Annual Meeting 2008

President-Elect to Focus on Upping ABA Member Rolls

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Carolyn B. Lamm
Photo by Mark Harmel

New ABA President-Elect Carolyn B. Lamm told the House of Delegates today that she plans to appoint a series of task forces to look at key segments of the legal profession to determine what the association can do to more effectively bring lawyers from those fields in as members. She also said the ABA needs to possibly consider new dues structures.

Referring to stagnant membership growth in the past few years, Lamm, a partner at White & Case in Washington, D.C., said, “We need to assess whether these numbers are because of dues that some consider too high, or a result of perceived relevance and value” of ABA membership.

Lamm’s speech closely followed an action by the House to put a stronger focus on service to members as part of its mission statement and goals.

Lamm also announced that she will appoint a bipartisan group of experienced ABA members to consult with the association leadership on finding ways to interact effectively with the new administration in Washington after national elections in November.

While the immediate task of interacting with a new administration will fall to H. Thomas Wells of Birmingham, Ala., who started his term as ABA president Monday, Lamm said her effort will focus on how to build effective communications and advocacy with the executive branch and Congress on a long-term basis. Her term as ABA president will start in August 2009 at the close of the annual meeting in Chicago.

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