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The American Bar Association (ABA), founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States.
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.
The ABA has 410,000 members. Its national headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois; it also maintains a significant branch office in Washington, D.C.
The ABA mission, as stated in its 2008 mission statement, is "To serve equally our members, our profession and the public by defending liberty and delivering justice as the national representative of the legal profession." The goals and objectives are:
• Goal 1: Serve our members. (Objective: Provide benefits, programs and services which promote members’ professional growth and quality of life.)
• Goal 2: Improve our profession. (Objectives: 1) Promote the highest quality legal education; 2) Promote competence, ethical conduct and professionalism; 3) Promote pro bono and public service by the legal profession.)
• Goal 3: Eliminate bias and enhance diversity. (Objectives: 1) Promote full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons; 2) Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system.)
• Goal 4: Advance the rule of law. (Objectives: 1) Increase public understanding of and respect for the rule of law, the legal process, and the role of the legal profession at home and throughout the world; 2) Hold governments accountable under law; 3) Work for just laws, including human rights, and a fair legal process; 4)Assure meaningful access to justice for all persons; and 5) Preserve the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary.)
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