Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 28

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THE VALUE
OF YOUR ABA
MEMBERSHIP
By Robert N. Weiner

D

o you have a good sense of what the
American Bar Association (ABA) does?
Do you want to make the most of
your membership? Would you like
to join or get more involved? As ABA State
Delegate for the District of Columbia, I will
be providing bimonthly reports on the
ABA's activities. Although it's impossible to
do justice here to such a large and diverse
organization, I will try in this first column
to introduce the ABA to nonmembers
and, just maybe, to tell current members
something they don't know.
With more than 400,000 members, the ABA is the
world's largest professional association. Though
impressive, that statistic does not explain why
D.C. lawyers should be interested in the ABA. Your
answers to a few questions may shed light on its
potential value to you.
First, do you believe lawyers should be heard on
issues affecting the justice system and the rule
of law? Do you want to ensure that someone is
defending the integrity of the courts or protecting
the interests and independence of the profession?
If you answered yes to any of these questions,
the ABA can amplify your voice. One lawyer rarely
can affect public policy. But when the ABA speaks,
when the ABA president stands up for human
rights, when the organization unleashes its formidable government advocacy operation to address
pending legislation, or when it files a U.S. Supreme
Court amicus brief on constitutional issues, the
impact is far greater.

The ABA's House of Delegates, which includes representatives from the nation's state and local bars,
the ABA Sections, and national legal organizations,
sets the policies that determine what the ABA can
advocate. At the ABA's Annual Meeting in August
2019, for example, the House of Delegates considered such topics as consent in sexual assault cases,
emerging legal and ethical issues regarding artificial

intelligence, management programs to improve
legal ethics, and international aspects of patent
infringement. When you participate in the ABA,
you help ensure that lawyers are heard - that
you are heard - on important issues.
Beyond these "macro" concerns, the ABA can
enhance your legal practice. Do you believe you
can benefit, both personally and professionally,
from getting to know lawyers across the country in
the same legal area as you? If you are, say, an antitrust or employment lawyer, would it be valuable to
discuss key developments with leaders in the field?
If your legal practice focuses on science and technology, international law, or litigation, would it be
advantageous to assess the rising challenges with
diverse and accomplished experts from around
the globe? The ABA offers opportunities both to
learn and to develop relationships with potential
clients, academics, and other practitioners. The ABA
provides these opportunities through its sections
and forums focused on domains such as intellectual
property, civil rights and social justice, business law,
and family law; through its Diversity and Inclusion
Center; and through its divisions serving law
students, young lawyers, senior lawyers, judges,
government lawyers, and solo/small firm practitioners. These groups hold meetings, sponsor
programs, and publish useful materials available
to members on the ABA website.
Some pundits have opined that millennials and
their juniors are not "joiners," that they prefer
texting to personal contact, individual effort to
collective impact. I'm skeptical. The residue of
college economics, and the principles imparted
even earlier, persuade me that lawyers, young
and old, appreciate the special role of attorneys in
American society, and that they recognize value.
As I hope to illuminate in subsequent reports, the
ABA provides value on multiple levels.
Robert N. Weiner is a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP and
D.C. State Delegate to the American Bar Association.
He is also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown
University Law Center. Reach him at Robert.Weiner@
arnoldporter.com.



Washington Lawyer - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - September 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Tomorrow’s Lawyers: Jd + Practice Ready
The Justice Gap & The Rise Of Nonlawyer Legal Providers
D.C. Bar Cle: Keeping Up With The Law
Aba Delegate’s Corner
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
2019 Celebration Of Leadership & Presidents Reception
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Tomorrow’s Lawyers: Jd + Practice Ready
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - The Justice Gap & The Rise Of Nonlawyer Legal Providers
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 24
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - D.C. Bar Cle: Keeping Up With The Law
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Aba Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 2019 Celebration Of Leadership & Presidents Reception
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover4
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http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
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http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
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