Professional Associations are non-profit organizations that advance the interests of a specific profession and the people involved in that vocation. These institutions perform a variety of functions. They serve a social purpose and foster personal and business relationships amongst loosely connected colleagues. They often engage in lobbying on behalf of their members in order to influence public policy at all levels of government in their favor. Additionally, they typically maintain and enforce training and ethical standards with their professional niche. In that sense, they are similar to labor unions, although they may deny the validity of this comparison. Joining the local chapter of any applicable professional association certainly has its advantages. Many of these groups are well known and respected nationally by members and nonmembers alike. The American Bar Association is one such organization. They have local chapters across the country and work towards various positive goals. They attempt to promote ethics in the legal profession and monitor the activities of all law schools. They try to educate the general public about legal issues and offer scholarships to students interested in practicing law. They also assist the government in the selection of judges, even for the Supreme Court.