October 01, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Organization of Section Leadership

What are the Section Officer Positions and how do the Officer positions “work”?

Article III of the Section’s Bylaws identify the Officer positions as: a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Vice Chair, a Secretary, a Budget and Finance Officer, and (effective 2019) a Membership Officer. The Officers, with the exceptions of the Budget and Finance and Membership Officers, are essentially on a “ladder.” After serving a year as Secretary, the Secretary becomes Vice Chair; after serving a year as Vice Chair, the Vice Chair becomes Chair-Elect; and the Chair-Elect, after serving a year, becomes Chair of the Section. The Budget and Finance and Membership Officers are not on that ladder (i.e., the people holding those positions do not automatically move on to become Chair of the Section). The Budget and Finance Officer serves a three-year term. The Membership Officer serves a two-year term.

The Budget and Finance and Membership Officers can seek nomination to the “ladder” positions, but past Chairs of the Section cannot serve as an elected Officer or Council Member of the Section. Instead, the past Chairs participate in Council meetings “ex officio.”

What do the Officers do?

Article IV of the Section’s Bylaws describe the duties of the various Officers. In a nutshell, the Officers provide leadership regarding the Section’s various activities and participate in the activities of the ABA that might affect the Section. They pursue initiatives and actions to advance the Section’s mission and the interests of Section membership. A few of the Officer position are more specific. For example, the Secretary prepares the notes of the Council meetings and tallies the votes (e.g., on Section comments on regulatory and legislative proposals). The Secretary might also take notes at other meetings of the Officers, Council or Section members, as appropriate. The Budget and Finance Officer, not surprisingly, focuses on the Section’s financial status, including its budget, investments, income, and sponsorships. The Membership Officer, new in 2019, oversees the Membership, Diversity & Outreach Division of the Section and reports back to the Section Officers and the Council regarding actions proposed or taken by the covered Committees concerning membership, diversity programs, scholarship programs, or other similar programs to advance the recruitment and retention of members in the Section.

What is the Council and what does it do?

Article III of the Section’s Bylaws identify the Council as comprised of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Vice Chair, Secretary, Budget and Finance Officer, Membership Officer, two Section Delegates to the House of Delegates, 13 other Council Members, and the two immediate past Chairs ex officio. The 13 Council Members who are recommended by the Nominating Committee, serve for three years, with the exception of the Young Lawyer Council Member, who serves a two-year term.

Article V of the Section’s Bylaws describe the duties of the Council. In a nutshell, the Council governs the Section and ensures that the Section reflects a cross-section of the public procurement community. The Council members provide their leadership experience to the Section, lead various Section initiatives, contribute their experience and expertise to our comments on legislative or regulatory proposals, and vote on changes to the Section’s bylaws, Section policy initiatives or changes, and on our comments.

I hear everyone talk about a “Section Director.” Who is that and what does this person do?

The Section Director is the lynchpin of the Section! The Director is a member of ABA staff who keeps every single train of the Section running and on time. Because the Director is part of the ABA, the Director makes sure that we comply with ABA deadlines, policies, and requirements. The Director can answer virtually any question you have about the Section, its programs, its Committees, its policies, and possibly life, but we’re trying to tackle some of Section-related questions here because we only have one Director.

How are Officers and Council Members Selected?

Article VI, Section 1 of the Section’s Bylaws describes the Section’s Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee accepts nominations, including self-nominations, from Section members for the Officer, Delegate, and Council positions and makes recommendations to the Section on the nominees. The Section then votes on the candidates at the ABA Annual Meeting.

What can I do if I am interested in serving as a Section Officer?

Anybody who has been a Section member for at least two years is eligible to serve as an Officer. You can ask somebody to nominate you for a position or you can nominate yourself. You can also ask other Section members to support your application (although note that our Officers, as a matter of policy, stay out of the nomination process and do not endorse applicants for Officer or Council positions).

Other than having been a Section member for at least two years, there are no prerequisites to serve as an Officer. As a practical matter, Officers generally have a strong and consistent track record of participation in Section activities and have served in other leadership positions. So, if you wish to serve as an Officer someday, we’d encourage you to seek out leadership positions on our Committees, with respect to our Publications Board, in connection with our Annual and Quarterly Educational Programs, or otherwise. It is not uncommon for those seeking an Officer position to have served on the Council first (although it is not required). Those interested in serving in an Officer position also need to be able to commit their time to serving the Section for four years, if one of the “ladder” positions, three years if serving as Budget and Finance Officer, or two years as Membership Officer. If you have been an active, engaged, and consistent leader in the Section, we encourage you to nominate yourself for an Officer position. It is not uncommon for a nominee to not be selected the first time so be persistent!

