Sure, the ABA needs to attract younger lawyers to keep the organization healthy, but what about keeping more senior attorneys around? That was one of the questions that members put to ABA candidates for 2011 leadership posts at a Sunday ABA forum.
Frost Brown Todd attorney William ‘Bill’ Robinson III, who is the ABA’s presumptive president for 2011, told the group that the association has to get “creative” in tailoring membership to the older lawyers.
The association “needs to be more creative in recognizing, when it comes to membership dues and services, that one size does not fit all,” he said in an interview. “It may mean pricing ABA dues at different levels for different segments of our profession.”
Robinson, who is based in Florence, Ky., singled out solo practitioners, government lawyers, and attorneys from large law firms, in addition to senior lawyers, as some that might need a new category of pricing. That doesn’t mean that the organization isn’t also racing to shore up membership among younger lawyers, few of whom were in attendance at the forum.
“There is a concern about membership at all levels,” Robinson said. “These are tough economic times. There are different challenges as the demographics vary.”
Questioners also asked whether the organization was considering any restrictions on the dissemination of ABA member email addresses to other organizations or changes to the ABA judicial review process. “No,” was the upshot of the responses.
Before Robinson takes the ABA president post, Carolyn Lamm, a partner with White & Case in Washington, becomes the next ABA president on Tuesday and Stephen Zack, of Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Miami, steps into the role next year.