The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is in charge of setting academic standards for law schools as well as forming model ethical codes for the legal profession. The ABA is a great resource for national access to career-building networking opportunities and the specialized legal information you need to help guide your career path.
Benefits of joining the ABA as a GW Law student include:
- Staying on top of the latest developments in the law and the legal community.
- Gaining access to a nationwide network of lawyers, judges, and faculty, as well as career advice and other important benefits to help you launch your career.
- Taking advantage of valuable discounts on the products and resources you need.
To learn more about the ABA, please visit: http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html. To view the ABA calendar and see all the events you will have access to as an ABA member, please visit: http://apps.americanbar.org/abanet/oc/.
ABA member resources include:
- Bar Review Courses: ABA law students are entitled to special benefits from Kaplan PMBR and BAR/BRI.
- Career Center: Not sure where you want to go with your career? Visit the Career Counsel website for practice area information, attorney profiles, and a job search service.
- Career Fair: The ABA Career Fair provides an excellent forum for legal employers, law students, and law school graduates to meet one-on-one and discuss employment options.
- Career Series: Delve into a wide variety of legal areas, with emphasis on how to enter a specialized field, which courses to take, and what work experiences will jump-start your career.
- Law Student Division: Stay ahead in school and start building a network to launch your career with timely information, resume-building opportunities, special discounts, and annual awards programs.
- National Competitions: Participate in a variety of competitions, including: the Arbitration Competition, the Client Counseling Competition, the National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the Negotiation Competition.
- Professional Discounts: Get discounts on ABA books and publications, along with others ranging from travel discounts to retail stores.
- Student Lawyer: This monthly magazine provides informative articles on the Law Student Division, legal education, socio-legal issues, career guidance, and the practice of law.
- Students with Disabilities: The Law Student Mentoring Program pairs disabled law students with practicing attorneys with disabilities. While developing contacts within the community, students will receive advice, career tips, and general support from their mentors.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): Join thousands of students across the ABA in assisting low-income taxpayers with tax-return preparation. Gain valuable experience while helping your community.
- Sections, Divisions, and Forums: Find out all about the professional groups within the ABA that will help you increase your knowledge, network with colleagues, and take control of your professional advancement. Many of these sections and divisions are free to join once you have an ABA Membership, which comes at a reduced rate for law students. These specialty groups focus on specific areas of law or career stage – allowing for more in-depth examination of issues, regulations, and national trends. You will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts and your colleagues from across the United States about your legal area of interest. You can click on the links below to learn more about a specific ABA Section that interests you. For a complete list of ABA sections, please visit the ABA website (http://www.americanbar.org/groups/view_all_groups.html).
- Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice
- Business Law
- Communications Law Forum
- Construction Industry Forum
- Criminal Justice
- Dispute Resolution
- Environment, Energy, and Resources
- Family Law
- Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division
- Health Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Law
- Public Contract Law
- Science & Technology Law
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
GW and the ABA
For more information about ABA membership and about ABA opportunities for law students and student organizations, please contact GW ABA Representative Mallory Kruper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming ABA events GW is Participating In:
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program at GW Law:
One ABA-sponsored event that GW Law students have been involved with in the past is The GW Law Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, also known as VITA. VITA is a student-run annual program that provides free federal income tax preparation and filing for DC residents who make less than $49,000 for the year. Students work with IRS personnel to train for federal income tax work with professional software, before becoming certified as preparers and meeting with taxpayers. The GW VITA program provides students with opportunities to help the DC population while learning useful skills and earning pro bono hours, and provides a needed service to those DC residents who qualify for volunteer assistance. To learn more about the GW Law VITA program please email GWLawVITA@gmail.com or visit the VITA page on the SBA website.
Work-A-Day Program at GW Law:
GW Law students also participate in the annual ABA Law Student Division Work-A-Day program. Work-A-Day is a public service project that brings law students from across the country together to participate in a one day public service project in their community. Previous Work-A-Day themes include: Veterans advocacy; homelessness and poverty issues; and more recently, programs related to economic crisis solutions. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s event!