American Bar Association Reviews | Glassdoor

American Bar Association Reviews

Updated September 13, 2017
123 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.0
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Stephen N. Zack
30 Ratings

123 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
Cons
  • Non-profit/association salary with a corporate feel (in 9 reviews)

  • Many employees have been there for more than 20 years or longer so there is no room for growth unless you change departments (sections/divisions) (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "You will learn a lot"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends

    I worked at American Bar Association full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you are interested in the legal professional generally speaking, the ABA provides a lot of great learning opportunities for staff. Working there has prestige value.

    Cons

    The benefits are good, but take home pay is low.

    Advice to Management

    Re-think salary structure and provide more opportunities for motivated staff to rise in the organization.


  2. "Seems good until the cracks start to show..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free coffee, prime downtown location, great mission.

    Cons

    Little to no mentorship or support for new hires and entry level employees. You will feel on your own and unless you have the confidence and gumption to ask for help, you will be ignored. The structure of the ABA is so vast and siloed that even after several months of being on the job, I feel like I have no idea as to what's going on in and around the rest of the organization. No camaraderie between employees and a lot of gossip. It's also very apparent that the organization is in trouble financially. The organization is downsizing, space wise, so the cubicle I was just settling into will now be replaced with single desk, crunched in with several people. Had I known I would not have accepted their offer of employment, as now I fear I will be laid off. This is especially frustrating because there are alot of "lifers" at the organization who continue to get automatic annual salary increases regardless of performance.

    Advice to Management

    Look out for new hires and try to promote positive interaction between employees. HR -- make the onboarding process more robust and try to educate new hires about the size, scope, and functions of the association outside of one's section or department.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Changes"

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

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time

    Pros

    The organization is fundamentally idealistic, helping its members and looking to improve the legal system. It's committed to a diverse workforce.

    Cons

    Recent budget cuts have forced staff reductions across the board. Groups live in silos and sometimes compete needlessly. Many people seem miserable.

    Advice to Management

    Stop cutting staff. Make more of an effort to update the technology, including the website. Streamline programs and reduce extravagant member events.


  4. "Marketing - Great Company to Work For"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time

    Pros

    Great team. Flexible hours. Great benefits. Good leadership.;

    Cons

    Below average pay. Work space being consolidated.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Bad and getting worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of great people both on staff and within the membership and it can be a pleasure to work with them. Much of the substantive work can be interesting and fulfilling both personally and professionally.

    Cons

    The organization is in financial trouble and just laid of a number of employees. Further cuts are anticipated and these will likely impact employees, especially lower level employees. The executive director just ended the wellness program which, for participating employees, is an $840/year reduction in compensation. This is after eliminating summer hours last year, increased employee responsibility for medical costs under insurance, and an announced reduction in upcoming pay increase. Depending on the area of the ABA, many employees are now doing what used to be 2-3 positions worth of work. Flexible working schedules may be frowned upon, depending on department managers.

    Advice to Management

    Make the politically difficult cost reductions and recognize that the employees are the backbone of the organization. Stop using cuts to employees' compensation packages as the primary way to achieve budget savings.


  6. "Program Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Bar Association full-time

    Pros

    Flexible hours, friendly company, great experience

    Cons

    less-than-competitive pay, plays favorites, expensive benefits


  7. "Doesn't live up to its reputation"

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

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic people to work with

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic and slow to innovate

  8. Helpful (3)

    "An Organization in Utter Disarray"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Bar Association full-time

    Pros

    Full-time employees do get health benefits. The paychecks (or direct deposits) don't bounce—at least not yet. And free coffee is provided.

    Cons

    Many ABA employees have been there two decades or more, and most have long lost interest in their jobs and are simply hanging on and doing less every year. Few within my department seemed to have much to do and as such spent most of their time gossiping, scheming, shopping online or simply sleeping at their desks. And what little that did get done was done quite badly. There is a disturbing level of everyday incompetence at the ABA, which seems to be growing on a near-daily basis.

    Advice to Management

    I would significantly downsize virtually every department within the organization and drastically reduce compensation levels for senior managers and others working in some sort of management position. (The executive director, however, may deserve what he earns, considering the limitations of many of the people within the ABA that he has to frequently deal with.) I'd also take a close look at what the remaining staffers do on a daily basis and make sure that they have something substantive to do, and also make sure that these employees know what they are doing.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Pros and Cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Web in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Let me start off by saying that the ABA has a multitude of silos... it is impossible to know exactly what you're getting into, but here are a few common themes I've noticed, across-the-board:
    - PTO and flexible work/life balance is great here. This is big for me, personally, and one reason I'm hesitant to leave just yet.
    - Pay and benefits are decent for an NPO
    - Remote work options are okay... but seem to be getting better. Any employee can work from home twice a month, and with additional approvals, possibly even more often. Also, the org has set up a helpful staff portal that helps you access your files and programs efficiently.
    - Work can definitely be interesting here... again, VERY dependent on which division you end up in.
    - Most colleagues are friendly... but I will continue this bullet point in the cons...

    Cons

    - While most colleagues are pleasant, the common theme that I've noticed here is: people often work here for a little too long... which leads to cliques and high amount of gossip, over time. If you are young and talented and change employment places regularly, the culture may be harder for you to fit in to, unless you're open to joining the gossip. Again, there are so many divisions here, so it's a gamble on who you will end up with. But I've noticed a lot of people just get 'stuck' here...comfortable here... develop poor attitudes but are too lazy to move on and revive their careers.
    - Along the same lines: things move really slowly here... sometimes I wonder what people are doing all day.
    - Very bureaucratic environment. Definitely feels more corporate and less like an NPO. Upper management is often clueless.
    - The org has serious financial issues... moral was torn apart recently, with a huge wave of lay-offs

    Advice to Management

    Rethink your director-level personnel. I've encountered directors who have a frighteningly low level of professionalism.


  10. "Great learning experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior UC Legal Services Specialist in Harlingen, TX
    Current Employee - Senior UC Legal Services Specialist in Harlingen, TX

    I have been working at American Bar Association full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Over the last almost 3 years I have learned and grown as a professional and person while working with this organization.

    Cons

    Some of the company culture is a little annoying and stressful.


Showing 123 of 135 reviews
Reset Filters