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American Bar Association

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Debbie M.

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of American Bar Association

American Bar Association
How successful has the ABA been?
Over the years, the ABA has been able to influence policies from laws focused on helping the disabled to maintaining high standards for law schools. The ABA created a Commission to help the mentally disabled in 1973 and helped with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to ensure equality. The ABA has also set and re-evaluated the standards that allow students to become lawyers since 1923 to ensure law students are qualified to practice law. The 1991 Commission on Homelessness and Poverty was formed to ensure the interests of the homeless are kept in the minds of legislators. The ABA, with over 400,000 members is a large interest group with a significant influence on public policy.
What is the ABA's political ideology?
The ABA is a neutral interest group and members must refrain from giving monetary donations to political campaigns in order to remain neutral.

What current issues are the ABA concerned with?
In 2010,the ABA passed Resolution 111 which is a formal appeal to all US states and territories urging that they remove all barriers to same sex marriage.

On December 9th, 2013 the ABA showed their support for the Smarter Sentencing Act by writing to the Chairman and a Ranking member of the Act.
Earlier this month, The ABA wrote a letter to the House of Representatives "Ways and Means Committee" and the Senate's "Finance Committee" to express their opposition to a new tax proposal which would hurt law firms
The ABA typically uses direct lobbying by writing letters to Congress in order to express their opinions on current issues in an attempt to influence public policy.

The ABA has recently targeted the Finance Committee with their concerns for how new tax laws will have a negative affect on law firms. Additionally, the ABA targets the Department of Justice and even rates the President's appointments for Supreme Court justices
Recently, lawmakers have drafted a law that the ABA is opposed to because it has the potential to financially harm law firms, some of which are members of the ABA. The law, the Tax Reform Act of 2013 (more specifically Section 212 is the concern of the ABA) wants to switch the accrual method for the cash method (which is currently in place) in order to simplify taxes but the ABA feels that this method would make law firms with gross profits over $10 million have to pay a tax on money they may or may not receive. The ABA has sent letters to both the House and the Senate urging them to reconsider adding Section 212 into the new act, which is trying to simplify taxes.
The ABA is mainly concerned with issues that effect the justice system from tax bills that effect law firms, to justice appointments, ensuring equality for all, and making sure law schools maintain the standards they put forth as well as administering the Bar exams which is a requirement to practice law.
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