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ABA ROLI is a great place to work if you can handle some frustrations.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

I have been working at American Bar Association

Pros

- Due to a chaotic administrative structure, there are great opportunities to learn about development work from the ground up.
- Junior staff are given expanded responsibility versus other similar institutions.
- Good work atmosphere with friendly, committed people.
- ABA ROLI is one of the few institutions in the world that does international rule of law or legal capacity building programs.

Cons

- Insufficient focus on professional development of staff.
- Limited institutional efforts to share knowledge about programs, successes, etc.
- Institution is not administratively set up for international development work and does not have the planning capacity to effectively address this.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

- More attention should be paid to how the institution is structured, rather than trying to address individual issues ad-hoc.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

28 Other Employee Reviews for American Bar Association (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Flexible to a point

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    good work-life balance & benefits, great colleagues, super volunteers. Flexible schedule for those with long commutes or needs to attend to family. Opportunity to travel, although that is shrinking with the economy. Chance to work with some of the top lawyers in their fields.

    Cons

    non-profit level salaries, arcane budgeting process, bureaucracy sometimes overwhelms good people and ideas. sometimes politics between the board/leadership and senior management result in make-work assignments for the staff. Evaluation and review process is painful for supervisors and staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize that a strong bottom line and value of the association is more than finances, sometimes doing good is more valuable than making money.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Crushing workload and unrealistic expectations far outweigh benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ABA Communications Group  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - ABA Communications Group in Chicago, IL

    I worked at American Bar Association full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good benefits and a clean, secure work environment. A decent pension plan (for those who started before 1995). Many good people work there. The organization serves an important role within the legal community, not only in oversight, but also in a social sense.

    Cons

    Training is improving, but lacking. Most of what an employee needs to know is learned through experience. Crushing workload and unrealistic expectations are the rule over the exception. There are tools in place to offer work/life balance, but staff are often too overworked to take advantage. Benefits are all self-serve and that eats a lot of time and effort on the part of the employee. There is little loyalty to staff. Changes to defined benefit (pension) plan render it nearly worthless to retain long-term employees. Someone with greater business savvy should be running ABA Publishing Books, and capitalizing on creative licensure that best serves ABAs's bottom line and content management. One Director I know of (and I've heard of others) runs his own little fiefdom, bullies good staff, and ultimately runs them out the door. That behavior should not be tolerated within an organization that defines itself as a defender of liberty and justice. The ABA can show little regard for the value of institutional knowledge. There is plenty of favoritism. which can, and does, undermine worker satisfaction. For instance, flextime arrangements for some aren't permitted for others in the same group. It's hit or miss on what reality you'll find when you join ABA's ranks. The ideals of the organization seem to have given-way to a hostile, corporate environment over the years following the infamous $12-million oversight (and ABA's migration to Oracle i-Procurement).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For ABA Publishing, identify where you want to go/grow and direct thoughtful effort to get there. Keep in mind that proprietary software, silver-tongued salesmen, and lackey consultants can be costly and miss the mark.
    ABA in general, if there's a way to rein-in the workload insanity, ABA would retain more great people and improve morale, strengthening the organization

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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