Right-Sizing Bar Association Governance

Daniel R. Suhr

Volume 63

This Essay evaluates bar association governance nationally in light of best practices for corporate and nonprofit governance. Governance experts agree that boards should be small. These scholarly recommendations are confirmed by the experiences of many large nonprofit organizations and for-profit corporations. They are shared by several publications from different sections and committees of the ABA and American Law Institute. Yet these recommendations remain unimplemented in the vast majority of bar associations. This Essay contends that California should pursue a smaller governing board, and other bar associations, particularly those with significant staff and budgets, should undertake similar self-studies.

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