Citing economy, ABA cuts dues

The American Bar Association is retooling its dues structure as part of a move ABA President Carolyn Lamm says is aimed helping lawyers “jump ahead of the challenges, no matter what their practice is.”
At the ABA’s recent mid-year meeting in Florida, the association’s House of Delegates approved a new dues structure that will reduce costs by up to 50 percent for solo practitioners and by 25 percent for those who already receive a discount —  government lawyers, lawyers employed by nonprofit legal services programs and judges.
At the same time, the association is making it easier to join by creating flexible payment options, such as installment billing and auto renewals, and developing new tools and resources to benefit lawyers in their day-to-day law practices. 
“We understand that practicing law is changing in myriad ways,” said Carolyn B. Lamm, ABA president, “and we are poised to help lawyers in diverse practice settings jump ahead of the challenges, no matter what their practice is.”
“It is important for the ABA, as the voice of the profession, to broaden our participation among all lawyers, to make sure they are a part of our organization. We understand the challenges they face and we know what they want are tools and services to help them meet those challenges every day, to help them provide the best possible service to their clients.”
Before Lamm took office last August, she said she examined the needs of lawyers in a range of practice settings, from solo offices to mega-firms with global branches. 
“The ABA has always understood that there is no one-size-fits-all in the practice of law,” Lamm said. “The impact of the economic climate on legal professionals has underscored that truth.”
The new dues will take effect with a billing cycle that starts in May. Other dues initiatives and additional tools and services will roll-out at the ABA Annual Meeting in August. 
Lamm said the retooled rates were the result of a comprehensive dues pricing study, which included input from more than 9,000 lawyers.