What can I do if I am interested in serving as a Council Member?

Anybody who has been a member of the Section for at least two years is eligible to serve on our Council. Council Member terms are three years. The term for the Young Lawyer Council Member is two years. A Council Member who has been elected to a three-year term is not eligible for election to a second consecutive three-year term.

Just like seeking an Officer position, you can ask somebody to nominate you for a Council position or you can nominate yourself. You can also ask other Section members to support your application (although, remember, our Officers, as a matter of policy, stay out of the nomination process and do not endorse applicants for Officer positions).

Other than having been a Section member for at least two years, there are no prerequisites to serve on the Council. As with Officer positions, as a practical matter, our Council Members usually have a track record of participation in Section activities and have served in other leadership positions. For example, Council Members usually have been a Co-Chair or Vice Chair of one of our Committees, have participated in or planned our educational programs, contributed to our publications, or have otherwise demonstrated their commitment to the Section and its mission. If you have been an active Section member, we encourage you to nominate yourself for a Council position. You may not be selected the first time, but we are always looking for the next generation of leaders.

Section Nominating Committee

What is the Section’s Nominating Committee and what does it do?

Article VI of the Section’s Bylaws describes the activities of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee reviews the nominees, including those self-nominated, for the position of Secretary and the four Council positions that are to be vacated in the next ABA year as Council Members’ three-year terms expire. If the Young Lawyer representative to the Council or the Section Delegate, Budget and Finance Officer, or Membership Officer will become open the next ABA year, the Committee makes recommendations on candidates to fill that position as well. Prior to the Annual Meeting, it prepares a report to the Council regarding its recommendations for the positions. The Section votes on those recommendations at the Section’s Annual Business Meeting held during the ABA Annual Meeting.

How is the Nominating Committee appointed?

The Chair of the Section selects three Section members to serve as the Nominating Committee. Usually, the immediate past Chair is one of the members.

Can I nominate myself for positions that the Nominating Committee evaluates?

If you are a member of the Section, and have been one for at least two years, you can certainly nominate yourself for a Council or Officer position. Don’t be shy. A lot of people nominate themselves! Also, don’t feel discouraged if you are not recommended for a position the first time you try. It’s not uncommon to make a few attempts.

What do I need to submit to the Nominating Committee?

In or about January, the Nominating Committee will send out an email, and post on the Section’s website, information regarding the positions for which it is seeking interested nominees. That communication will describe the information you would need to submit. Usually, it includes a letter expressing interest and identifying your contributions to the Section over time.

Section Committees

What are the Section’s Committees and are they organized in any way?

The Section includes three Divisions — the Procurement Division, the Membership, Diversity and Outreach Division, and the Operations Division. In each Division, there are a variety of different Committees. You can explore them on the Section’s website. The Procurement Division includes our Committees that address substantive issues of public contract law, such as cybersecurity, bid protests, mergers and acquisition, and small businesses (among many other topics). Our Membership, Diversity and Outreach Division, not surprisingly, includes our Membership Committee and our Diversity Committee as well as our Young Lawyers, and Federal State, and Local Government Attorneys Committees. Our Operations Division consists of operational-related committees such as Finance, Publications Board, Annual & Quarterly Programs, and Strategic Planning. Membership to the committees in the Operations Division are by appointment only.

What do the Section Committees do and how can I get involved in their activities?

Our Committees hold meetings, usually monthly but perhaps bi-monthly if more appropriate to the Committee’s mission, where they discuss issues of interest to their committee members. For our Procurement Division Committees, for example, a meeting might include a panel discussion, a guest speaker, case presentations, or updates on regulatory developments. We welcome any Committee member to offer ideas for meeting topics.

Most, but not all, Committees meet in person at different locations. If you cannot attend live, Committees provide a dial in number that you use to participate. The meeting date and time should be provided in advance via email to members of the Committee. We ask our Committees to also include meeting information on the Section’s calendar on the Section’s website and to post meeting details on the Section’s LinkedIn page.

If you want to participate on one of our Committees, you can sign up on the Section’s website. On the homepage, you’ll see a heading for “Committees.” You can “explore our Committees” and then choose to “visit a Committee.” You’ll be asked to log in with your ABA username and password if you have not done so already.

