Networking and professional development are more important today than ever. Professionals are actively reaching out to colleagues for the purpose of enhancing their skills and encouraging referrals. In the past, membership fees for professional organizations have been viewed as a nominal expense and most of us have paid the fees without hesitation. Today, budget constraints and value considerations have made all of us more selective in deciding which groups and organizations we join. The current focus is on joining and maintaining membership in groups which provide the best value for our discretionary expenditures. Many groups recognize this and are finding creative ways to grow and maintain their membership.
The American Bar Association (ABA) recently launched a membership initiative which offers an opportunity for existing members to invite as many as four individuals to join the ABA for a complimentary membership. Some – maybe all – members of the ABA were sent four complimentary membership coupons late last year as a “thank you” for their membership and promotional item for new members. Prospective members get to use the coupons for a free ABA membership for the remainder of the current ABA membership year.
The ABA is the largest voluntary professional association in the world. It is organized by sections, committees, subcommittees and groups which cover virtually every area of practice and specialized expertise imaginable. If you are not a current ABA member and you want to become one, you might want to contact one or more of your colleagues in the ABA to take advantage of this membership opportunity. This is one of those rare opportunities with everything to gain and nothing to lose.
UPDATE — Thanks for all the comments and emails on this post. I spoke to the ABA and they provided me with the following responses to some of the questions raised by this post. First, the offer only applies to attorneys licensed to practice in the U.S. because full ABA membership is limited to attorneys licensed in the U.S. Second, attorneys outside the U.S. are eligible to become associate members of the ABA but there is no free membership promotion available for associate memberships at this time. Third, for those of you who are eligible to take advantage of this promotion and who do not have a local contact with a coupon— please email me privately and I’ll assist you– firstname.lastname@example.org . Special thanks to Kevin Henderson at the ABA for his assistance on this post!