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OVERVIEW of American Bar Association Activities AUGUST 2010 OVERVIEW of American Bar Association Activities AUGUST 2010 TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTIONS 2 FORUMS 14 Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice 2 Affordable Housing and Community Antitrust Law 2 Development Law 14 Business Law 3 Air and Space Law 14 Criminal Justice 3 Communications Law 14 Dispute Resolution 4 Construction Industry 14 Environment, Energy and Resources 4 Entertainment and Sports Industries 15 Family Law 5 Franchising 15 Health Law 5 Individual Rights and Responsibilities 5 COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS, Intellectual Property Law 6 AND OTHER ENTITIES 16 International Law 6 Amicus Curiae Briefs 16 Labor and Employment Law 7 Armed Forces Law 16 Law Practice Management 7 Bioethics and the Law 16 Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar 7 Center for Professional Responsibility 17 Litigation 8 Death Penalty Representation Project 17 Public Contract Law 8 Delivery of Legal Services 18 Public Utility, Communications and Domestic Violence 18 Transportation Law 9 Election Law 19 Real Property, Probate and Trust Law 9 Environmental Law 19 Science & Technology Law 9 Federal Judiciary 20 State and Local Government Law 10 Group and Prepaid Legal Services 20 Taxation 10 Homelessness and Poverty 20 Tort Trial and Insurance Practice 10 Immigration 21 Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts 21 DIVISIONS 12 Justice Center 22 General Practice, Solo and Small Firm 12 Coalition for Justice 22 Government and Public Sector Judicial Division 22 Lawyers Division 12 Federal Judicial Improvements 22 Law Student Division 12 Judicial Independence 23 Senior Lawyers Division 13 Law and Aging 23 Young Lawyers Division 13 Law and National Security 24 Lawyer Assistance Programs 24 OTHER ASSOCIATION-WIDE Lawyer Referral and Information Service 24 PROJECTS 32 Lawyers’ Professional Liability 25 ABA Publishing 32 Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants 25 ABA Webstore 32 Legal Assistance for Military Personnel 25 American Bar Endowment 33 Medical Professional Liability 26 Career Resource Center 33 Mental and Physical Disability Law 26 Continuing Legal Education 33 Paralegals 26 Governmental Affairs Office 34 Pro Bono and Public Service 27 Legal Technology Resource Center 34 Public Education 27 Racial and Ethnic Diversity 28 WEB PAGE INDEX 35 Rule of Law 28 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 29 Specialization 30 Substance Abuse 30 Women in the Profession 30 INTRODUCTION Throughout its history, the American Bar Asso- committees. Through these entities, the ABA ciation has demonstrated an ability to antici- studies a variety of issues and formulates pate the needs of the legal profession and to responses ranging from policy positions (which develop a strong response to the problems of must be approved by the House of Delegates) a changing society. The ABA brings the re- and clearinghouse efforts to demonstration sources of a large national organization to the projects and conferences. The members who analysis of issues that are of concern to both direct these endeavors and guide the work are the profession and the public. Analysis is fol- primarily, but not exclusively, lawyers who new lowed by the development of effective policies. programs and volunteer their time to the asso- This work of analysis and policy development ciation. While initiatives are constantly arising, is carried out by the various entities of the an overview of recent and current undertakings Association, such as sections, divisions, com- offers a representative profile of the work of missions, task forces and standing and special the association. SECTIONS, DIVISIONS AND FORUMS The Association’s current structure includes 22 than five years is automatically a member of sections, six divisions, and six forums. Sections this division. Senior Lawyers Division member- range in size from about 2,300 members to ship is open to all ABA members 55 years of more than 70,000. They draw their membership age and older or who have been admitted to the from lawyers, judges, academicians and law stu- bar for 25 years or more. The Government and dents with common professional interests, and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s mission is to operate much like independent bar associations serve the nation’s public lawyers. The General with their own officers, dues, programs, publica- Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division is the only tions, and committees. They address profes- ABA group exclusively dedicated to the needs sional development, improvement of laws, and of general practitioners, solo and small law firm continuing education through the work of more lawyers. There are six Forum Committees which than 3,500 committees, and publications of out- were created principally to educate members in a standing quality. Collectively these entities pub- specified field, within the purpose of the Associa- lish numerous magazines, journals, newsletters tion, and which are not otherwise served within and new books each year, making the ABA one of the Association. Each Forum is governed by a the largest publishers of legal information in the chair and Governing Committee members who world. Sections also contribute to policy-making, are elected by the membership. A Forum must both in their subject areas and association-wide. hold one or more educational programs per year, Sections originate many of the recommendations open to any member of the Association. Forums that become the ABA’s policy positions, and act do not have a representative in the House of as checks and balances on recommendations of Delegates or on the Board of Governors. other entities. On matters within their fields on which no Association policy has been developed, sections can speak directly on their own behalf through “blanket authority” procedures. Divisions also produce programs and publications but dif- fer from sections in internal structure and mem- bership. The Law Student Division is governed by a Board of Governors and has an assembly con- sisting of law school representatives and student bar association representatives, which meets only at the Annual Meeting. The Judicial Division consists of judicial conferences, several with their own delegates to the ABA House of Del- egates, and a committee structure. The Young Lawyers Division has a council representing geographic districts, and an assembly consisting of representatives of bar associations from each state. Every ABA member younger than 36 years of age or who has been admitted to the bar less SECTIONS ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND REGULATORY Law compendium of the most important develop- PRACTICE ments for the previous year. The Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice focuses on the full range of administra- ANTITRUST LAW tive law issues. The mission of the section is to The Section of Antitrust Law is the leading fo- promote the sound development of local, state rum for ongoing analysis of policies and devel- and federal administrative law, procedure and opments affecting competition and consumer practice; to promote regulatory reform through protection law. Section publications include An- advancing the principles and gains made under titrust Law Journal and Antitrust Magazine, each the Administrative Procedures Act. The section published three times a year; and the Source, also seeks improvements in the Act; in the oper- the section’s online magazine, published six ations and procedures of local, state and federal times a year. The section’s website includes administrative agencies; in governmental person- the “Searchable Antitrust Library.” Every year, nel procedures, selection and operations; in the the section also sponsors more than 14 edu- skills of lawyers engaged in administrative law cational programs, including teleconferences and regulatory practice, and to promote scholarly and stand-alone meetings; and more than 70 research in the field of administrative law. “brown bag” presentations. More than 40 section committees monitor and The section is a frequent source of informa- review agency actions, new legislation and case tion for the government’s antitrust enforcement law in areas such as rulemaking, adjudication and agencies, particularly the Federal Trade Commis- judicial review, as well as on more specific sub- sion and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust jects such as homeland security, transportation, Division, and is often asked to testify or present immigration, energy and environment, freedom of positions on proposed antitrust enforcement leg- information and the role of the ombudsman. islation and procedures. In 2009-10 the section The section has completed a multi-year proj- issued more than ten sets of comments to com- ect to broaden U.S. understanding of administra- petition law enforcement agencies and commis- tive law in the European Union. The capstone sions in several jurisdictions – including interna- of the project is a Blackletter Statement of EU tional jurisdictions. The Section also presented Administrative Law. Additionally, the section has testimony on behalf of the ABA in October, 2009 authored two a Reports to the President-Elect of on H.R. 3596, The Health Insurance Industry the United States that will provide the incumbent enforcement Act of 2009.” with an assessment as well as recommendations y In the last year, the section published about for improvement of federal government opera- one dozen new titles, including the 2009 tions, as well as recommendations on improve- Review of Antitrust Law Developments. ments to the e-rulemaking process . The section y The Annual Antitrust Spring Meeting brings publishes the Administrative Law Review, which together more than 2,000 government has the largest circulation of any student-run officials, antitrust lawyers, economists law review in the United States; Administrative and scholars from the U.S. and abroad for & Regulatory Law News, a quarterly magazine; programs on the latest in antitrust law and and the annual Developments in Administrative consumer protection. 2 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES y The section has developed a website for y Within the ABA, the section is the focus practitioners in the area of consumer for lawyers involved in the law of commer- protection cial transactions and commercial financial y A new curriculum has been developed for services, and joins the Section of Litigation high school students that will give them a in addressing business and corporate litiga- grounding in economics, consumer pro- tion and dispute resolution. The section tection and competition law so they can also serves as the premier national forum be equipped to navigate our increasingly on cyberspace law and is home to more complex world of laws and regulations. The than 6,500 lawyers practicing as in-house curriculum was done in cooperation with counsel. the ABA Public Education Division and has y The section wrote and is responsible for the support of numerous educators around amendments to the Model Business Cor- the country. poration Act. It also leads the process of y The Janet D. Steiger Fellowship provides continuous revision of the Uniform Com- opportunities for law students to work as mercial Code. It covers the waterfront on paid fellows in the consumer protection de- business organizations, including corpo- partments of state and territorial offices of rate laws, corporate practice, corporate U.S. Attorneys General and with the Georgia governance, corporate compliance, part- Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs. For nerships, LLCs, and other unincorporated the summer of 2010. 20 fellowships were business forms, and is leading the discus- awarded in 20 states. sion regarding development of consensus y The Section has created a grant program as to customary practice in third party for two years to support original empirical legal opinions. economic research to explore relevant tops y The section funds the Business Law Pro in domestic and/or foreign antitrust and Bono Project through the ABA Center for consumer protection law and policy. The Pro Bono. This project supports pro-bono goal is to develop a body of relevant data bankruptcy, consumer, small business to guide academics, policymakers, lawmak- and non-profit governance assistance at ers and practitioners considering issues in over 250 sites around the country. It also antitrust and consumer protection law. provides numerous opportunities for young lawyers, minority lawyers, and lawyers with BUSINESS LAW disabilities through fellowship, scholarship Through the efforts of its 60,000 members and and award programs. 