I see “Committees” references to “Communities” on the Section’s website. What’s the difference?

With the ABA’s rollout of a new website format in 2018, it established “Communities” where those who are interested in a particular topic can post and exchange information. Each Committee has a “Community” that serves that purpose of allowing members to obtain, post, and exchange information.

Section Committee Leadership

How are Committee Chairs chosen?

The Chairs of our Committees are appointed by the Section’s Chair-Elect for the ABA year (September 1 – August 31) when the Chair-Elect will serve as Section Chair. So, the Chair-Elect for the 2019 – 2020 ABA year will appoint the Committee Chairs for the 2019 – 2020 ABA year, when she will be Chair of the Section.

There are no prerequisites to serve as a Committee Chair other than being a member of the Section. As a practical matter, those who chair Committees have been active Committee members. For example, they may have served as Vice Chairs of the Committee, helped plan or run Committee meetings, participated in comments or publications written by the Committee, assisted with Committee reports, or otherwise demonstrated commitment to the Committee and a desire to lead it. The Chair-Elect will often seek the input of the current Committee Chairs regarding those the Committee believes should be Chairs or Vice Chairs for the upcoming ABA year. Of course, you are welcome to express your interest directly to your Committee Chairs or the Chair-Elect.

What are the expectations of Committee Chairs?

Our Expectations for Committee Chairs is available here. Generally, the Chairs organize the Committee Plan for activities for the coming year, organize and run the Committee’s meetings, ensure that there is succession planning, and otherwise lead the Committee’s activities consistent with the Committee’s mission.

What can I do if I am interested in becoming a Committee Chair?

If you would like to be considered for a Committee Chair position, the best way is being and having been involved in your Committee’s activities! Volunteer to organize meetings, participate in comments or publication projects, or serve as a Vice Chair first. You can also let your Committee Chairs or the Chair-Elect know that you are interested in a leadership position on the Committee.

How are Vice Chairs of Committees chosen?

Vice Chairs are appointed in the same manner as Committee Chairs. There are no prerequisites to serve as a Committee Vice Chair other than being a member of the Section. If you want to help plan the Committee’s activities and otherwise assist with its mission by, for example, arranging panels, updating the Committee website, or assisting with comments, you should let the Chairs of your Committee know that you would like to be Vice Chair. You can also express your interest directly to the Chair-Elect.

Is there a limit on the number of Chairs or Vice Chairs for a Committee?

The Section currently does not have any limit on the number of Chairs or Vice Chairs for any of its Committees. Some large committees with numerous active members, such as the Bid Protest Committee, will have many Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs. Other Committees, like the Regulatory Coordinating Committee, which is a “working” Committee that assists with the Section’s commenting function, but does not hold meetings, have very few Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs. The number of positions ultimately depends on the Committee and what best serves its members’ interests.

Is there a limit on how long someone can serve as a Chair or Vice Chair of a Committee?

There are not set term limits for Committee Chairs or Vice Chairs. Nonetheless, an Expectation of Committee Chairs is that they will serve for three years and plan for succession of the Committee’s leadership. We are committed to ensuring, to the greatest extent possible, that our Committees provide a space for those who are interested and committed to have a leadership position and promote the Section’s commitment to diversity.

The Vice Chair position is flexible and does not include an expectation that a Vice Chair will leave that position (note: this is not a forced march; you can step down at any time!). It is not uncommon, for example, for a Chair of a Committee to step down to a Vice Chair position and continue to participate actively in that capacity.

What can I do if I am interested in becoming a Committee Vice Chair?

If you would like to be considered for a Committee Vice Chair position, the best way is to be involved in your Committee’s activities! Volunteer to organize meetings, participate in comments or publication projects, help with the Committee website or LinkedIn posts, assist with Committee reports, or however else you are interested in participating. You can also let your Committee Chairs or the Chair-Elect know that you are interested in a leadership position on the Committee.

Division Leadership

What are the Divisions within the Section?

The Section has three Divisions — the Procurement Division, the Membership, Diversity and Outreach Division and the Operations Division.

What does a Division Chair do?

The Division Chairs oversee the operations of the Committees in their Division. For example, they attend Committee meetings, ensure that Committees update their websites, use PCL Connect to communicate with Members, and submit timely reports on their activities, among other things.

How are Division Chairs appointed and what are the expectations of Division Chairs?

The Division Chairs are appointed by the Chair-Elect, similar to how Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are appointed.

