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The American Bar Association announced this week that it’s cutting the cost of dues for solo practitioners, government lawyers, judges and attorneys working for nonprofits as part of an effort to respond to lawyers’ differing financial circumstances and the effects of the economic downturn. The ABA said in a press release Tuesday that its House of Delegates at its midyear meeting in Orlando, Fla., had approved a new dues structure that will reduce costs by 50 percent for solo practitioners and by 25 percent for the other lawyers. The changes will take effect in May. The organization is also creating new installment payment options that will be offered by August. The reduced income from dues won’t require ABA budget cuts because the organization is making up the difference by drawing money from a reserve account, said Nancy Slonim, an ABA spokeswoman. The changes follow a survey of about 9,000 lawyers. ABA President Carolyn Lamm began studying the issue last year amid concerns raised by some members about declining membership. The ABA said it has about 400,000 members.

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