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ABF offices, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611

Expanding knowledge & advancing justice

The American Bar Foundation is an organization dedicated to advancing justice through rigorous research on the law, legal processes, and the law's impact on our society. Read our mission statement »

2016 Annual Report

Download the 2016 Annual Report or read the shorter Report of the Director and Highlights. For a hard copy version of the 2016 Annual Report, please contact Jenny Montagne at


Impact Brochure

View the 2016 ABF Impact Brochure

The American Bar Foundation’s mission is to serve the legal profession, the public, and the academy through empirical research, publications, and programs that advance justice and the understanding of law and its impact on society. Created by the American Bar Association more than sixty years ago, and supported by annual grants from the American Bar Endowment, and by the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, the ABF is an independent, non-profit organization that conducts large-scale research projects on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world. Research at the ABF is conducted by a residential research faculty and over 50 affiliated scholars from across the nation and the world. The ABF is the largest recipient of grants from the Law and Social Science Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), where the ABF has an 72% success rate in applications compared to an overall success rate of 23.5% in the social and economic sciences. In the following areas and more, the ABF is a thought leader and a source of research that is shaping policy.

Officers and directors

Read the bios of the current officers and directors:

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Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.