What can I do if I am interested in serving as a Division Chair?

There are no prerequisites to serve as a Division Chair other than being a member of the Section. As a practical matter, Division Chairs have served as Committee Chairs in the past. With that experience, they are equipped to assist Committees in their Division with running a strong and vibrant Committee. If you are interested in being a Division Chair, even if you have not been the Chair of a Committee, you should let the Chair-Elect know that you are interested.

Section Scholarship Opportunities

I hear the Section offers scholarships. What are they and where can I get more information about them?

The Section offers two types of scholarships. The Section scholarship is designed to address barriers that might impact an attorney’s active participation in the Section by investing in those who we believe will participate actively in, and contribute to, the substantive work of the Section; will grow into future leadership positions within the Section; and will promote the balance of ideas that is a foundation of the Section's values. The Section actively seeks participation of lawyers who are underrepresented in the Section, with a particular focus on lawyers of color, young lawyers, and federal, state, and local government lawyers. The Section typically solicits two applicants for this scholarship each year.

Applications for the Section scholarship are usually sought in the spring for the following term and are solicited through the Section’s website, LinkedIn group, and committees. The Section scholarship provides a specific monetary stipend that is intended to cover the registration fees and allowable travel/accommodation reimbursement to attend the Section’s three meetings for two years. You can get more information from the Chairs of the Scholarship Committee.

Our second scholarship is the Marilyn Neforas Scholarship for Young Lawyer Women in Public Contract Law. This scholarship was created in honor of Marilyn Neforas, the Director of the Section for over 35 years. It serves to facilitate the participation and development of future leaders of young lawyer women members of the Section in Section programs and events.

Applications for the Marilyn Neforas scholarship are usually sought in the spring for the following term and are solicited through the Section’s website, LinkedIn group, and committees. This scholarship provides a specific monetary stipend that is intended to cover the registration fees and allowable travel/ accommodation reimbursement to attend the Section’s three meetings for one year. You can get more information from the Chairs of the Scholarship Committee.

Section Speaking & Writing Opportunities

How can I volunteer to be a panelist or moderator for a Committee meeting and who should I contact?

First of all, thank you for wanting to volunteer! Most Committees will hold organizational meetings at the beginning of the year and establish a plan for panels and meetings for the year or at least the next few months. This is a great time to volunteer to organize a panel (and put yourself on it!). If you miss that discussion, the best way would be to contact the Committee Chairs to express your interest in volunteering. Even better, if you have a topic that would be of interest to the Committee, let them know.

How can I volunteer to be a panelist or moderator for a Section program and who should I contact?

The Section currently holds three educational programs — a Fall program, the Federal Procurement Institute (FPI) in Spring, and at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in August. Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs are appointed by the Chair-Elect, similar to how Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are appointed, to coordinate the programs at these meetings. In addition, each program will have some number of Program Chairs for that specific meeting, appointed by the Chair-Elect, similar to how Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are appointed. You can contact either the Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs or the Program Chairs to express your interest in participating. You should bear in mind, however, that the Section starts planning these meetings many months in advance. So, you should err on the side of contacting these folks early, ideally when the topics and panels for the program are being developed. Also, all speakers are required to sign a speaker release and prepare written materials so that attendees can obtain CLE credit. These materials also are required to be submitted well in advance of the meeting. One more thing: consistent with the ABA’s commitment to diversity, the Section is also committed to diversity and providing opportunities for our younger members to participate in our programs. For CLE purposes, there are specific diversity requirements. You can get more information about participating in programs from the Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs or the Program Chairs for individual educational programs.

Wait, I’m confused. What do the Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs do again?

Because we have three educational programs each ABA year, the Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs help with organizing those three meetings. They assist the Program Chairs with identifying topics of interest to our members (and avoiding duplication), logistics, deadlines, and questions.

Got it, but how is this different from the Chairs for the individual programs?

Each specific program (currently, Fall, FPI, and Annual) has a certain number of Program Chairs that identify topics for the program, identify moderators and assist with forming panels, help draft the program brochure, ensure deadlines are met for releases and program materials, run the program on “game day,” and identify a luncheon speaker, among other things.

If I’m interested in being an Annual and Quarterly Program Chair or a Program Chair, what should I do?

