Liaison Research Services Program
The Liaison Research Services Program was created in 1975 to address two primary goals: to compile and disseminate information about the legal profession and to provide research expertise to entities of the organized bar by designing and conducting discrete, short-term projects focusing on issues of concern and interest to these groups.
To address the first of these goals, the American Bar Foundation has, since 1956, periodically produced The Lawyer Statistical Report with the cooperation of Martindale Hubbell, which provides the data files for this project. This report is unique to the literature about the profession in that it provides detailed demographic information on the numbers of lawyers and law firms nationally and on a state-by-state basis. It presents distributions of lawyers across practice settings, among law firms of various sizes, and practice settings by age and gender. The 2005 edition of the The Lawyer Statistical Report is now available. Please contact Jeeyoon Park for further information.
To address the second goal of providing research expertise to entities of the organized bar, the Foundation works closely with the American Bar Association on a variety of research initiatives. In general, the Foundation provides useful, professional research advice and services in a variety of formats.
- New Research. From time to time, the Foundation, through its Liaison Research Services Program, will take on a few modest research projects for ABA entities. In determining what research projects might be possible in a given year, the Foundation will give priority to research that fits within the overall mission of the ABF and that is feasible to conduct in a shorter period of time.
- Information from Existing Projects. The Foundation and the Association might find overlap between an existing ABF research project and an ABA project or initiative. In these cases, the Liaison Research Services Program can develop a liaison relationship between Foundation Research Fellows and ABA entities. Research Fellows may provide general expertise or specific data that have been collected from previous or current research projects, to inform the work of an ABA entity.
- Research Advice. The Foundation is in a unique position to consult with ABA entities on how best to structure a research initiative. The Foundation can provide general guidance, review survey instruments, help to find appropriate academics to work on a research project, and consult on results.
The Foundation and the Association have a unique relationship that informs each organization’s efforts to enhance the public’s understanding of the law, legal institutions and legal processes. Through the Liaison Research Services Program, the Foundation collaborates with the Association and its entities in meaningful ways, thus bringing the expertise of the leading institution for the empirical study of the law to bear on the myriad programs, initiatives and activities of the ABA. From participating in initiatives organized by the ABA Presidents to working with Sections, Divisions and Committees on unique research projects, the research of the American Bar Foundation informs the organized bar, the legal community, and the public.
For more information about the Liaison Research Program, please contact Eileen Gallagher at gro.nfba@rehgallage or 312-988-6519.