Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely

American Bar Association

  • Jennifer Summary-Smith
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_4-1

The American Bar Association (ABA) is one of the world’s largest voluntary associations of lawyers, law students, legal, and law professions in the United States. Its national headquarters is located in Chicago, Illinois, with a large branch office in Washington D.C. According to the ABA’s website, it has nearly 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities. The American Bar Association was established when 75 lawyers from 20 states, and the District of Columbia, came together on August 21, 1878, in Saratogo Springs, New York. Since its founding in 1878, the ABA has played an important role in the development of the law profession in the United States. The ABA website states that “the ABA is committed to supporting the legal profession with practical resources for legal professionals while improving the administration of justice, accrediting law schools, establishing model ethical codes, and more.” The ABA is also committed to serving its members, refining the legal profession, eradicating bias and promoting diversity, and evolving the rule of law in the entire United States and around the globe. Thus, becoming a member of ABA has several benefits in terms of access to exclusive data.

Membership Benefits Involving Big Data

A benefit of becoming a member of the ABA is that it allows access to free career services for job seekers and employers. As it states on the ABA’s website, job seekers can search and apply for more than 450 legal jobs across the nation. The ABA’s website provides the opportunity to upload one’s resume, receive email alerts, and access monthly webinars by experts who provide career advice. Employers have access to more than 5,400 resumes, email alerts, and reach more than 16,500 visitors monthly. The career services provide members the opportunity to network with potential employers, granting access to valuable data and personal information.

Other benefits for members include access to the ABA’s 22 sections, 6 divisions, and 6 forums. Members can participate in a community where they can interact with professionals in a variety of practice specialties. Each of the groups provides members the opportunity to facilitate in-depth examinations of trends, issues, and regulations in specific areas of law and other special interests. Members can also enrich their careers with ABA’s committees and task forces, which provide access to specialty groups and internal ABA departments; the groups range from antitrust and family law, to the law student division and judicial division. The ABA also advocates for inclusion and diversity initiatives committed to eliminating bias and promoting diversity. The ABA publishes annual reports on the following issues: persons with disabilities participation rates, racial and ethnic diversity, women in leadership positions, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender participation. Through the use of the ABA’s data, members are able to learn and understand valuable information, regarding the every changing landscape of law and society. Members use the data to help guide their own practices, influencing decision-making and public policy. Although technology can positively affect ABA members’ careers by providing vital information, there are concerns in the legal profession in regard to its influence on social interaction within the work environment.

Benefits and Concerns of Technology in the Workplace

In a recent study by Glen Vogel, he analyzed issues associated with the generational gap in using technology and social media by legal professionals. According to the article, Internet social media (ISM) is a concern within the profession, blurring the lines between professional and personal tasks. ISM can also foster technology overload, resulting a need for reevaluating workplace etiquette and rules of professional conduct. Vogel posits that over the past decade legal professionals have been using ISM for more than connecting with people. Users are participating on a global front, engaging in ISM to influence society. With a surge in the amount of users in the legal workplace, there are growing concerns with confidentiality and the traditional work environment. As younger generations enter the workforce, the gap between older generations widens. Vogel adds it is important for every generation to be willing to accept new technologies because they can provide to be useful tools within the workplace.

The American Bar Association is a proprietor of big data, influencing the legal profession in the United States and around the world. The ABA continues to expand its information technology services, recently partnering with ADAR IT. Marie Lazzara writes that ADAR is the provider of the private cloud, supporting law firms with benefits such as remote desktop access and disaster recovery. As more organizations, such as the ABA, make strides to bridge this gap, one thing is certain, the big data phenomenon has an influence on the legal profession.

See Also

Further Readings

  1. American Bar Association, http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html Accessed July 2014.
  2. Lazzara, M. ADAR IT Named Premium Solutions Provider by American Bar Association. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/ADAR/prweb12053119.htm Accessed July 2014.
  3. Vogel, G. (2013). A Review of the International Bar Association, LexisNexis Technology Studies, and the American Bar Association’s Commission on Ethics 20/20: the Legal Profession’s Response to the Issues Associated With the Generational Gap in Using Technology and Internet Social Media. The Journal of the Legal Profession, 38, 95 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Summary-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida SouthWestern State CollegeFort MyersUSA