The Chair-Elect appoints the Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs and Program Chairs, similar to how Committee leaders are appointed. There are no prerequisites to be an Annual and Quarterly Program Chair or a Program Chair other than being a member of the Section. As a practical matter, Annual and Quarterly Program Chairs have previously served as a Program Chair. It helps to have run one to oversee three of them! The Program Chairs usually have at least participated in a prior program as a speaker or moderator, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. If you want to volunteer to organize one of our programs, you should let the Chair-Elect know.

I hear that the Section has presentations by young lawyers at its Council Meetings. Is this so? And if so, how can I volunteer to give one of these presentations?

Yes! Unless we have a packed agenda, we try to have young lawyers — practitioners or students — provide a short presentation on a timely procurement law topic or topic of interest to the lawyer/ student. These are usually 10-15 minutes in length. Usually there is a PowerPoint, but it’s not required (we don’t submit these for CLE so the lead time is also shorter than for our educational programs). In the past, we’ve had two to three presentations at each meeting (again, depending on what other Council agenda items we have). If you are interested in presenting at a Council Meeting, you should contact the Chairs of the Young Lawyer Committee or the Section Chair, who will be preparing the Agenda with the assistance of our Section Director.

What writing opportunities are there in the Section and who do I contact about them?

There are a lot of opportunities to write, and we are always eager to welcome volunteers! Here’s a sample of opportunities:

  • Several of our Procurement Division Committees prepare summaries of developments or cases relevant to the Committee for their meetings. You should see the Committee Chairs to volunteer to participate in these Committee work products.
  • We often turn to our Committees when the Section wants to submit comments on regulatory developments. If several Committees are interested in the same regulatory development, we might assemble a “task force” to prepare comments. The Committee Chairs are good sources for information on drafting comments.
  • We also turn to our Committees and Section members for “book projects.” The Section, for example, has recently published manuals on suspension and debarment and procurement fraud in government contracting. The Committee Chairs are good sources of information on any pending Committee book project. And, if you have your own idea for a book project, you can pitch it to the Publications Board.
  • The Section publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Procurement Lawyer, that accepts short procurement law articles (short meaning: not a law review article). You should contact the editor of The Procurement Lawyer if you’d like to submit an article for publication.
  • The Section publishes a quarterly law review, The Public Contract Law Journal (PCLJ). The PCLJ is committed to the publication of articles presenting scholarly analysis and insight into issues affecting all aspects of public contract and grant law. PCLJ considers articles for publication on a rolling basis; authors seeking consideration for publication should contact the Editor-in-Chief of the PCLJ.
  • The Public Contract Law Journal has a writing competition each year. Please see the writing competition rules to learn more about it.

What is the Publication Board and how can I get involved with it?

The Publication Board works with ABA staff to identify, manage, and publish Section publications, such as its manuals or books, on public contract law topics. The editor of The Procurement Lawyer and Public Contract Law Journal also sit on the Board.

The Chair-Elect appoints the Publications Board, similar to how Committee leaders are appointed. If you have relevant experience and are interested in serving on the Publications Board, you should contact the Chair-Elect.

How can I become an editor for The Procurement Lawyer or The Public Contract Law Journal?

From time to time, the PCLJ Editorial Board has open positions. Regardless of whether a spot is currently open, PCLJ leadership is always interested in hearing from practitioners with strong writing skills who are interested in serving as editors. Please direct any inquiries to the PCLJ Editor-In-Chief.

I see that the Public Contract Law Journal holds a writing competition. What is that about?

PCLJ holds an annual writing competition for young lawyers and law students, with cash prizes for top papers and a potential speaking role at a major Section event for one winner. The Writing Competition deadline is September 30 of each year; please see the most recent Writing Competition Rules for additional details.

How are Webinar Chairs appointed and what can I do if I’m interested in assisting with webinars?

The Section’s Webinar Chairs are appointed by the Chair-Elect, similar to how Committee leaders are appointed.

Section Liaisons, Fellows, and Section Delegates to the House of Delegates

What are the Section liaison positions?

The Section currently has eight liaison positions with other ABA entities and three liaison positions with outside entities:

  • ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
  • ABA Commission on Women in the Profession
  • ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force
  • ABA Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division
  • ABA Law and National Security
  • ABA Law Student Division
  • ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee
  • ABA Young Lawyers Division
  • National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee
  • National Association of State Procurement Officials
  • UNICITRAL Model Procurement Initiative

What do the Section liaisons do?

The liaison serves to build a collaborative relationship with the respective entity, assist that group to develop content, programs, and events beneficial to both groups and to share information with the Section.

How are Section liaisons appointed?

