American Bar Association

History of the ABA

On August 21, 1878, 75 lawyers from 20 states and the District of Columbia met in the town hall courtroom in Saratoga Springs, New York, to establish the American Bar Association (ABA). James Overton Broadhead of Missouri was the first president. The ABA is committed to advancing the rule of law across the United States and beyond by providing practical resources for legal professionals, law school accreditation, model ethics codes and more.

Membership Benefits

In May 2020, I graduated from Hofstra University with a Certificate in Paralegal Studies. I completed the program with honors and was excited to go back to work with the added credibility under my belt.

I joined the ABA because I’m an entry-level Paralegal and I wanted to find ways to network with like minded individuals, gain access to continuing legal education courses and participate in advocacy and initiatives that will shape the future. By becoming a legal professional member of the ABA, I have access to everything I need to reach my career goals right at my fingertips:

  • Career Center: Career development resources and a job board along with monthly articles, webinars, and podcasts to deliver guidance on the legal career path from start to finish.
  • Member Groups: A practice specific community with over 30 groups to gain a more in-depth examination of issues, regulations and national trends.
  • ABA Journal: The trusted voice of the legal profession for over 100 years. The magazine informs decision-makers on the trends, people and economic forces that shape the practice of law featuring original reporting on legal issues, career and business development tips, essays from legal practitioners, podcasts and a directory of legal blogs.

The First ABA Virtual Annual Meeting (2020)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ABA Annual Meeting was hosted virtually for the first time with the theme of “Convening for Justice” from July 29th-August 4th. I registered for the virtual event without hesitation. I only attended the first three days but I made the most of it. I listened in on the morning On-Demand conversations, participated in 8 courses of the CLE Showcase, and even joined the ABA Trivia Night for some fun.

The most engaging part of the Annual Meeting, for me, was the CLE Showcase because I was able to learn and take notes, read and review course materials/information provided, conduct my own research, and ask questions to the speakers/moderators.

Day 1 – Wednesday, July 29

10:00 – 11:30 AM | Hacking Democracy: Elections and Beyond

12:00 – 1:30 PM | What Will the Next 100 Years Hold for Access to Justice? The Future of Civil Legal Aid and Public Defense in America

2:00 – 3:30 PM | COVID-19: Legal Issues, Responses, and Practice Going Forward

Day 2 – Thursday, July 30

10:00 – 11:30 AM | The Paucity of Women of Color in the Legal Profession and Its Impact on the Administration of Justice

1:00 – 2:30 PM | ABA Annual Supreme Court Year in Review

3:00 – 4:30 PM | Climate Change and the Legal Profession: Beyond “Environmental Law”

Day 3 – Friday, July 31

10:00 – 11:30 AM | Justice in The Crosshairs: Defending Judicial Independence – the Keystone of Justice – in the U.S. and the World

1:00 – 2:30 PM | The Power of Women in U.S. Elections