According to a recent article from the American Bar Association’s Bar Leader
e-newsletter, bar associations across the nation are beginning to feel the
pinch of a membership trend that has only begun to affect bottom lines. With
older attorneys retiring and fewer students attending law school, bar associations
are paying closer attention to age demographics and looking for solutions to
protect their futures.
The ISBA maintains around an 86 percent membership rate in
the state of Iowa. However, the number of incoming attorneys falls short from numbers in years past.
"Even if we were able to recruit every single
newly-admitted attorney, we still wouldn’t be able to match the numbers of
attorneys getting ready to leave the profession here in Iowa,” said ISBA
Assistant Executive Director Harry Shipley. He went on to say that he is
testing different strategies to ensure newly-admitted attorneys find value in
"We are beginning to offer greater benefits to our younger
attorneys,” Shipley said, "by offering free online CLE to members with five
or fewer years of practice, and younger attorneys are receiving ISBA services
at reduced rates or free all together.”
ISBA staff will continue to test different strategies, but
in the end look to member volunteers to assist in spreading the message of
value offered by the ISBA. Those interested in volunteering to champion the
cause are encouraged to contact Shipley at the ISBA office.