The Section’s Liaisons are appointed by the Chair-Elect, similar to how Committee leaders are appointed. Generally, they serve for a few years in the position.

What can I do if I am interested in serving as a Section liaison?

There are no prerequisites to serving as a liaison other than being a member of the Section. Some liaison positions benefit from being served by diverse, younger, or more senior members of the Section. You should contact the Chair Elect to express your interest and qualifications.

Who are Section Fellows, how are they selected, and what do they do?

The Fellows of the Section of Public Contract Law (the “Fellows”) consist of all the past chairs of the Section, in addition to individuals who have been elected as Special Members of the Fellows, due to their long-standing service, commitment, and contributions to the Section.

As our most senior members of the Section, the Fellows serve as a valuable resource to the Section, who provide opportunities for individuals who share an interest and experience in public procurement, and in the Section to join together for both social and professional purposes.

What do the Section Delegates to the House of Delegates do?

The Section has (2) delegates representing the Section in the ABA House of Delegates (HOD) — the policy-making body of the ABA. Each section of the ABA shall be entitled to a minimum of two delegates in the HOD. The term of a Section Delegate is three Association years, beginning with the adjournment of the Annual Meeting during which elected by the Section. The HOD meets twice a year — at the ABA Midyear Meeting and the ABA Annual Meeting.

How are the Section Delegates to the House of Delegates selected?

Per Article III, Section 2 of the Section’s Bylaws, the Section Delegates to the House of Delegates may be one of said two past Chairs ex officio. The Section Nominating Committee accepts nominations and makes recommendations to the Section on the nominees. The Section then votes on the candidates at the Section’s Annual Business Meeting held during the ABA Annual Meeting.

The ABA

Where can I get more information about the ABA?

The ABA website is the best place to start.

What is the governance structure for the ABA and how are decisions made within the ABA?

The control and administration of the American Bar Association is vested by its Constitution and Bylaws in the House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the Association to which officers, sections, and committees, and employees are responsible.

The House of Delegates represents not only various groups with the Association, but also the legal profession as a whole. Its membership of approximately 596 members elected by the Association members in each state, delegates from every state bar association, the larger local bar associations, the sections and divisions, other national organizations of the legal profession and delegates elected by the member of the Association registered at each Annual Meeting. The U.S. Attorney General and the director of the U.S. Courts are members of the House by virtue of their offices. The House elects Association officers and members of the Board of Governors upon nominations by its Nominating Committee. The House formulates the policy of the Association.

The ABA Board of Governors

As the administrative agency of the House of Delegates, the Board of Governors performs, in between meetings of the House, the functions that the House itself might perform. The Board develops methods and plans for making the Association and its activities useful to the members, administers the facilities and staff of the Association, and formulates and administers the Association’s budget and reimbursement policies.

The Board is currently comprised of 43 members including 19 district representatives, 18 members-at-large, and the following 6 officers who serve as ex officio: President, President-Elect, Chair of the House; Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President.

Every third year there is a Secretary-Elect and Treasurer-Elect, bringing the total membership of the Board to 44. The ABA Constitution also provides that the Board may establish committees to carry out its functions. The Board has delegated to its standing committees the authority to make recommendations to the Board or to take independent action on certain specified matters.

Activities which require ABA Board of Governors Approval

  • Awards, Contests
  • Bylaw Amendments
  • Communications Issues
  • Contracting Authority Issues
  • Co-Sponsorship with Outside Organizations
  • Corporate Support Issues
  • Financial and Insurance Matters
  • Meeting and Travel Issues
  • Membership Issues
  • Programmatic Initiatives that were not included in Entity Annual Plan
  • Representation in Outside Organizations
  • Financial Matters including Appropriations, Appeals of Budget Decisions, Grant Projects and Proposals, and Creation and Modification of Program Support Funds

How does the Section fit into the larger ABA?

The Section of Public Contract Law is one of 34 sections, divisions, and forums in the ABA — with approximately 3,000 lawyer members.

Public Contract Law was created in 1965 “to promote the sound development of federal, state and municipal law in the field of public contracts.”

Public Contact Law seeks to improve public procurement functions and activities through objective and fair evaluative contributions to legislative and regulatory developments in procurement arenas, which are shared with policy makers, government officials and Section members. The Section is committed to furthering the advancement and professional growth of the Section’s attorney and associate members in public procurement and grant law through the development and dissemination of timely educational programs, publications, and information, thereby promoting the mission, goals and objectives of the American Bar Association.