68 substantive committees, the ABA Section of Business Law has positioned itself as the domes- CRIMINAL JUSTICE tic and international expert resource on all sub- With a diverse membership that includes pros- stantive areas of corporate and transactional law. ecutors, private and public defense lawyers, law y The section has a long history of involve- professors, judges, justice system administra- ment with the development of securities tors, and correctional and law enforcement per- regulatory policy, including all aspects of sonnel, the Criminal Justice Section is well-suited federal and state securities regulation, to shoulder primary responsibility for the asso- regulation of futures and derivative instru- ciation on issues involving crime, criminal law, ments, and trust indentures and inden- and the administration of criminal and juvenile ture trustees. The section’s resources justice. It does this through initiating and promot- and state-of-the-art model documents for ing ABA criminal justice policies, being a source negotiated acquisitions are well known and of “cutting-edge” information on criminal justice widely used. issues – especially White Collar Crime – and y All aspects of the law of financial institu- providing educational opportunities for criminal tions, including banking law, credit union justice practitioners. law, the law of investment services, and The section is responsible for recommend- consumer finance law are addressed in the ing revisions and additions to the prestigious substantive work of a number of commit- ABA Criminal Justice Standards that have guided tees. The section’s committees on consum- criminal justice practitioners for 40 years. The er and business bankruptcy address debtor multi-volume set of standards contains ABA and creditor issues in both of these areas. policy covering the gamut of the criminal process OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 3 from pretrial release through appeal; specifying – and vice versa. The Section’s fall Advanced functions of prosecutors, defense counsel and Mediation Institute, and winter Arbitration Train- judges who oversee criminal cases; and address- ing Institute, are highly regarded and typically sell ing topical evidentiary issues. out. The Legal Educator’s Colloquium is a unique The section’s 34 committees are grouped in forum for professors teaching dispute resolution divisions on the following topics: equal justice; and negotiation to share research and discuss corrections and sentencing; specialized practice; new developments in the field. The Section’s professional development; communication, mem- Court ADR Symposium offers court personnel bership and services; and white collar crime. In responsible for implementing and running court addition to initiating policy in their subject areas, ADR programs to learn and share from peers the committees sponsor CLE programs for the across the country. bench and the bar. These include popular annual The Section’s Representation in Mediation programs on white collar crime and money laun- Competition offers law students from around dering, conferences on major issues confronting the country the chance to compete and show off the criminal justice system, and seminars focused their advocacy skills. The Boskey Essay Competi- on specialized areas of criminal justice practice. tion is another opportunity for law students to be The section works with the ABA Governmental engaged and gain recognition among peers and Affairs Office to ensure that ABA criminal justice in the ADR community. policy is brought to the attention of Congress The Section’s quarterly Dispute Resolution and state legislatures. It also spearheads ABA Magazine is the premier journal for the field. amicus briefs in appropriate cases. Members are also kept up to date by the Sec- The section’s quarterly magazine, Criminal tion’s monthly Just Resolutions electronic news- Justice, and its printed newsletter include schol- letter, as well as through a robust and ever- arly articles and timely items as well as “practice changing web site at www.abanet.org/dispute. tips.” Up-to-the-minute news is conveyed in an electronic newsletter. The section also sponsors ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND RESOURCES a book publication program. The section’s mission is to be the premier forum for strategies and information for environmen- DISPUTE RESOLUTION tal, energy, and resource lawyers, advisors, and Some 18,000 lawyers, neutrals, academics, decision-makers. Its membership reflects a broad judges and law students comprise the Section of spectrum from both private and public sectors, Dispute Resolution. The Section seeks to encour- including law firms, major companies, govern- age the development and broad use of dispute ment, public interest and academia. resolution processes. By sponsoring and co-sponsoring live pro- Section projects include initiatives to educate grams, teleconferences, and Web seminars, the the public about mediation and other conflict section disseminates information on hot topics resolution processes; promoting the use of me- and promotes professional networking. Substan- diation in public policy areas including the resi- tive information is also disseminated through the dential mortgage foreclosure crisis; an electronic section’s quarterly magazine, Natural Resources & clearinghouse compiling all ethics opinions is- Environment. The bimonthly newsletter, Trends, re- sued by the states concerning mediation and me- ports on current developments and section news. diators; and promotion of dispute resolution as a The section has a significant book publish- profession internationally. In the area of arbitra- ing program with titles including Global Climate tion the Section continues to study the fairness, Change and U.S. Law; The Law of Environmental efficiencies, and pitfalls of the U.S. consumer Justice: Theories and Procedures to Address arbitration system. In commercial arbitration the Disproportionate Risk, Second Edition; Toxic Tort Section has supported a new set of protocols for Litigation; Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy; making arbitration faster and less expensive. The Federal Information Manual; and Amend- Central to the Section’s mission is the deliv- ing CERCLA: The Post-SARA Amendments to ery of quality CLE programs. Our Spring Confer- the Comprehensive Environmental Recovery, ence draws 1,000 participants and offers over Compensation, and Liability Act. In addition, the 100 programs. A key feature of the Section’s section has developed a “Basic Practice Series” programs is the ability for lawyers who represent with titles that focus on either a specific statute clients in mediation and arbitration to directly or an area of interest including EPCRA, CERCLA, interact and hear from mediators and arbitrators RCRA and FERC. 4 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES Targeted information on specialized areas other news of interest to family law practitioners. within environment, energy and resources law is In addition, the section publishes books that ad- addressed by more than 40 substantive com- dress all aspects of family law. mittees, service groups and task forces. Com- mittees prepare substantive newsletters for HEALTH LAW their membership which are posted online. Each The Health Law Section’s primary focus is on the committee also contributes to The Year in Review, legal problems and interdependent relationships an annual digest summarizing judicial decisions, between providers and recipients of health care new legislation and regulatory developments. and the parties financially responsible. Through the ABA Award for Excellence in Environ- Members practice in all areas of law with mental and Resources Stewardship, the section a special interest in health care. The section recognizes and honors the accomplishments offers interest groups that focus on different of a person, organization or group that has substantive areas – hospital facility operations; distinguished itself in the areas of sustainable medical research, biotechnology and clinical ethi- development and environmental and resources cal issues; ehealth privacy and security, which stewardship. In addition, the section cosponsors encompasses health information privacy; health- the ABA Award for Distinguished Achievement care transactions, and health care technology in Environmental Law and Policy with the ABA dispute resolution; employee benefits provided Standing Committee on Environmental Law. by hospitals, physicians and other health care providers to their employees; health care fraud FAMILY LAW and compliance; health care litigation and risk The Section of Family Law was organized in management; managed care and insurance; pay- 1958 to improve the administration of justice in ment and reimbursement; tax and accounting; the field of family law. Today, family law is a fast- and transactional and business health care and growing, complex area of law with an interna- public health law. tional reach. The section promotes professional networking The section has more than 10,000 members. and disseminates information on cutting-edge Members monitor well-known but rapidly chang- topics by sponsoring and co-sponsoring live pro- ing areas of law such as divorce, custody, adop- grams, teleconferences and satellite seminars tion, alimony and child support, which lead to a on emerging issues in health care. The section’s focus on related issues such as domestic vio- highly regarded newsletter, The Health Lawyer, lence, child sexual abuse, elder law, bankruptcy, is published six times a year and covers topics taxation, international law, and the special issues ranging from Medicare reform to the effects of of families in the military. Members are also con- technology on health law to analyses of legisla- cerned with emerging issues such as third-party tion. The section also publishes a monthly eN- parental rights, marital torts, relocation of the ewsletter. The section sponsors a writing contest custodial parent, and the complicated questions for law students, has been active in government of paternity, perinatal drug addiction, assisted submissions (Stark, HIPAA, etc.) and is develop- reproductive technologies, and same-sex unions. ing a database of resources for lawyers working Members explore cutting-edge approaches to the with the health care needs of children. The sec- practice of family law such as the use of uni- tion works with the Centers for Disease Control fied family courts, alternative dispute resolution and Prevention to promote emergency prepared- and collaborative law. The section sponsors an ness for the private sector working in conjunction annual weeklong Trial Advocacy Institute to train with local health authorities through local work- practitioners in the latest skills. shops and teleconferences. The section publishes two quarterlies: Family Advocate, a magazine addressing current family INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND law topics; and Family Law Quarterly, a schol- RESPONSIBILITIES arly periodical offering legal analyses of timely Created in 1966, the section is dedicated to subjects. The section also publishes two monthly providing leadership to the legal profession in electronic newsletters: Family Law Case Update protecting and advancing human rights, civil liber- features recent case decisions while eNewslet- ties and social justice. ter features upcoming continuing legal education In recent years, the section has focused conferences and telephone seminars; announce- on such fundamental constitutional concerns ments of section events, books, and awards; and as First Amendment free speech, the balance OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 5 between individual rights and national security and artistic works, scientific works, discoveries, protections, and discrimination based on gender, inventions, innovation, trade secrets, know-how race, disability, and sexual orientation. In 2007 and unfair competition. the section helped launch a student-led national The section has been influential in securing organization of law students with disabilities and legislation such as the Patent Act of 1952, the sponsored ABA policy that initiated the establish- Copyright Act of 1976, and the Trademark Dilu- ment of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orienta- tion Act of 1995. In recent years, at the recom- tion and Gender Identity. The section’s substan- mendation of the section, the ABA has adopted tive committees carry out much of its activity resolutions calling for ending the diversion of involving issues analysis and policy development. user fees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Committees include Civil Rights and Equal Op- Office, adoption by the United States of a first portunity, Criminal Justice, Death Penalty, Elder inventor- to-file system, clarification of the scope Rights, Environmental Justice, First Amendment of patentable subject matter, U.S. adherence to Rights, Health Rights and Bioethics, International the Madrid Protocol for International Registration Human Rights, Privacy and Information Protec- of Trademarks, and opposition to state exemp- tion, National Security and Civil Liberties, Native tion from liability for damages for private actions American Concerns, Public Education, Public brought under the U.S. patent, trademark and Interest Law, Rights of Children, Rights of Per- copyright laws. Recently the section has been sons with Disabilities, Rights of Women, Sexual actively working with Congress and others in the Orientation and Gender Identity, and National private sector to reform the U.S. patent laws Security and Civil Liberties. and to make recommendations to Congress on In 2001 the ABA Death Penalty Moratorium upcoming copyright-related bills and proposals. Implementation Project was established within the section to encourage bar involvement in INTERNATIONAL LAW moratoriums state by state. In 2008 the project The ABA Section of International Law, with a completed a comprehensive study of state death diverse membership of more than 23,000, has penalty systems across the United States. long been the home of leading experts in inter- Since 1987 the section’s AIDS Coordination national law, and it serves as the network for Project has carried out the work of the ABA AIDS those who practice in international settings. The Coordination Committee to serve as the core of section is the leader in advocacy for international the ABA’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In legal policy and the rule of law. 2008 the project launched the HIV Legal Check-up Since the section’s first overseas project in Initiative that provides diagnostic tools for lawyers 1986, assistance has been delivered to countries to identify and address the legal needs of people in every region of the world. The section’s Inter- living with HIV/AIDS. The section also houses national Legal Exchange Program, which seeks the ABA Center for Human Rights, a coordinating to promote a worldwide exchange of ideas and entity responsible for developing collaborative hu- programs, is integral to the section’s promotion man rights projects among other ABA partners. of the ABA’s Goal VIII. By organizing an annual briefing trip for legal professionals to one or more INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW foreign countries, the section fosters awareness The oldest substantive membership group within of the role of law and lawyers in other countries the ABA, and the largest intellectual property and ensures the strengthening of ties across organization in the world, since 1894 the Sec- the global legal community. In 2008, the ILEX tion of Intellectual Property Law has advanced program visited China, Korea and Japan; in 2007 the development and improvement of intellectual Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In 2009 the pro- property laws and their fair and just administra- gram is scheduling visits in India. In addition, for tion. The section keeps its members and the bar foreign lawyers with offers to receive legal training at the forefront of policy developments about in the United States, ILEX certifies their eligibility trademark, copyright and patent law issues that to receive the J-1 exchange program visa. may have profound effect on commerce, law and In December 1999, the ABA-UNDP Internation- society. It shares expert knowledge, balanced al Legal Resource Center was established based insight and reasoned commentary through advo- upon the common commitment of the ABA Sec- cacy and the work of more than 60 committees tion of International Law and the United Nations focusing on a full IP spectrum including patents, Development Programme to support and promote trademarks, copyright, industrial design, literary good governance and the rule of law around 6 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES the world. The ILRC provides a legal resource and finance. Practical information is available capability and service to UNDP global governance to members on issues including attracting projects supporting legal reform