For an Empowered and
Independent Association of
Ethiopian Legal Professionals

Organisation's Profile


The Ethiopian Lawyers' Association (ELA) is a non-profit making and a non-partisan professional association of attorneys. It is established with the aim of promoting the interest of its members and the development of the legal profession. It also upholds rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, good governance and human rights. It endeavors to ensure the dignity and independence of the profession and to upgrade the legal skills of practicing lawyers along with the provision of free legal aid to those who are needy.

ELA was initially organized under the name Advocates' Welfare Association in 1965. As the name indicates, it was only organized for social purpose. One year later, the Association evolved into Advocates' Association in 1966 and registered with the then Ministry of Interior. It was later renamed Ethiopian Bar Association in 1967.

ELA is a founding member of Pan African Lawyers' Union (PALU) who headquarters is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Association currently has about 533 members out of which only 24 are women lawyers. All members are private practitioners.

Activity - 1:
Continuing Legal Education

Continuing Legal Education is designed to upgrade the legal knowledge and legal skills of lawyers with the objective of training of members. This program also aims at acquainting Ethiopian Lawyers with new laws and legislations and at providing a forum of discussion on current legal issues.

Activity - 2:
Law Reform and Advocacy

The Law Reform and Advocacy program is aimed at proposing amendments and new laws to contribute to the developments in law and in the administration of justice in Ethiopia.

It also includes the creation of awareness of the general public in law and human rights through research and publication.

It is organizing workshop on constitutional topics to acquaint lawyer, judges and Parliamentarians with the constitution. 

ELA has already participated in the deliberations of various bills, including the new criminal code when it was at a drafts stage, Evidence law, Procedure law, and Anti-Corruption law. It is a standing member of the committee for judicial reform under the Court Administration Reform Program (CARP).

Activity - 3:
Legal Aid Services

Providing legal aid service to those who are economically and social underprivileged is an objective imperative in Ethiopia given the prevalent poverty. It aims at making justice accessible to the needy.


The immediate objectives of ELA are those problems identified and to be tackled in the near future. In this regard, ELA has initiated the following activities:

  • Promote the participation of its members and activate the various organs of the Association
  • Provide legal assistance for those who are needy.
  • Perform sustained activities to create public awareness about the Association, law and human rights.
  • Make the necessary preparations for the construction of the future office of the Association.










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