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ABA House of Delegates Service

What is the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates?

The ABA House of Delegates (House) is the body charged with the control and administration of the ABA and it is the policy-making body of the association. It is comprised of approximately 600 members, two-thirds of whom represent state, local and special-focus bars. The House meets twice each year, at ABA Annual and Midyear Meetings. The D.C. Bar’s delegates are elected by its members to serve as liaisons between the Bar and the ABA.

What are the prerequisites for ABA House of Delegates Service?

  • Delegates must be active members of the D.C. Bar and a member of the ABA.
  • One delegate must be either: under the age of 36 at the beginning of his or her term or have been admitted to practice in his or her first bar within the past 5 years (elected every other year).

What are ABA Delegates’ roles and responsibilities?

Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates are expected to:

  • attend each meeting of the House, participate fully in its proceedings, and discharge the responsibilities of the House as described on the ABA website;
  • review all of the House of Delegates meeting materials, including resolutions, before the meetings;
  • participate in a House Caucus or serve on a House Committee, if desired; and
  • draft, debate, and vote on resolutions.

How long is the ABA House of Delegates term?

Delegates are elected to 2-year terms, with no limit on the number of terms served. The term begins after the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting which takes place in August.

Are Delegates required to attend meetings? If so, are they reimbursed for travel-related expenses?

ABA delegates are expected to attend 2 meetings per year: the ABA Annual Meeting (usually held in August), and the ABA Midyear Meeting (usually held in February/March.)

Reimbursement for travel-related expenses varies, depending on the meeting:

  • Midyear Meetings: Roundtrip air/ground transportation is reimbursable, provided the delegate is present at the end of the meeting.
  • Annual Meetings: Travel reimbursement is not available.
  • House Committee Meetings (held during Midyear and Annual Meetings): Per diem reimbursement only.

Where can I find more information about the ABA House of Delegates?

For more information, please click here.