and democratic clients, retaining quality staff, keeping partners institution building. The ILRC has worked with happy, implementing technology, paying bills, more than 80 UNDP country and regional offices and collecting fees. The section helps members to provide recommendation of experts and legal prepare for the future, cope with an environment research assistance. Volunteers have contributed of new rules and constant change, and improve thousands of hours to projects through in-country their quality of life to better serve their clients. assignments, expert reviews of draft legislation, As one of the largest publishers within the ABA, and other means for providing legal information. Law Practice Management has more than 80 ti- The section produces a quarterly journal, tles in print covering such topics as setting fees The International Lawyer, a quarterly newsletter, and alternative billing methods; legal technology International Law News, and other publications on for lawyers; choosing, planning and managing a both the practice of international law and policy career in law; personal and practice marketing issues related to public international law. techniques; maintaining a solo practice; client development and management; and balancing LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW life and career. The Section of Labor and Employment Law is the In addition, the section publishes Law Practice legal profession’s most knowledgeable and influ- Magazine six times each year, and a monthly ential voice on matters involving labor-manage- webzine, Law Practice Today, containing special ment and employment relationships. Through its interest columns about new products, technology 18 substantive committees, the section provides advances, cultural changes in the legal environ- a forum for lawyers and other professionals to ment, and practice management trends. engage in substantive programming, exchange The section sponsors more than 100 edu- ideas, learn from each other, and test their cational programs annually, including monthly perspectives in an environment of civility, mutual CLE teleconferences, and ABA TECHSHOW®, respect and collegiality. Section members include the world’s largest legal technology conference leaders in this field of law, representing diverse and expo. ABA TECHSHOW® features more than viewpoints. Policymakers look upon the section 100 exhibitors, product showcase sessions for as a valuable source of balanced information and the latest advances in technology and training perspective on the expanding roster of labor and institutions on a variety of topics, more than 50 employment topics. Section work is driven by the educational sessions, and information about conviction to promote justice, human welfare, the continuing transformation of law practice workplace harmony, diversity, and recognition of through technology. Other conferences include the importance of the rule of law in labor and a Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference employment matters. and a Women Lawyers Mid-Career Conference, The Section of Labor and Employment Law is sponsored by the section’s ABA Women Rain- a leading provider of continuing legal education makers, providing programs, publications and programming and has authored a large selection other resources focused on business develop- of treatises and supplements for this field of ment, networking, and practice success for practice. Section members have the opportunity women lawyers. to participate in the drafting and editing of these publications, many of which are recognized as LEGAL EDUCATION AND ADMISSIONS the pre-eminent legal reference tools in labor TO THE BAR and employment law, and to be recognized for The Section of Legal Education and Admissions their contributions in the publications. Section to the Bar, created in 1893, was the first ABA members also can participate in presenting sub- section. Its mission is to be a creative national stantive training to federal court law clerks and force in providing leadership and services to government agency staff. those responsible for, and those who benefit from, a sound program of legal education and LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SECTION bar admissions, and to provide a fair, effective The ABA LPM section focuses on the business and efficient accrediting system for American law of practicing law and offers significant resources schools. The section’s Council and Accreditation in the four core areas of law practice manage- Committee are recognized by the U.S. Depart- ment— marketing, management, technology ment of Education as the national accrediting OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 7 agency for programs leading to the first profes- justice, children’s rights, diversity in the profes- sional degree in law. In this function, the council sion, human rights, mentoring and development and the section are independent of the ABA, as of new lawyers and the “vanishing trial.” required by DOE regulations. All state supreme Litigation provides tools and resources to courts recognize ABA-approved law schools as assist lawyers to be better litigators as they meeting the legal education requirements to serve their clients. Among the Section’s key CLE qualify for the bar examination. resources are the Sound Advice Audio Library To achieve its goals of improving the quality and Litigation podcasts, now available on the of legal education, character and fitness assess- website and iTunes. The book publishing arm is ments, and bar admission standards, the section active, with more than 60 titles; the Section also works closely with the Association of American publishes two highly respected and award-win- Law Schools, the Law School Admission Council, ning magazines – Litigation and Litigation News - the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the as well as numerous newsletters on substantive Conference of Chief Justices, the American Asso- issues facing litigators. ciation of Law Libraries, the National Association The Section annually recognizes a commit- for Law Placement, the Access Group, and other ment to diversity with its Diversity Leadership organizations interested in legal education. Award, acknowledges contributions of lawyers Published annually, the ABA Standards and through pro bono and public service with the Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Profes- sets forth the Standards and their Interpretations sionalism, and annually honors and recognizes that a law school must meet to obtain or retain individuals who have made special contributions ABA approval. The Official Guide to ABA-Approved in the area of human rights in a foreign jurisdic- Law Schools, produced jointly with LSAC, pres- tion with the International Human Rights Award. ents comprehensive information about the ABA- Through the Section, members are afforded approved law schools. Other section publications opportunities for growth, learning and networking include the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admis- through its professional communities. Its activi- sion Requirements, published in conjunction ties reflect and support the commitment of its with the National Conference of Bar Examiners; members to a strong, diverse and vibrant profes- Syllabus, a newsletter published electronically sion, a fair and accessible justice system, and four times a year, and the Annual Report of the the continuing obligation to achieve both through Consultant on Legal Education, which provides an a wide range of pro bono activities. overview of the section’s activities and accom- plishments for the previous year. PUBLIC CONTRACT LAW The section sponsors conferences for the The Section of Public Contract Law seeks to legal education community including workshops improve public procurement and grant law at the for deans, new deans, and associate deans; a federal, state and local levels, and to promote law school development conference, a facilities the professional development of lawyer and as- and technology conference, and a bar exam pas- sociate members in public procurement law. sage conference. The section offers substantive committees and educational and training programs that LITIGATION encourage member involvement, foster opportu- The ABA Section of Litigation, the largest section, nities for members, and recognizes the diverse represents about 68,000 lawyers, judges and needs, talents and interests of its member- others involved in all aspects of litigation and ship. The section uses its expertise to identify the dispute resolution process. It is the national developments in procurement legislation and voice for litigators and is the preeminent orga- regulations by objectively and fairly evaluating nization for trial lawyers, providing information such developments; communicating the sec- through its programs, publications, website and tion’s evaluations, critiques and concerns to special programs and projects. policy makers and government officials; and The section has long been a leader in advocat- sharing those communications with members ing for improvements in the justice system, with and the public. Composed of practitioners from dedicated study and programming on issues such industry, government, academia and the private as rule of law in times of disaster, e-discovery, the bar, the section provides a unique forum for the jury system, perceptions of the profession, the exchange of views. It strives to achieve balanced right to counsel in civil litigation and access to positions on the issues it addresses and to 8 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES maintain a balance in its council representation newsletter. The section sponsors CLE programs and within committees. on topics ranging from antitrust to deregulation In July 2000 the ABA approved the Revised to basic primers on telecommunications. Model Procurement Code, developed by the sec- tion in co-sponsorship with the Section of State REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW and Local Government Law. The original 1979 This section, one of the oldest and largest in the Code was adopted by approximately 15 states ABA, consists of two divisions, the Real Property and dozens of local jurisdictions across the Division and the Trust and Estate Division. country. The Revised Code adds features and The Real Property Division focuses on legal flexibility needed to meet the changing demands aspects of the ownership, use, development, of infrastructure development. In recent years, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and dispo- the section has produced a series of Procure- sition of real estate. ment Principles, approved by the ABA, that have The Trust and Estate Division is concerned guided the section’s comments on legislation with the ownership, disposition and taxation of and numerous proposed regulations at the fed- estates of decedents, people under disability and eral and state levels. missing persons; the methods, procedures and Section programs and publications cover a problems relating to the creation, administration, wide spectrum of topics and issues, including accounting, modification, reformation, revocation procurement reform; subcontracting, teaming and and termination of trusts and their distribution; other forms of business alliance; international the drafting of wills and trusts; estate and legal procurement; cost and pricing; financing; socio- and financial planning, including income, gift, es- economic issues; health care contracting; claims, tate, inheritance and generation-skipping tax plan- remedies and dispute resolution in general; fraud, ning for estates, trusts and individuals, both pre- waste and abuse; contract award disputes; “con- and post-death; employee benefits; life insurance; tracting out” for services historically performed probate and trust litigation; charitable giving and by government employees; special ethical issues charitable institutions; creditors’ rights; and plan- raised when doing business with the government; ning and probate problems of special groups. contracting under federal grants; and state and The section’s publications include the quar- local government procurements. Of particular terly Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, interest to the section are acquisition reforms which contains scholarly articles on real property currently being generated and future reforms an- and trust and estate topics, and other areas of ticipated as a result of the new administration. the law pertaining to its members’ interests; and the bimonthly Probate & Property magazine pro- PUBLIC UTILITY, COMMUNICATIONS AND viding practical, how-to-do-it articles and notes on TRANSPORTATION LAW current developments. The section has recently Established in 1917, the section’s original char- released a new bimonthly electronic publication, ter focused on intensely regulated industries and the RPTE eReport. The section has a single-title businesses. With the advent of deregulation in book program, offering more than 60 titles on all the transportation, communications and utility in- aspects of real property, probate and trust law dustries, the focus has shifted to how the current and estate planning. climate affects regulatory policy and business. The section sponsors educational programs The section examines common issues through and seminars, including the section’s spring CLE 20 substantive committees that deal with electric meeting, a two-day conference at which develop- power companies, aviation, gas, oil pipelines, ments in the field are presented. railroads, communications, cable television, and utilities. Issues that cut across the various SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LAW industries under the section’s purview, such as The Section of Science & Technology Law helps antitrust, corporate governance, infrastructure to define the legal frontiers of scientific discov- security and corporate finance, are explored by ery and technological innovation and shape the practice areas. The section’s membership related law and policy. Members with diverse reflects a broad spectrum from both private and backgrounds in areas such as computer law, public sectors, including law firms, major com- communications law, engineering, physics, biol- panies and government. The section publishes ogy and medicine work through three substan- a comprehensive annual report and semi-annual tive divisions and 27 committees to explore substantive reports in addition to a quarterly topics such as cleantech and climate change, OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 9 e-discovery and digital evidence, privacy and the proposed tax legislation and regulations, and Internet, scientific misconduct, the legal implica- provides technical comment and analysis to tax tions of the human genome, homeland security, policy makers. In its analysis of specific tax pro- biotechnology and the law, telecommunications posals, the section’s