Family Law Committees
Section membership allows you to join up to three of our 20+ substantive committees at no additional charge. Read on for more information.
Committee Name Updates:
- Congressional Relations is now called Governmental Relations Committee
Why should you join a committee?
Explore Your Area(s) of Interest
Choose from over 20 Substantive Committees such as Adoption, Bankruptcy, Marital Property and more (see list at right). You'll receive committee resources, activity and project information (not to mention meeting agendas and minutes) via the committee list serve. When you join a committee online, you'll automatically be added to its discussion list (list serve). It's a great way to make your Family Law membership more meaningful and targeted to your needs. You can also learn about areas you may think you're interested in, but haven't yet explored in your own practice.
No Time? No Worries!
Your level of involvement/participation is completely up to you. When you join a committee, we don't ask you for a time commitment. Committees exist to help you make the most of resources in your area(s) of interest and introduce you to others in the Section who share your interests. Whether you'd like to be more involved in project activities, take on a leadership role, or just use the list serve, how you use the committee is your decision.
Looking for a higher level of involvement? Joining a committee provides you with the chance to network and become more involved in the Section. In fact, future leaders are often identified through their committee work and accomplishments. Consider applying for a leadership position next time we ask for nominations!
Not sure what being a committee leader entails? Click on a position below to learn more about what would be expected of you.
- Chair (or download pdf)
- Vice Chair (or download pdf)
As a committee vice-chair, please commit to using your leadership position as a Section membership recruitment and retention tool. The Section Officers and Council believe that committee affiliation is a valuable membership benefit. As Vice-Chair, you will be assisting the chair in fulfilling his or her responsibilities as shown in the list below. Some of the responsibilities are as follows:
1. Committee leaders must plan to attend committee meetings during their year of service in conjunction with the Section's CLE Conferences, as well as the Annual Meeting. For specific dates, please see our Calendar of Events.
As vice-chair, you will assist the Chair on the committee status reports that are due three times a year (Fall, Spring, and Annual).
If you are unable to attend a meeting, please make sure to ask another executive member to do so and to conduct your meeting and take minutes.
2. All substantive committee meetings held at Fall and Spring Meetings are open to all registrants. As vice-chair, you will serve as an ex-officio member of our Member Benefit Development Committee to ensure that interested Section of Family Law members that attend meetings become committee members. You should also recruit non-members to become Section members and then sign them up for committee membership.
3. You should also assist the Chair to coordinate committee members to post materials on the Section's Online Resource Center to build this library of knowledge for the use of all Section members. The Section staff will be happy to assist you in arranging to post materials.
- Executive Member (or download pdf)
As an Executive Member of any given committee, you are asked to strive for the following three goals and objectives:
1. It is strongly suggested (but not required) that you attend the Fall and Spring CLE conferences during your year as an Executive Member. (For 2008-2009 meeting dates in Arizona and Baltimore, see our Calendar of Events.) Usually each committee will meet during one of the working lunches held at the conference.
2. To stay current with the issues facing the committee on which you serve, and to contribute to committee list serve communication, conference calls and/or in-person discussions at meetings.
3. To participate in the committee planning and production of CLE programs relevant to your committee topic/subject.
4. Post materials on the Section's Online Resource Center to build the library of knowledge for the use of all Section members.
5. Maintain outreach to committee members via publications, your committee website, and committee list serve.
Dedicated List Serves
Each committee has a list serve set up as a way to communicate with colleagues and network within your specific areas of interest. When you join a committee online, you'll automatically be added to its list serve. (These lists are only for members of the Family Law Section, so in order to join them, you'll need to be a member first.)
Are you ready to get involved? Click on your committee(s) of interest and then select "Join Our Committee" at the top right. You must log in to your myABA account to join a Section committee.
If you are not a member of the Section, you may choose to "Join Our Section" as well! If you have any questions, please contact us at 312-988-5145.
* Committee members are Chair-appointed; you cannot join this committee online. However, if you would like to get involved, you can always apply for a committee leadership position when nominations open.
- Executive Member (or download pdf)
As a Chair, you, either individually or as delegated by you, will have the following duties
1. Keep in mind the mission of the Section in all of your activities, which is "to be the preeminent voice on marital and family law issues."
2. Always be mindful of the Section's Long Range Plan when performing your duties.
3. Attend the Section's Fall and Spring meetings, as well as the Annual meeting of the ABA. (See Calendar of Events) Have a Committee meeting at the Fall and Spring meetings, and maintain minutes from each meeting. Share the meeting minutes with your committee via your committee's list serve and on your committee's homepage.
If you cannot attend a meeting, make sure the Vice Chair (or Executive Member) will be able to attend and run the meeting.
4. Be responsive to and seek advice from your ABA Section of Family of Family Law Council member liaison and your Scope Committee member liaison. (You will be assigned a liaison from Council and Scope each year.)
5. Develop and produce Committee CLE programs to be presented at either the Fall or Spring meetings of the Section, and for Section teleseminars. Proposals are initially presented to the CLE Committee for review and approval as to topic and date of presentation. It is expected that each committee will have at least one Committee CLE presentation each year. Remember the Section's Diversity Plan when selecting presenters.
6. Post materials on the Section's Online Resource Center regarding the committee's area of expertise.
7. Author articles for the Section's publications, such as the Family Law Quarterly, Family Advocate and the Family Law e-Newsletter.
8. Maintain as an active outreach to the majority of our members, the Committee list serve. Communicate with the membership, at least monthly, activities of the committee, new developments in the area of the committee's expertise, seeking CLE topics and presenters, discussions of issues related to the committee's domain, and other matters of interest to members. Remember that less than 10% of the membership attends our meetings and their main contact with the Section is through our publications and the Committee Listserv.
9. Develop and continually review a long range plan for the committee consistent with the Section's Long Range Plan.
10. Make sure to fill out and send in your tri-annual reports to Scope and Council, due before each of the three meetings each year. This is the primary way Council is aware of each committee's activities.
Alimony & Spousal Support
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Law Practice Management/Technology
Member Benefit Development
Pro Bono Awards
Trial Practice & Techniques
Vulnerable Adults & Special Needs Families