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October 06, 2022

ABA highlights the importance of ombuds in annual day of recognition

CHICAGO, Oct. 6, 2022 — The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution will spotlight the role of an ombuds, historically known as an ombudsman, and the profession that remains relatively unknown and underutilized during National Ombuds Day on Oct. 13.

This year’s theme, “Ombuds: Resilience, Respect, Resolve,” will reflect on the role the profession plays in reducing tensions in disputes and developing long-term solutions. Aspiring and practicing ombuds, leaders from the tech, immigration, K-12 education and long-term care sectors or anyone interested in how ombuds help stakeholders resolve problems are encouraged to register.

National Ombuds Day:
Ombuds: Resilience, Respect, Resolve
ABA Section of Dispute Resolution

Thursday, Oct.13
1-3:15 p.m., ET


Ombuds from Pinterest, the Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in the United Kingdom, Baylor College of Medicine, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will speak, among others.

“In our current environment, more civility and collaboration will be critical to mend society and move forward to accomplish all that we are capable of as a country,” said ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross. “An ombuds can help parties with differing viewpoints reach solutions without escalating rancor or division.”

“Ombuds play an integral role in the legal landscape and the dispute resolution community as they are uniquely positioned within organizations and communities to assist members in resolving disputes and navigating maladministration,” said Ryan Smith, program chair and assistant ombuds at Michigan State University. “Ombuds can be found in many different types of organizations, agencies and governments at all levels. Ombuds Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the ombuds role, and the place it has in helping to resolve disputes and strengthen communities.”

Caroline Adams, program marketing liaison and ombuds at the University of California Santa Barbara, added, “The ombuds profession provides unique services to supplement the field of dispute resolution. One of its hallmarks is that it is early dispute resolution, prior to the involvement of attorneys or the initiation of litigation and the accompanying costs.” 

The ombuds concept dates to 1809, when Sweden appointed an independent official known as an ombudsman to investigate complaints against government officials and agencies.

This meeting is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Shanda Ivory at [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.