goal is to ensure that they law, nanotechnology, open source licensing of are equitable, easily understood and enforceable, software and scientific evidence. with the ultimate goal of a fair, efficient and work- The section publishes two quarterly periodi- able tax system. The section does not involve cals: The SciTech Lawyer, a magazine with practi- itself in the political aspects of tax policy, such cal timely articles, and the substantive journal as using tax incentives to stimulate the economy Jurimetrics. The section recently introduced a or shifting tax burdens among income classes, quarterly electronic newsletter, SciTech E-Merging but uses the expertise of section members to News, which features the most up-to-date prac- provide policy makers with technical information tice perspectives, industry news and updates on and analysis. section activities and opportunities. Additionally, The section provides high-quality continuing le- the section presents the newest research and gal education through its committees, which put work of its special committees in monographs together programs on topical issues for quarterly such as The Scientific Evidence Review Series meetings, monthly teleconferences and in peri- and quarterly publications such as Biotech Brief- odic seminars throughout the year. The section’s ing. The section also publishes, through its book committee projects address a wide variety of program, books on topics such as virtual law, issues, ranging from corporate and partnership cybercrime, e-discovery, science for lawyers and taxes, to individual income taxes, international information security. taxation, ethics concerns and many others. The section also sponsors the National Confer- Among recent section comments are those on ence of Lawyers and Scientists. This conference changes in the estate and gift tax, funding for group is composed of members from the Ameri- Low Income Taxpayer Clinics, and the tax compli- can Association for the Advancement of overview ance of pension plans. Science and the section. NCLS is involved in a The section also carries out a number of variety of activities surrounding the complex rela- special projects meant to assist taxpayers, tionships between law, science and society. particularly those in underserved communities and those with financial need. It regularly trains STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW members on issues that may arise when assist- The section serves as a collegial forum for mem- ing low-income taxpayers, encourages participa- bers, the profession and the public, in providing tion in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance centers leadership and educational resources on state and in U.S. Tax Court Calendar Calls, , and and local government law and policy. The State awards two-year Public Service Fellowships to and Local Law News newsletter, ENewsletter recent law school graduates who pledge to work and special publications are available to section in tax-related public service. Finally, the section’s members. The newsletter relates member, com- consumer Web site, http://www.taxtips4u.org, mittee and section activities. The E-Newsletter includes important tax information and updates is a 60-second update on what’s happening in for taxpayers. state and local government law. The Urban Law- yer, a scholarly journal published quarterly, keeps TORT TRIAL & INSURANCE PRACTICE members informed on developments in the field The only professional group in the country uniting through articles, comments on recent cases and plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate coun- statutes and book reviews. The section’s com- sel to advance the civil justice system, the Tort mittees provide a forum for exchange of ideas Trial & Insurance Practice Section is one of the and knowledge, offering a vehicle for state and most wide-ranging sections in the ABA. TIPS has local government lawyers to work together on 32 general committees that focus on substantive issues of mutual concern. and procedural matters in areas including health and disability law, fidelity and surety law, medical TAXATION malpractice, transportation law and others. Mem- The section provides leadership and education bers can also acquire skills in practice methods in the complex, ever-changing world of tax law. in a number of committees ranging from appel- Through its more than 40 substantive com- late advocacy to trial techniques to alternate mittees, the section examines and evaluates dispute resolution. 10 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES TIPS provides its more than 30,000 members the year. National and regional programs cover with three quarterly publications. The Brief, the topics such as class action litigation, corporate section’s magazine, reports on new issues and governance, aviation litigation, trial techniques, trends, and includes a “Practice TIPS” section animal law, insurance coverage and automobile offering practical articles by legal experts on prac- law. TIPS is the only section that sponsors a tice methods. Tort Trial and Insurance Law Journal National Trial Academy, an intense program held contains in-depth articles about new legal develop- annually, where students receiving training from ments. It is the most widely recognized law review some of the top plaintiff and defense lawyers in in the field. A quarterly publication, TortSource, the the country. section’s newsletter, highlights current tort trial and The section has been at the forefront of many insurance issues and includes technology updates, policy issues considered by the ABA, including as- practice tips, young lawyer information and a host bestos, contingent fees in medical liability litiga- of unique columns. E-TIPS News, an electronic tion, product liability, federal involvement in insur- newsletter, is sent monthly to section members ance regulation modernization, health courts and and highlights many of the most current section disaster insurance. The section is also involved activities. TIPS also publishes books and conducts in a number of public service projects and has teleconferences on a wide range of topics. introduced a “leadership academy” that focuses More than 50 in-depth continuing legal educa- on diversity and the development of leadership in tion programs are conducted by TIPS throughout our communities and in the legal profession. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 11 DIVISIONS GENERAL PRACTICE, SOLO AND SMALL magazine, The Public Lawyer, provides the FIRM DIVISION latest information on complex issues such as The General Practice, Solo and Small firm Divi- government attorney–client privilege, the hiring sion (GPSolo) is the only ABA entity working of private outside counsel, politically-motivated exclusively for solo and small firm practitioners. dismissals and restrictions on pro bono work. To succeed and stay competitive as a solo, small Created to provide benefits and services for firm or general practitioner, GPSolo provides military lawyers, the Military Lawyers Conference timely programs, publications and resources that publishes Reveille, offering the latest military law deliver information in everything from law prac- news. The division presents three annual awards tice management to such substantive legal spe- to an exceptional public law office and to out- cialties as business law, litigation, real property, standing public lawyers, providing an opportunity estate planning and family law. GPSolo offers to recognize the extraordinary achievements of outstanding Continuing Legal Education (CLE) public lawyers and to help the public gain a better programs and teleconferences. understanding and appreciation of their vital work. The Division meets four times a year: Divi- In addition to its Web-based Public Lawyer sion Fall Meeting/National Solo and Small Firm Career Center, the division presents public lawyer Conference in October: ABA Midyear Meeting in career panel programs at law schools across the February: Division Spring Meeting in May; and country, providing information about various pub- ABA Annual Meeting in August. GPSolo provides lic sector jobs, practical advice about securing additional information through special-interest positions and general job-hunting tips. The divi- listservs such as SoloSez, useful electronic sion’s pro bono Web page features a step-by-step newsletters, practical books loaded with how-to guide to creating a government office pro bono information and sample forms for easy use and program, sample policies and relevant articles. online legal resources. LAW STUDENT DIVISION GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR With more than 50,000 members, the Law Stu- LAWYERS DIVISION dent Division is the largest professional student The mission of the Government and Public Sector organization in the country. The division repre- Lawyers Division is to deliver relevant, practical sents law students and their interests and helps information and programs of specific interest shape the policies and priorities that affect legal to public lawyers The members-only Public Law education. The division offers leadership training, Office Management page offers resources on public service opportunities, educational pro- improving communication with clients, obtaining gramming and competitions. grants for office programs, supervising employ- One of the benefits of membership is the ees and mentoring programs. opportunity to participate in one or more of its The division’s quarterly newsletter, Pass It On, four nationally recognized competitions: arbitra- reports on division activity and carries pieces tion, client counseling, national appellate ad- on topics such as transitioning to private prac- vocacy and negotiation. The competitions help tice, determining who is the government law- students develop legal writing and reasoning yer’s client and tips on litigation. The division’s skills, encourage creative approaches to legal 12 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES problems, assist students in recognizing ethical summarizes articles of interest to elder law prac- and legal issues that confront lawyers and their titioners and provides links to relevant national clients, and foster legal professionalism. More and local news stories. The newsletter Voice of than 3,600 ABA law student and lawyer members Experience covers the business of the division participate in the competitions each year. and promotes member benefits such as travel The division publishes the award-winning Stu- and leisure programs and continuing legal educa- dent Lawyer, the only national magazine published tion. The newsletter also features short articles exclusively for law students. Along with feature with useful tips for practicing senior lawyers articles on novel and controversial legal issues, and elder law attorneys on topics such as elder Student Lawyer provides helpful columns on abuse, joint tenancy questions, guardianship, financial assistance, effective writing, and transi- and revocable trusts, among others. tioning from law student to lawyer. Additionally, the division publishes a career series that includes YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION updated editions of Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers; The Young Lawyers Division is the home for The Legal Career Guide: From Law Student to Law- young lawyers. Composed of more than 150,000 yer; and How to Start and Build a Law Practice. members and 300 affiliated young lawyer groups, The division is also committed to public inter- the division is committed to providing the profes- est work designed to benefit the community and sion with the young lawyer voice, ensuring that it enhance the image of the profession. The divi- reflects the society it serves, and providing young sion encourages and assists law schools in their lawyers with the tools and opportunities for pro- public service programming efforts by providing fessional and personal success. program ideas and offering financial assistance The division helps young lawyers navigate for new programs. “Work-A-Day,” a nationwide the profession and ABA with tools like the New public service project, encourages all law schools Lawyer Roadmap. The YLD also produces con- to donate one Saturday each year during which tent in various formats. These include The Young students volunteer in the community. Through its Lawyer, a members-only newsletter focused on grant program, the division provides seed money quality-of-life and practice area issues; 101 Prac- and programming support to law school orga- tice Series: Breaking Down the Basics book and nizations that develop public service projects, Web site, featuring new lawyer insights; YLDirect, diversity, ethics, and professionalism program- a bi-monthly teleconference series allowing ming, preferably in conjunction with state and participants to ask questions of related experts; local bar associations. Through such partner- and the e-Affiliate, a regular electronic publica- ships, students begin relationships and become tion articulating the news and activities of young familiar with many organizations in which they will lawyer groups from around the world. be active upon admission to the bar. The YLD adjusts its featured public service project annually and continues to maintain the SENIOR LAWYERS DIVISION ABA’s Disaster Legal Services Program. Through The Senior Lawyers Division addresses both the the DLS program, the division and the Federal interests of lawyers who have been admitted to Emergency Management Agency provide immedi- the bar for at least 25 years and lawyers of any ate and temporary legal assistance to disaster age who are engaged in the practice of elder law. victims at no charge. The division is an excellent resource for lawyers YLD membership is automatic for ABA mem- interested in the growing field of “elder law.” Small bers under the age of 36 or admitted to their first firm practitioners looking to expand their practices United States bar within the last five years. The can benefit from developing expertise in this area, division’s Web site is www.abanet.org/yld. not only to attract older clients who require assis- tance, but also to reach adult children of parents who need assistance with advance health direc- tives and contracts for assisted living or long term care facilities, among many other issues. The division publishes Experience magazine that features a wide variety of topics including financial planning, second careers and practice management, historical articles and memoirs. A monthly electronic publication, Elder Law ENews, OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 13 FORUMS AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY of up-to-date, carefully researched professional DEVELOPMENT LAW commentary on current issues in aviation and This forum deals with legal problems relating to space law. The forum now provides the newslet- affordable housing and community