The ungrateful wretches refuse to join us! Exterminate! Exterminate!
For some reason, the ABA is experiencing a decline in membership and that is hurting operational funds:
Forty years ago, 50 percent of the lawyers in the United States were members of the ABA. The ABA currently has a 22 percent market share.
Speaking at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, [ABA Executive Director] Rives said the ABA’s membership currently stands at 412,499 members, 70 percent of whom are lawyers. Another 26 percent are students and 4 percent including paralegals and international lawyers—are associates.
What is the near-term solution?
In the current version of the new membership model, there is a focus on bundling benefits and significantly simplifying ABA dues categories. Rives noted there are currently 157 dues categories at the ABA, depending on the types of work members do, their length of service and other considerations.
The model would reduce the dues categories down to three. Bundled benefits would include two sections, access to a CLE library and access to content that will be organized behind a member-only paywall.
Rives said the changes, which will require an investment in products and resources, are necessary in order for the ABA to remain a robust professional association and maintain its status as the voice of the legal profession.
Sounds good, simplification could indeed lead to cost-savings. But this addresses the "how," not the "why." The question remains - why do new lawyers not join the ABA?
Wait, OTLSS has a couple of ideas. Could it be due to:
* The "ethics" opinion that opened the door to overseas Legal Process Outsourcing?
* The Failure to effectively accredit and regulate law schools?
* Protecting LawPrawf tenure?
* Making it easier for less-capable students to enter the Law School Gristmill?
More below the fold: