A voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students. Most important activities is setting academic standards model ethical codes.
The ABA’s most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession. As of fiscal year 2017, the ABA had 194,000 dues-paying members, constituting approximately 14.4% of U.S. attorneys. In 1979, half of all lawyers in the U.S. were members of the ABA. The organization’s national headquarters are in Chicago, IL; it also maintains a significant branch office in Washington, D.C.
One function of the ABA is its creation and maintenance of a code of ethical standards for lawyers. The Model Code of Professional Responsibility (1969) and/or the newer Model Rules of Professional Conduct (1983) have been adopted in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands. The exception is the State of California; however, a few sections of the California Rules of Professional Conduct were drawn from the ABA models