development, ter on-line to members. including housing finance (bond financing, equity syndications, financial institutions and govern- COMMUNICATIONS LAW ment assistance), tax credits, public housing, The Forum on Communications Law, created in nonprofit organizations, housing of the homeless 1979, is governed by a 13-member governing and elderly, state and local land use and zoning, committee. The forum focuses on all aspects fair housing and tenant rights, and economic of communications law, including newspapers, development. It holds two or more conferences broadcasting (radio and television), cable, maga- each year and publishes a quarterly journal. It is zine and book publishing, common carrier (includ- managed by a 14-member governing committee. ing satellite and other new technology) and the Opportunities for specialty projects and network- Internet. It holds two or more conferences a year, ing are provided by 5 practice committees. and publishes The Communications Lawyer, a quarterly newsletter, and the Journal of Interna- AIR AND SPACE LAW tional Media and Entertainment Law. The Forum on Air and Space Law, with a mem- bership of about 1,500 members, focuses on CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY the legal, regulatory, and policy issues that arise The Forum on the Construction Industry is the in the air transportation and commercial space largest organization of construction lawyers in industries. Forum membership is primarily com- the United States and abroad. Its more than posed of aviation and space lawyers from both 6,000 members are drawn from all areas of the public and private sectors. They represent practice: large law firms, small firms, solo prac- government agencies, including the Department titioners, government lawyers and corporate in- of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Adminis- house counsel. It publishes an annual member- tration and the National Aeronautics and Space ship directory; a newsletter, Under Construction, Administration, as well as airlines, aerospace three times a year; and a quarterly journal, The manufacturers and service providers, travel Construction Lawyer. distribution companies, travel agencies, tour The forum has 12 divisions: Dispute Avoid- operators, airports, the financial and insurance ance and Resolution; Contract Documents; communities, and business and general aviation Design; Project Delivery Systems; Contract Nego- interests. The forum holds a one-day legislative tiations; Performance & Administration; Employ- and regulatory Update Conference each year in ment Law & Labor Relations; Insurance; Surety & the spring. The high quality of these gatherings, Liens; International Contracting; Specialty Trade with their educational programs and workshops, Contractors & Suppliers; Legislation & Environ- is widely acknowledged by practitioners. ment; Corporate Counsel; and Owners & Lenders. Rather than a conventional newsletter, the The forum holds three national educational forum publishes a substantive law journal, The programs each year—Annual, Midwinter and Fall. Air and Space Lawyer, a uniquely valuable source The forum’s Annual Meeting is held in April or 14 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES May each year and is moved around the coun- fields, and to foster excellence in the practice of try to encourage membership attendance. It is law in these fields. The forum is governed by a typically a two-day meeting with a substantive seven-member governing committee. Because of educational program, including plenary sessions, the diverse subjects covered by the forum, the workshops, division breakfasts and “Construc- governing committee created the following divi- tion Cues,” short programs on cutting edge sions for members: Interactive Media and New construction law topics. The forum’s Midwinter Technologies; Literary Publishing; Litigation; Mer- Program has historically met for one day in Janu- chandising and Licensing: Motion Pictures, Televi- ary of each year in New York or San Francisco sion, Cable, and Radio; Music and Personal Ap- in conjunction with the TIPS Fidelity and Surety pearance; Sports, Theater and Performing Arts: Law Committee. The forum’s Fall Program is held and Visual Arts. The forum publishers a quarterly in October each year and is typically a one-and- newsletter, The Entertainment and Sports Lawyer. a-half-day program including plenary sessions Its annual meeting is held in October. and a few division meetings. The forum holds a regional program each November simultaneously FRANCHISING in five or more cities and presents four telecon- The Forum on Franchising provides high quality ferences throughout the year. educational programs and publications on the The forum is committed to the ABA’s Goal IX, legal aspects of franchising. The forum holds an and the Governing Committee has taken steps to annual conference each October that is attended diversify forum membership and governance, in- by more than 800 franchise law lawyers across cluding outreach efforts to minority and women’s the country. The forum publishes a quarterly bar association and to state and local bar asso- journal and newsletter, a member directory and ciations, and has awarded three-year fellowships a series of monographs, including The Corpo- to deserving women and minority construction rate Compliance Manual, International Franchise lawyers as an additional means of outreach. Sales Laws and Fundamentals of Franchising. The forum has three divisions which include Corporate ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS Counsel, Litigation and Dispute Resolution and INDUSTRIES International Franchise Distribution. The forum is The forum’s mission is to educate lawyers in committed to increasing the pathways to leader- the legal principles and transactional aspects of ship for young lawyers and diverse members. entertainment and sports law; to provide a plat- All forum members, including the chair, must be form for the discussion of issues affecting these members of the association and one section. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 15 COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS AND OTHER ENTITIES Committees and commissions are created by ARMED FORCES LAW resolution of the House of Delegates defining The Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law their powers and duties. studies and makes recommendations on the ad- Standing committees, with continuing assign- ministration of laws, regulations and practices in ments, are created within the association’s bylaws. the armed forces and the court-martial system; A standing committee’s members are appointed the protection of the legal rights and constitu- by the president and serve three-year terms. tional guarantees of the personnel in the armed Special committees, commissions, task forces; and the ability of lawyers and judges in forces, coordinating groups and other entities the armed forces to practice in conformity with investigate and study immediate or non-recurring all applicable ABA standards. In addition to its matters relating to the purposes or business of unique role within the ABA of conducting ongo- the Association. Unless continued by the House ing studies and recommendations on military of Delegates, these groups terminate upon the substantive law and practice, the committee also adjournment of the first Annual Meeting after fills a broad role of bringing the association, and their creation. its goals and objectives, to the military legal com- A special committee consists of at least five as- munity through its outreach efforts. sociation members unless the resolution creating The committee addresses its substantive it provides for a different number. Each member is agenda at four meetings per year. The spring and appointed for a term of one association year. fall meetings are at military bases, which allow The number of members of a commission is the committee to reach out to younger military designated by the resolution creating it. A major- practitioners. The meetings in conjunction with ity of the members, including the chair, must be the ABA Midyear and Annual meetings allow the members of the association. committee to meet with and receive the views Space precludes describing the activities of of the senior attorney leadership with the five every group. Following is a sample of some of armed forces’ and within the Department of De- them to indicate the wide range of association fense. The committee most recently considered activities. issues such as sexual harassment and assault cases in the armed forces, the armed forces’ AMICUS CURIAE BRIEFS response to media in high profile cases, military This standing committee recommends whether commissions, law student debt and its deleteri- the ABA should file an amicus brief in a particu- ous effect on retention of career judge advo- lar case, and certifies to the Board of Governors cates, and appellate advocacy training for JAGs. that a proposed brief is of high professional qual- ity and a fair representation of the policy position BIOETHICS AND THE LAW of the association. Information on association This special committee, composed of repre- policies with respect to filing briefs, and briefs sentatives from 16 association entities with filed in the name of the American Bar Associa- an interest in bioethics and the law and four tion dating back to 1998 can be accessed from at-large members who are experts in the field, the association’s Web site at http://www.abanet. fosters communication, coordination and part- org/amicus/. nerships within the ABA. It provides a forum for 16 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES discussion, a focal point for inquiries from both on Professional Conduct, a comprehensive ABA entities and outside organizations, and multi-volume reference and notification dissemination of information on key association service on legal ethics and professional contacts, programs and activities. The group responsibility law. publishes the ABA Bioethics Bulletin, an annual y Resources, technical assistance and directory of ABA groups addressing bioethics on-site consultation services to state issues, and a guide to bioethics programs at ABA and federal courts, bar associations and annual meetings. regulatory agencies engaged in implement- ing and interpreting ABA policies on lawyer CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL and judicial regulation, client protection, RESPONSIBILITY professionalism and professional responsi- The Center for Professional Responsibility bility law. provides national leadership in developing and y Development of the annual National Con- interpreting legal policy and scholarly resources ference on Professional Responsibility and in legal and judicial ethics, professional and the National Forum on Client Protection. judicial regulation, competence, professionalism y ETHICSearch research, which provides law- and client protection mechanisms. Its coordinat- yers, judges and other legal professionals ing council facilitates collective activity among information and citations to relevant ABA the center’s leadership and provides an opportu- policies and rules, ethics opinions, and nity for in-depth strategic discussions on pending other ethics resources. policies before the House of Delegates and other important national initiatives. The center includes DEATH PENALTY REPRESENTATION standing committees of the association as well PROJECT as center committees. More than 3,300 people are on death row Responsibilities of these committees include: in our nation’s prisons. Hundreds of prison- y Publication of the Survey of Lawyers’ Funds ers face execution without a lawyer to handle for Client Protection that provides informa- their appeals. Without a lawyer, these indigent tion on client protection activities, including defendants have no realistic chance of challeng- new rule implementation, fund manage- ing their convictions and death sentences, even ment, funding sources, reimbursement though obvious and profound errors may have awards, claims experience and procedures, occurred during trial. The Death Penalty Repre- public information, loss prevention activi- sentation Project was created almost 25 years ties and records management information. ago to address this very serious problem in the y Development and interpretation of model criminal justice system. national ethics standards, including the The Project has successfully recruited and ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct trained hundreds of large and mid-size law firms and Model Code of Judicial Conduct. to represent death row prisoners as pro bono y Publication of the annual Survey on Law- counsel. Additional matters, such as direct ap- yer Discipline, with statistics on staffing, peals, certiorari petitions, US Supreme Court funding, caseloads, and sanctions of state amicus briefs, and clemency petitions have been disciplinary agencies, and the Directory of handled by other firms. Lawyer Disciplinary Agencies. The Project does not take a position on the y Response to requests for ethics opinions death penalty itself; its mission is to ensure from lawyers and judges, state and local that competent lawyers with adequate resources ethics committees, judicial conduct organi- are available to all those sentenced to death. zations and others. In recent years, 139 people have been released y Education about, assistance to initiatives from death row with evidence of their innocence; addressing, and recommendation of poli- hundreds of other death sentences have been cies related to legal ethics, professional overturned because of serious constitutional er- regulation, professionalism, competence rors. Providing good lawyers to all those facing a and advertising issues. potential death sentence is an essential part of y Publication of The Professional Lawyer, a ensuring justice. newsmagazine about key ethics issues, The Project’s systemic reform work includes professionalism and lawyer regulation is- leading a nation-wide effort to implement the sues; and the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual revised Guidelines for the Performance and OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 17 Appointment of Defense Counsel in Death cases, statutes and ethics opinions on Penalty Cases. The Guidelines, approved by these issues. the ABA in 2003, identify the responsibilities of y To research and identify the scope, dynam- death penalty jurisdictions and provide critical ics and impact of the unmet legal needs of guidance to defenders about what they must do moderate-income people. in every case to ensure delivery of high quality legal representation. The Project works closely DOMESTIC VIOLENCE with members of the judiciary, state bar associa- The Commission on Domestic Violence is a tions, and capital defenders to implement the nationally recognized leader on increasing ac- Guidelines and other reforms which will improve cess to justice for domestic violence victims capital representation. The Guidelines are now through mobilization of the legal community. The widely accepted and cited by state and federal Commission serves as the only domestic vio- courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as the lence advocacy entity that trains attorneys and national standard of care. focuses on maintaining best possible standards for representation of domestic violence victims. DELIVERY OF LEGAL SERVICES The Commission provides effective, interactive The mission of the Standing Committee on the training, individualized technical assistance and Delivery of Legal Services is to maximize access advocates for policies critical to ensure safe, ef- to legal services and justice for moderate- income fective legal assistance for victims. people, those who do not qualify for legal aid, yet The commission’s innovative projects include: cannot afford traditional civil legal services. This y Training programs: The Commission, with mission is pursued through four goals: support from the U.S. Department of y To create an environment in the legal Justice, hosts national training institutes, community cognizant of meeting the legal teleconferences and other continuing legal needs of moderate-income people, and education programming on such topics as encourage the ABA, other bar associations “Domestic Violence 101,” litigation skills and legal groups to actively respond to the in custody cases, civil protection order unmet legal needs of this population. Mem- cases, immigration law and elder abuse. bers of the committee and its advisory These interactive trainings are among the council frequently make presentations and best offered to attorneys working with participate at programs on unbundled legal victims of domestic violence. services, uses of technology for e-lawyering y International projects: The Commission and other innovations in the delivery of presents to foreign delegates and hosts legal services; international fellows to develop improved y To identify, evaluate and advance innovative legal response to gender based violence and exemplary models and develop mecha- globally. Commission staff provides training nisms designed to meet the legal needs throughout Latin America and the Carib- of moderate-income persons within the bean on Violence against Women. marketplace of legal commerce. The com- y The National Domestic Violence Pro Bono mittee presents the Louis M. Brown Award Directory hosts vetted entities that provide for Legal Access to an innovative and ef- for Responsible Representation through fective delivery model each year at the ABA training, supervision and mentorship of pro Midyear Meeting. It also provides online bono attorneys. Volunteer lawyers can find a technical assistance for models under its myriad of pro bono opportunities nationally. Blueprints Project. y Tool for Attorneys to Screen for Domestic y To identify policies, rules and laws that Violence provides screening guidelines for have an impact on access to legal services lawyers, help for non-disclosing clients and for those of moderate income; develop a safety planning checklist. Domestic Vio- and advance those policies, rules and laws lence clients exist in all practice areas and that create improved access to meet legal the Tool assists in screening to help ensure needs; and identify, debate and challenge the safety of both clients and lawyers. policies, rules and laws that create barri- y The Commission hosts and moderates ers to meeting legal needs. The committee multiple listservs for litigators representing maintains on online Pro Se/Unbundling victims of domestic violence, policy experts Resource Center linking to articles, reports, on the reauthorization of the Violence 18 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES Against Women Act and our newest for law educational monographs and transcripts of con- professors who teach domestic violence ference proceedings on some of these topics. In courses. 2008, the standing committee, along with other y Publications: Employment Law and Domes- ABA entities, developed a new Web site, www. tic Violence: A Practitioners Guide, Judicial abavoteinfo.org, which provides information on Checklist, The Impact of Domestic Vio- how and where to vote, and encourages the bar lence on Your Legal Practice – A Lawyer’s to participate in a nonpartisan manner. Handbook, and Teach Your Students Well: Incorporating Domestic Violence Into Law ENVIRONMENTAL LAW School Curricula. The Standing Committee on Environmental Law facilitates communication and coordination in ELECTION LAW ABA environmental law activities, carries out This Standing Committee was created to develop environmental law projects, and develops and ways to improve the federal election process. stimulates ABA policy-making. The committee has studied and referred to the The committee annually produces a directory ABA House of Delegates numerous recommen- of nearly 100 ABA environmental law and CLE dations that have been adopted as association entities and a comprehensive booklet setting out policy, including urging full disclosure of certain environmental programming and policy-making campaign contributions and expenditures; the planned for the ABA Annual Meeting. A listserv imposition of reasonable limits on contributions for ABA members who are environmental lawyers and the administration of federal election laws features reports on association environmental by one independent agency; support for enact- law activities and an on-line discussion group en- ment of fair election laws; urging appointment of ables members to share information, ideas and a presidential commission to study the decline in questions. Committee-sponsored coordinating voter participation; supporting simplification and meetings during the year enable interested ABA streamlining of federal laws governing absentee entities to discuss their plans and to arrange voting; supporting single-member congressional joint undertakings. districting; urging extension of the Voting Rights The committee convenes an annual confer- Act of 1965, as amended; supporting “motor ence that addresses emerging environmental voter” legislation and youth “citizenship” educa- law and policy issues such as climate change, tion programs; and encouraging fair and open environmental justice, sustainable development, redistricting procedures. “smart growth,” responses to terrorism, drivers The committee sponsored a recommenda- for change in environmental law, the state of the tion, now ABA policy, to ensure the integrity and oceans, sustainable/renewable energy, and long- efficiency of the electoral process by providing term chemicals regulation issues. for a “paper trail” for cast votes. The commit- The committee also conducts international tee also developed a Voter Rights and Respon- law and policy conferences, which recently have sibilities Card, which is distributed throughout addressed environmental and trade law develop- the year. Most recently, the House adopted two ments in the Americas, and Pacific Rim envi- recommendations, sponsored by the standing ronmental, trade and policy enforcement. The committee, which outline election administration committee currently is laying the groundwork for guidelines, such as voter education, rights and a conference in 2011 with the London School responsibilities; registration; early and Election of Economics. Day voting; provisional ballots; and encourage The committee works on sustainable develop- participation by members of the legal profession ment, including a policy-making and implementa- as poll workers. tion proposal to promote sustainable develop- In addition to development of association ment, adopted by the ABA in August 2003, and a policy, the committee has contributed numerous Web site for “The High-Performance Law Office” substantive studies through sponsorship of na- that provides guidance on reducing waste and tional conferences on issues such as campaign improving energy efficiency in office operations, finance, the Electoral College, the presidential dispels myths about resource conservation, selection process, the vice-presidency, use of features examples of office savings, and offers a technology in campaigns, the Voting Rights Act, resource list for assistance and information. redistricting, voter participation and the Federal The committee bestows an annual ABA Award Election Commission. The committee offers for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 19 Law and Policy, recognizing one individual and services by distributing informational materials to one organization for significant accomplishments lawyers, plan sponsors and legal service con- in the field. sumers. Information is also available through the The committee has overseen association-wide Internet at www.abanet.org/pls. working groups in developing policy positions for API Newsbriefs, a monthly four-page news- the ABA, including on reauthorization of “Super- letter, reports on state and federal regulatory fund”; Brownfields redevelopment; and the rule developments, features articles on members of the law and the environment. Other ABA policy and developments in the industry, as well as positions developed by the committee encourage news and events. The API also publishes its public participation in environmental decision- annual directory – Who’s Who in Prepaid Legal making; environmental justice; environmental Service – that is used by all segments of the management systems, sustainable development, industry to make contacts and referrals. Its oceans preservation, and wise management of Prepaid Legal Services Regulation Reporter, a ecosystems services. 1,200-page four-volume set, updated quarterly, contains statutes, insurance department sum- FEDERAL JUDICIARY maries, pertinent sections of lawyer’s ethics For over half a century, the standing committee codes and resource data on each of the states, has evaluated and reported on the professional the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, plus a qualifications of persons nominated for federal special section on federal law, model legislation judicial appointments. The purpose of the evalu- and significant court decisions. ation is to provide an objective peer evaluation The standing committee and API also sponsor of a nominee’s professional qualifications to an annual Educational Conference and smaller serve on the federal bench. The ABA committee half-day regional conferences to provide updates restricts its review to issues bearing on integrity, and practice tips to the lawyers, plan administra- professional competence and judicial tempera- tors and plan trustees in the Group and Prepaid ment. In making its evaluation, the committee Legal Services industry. In partnership with API serves as a conduit for the views of the legal the standing committee has created an on-line community on candidates. The committee’s stan- Universal Application with five group legal ser- dards and procedures are structured to ensure vices plans in a pilot project to allow attorneys that the evaluation is thorough, objective and fair. to apply to all five plans with one application. Detailed information on the committee’s proce- dures, a roster of its members, recent evalua- HOMELESSNESS AND POVERTY tions and recent testimony on behalf of the com- The Commission on Homelessness and Pov- mittee are available on the committee Web site, erty educates the bar and the public about the http://www.abanet.org/scfedjud/home.html. special legal problems of people experiencing homelessness and poverty. The commission GROUP AND PREPAID LEGAL SERVICES provides technical assistance to pro bono This standing committee, through its involve- initiatives, hosts free training programs, and ment in and oversight of the American Prepaid publishes educational resources in accordance Legal Services Institute, undertakes educational with its mission of training lawyers to provide pro programs, legislative efforts and related activities bono legal assistance to homeless and near- intended to contribute to the continuing expan- homeless people. sion of the legal service plan concept. The commission has a history of supporting The API is continuing its effort to have the initiatives and legislation concerning homeless exemption for employer contributions to legal and impoverished people, including policy in service benefit plans – Section 120 of the Inter- support of an increase in the availability of af- nal Revenue Code – reenacted. During the 110th fordable transitional and permanent housing, as Congress, the API was successful in having mea- well as policy in support of access to justice and sures introduced in both the U.S. Senate and legal aid for indigent people. The commission House of Representatives with bipartisan sup- collaborates with the ABA Governmental Affairs port. In addition, the measure was included in Office to monitor legislative activity on legal ser- several versions of extender packages and as an vices for the poor, welfare and related benefits, amendment to one of the mortgage foreclosure low-income housing, the digital divide, predatory bills in the Senate. The API serves as a primary lending and other similar issues, and to respond source for information on group and prepaid legal as necessary. 20 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES One of the commission’s primary initiatives Project of San Diego. The projects provide pro is to facilitate the creation of homeless courts. bono legal services to adults and children seek- The commission hosted a national conference ing asylum or other forms of relief before the in 2004 and sponsored two policy recommenda- immigration courts. The commission’s Detention tions related to homeless courts in addition to Standards Implementation Initiative works to im- publishing a number of manuals and resources prove immigration detention conditions by coor- related to the innovative program. The commis- dinating visits to detention facilities and commu- sion provides technical assistance to emerg- nicating with detained immigrants. Through the ing homeless courts, including those held at commission, the ABA has also filed amicus briefs Stand Down events for homeless veterans. The in major immigration cases, including: Lopez v. commission drafts publications and resource Gonzales, Benitez v. Mata, and DeMore v. Kim. materials to equip lawyers to advocate on behalf of homeless and impoverished people. Lawyers INTEREST ON LAWYER’S TRUST Working to End Homelessness is a compilation ACCOUNTS of essays and articles intended to inspire and This commission is charged with collecting, main- guide readers to use their legal expertise to taining, analyzing and disseminating information address homelessness in their communities. on programs involving the use of interest on law- Written by lawyers from all areas of practice yer trust accounts to support law related public the guide is a valuable source of thoughts, service activities. The commission works with ideas and suggestions for lawyers interested IOLTA programs in all jurisdictions and supports in using their talents to benefit the most vulner- the IOLTA Clearinghouse, which provides informa- able population. tion, materials, training and technical assistance on IOLTA program design and operation. IMMIGRATION The commission also assists IOLTA programs The ABA supports fair treatment and full due in their efforts to enhance IOLTA income, in- process rights for immigrants and refugees, and cluding converting voluntary IOLTA programs to a regulated, safe immigration system that ad- mandatory ones and seeking comparable inter- dresses the value of family reunification and the est rates for funds held in IOLTA accounts. All 50 need for immigrant labor and provides meaning- states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin ful administrative and judicial review. Islands have established IOLTA programs. These The ABA is concerned about the erosion of programs have contributed millions of dollars due process safeguards, the growing reliance on to programs that provide legal services for the immigration detention, and the lack of access to poor, promote knowledge and awareness of the legal information and counsel for individuals in law, and improve the administration of justice. immigration proceedings, particularly unaccom- In 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that panied immigrant children. The ABA supports pro- under Texas law, interest earned on client funds grams for undocumented workers and necessary held in IOLTA accounts is the client’s property. future workers that include a path to permanent The Court remanded the questions of whether residence, security checks, and protections for Texas had “taken” client property, and the U.S. workers. The ABA also supports avenues for amount of “just compensation,” if any, that might lawful immigration status for victims of trafficking have been due clients. In 2002 those remaining and other crimes, and for persons who entered questions were before the Court in a case that as minors and have significant ties to the United challenged the constitutionality of the applica- States. In addition, the association supports the tion of the Washington State IOLTA program to establishment of laws and policies that ensure limited practice officers – nonlawyers authorized optimum access to legal protection for refugees, by the Supreme Court of Washington to practice asylum seekers, torture victims, and others de- law for the limited purpose of real estate clos- serving of humanitarian refuge, opposes detain- ings. On March 26, 2003, the Court issued its ing persons in immigration proceedings except in decision in Brown v. Legal Foundation of Wash- extraordinary circumstances, and advocates the ington, upholding the constitutionality of IOLTA use of alternatives to detention. under the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth The Commission on Immigration administers Amendment. The ABA, thorough the commission, the Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project in filed seven amicus briefs in support of IOLTA at south Texas, Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant various stages of the proceedings in the Texas Justice in Seattle, and the Immigration Justice and Washington cases. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 21 JUSTICE CENTER and expand knowledge about the justice sys- The ABA Justice Center draws upon the re- tem. The division is the home for judges within sources of ABA entities that focus on the judicial the ABA. It promotes judicial integrity, provides branch to promote improvement of the admin- public education, and helps build public trust istration of justice, encourage bench, bar and and confidence in the judiciary and the justice public collaboration, and enhance the efficiency system. Membership in the division includes of the justice system. The entities of the Jus- complimentary affiliation with one of six confer- tice Center are the Coalition for Justice, Judicial ences: Appellate Judge Conference, Lawyers Division, Standing Committee on Federal Judi- Conference, National Conference of the Admin- cial Improvement, and the Standing Committee istrative Law Judiciary, National Conference of on Judicial Independence. The Justice Center’s Federal Trial Judges, National Conference of Spe- annual John Marshall Award recognizes persons cialized Court Judges and National Conference who have made a national impact on judicial of State Trial Judges. Through these six confer- independence, justice system reform, and public ences, division members work to assure that the awareness about the justice system. justice system provides dues process, is avail- Coalition for Justice – The Coalition for Justice able and open to all, and serves in a fair and focuses on building public trust and confidence impartial way. The division partners with other in the justice system – and in the profession – Justice Center and ABA entities on projects and through partnerships with the public in justice programs that focus on the judicial branch and reform. The major activities of the coalition in- the improvement of the administration of justice, clude reaching out to more than 100 non-lawyer such as the Least Understood Branch Project organizations nationwide to partner in justice and the ABA World Justice Project. Learn more improvement activities; and fostering community about the Judicial Division and its programs and discussions on justice improvement using the initiatives at www.abanet.org/jd. National Issues Forum Programs. In partnership Standing Committee on Federal Judicial with the Kettering Foundation the coalition has Improvements – The committee, which studies produced several National Issues Forum (NIF) and makes recommendations for improving the Programs on topics including the separation of federal judicial system, is the only entity in the powers (Under Pressure, How Can We Keep the ABA dedicated entirely to the substantive issues Courts Fair and Impartial), the American jury affecting the federal judiciary. The committee (Reaching a Verdict) What Do We Want for the is focusing its efforts on issues of immigration, American Jury System? and Ensuring Public Trust federal judicial nominations, federal judicial and Confidence in the Justice System (And Justice compensation, court stripping and court funding. for All). The coalition has also recently produced In 2007, the committee established an Academic a continuing legal education program entitled, Advisory Board which serves to assist in formulat- Dangerous Intersection: Intimate Partner Sexual ing future goals and projects as well as providing Abuse as Domestic Violence – What Judges, expertise relating to current projects. 2007 also Lawyers and Victim Advocates Need to Know. heralded the formation of two new projects for The coalition also offers two complimentary CLE the committee: the Immigration Justice Project programs, Race and Gender Bias in Judicial Elec- and the Judicial Nomination Project. The Immigra- tion and Selection Truth or Fiction? Are Women tion Justice Project of San Diego, addresses the and Minority Judges More Likely to be Targeted by skyrocketing immigration caseload in San Diego Special Interests and Contingent Fees: Access to and the Ninth Circuit. It is based on similar proj- the Court or Threat to Capitalism? Both programs ects in Texas and Washington. The project aims are available online for free. The coalition’s Burn- to coordinate pro bono representation of clients ham “Hod” Greeley Award recognizes individuals in removal proceedings or seeking asylum, and and/or organizations dedicated to outreach and has an academic study component to understand promotion of increased public awareness of the whether this type of work will address the dispro- need for a fair and impartial judiciary. The 2009 portionately high docket of immigration cases in award will be presented at the ABA Midyear the Ninth Circuit. The Judicial Nomination Project, Meeting in Boston. Visit the coalition Web site at which was led by a task force chosen by the com- www.abanet.org/justice for more information. mittee, focused on updating ABA policy relating to Judicial Division – As the judicial voice of the improving federal judicial selection. The House of American Bar Association, the Judicial Division Delegates approved Resolution 118 at the 2008 supports the work of judges in efforts to share ABA Annual Meeting. The Resolution passed 22 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES unanimously with 21 ABA as well as non-ABA LAW AND AGING groups signing on in favor, with strong support The commission consists of a body of experts in from ABA President H. Thomas Wells, Jr. Through aging and law, including lawyers, judges, medical its various activities, the committee works to and social services professionals, academics, improve communication among the various users and advocates. With its professional staff, the of the federal judicial system, to recommend im- commission examines a wide range of law- provements in the system, and to enhance public related issues, including legal services, health respect for the federal judiciary. and long-term care, housing, professional ethics, Standing Committee on Judicial Independence elder abuse, guardianship, capacity issues, – At the forefront of this committee’s initiatives health care decision-making, and Social Secu- is the Least Understood Branch Project, a joint rity, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security effort of the Standing Committee on Judicial Income and other public benefit programs. Independence and the Judicial Division, with the The commission sustains several concurrent League of Women Voters, Justice at Stake and initiatives including: the National Center for State Courts as par- y Supporting advance planning for health ticipating entities. The LUB Project focuses on care through research, training, and pub- partnering with state and local bar associations lications such as the self-help guide for to carry the message of the importance of fair adults serving as health care proxies. and impartial courts in our democracy to every y Producing a series of capacity assess- possible venue in their communities. The LUB ment handbooks targeting lawyers, judges, project has developed materials in the form of psychologists, and one in the works for sample editorials, op-ed pieces, letters to the physicians. editor, and a message on the importance of “fair y Pursuing several guardianship studies, and impartial courts” to our democratic society. including a study of public guardians and a LUB also produced a recently-released DVD, national study on guardianship monitoring. Protecting Our Rights, Protecting Our Courts, and y Serving as a National Legal Assistance has prepared the pamphlet Countering the Critics Support Center for the Administration on and Countering the Critics II as aids to speakers Aging. The grant supports the Elderbar in this area as well as guides on responding to listserv, legislative updates on guardianship potentially hostile or critical questions. LUB is and health decisions, the Bifocal newsletter, also providing state and local bars with training senior pro bono efforts, and the planning of in delivering these messages. The committee a National Aging and Law Conference. has also released Rapid Response to Unfair and y Co-sponsoring an annual “mini-grant” Unjust Criticism of Judges. The pamphlet focuses program to encourage development of on how bar associations can respond effectively collaborative, community-based projects and promptly in defense of judges and the judi- to enhance the legal awareness of older ciary when being unjustly criticized, while exercis- persons and to improve their access to the ing their professional, ethical and constitutional legal system. duties. A resource kit is available at www.abanet. y Staffing the Medicare Advocacy Project in org/judind/ toolkit/impartialcourts/home.html. collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Associa- Additionally, the committee’s State Court Assess- tion to address Medicare coverage issues ment Project assists court systems in determin- and to educate and advocate on behalf of ing how well they are addressing the needs and beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s. The project concerns of the populace they serve by providing has focused heavily on implementation of an independent assessment of the strengths the new Medicare drug benefit. and weaknesses of a state’s court system. Thus y Assessing five court-focused elder abuse far, the committee has conducted assessments initiatives under a grant from the National in Missouri and New Mexico. The House of Del- Institute of Justice, the research agency of egates approved policy regarding the State Court the U.S. Department of Justice. Assessment Project report at the 2008 Annual y Creating a clearinghouse on voting ac- Meeting. The standing committee is also working commodations for persons with cognitive on the Judicial Disqualification Project and the impairments and conducting a “mobile poll- Introductory Judicial Education Project. For more ing” election outreach project in Vermont. information, please contact Tina Vagenas at y Tracking state legislation in areas of health VagenasK@staff.abanet.org. decisions, guardianship, and elder abuse. