Criteria and Procedures for the Admission of International Members


The American Counsel Association historically has been comprised of members from the practicing bar in the United States. Members were invited to join based upon high standing in the legal profession achieved through exceptional service to clients, leadership in the profession, and conviviality. Membership traditionally has been limited to a single member or member firm in each municipality. Members typically have been leaders in the American Bar Association and state and local bar organizations. Limited to approximately 250 members from the 50 states, the Association has provided its members a network for cordial business and social interaction, in addition to opportunities for service to the profession. A principal role of the Association has been the provision of scholarships awarded annually to young lawyers having demonstrated academic excellence and financial need. The American Counsel Association meets each year in conjunction with the American Bar Association’s Mid-year and Annual meetings and hosts lively dining, social and educational events for its distinguished members.

In recent years the ACA has expanded to include as members practicing attorneys and judges from jurisdictions outside the United States including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. As interest in the Association has grown, together with ties among nations and members of the bar practicing in those nations, it has become desirable to set forth these criteria and procedures for the admission of international members to the American Counsel Association.

Criteria For Membership

The criteria for international membership essentially are the same as those for membership from the 50 states, to wit, high standing in the legal profession, exceptional service, leadership and conviviality. For acceptance into the Association, nominees from jurisdictions outside the United States shall be determined to have met these criteria based upon the following:

A. The prospective member shall be nominated in writing by an existing member in good standing with the American Counsel Association, which nomination shall be seconded by an officer or a member of the Board of Directors.

B. The nominee must demonstrate that he or she is a member in good standing of the governing body for the legal profession in the country and/or jurisdiction in which he or she practices law or serves as a judge or official.

C. The nominee must provide a professional resume or CV stating his or her educational background, professional experience, membership in good standing in bar organizations, ratings by independent bodies, description of current practice or work, and representative clients or matters sufficient for the Committee on Admissions and Board of Directors to judge the qualifications of the nominee.

D. Nominee must indicate a desire to join the American Counsel Association and enjoy its professional and social benefits, and to fulfill the requirements of membership including the payment of annual dues.

E. Membership shall be limited to one member or member firm from each municipality. However, by consent of such member or unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, an additional member or member firm may be permitted to join from such municipality.

Procedure For Membership

A nomination shall be made and seconded in writing as stated above and presented to the Chair of the Committee for Admissions of the American Counsel Association.

The nomination shall provide information in writing concerning the nominee’s background and qualifications, as outlined above.

A professional resume or CV shall be provided by the nominee demonstrating that he or she meets the membership criteria.

Upon receipt, the Chair of the Committee for Admissions shall distribute the information provided concerning the nominee to all members of the Committee for Admissions. The Committee shall consider information provided concerning the nominee and may review additional information that is available through other means, including professional, local and Internet sources. Following its review, the Committee shall then by majority vote act to approve, reject or defer the nomination.

Upon approval of the nomination by the Committee for Admissions, the nomination form and materials shall be provided to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall then by majority vote act to approve, reject or defer the nomination.

Upon approval by the Board of Directors, the nominee shall be invited in writing to join the Association.

The nominee shall indicate in writing to the Association through its Secretary-Treasurer or other officer that he or she accepts the invitation to become a member and shall provide payment of the annual dues.

Upon acceptance and payment, the nominee shall become a member in good standing of the American Counsel Association entitled to enjoy all privileges and responsibilities of the membership, including listing in the Roster of members and invitations to all ACA events.