December 02, 2014

For You: Dues Discounts, Fulfilling Work—and Wyoming!

Seth Rosner

In our last Voice of Experience visit, I wrote about membership. Here’s more on that subject. Last summer, SLD member John Clark was about to celebrate his 75th birthday and he recalled from his Board of Governors and House of Delegates service that there was a 50 percent dues reduction available to ABA members age 75 and older who had been a member for 25 years. However, there was no indication thereof on his dues renewal.

I met with ABA Executive Director Jack Rives, who later wrote me to confirm the following policies:

  • 70/25: If you were born prior to 8/31/1934 and have been an ABA member for at least 25 consecutive years, you are eligible for a 100% dues discount.
  • 75/25: If you are at least 75 years of age and were born after 8/31/1934 and have been an ABA member for at least 25 consecutive years, you are eligible for a 50% discount of the highest dues rate.

These discounts were discussed during my service on the Board of Governors, though they were not adopted by the Board and the House until later. The clear intent of the Board and House was to avoid losing members and to enable senior members to renew at the lower rate, rather than the significant rate for long-time members, despite the reduced income associated with a potentially reduced law practice or retirement. Jack has confirmed that the availability of the discounts will be made clear, and eligible members can elect to pay the reduced dues. This is not an automatic reduction, since there will be some senior members who are comfortable paying the full rate and regard their memberships as well worth it. You will need to contact the service center at 1-800-285-2221 and choose the reduced dues rate.

I also asked Jack if the Membership Department software could identify former SLD members who have dropped their memberships and who would have, at the time of their drops, been eligible for the discount. He said he believed we could. I am convinced that there are many former SLD members who were in that position, and we are going to contact them and urge that they rejoin this exceptional and fun group of experienced lawyers. Should you know any, please have them contact our Judith Legg and come on home! And come to the Tetons!

Okay, that’s your SLD leadership working for you. Now here’s what you can do for the Division. We want you active in our work! In the autumn Voice of Experience, I described my appointment of a task force on issues of importance to the Division and to the profession. Three past SLD chairs, Ed Kallgren, Walter Burke, and Bruce Mann, man the task force and are developing two important projects. Their work actually transcends my original idea, which was for a quicker and more direct means of inviting all SLD members to participate in our work. As a result, all of you are invited to join any committee, subscribe to that committee’s listserv, and help us identify and deal with important issues.

You may remember that one of these issues was my driver’s license renewal that allows me to drive the lethal device called an automobile until my 90th birthday with no test of any kind, whether it be eye, hearing, or on-road driving. I urgently want the Division to address this matter. SLD members: please share with us the law on license renewals in your jurisdictions, and let’s see if we can develop a resolution to go to the House of Delegates.

In addition, if any SLD member has an idea for a listserv on a subject not currently dealt with, I have asked A.B. Conant Jr. of Dallas to act as a monitor of listservs not falling under the jurisdiction of an SLD committee. Let’s get active! We need your participation.

We also need to see you in the Tetons next June 4–7. It’s going to be the most fun meeting we shall have had since I joined the Council. Make your plans and reservations now!

Seth Rosner