The United States Law Week

Dues Give Way as Top Funding Source for American Bar Association (Corrected)

Aug. 13, 2019, 5:22 PMUpdated: Aug. 15, 2019, 2:45 PM

Dues, for the first time, won’t be the largest source of revenue for the American Bar Association in 2020.

Although reporting a surprising $3.5 million surplus for this fiscal year so far, the ABA said it’s planning for a cut in 2020 general operations revenues to $85.4 million. General operations revenues have declined by $30 million over a five-year period.

ABA Treasurer Michelle A. Behnke told the group’s annual meeting in San Francisco that the surplus was likely to shrink in coming months and it wasn’t out of the woods yet financially.

The ABA has prioritized spending and has cut expenses in an effort to rightsize its balance sheet. It has struggled with declining membership and revenues in recent years.

Dues will give way next year to grants for the first time as the ABA’s largest source of revenue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan Stanzione in Washington at mstanzione@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com