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History and Mission
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The National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP) was founded in 1950 to provide information and training to state and local bar association leaders. Included among its many distinguished past presidents are former ABA Presidents Chesterfield Smith, Leonard Janofsky, George Bushnell, Bill Paul, Steven Zack, and Laurel Bellows.

The current organizational members of NCBP include state, local and special focus bars from 53 states and territories and members include past bar leaders from these jurisdictions. The Executive Council and committees consist of recent bar presidents who attended NCBP conferences when they were leading their respective bars and who want to share their experiences and perspectives with current bar leaders.

By holding its meetings jointly with the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) and the National Conference of Bar Foundations (NCBF), NCBP participants can additionally share experiences with professional bar staff and bar foundation leaders from all over the country.

NCBP is organized as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation. It has a federal tax exemption under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).


The primary mission of NCBP is to provide high-quality programming to current bar leaders at two meetings held each year contemporaneously with the annual and midyear meetings of the ABA. At these meetings, former bar presidents and other resource persons provide presentations and workshops focused on “bread and butter” subjects and issues like membership expansion, continuing education, access to justice, provision of legal services, community outreach and education, diversity and finance. Presentations are also made on current subjects, which in recent years have included the death penalty moratorium movement, terrorism and civil liberties, law school debt forgiveness and other issues of current interest to the profession.

Substantial program time is always provided for small gatherings where bar leaders from similar-sized and/or the same regions can share information and experiences and discuss and share current “Best Projects” identified by NCBP. Meeting participants always take home fresh ideas and useful printed materials that can support and assist them in providing relevant and stimulating programming during their terms as bar leaders. They also meet other bar leaders with similar commitments to the profession and enjoy formal and informal opportunities to socialize, see old friends, and make new ones.

NCBP also provides useful resources to its members through its website,