today, it exists as a membership organization of 140,000 legal professionals and stands committed to its mission of defending liberty and pursuing justice.

ABA Goals

  • Advocate for the Profession
  • Eliminate Bias & Enhance Diversity
  • Serve Our Members
  • Advance the Rule of Law

ABA Leadership

The Board of Governors oversees the general operation of the ABA and develops specific plans of action. The House of Delegates is the policy-making body of the association. The ABA Officers include the 2023-2024 ABA President Mary L. Smith and the Executive Director Alpha M. Brady.


ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Overview

The ABA is divided into Member Groups (also called Sections, Divisions, and Forums), which represent specific legal practice areas. You must be a member of the ABA to join a Member Group. The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution is one of these Member Groups.

Established in 1993, the Section of Dispute Resolution is a global thought leader in the dispute resolution field. We advance and promote fair, prompt, and cost-effective dispute resolution, we facilitate and support innovative research and collaboration on policy and practices, and we unite everyone in the field to network and grow their skillset.


To find out more about section leadership and their contact information, visit the officers page or the committees description page.


Section Membership Dues:

  • $60/year for Attorneys, or $55 for Affiliated Professionals



Section of Dispute Resolution Committees

Members of the Section of Dispute Resolution can join any of its 18 substantive committees focused around practice areas of dispute resolution, which include:

  • ADR Practice Management, Business and Skills Development
  • Arbitration
  • Client Representation
  • Collaborative Law
  • Court ADR
  • Diversity
  • Early Dispute Resolution
  • Employment
  • Ethics
  • Health Care
  • International
  • Legal Education in Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation
  • Ombuds
  • Public Disputes and Consensus Building
  • Technology in ADR
  • Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR)
  • Young Lawyers/ADR Professionals

Learn more about the committees and their co-chairs including how to join a committee and how to communicate to your members.

Committee co-chairs serve as the lead contact for their group. Co-Chair responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Supervises, coordinates and retains the ultimate responsibility for Committee activities
  • Coordinates monthly calls with committee membership
  • Proposes programming relevant to committee membership
  • Assists in creation of committee products and newsletters
  • Solicits and cultivates new leadership for succession
  • Completes the annual committee accountability reports, an activity log for the committee

Committees have the option to be assigned a Dispute Resolution Fellow for one year who assists with a project designed to forward one of the committee’s goals. Applications to receive a Fellow will be received in late September. Contact Melissa Buckley for more information.

Your Membership and ABA Membership Benefits

Be sure to take a moment to visit the My ABA Dashboard to make sure your information is up-to-date.

Edit your profile:

Add your photo, bio, and contact information to your profile so that other members can connect with you. Here you can also manage your email preferences, change your password, and add your bar admission(s) to ensure you receive CLE credit for programs you attend.

Manage memberships:

Here you can join ABA Member Groups, join committees, and set your membership to auto-renew.

Manage areas of interest:

Follow topics that relate to your professional interests to help us personalize your membership experience with resources and information customized just for you.

Order history:

View past orders and access on-demand content that you have purchased.

Don’t forget to take full advantage of your Membership Benefits, which include discounts on CLE programs, discounts on ADR publications, professional development resources, a complimentary subscription to the DR Magazine and the monthly e-newsletter, and free ethical guidance. ABA members also receive discounts on certain product brands, insurance, office supplies, and more.

Social Media & Marketing

Be sure to follow us on social media!


Section of Dispute Resolution

ABA Logos to use for Marketing

Section of Dispute Resolution Events and Programs

The Section holds events and programs in a variety of different formats: in-person conferences, webinars, podcasts, on-demand videos, and live virtual events. Section members always receive the lowest price, and many programs and events are free to members.

Upcoming Section Events:

Event sponsorship opportunities

Guidelines on how to put on an event

Interested in putting together a program? First determine if you are considering a section program or committee program.

Check out the program guidelines here. To summarize:

  • Section programs feature tiered pricing, staff coordination and are funded by the section. Section programs can be for CLE credit and offer sponsorship for ABA and non-ABA entities.
  • Committee programs feature complimentary pricing and committee coordination. Committee programs are not for CLE and cannot offer sponsorship to ABA and non-ABA entities.

Section of Dispute Resolution Publications

We produce high quality publications in the dispute resolution field to demonstrate the Section's leadership and to serve its membership, the bench, the bar, and the general public.

Section of Dispute Resolution Awards and Competitions



Section of Dispute Resolution Resources

Our Section of Dispute Resolution resources, including practice guides, toolkits, research aids, videos, reports, and directories, are designed to serve all of your needs. The resources are divided by dispute resolution sub-topic, listed alphabetically.