The American Bar Association: A Wealth of Knowledge for a Reasonable Price

The American Bar Association: A Wealth of Knowledge for a Reasonable Price

As any legal professional can tell you, there’s a lot to know when it comes to practicing law. Thankfully, organizations exist to help. Founded in 1878 and headquartered in Chicago, the American Bar Association (ABA) is a fantastic resource for legal professionals and law students nationwide. With a long history and plethora of information, “[t]he ABA works to promote the best quality legal education, competence, ethical conduct and professionalism, and pro bono and public service work in the legal profession.” Consider joining and take advantage of all that a legal-specific national organization has to offer.


Pricing ranges from $75 to $450 per year, depending on your number of years in practice, firm size, and practice area.


Your membership comes with a variety of resources, including many free options or others for an additional cost.
1. CLEs. The ABA CLE Library provides access to over 500 free CLEs, covering a wide range of topics from practice-area specific issues to practice management issues like cybersecurity and attorney departure. Many ABA CLEs are accredited in Oregon. If the ABA does not apply for or receive accreditation in Oregon, you can submit an application to the OSB. For more information about how to submit an application for credit, login at, go to the Regulatory Compliance section, click on MCLE Reporting, click on Submit New Application, and then click on Member Accreditation Application. You will be required to submit a certificate of attendance, speaker biographies, and program materials along with the application form. Contact J’Nell Adams at the Bar 503.431.6315 or if you have any questions.
2. Member groups. The ABA has over 35 member groups offering helpful information, encompassing both educational and networking opportunities. Dues range from $40 to $105. Content consists of many types of publications, in-person and virtual CLEs tailored to your member group, and openings for joining committees. Some groups are practice-area specific. Others are more general, such as the following:
  1. Law Practice Division. At no additional cost, this member group has particularly robust and informative monthly publications, such as the Law Practice Magazine and Law Practice Today, both focusing on helpful advice about how to manage your practice. To give you a sense of the assortment of topics available in these publications, the most recent edition of Law Practice Magazine contained several articles about improving your marketing strategies, in addition to articles about notetaking, mentoring associates, and managing remote employees. The annual TechReport has helpful information about national trends and predictions from leaders in legal technology. Law Technology Today  also provides regular articles from lawyers and technology professionals.
  2. Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division. Also included with your ABA membership, the solo, small firm, and general practice member group, otherwise known as GPSolo, focuses on resources for solo and small firm attorneys. The GPSolo eReport is a monthly electronic newsletter that contains numerous articles personalized for solo and small firm attorneys, with articles about marketing, wellness, technology, and substantive law issues.
  3. Young Lawyers Division. The YLD is a home for new and young lawyers, with networking and educational resources for anyone under 36 years old or with 10 years or less in practice. You receive this benefit with your ABA membership if you meet the criteria. This group tailors networking and educational information for new and young lawyers. For example, the TYL newsletter is exclusively written for this group and showcases articles like how to find mentorship in your firm, balancing work and parenthood, and tips from experienced lawyers and judges from around the country about how to lessen your likelihood of receiving a bar complaint or malpractice claim.
  4. Senior Lawyers Division. Lawyers who are 62 years and over or have practiced 37 years or more are automatically enrolled as part of your ABA membership. This group has magazines, newsletters, and webinars tailored to experienced lawyers. Recent articles and CLEs involve how to plan for retirement, working with attorneys from younger generations, and suggestions for service after retirement.

3. Conferences. The ABA hosts many types of conferences, both virtual and in-person, about a wide variety of topics. See upcoming events in 2024, like the National Aging and Law Conference and the Family Law Section Spring CLE Conference.

4. Publications. Every year the ABA publishes over 1,000 books, periodicals, and newsletters. You can shop by category, such as practice area, cybersecurity, ethics, practice management, and leadership development, among many others. Search for products here.

5. Discounts. You can receive discounts on many products like laptops and practice management software, and even travel benefits like flights, rental cars, and hotels.

6. Podcasts. The ABA has also now moved into the podcast world, providing more than 1,400 episodes on a diverse array of topics. Recent episodes on the ABA's Podcast Hub discussed tips for mediation preparation, how to build a niche law practice, and advice for first-year associates.

No matter where you find yourself, the ABA can be a gateway to a world of valuable resources. Dive in and explore the myriad of opportunities it presents. If you have any questions about how best to utilize it, contact a PLF practice management attorney at 503.639.6911 or on our website.

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