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 23 LAW AND NATIONAL SECURITY career transition, hearing impairments, retire- This standing committee, founded in 1962 by ment planning, improving health and quality time then ABA President and later U.S. Supreme Court with family and friends. CoLAP has expanded Justice Lewis F. Powell, conducts studies, spon- cooperative activities with several other ABA enti- sors programs and conferences, and administers ties, including the Section of General Practice, working groups on law and national security and Law Student Division and Standing Committee on related issues. The committee’s activities are Substance Abuse. designed to assist policy makers; to educate CoLAP views its role as providing assistance lawyers, the media and the public; and to en- to members of all ABA entities as well as general able the committee to make recommendations membership, who may be experiencing stress, to the ABA. The committee publishes a monthly depression, addictions, career dissatisfaction, newsletter, the National Security Law Report, aging/retirement or other quality of life issues/ which is distributed at no charge to more than stressors. Its focus on balance of life issues 3,000 lawyers, government officials and other reflects the results of the annual “Pulse of the professionals. It includes reports of committee ABA” study. CoLAP has spent the last three years conferences, pertinent law and national security developing outreach efforts for law schools and updates, summaries of recent cases and legisla- students and is now turning its focus to the judi- tion, as well as essays offering an exchange of ciary. CoLAP was invited by the American Judica- views on topical national security law issues. ture Society and the ABA Judicial Division to work Monthly breakfast meetings in Washington, with them on by providing topics and authors for D.C., feature notable speakers who are promi- special issues of their respective magazines. nently engaged in law and national security mat- Both have now completed these special issues ters. The committee’s conferences are designed on health and well-being of judges. both to enrich law instruction in the United States CoLAP’s confidential hotline 1-866-LAWLAPS and to provide a forum for discussion of topical refers callers to the lawyer assistance program law and national security issues. The conferences in their state for hands-on assistance, while the involve national policy and opinion makers such commission continues to develop programs and as U.S. government officials in intelligence and resource materials for the education of the law- national security arenas, members of Congress, yer assistance programs staff and volunteers. law professors and members of the bar. Major conferences organized by the commit- LAWYER REFERRAL AND INFORMATION tee have addressed topics such as catastrophic SERVICE terrorism, law enforcement and intelligence in a The Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and new era, the U.S. military, alternative approaches Information Service has jurisdiction over matters for prosecuting terrorists, homeland defense, and relating to public and private lawyer referral and state emergency health powers and the bioterror- information services. The purpose of the commit- ism threat. Log on to the committee’s Web site, tee is to assist lawyer referral and information www.abanet.org/natsecurity, for a complete list services in making affordable legal services more of programs, publications, and mailing list form. readily accessible to the public. Lawyer referral programs are designed specifically for clients who LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS are able to afford legal fees. The best services The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance are financially viable and able to contribute their Programs (CoLAP) continues to develop new ser- profits to support the reduced fee, low fee or pro vices and expand existing programs to improve bono components of the sponsoring organization. the health and well being of judges, lawyers, and The goal of the committee is to increase law students. CoLAP has experienced a dramatic the number of clients served by public service increase in inquiries, reflecting a new awareness lawyer referral programs, improve the assistance and acceptance of the fact that addictions and provided by these programs, and protect con- mental health problems are medical, not moral sumers from private firms promoting themselves issues. Members of the legal profession are to the public as lawyer referral without the now asking their lawyer assistance programs for proper public service component. The committee help with quality- of-life issues, as well as about seeks to improve the delivery of legal services stress, depression and addictions. While continu- to moderate income clients by facilitating ac- ing to address those areas, CoLAP also is work- cess to appropriate legal services and informa- ing with lawyer assistance programs on issues of tion, providing high quality materials and model 24 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES standards to local programs, encouraging the professional liability insurance. Through the implementation of existing quality standards, hotline, staff also answer questions on insur- and assisting with the design and establishment ance coverage and interpretation of insurance of new programs when requested. policy wording. The committee disseminates information through publications including, The Dialogue, a LEGAL AID AND INDIGENT DEFENDANTS quarterly newsletter, and the Directory of Lawyer Since 1920 the ABA Standing Committee on Referral Services, The committee also maintains Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants has advo- a clearinghouse of information and materials cated for and assisted in providing legal services relating to the operation and development of to indigent persons. A principal activity of the LRIS, and responds to ethics and policy ques- committee is to ensure adequate funding for the tions from state and local lawyer referral direc- Legal Services Corporation and oppose threats tors and volunteers. The committee sponsors to its independence and effectiveness. the annual National Lawyer Referral Workshop, The committee publishes a number of works which provides national leadership and training to assist the legal services community, including on issues and problems relevant to the daily Standards for Provision of Civil Legal Aid, Innova- operation of a lawyer referral service. The com- tive Fundraising Ideas for Legal Services and Ten mittee’s field assistance project, the Program of Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System. Assistance and Review, will assist bar-sponsored The committee sponsors the Resource Center LRIS by making available program volunteers for Access to Justice Initiatives, which assists who are national experts to provide analysis and states in creating and enhancing blue-ribbon recommendations in finance, intake and referral, commissions to improve civil legal aid systems, record keeping, office technology, staff training, and provides guidance to state and local bars promotion, and the relationship between lawyer seeking to increase funding to support legal referral and pro bono. services for the poor. The committee also is active in improving LAWYERS’ PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY state systems for providing defense services to The Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Profes- indigent persons accused of crime. It provides sional Liability assists lawyers and other profes- technical assistance on improvement of indigent sional groups to avoid and prevent legal mal- defense systems to state and national policy practice, to ensure the consistent availability of makers, bar associations and the judiciary. It reasonably priced legal malpractice insurance, produced a major report on the state of indigent and to reduce the impact of legal malpractice on defense systems: Gideon’s Broken Promise: lawyers and their clients. America’s Continuing Quest for Equal Justice. It Much of the committee’s time is spent on sponsors an annual Indigent Defense Summit, malpractice avoidance, prevention and reduction. bringing together bar and community leaders Many committee projects provide educational working to improve public defender systems. programs and resources for practicing lawyers to The committee serves as a clearinghouse increase their understanding and assist in elimi- for information and assistance on development nating the causes of legal malpractice. of educational loan repayment assistance for The committee sponsors two educational con- lawyers engaged in public service. ferences each year on a variety of professional The committee sponsors the annual Harrison liability topics. Conference attendees include Tweed Award that recognizes the accomplish- practicing lawyers, state and local bar represen- ments of bar associations in increasing the avail- tatives, and insurance industry officials. ability of legal services to indigent persons. Also available from the committee is a wealth of statistics on the causes of legal malpractice LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR MILITARY claims. The statistics, which resulted from the PERSONNEL committee’s collection of data from 30,000 This standing committee provides guidance and claims over a multi-year period, include informa- assistance to military lawyers who provide civil tion on aspects of legal malpractice specific to legal services to an estimated 9 million military areas of legal practice. personnel and their dependents, often under Committee staff provide assistance to law- adverse conditions. The committee serves as an yers through a telephone hotline and answer re- information clearinghouse for the services’ legal quests from members seeking help in securing assistance offices on issues and developments OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 25 in the law relating to delivery of legal assistance the rule of law for persons with mental, physical to military personnel. It also serves as the ABA’s and sensory disabilities and their full and equal liaison to the service branches and the Depart- participation within the legal profession. The ment of Defense. The committee presents CLE commission’s Subcommittee on Lawyers with seminars at major military installations, allowing Disabilities works toward the full and equal par- the committee to reach the greatest concentra- ticipation in the legal profession for lawyers with tion of military and interested civilian lawyers disabilities. The Subcommittee runs a nationally while visiting the legal services offices in the recognized mentor program for law students with field. The CLE curriculum, tailored to the needs of disabilities. An annual ABA Goal III report details the particular host installation, addresses rights the level of participation by lawyers with disabili- under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, mili- ties in ABA leadership and encourages the ABA tary divorce and child custody, veterans’ rights and its entities to facilitate the participation of law (with which military Judge Advocates are in- lawyers with disabilities in its activities. The Com- creasingly required to be familiar), consumer law, mission also prepared and widely disseminated a immigration law, legal ethics and professional report based on the Second ABA National Confer- responsibility. The committee founded the ABA ence on the Employment of Lawyers with Disabili- Military Pro Bono Project and supports the proj- ties in Washington D.C., June 15-16, 2009, which ect in partnership with the Section of Litigation. was hosted by then-ABA President H. Thomas Wells, Jr., the Association of Corporate Counsel MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY (ACC), and the Minority Corporate Counsel Asso- This standing committee is charged with review- ciation (MCCA). At that Conference, the attend- ing pending and future proposals relating to ees embraced a disability diversity pledge, called medical professional liability in light of existing the “Pledge for Change.” As of July 2010, there ABA policies; identifying policy issues as to which were 81 signatories to the Pledge. new policy is needed; and serving as a focal The Mental & Physical Disability Law Reporter, point for activity within the ABA on issues relating the commission’s bimonthly publication, is a to medical professional liability. Among the areas complete source of information on legal, legis- of interest are opposition to federal pre-emption lative and administrative developments in the of state medical malpractice laws, caps on rapidly expanding area of mental and physical damages and creation of a system that requires disability law. The commission also publishes injured patients to utilize “health courts,” which the Mental & Physical Disability Law Digest, a deny injured patients the right to a trial by jury comprehensive synopsis and analysis of civil or full compensation for injuries caused by and criminal mental disability law, and disability medical negligence; and support for amending discrimination law. In addition, the Commission the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, publishes comprehensive books on mental and whereby employer-sponsored health care plans physical disability law and rights, including: Civil are generally shielded from liability for injury to Mental Disability Law, Evidence, and Testimony: a patient. The committee works with the Govern- A Comprehensive Reference Manual for Law- mental Affairs Office on federal legislation and yers, Judges, and Mental Disability Professionals helps it to provide information on this set of is- (2010); Criminal Mental Health and Disability sues to various ABA sections and divisions, and Law, Evidence and Testimony: A Comprehensive to state and local bar associations. It works to Reference Manual for Lawyers, Judges and Crimi- develop new ABA policy to effectuate changes to nal Justice Professionals (2009); and Disability the medical professional liability system that are Discrimination Law, Evidence, and Testimony: A forward-looking and on which consensus can be Comprehensive Reference Manual for Lawyers, reached, such as the policy it developed support- Judges and Disability Professionals (2008). ing state apology legislation that was adopted by the House of Delegates in February 2007 PARALEGALS The Standing Committee on Paralegals focuses MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITY LAW on matters relating to the education, employ- The Commission on Mental and Physical Disabil- ment, training and effective use of paralegals. ity Law is the primary ABA entity focusing on the During the past six months, the committee, law-related concerns of persons with mental and through its Approval Commission, evaluated physical disabilities. Its mission is to promote 38 applications for approval or reapproval and the association’s commitment to justice and conducted 32 on-site inspections of paralegal 26 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES education programs. There are currently 260 services to the poor into their practices, policies ABA-approved paralegal education programs and procedures. The Center for Pro Bono, a proj- throughout the United States. ect of the committee, provides assistance to bar The committee also monitors trends in the associations, pro bono programs, law schools, field, and advocates the effective utilization of lawyers and law firms, and other constituents qualified paralegals. The committee recently seeking to initiate or improve existing initiatives revised the ABA Guidelines for the Approval of and activities. It provides technical program as- Paralegal Education Programs initially adopted sistance, operates the Peer Consulting Project, by the House of Delegates in 1974. The Model assists state, regional, national and international Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Ser- pro bono conferences, and maintains a national vices, initially adopted by the House in 1991 and clearinghouse of information of importance to revised in 2004, are intended to encourage law- the field. The committee manages the National yers to utilize paralegal services effectively and Medical- Legal Partnerships Pro Bono Support reflect the legal and policy developments that Project, and with the Business Law Section, the have taken place since their initial adoption. Business Law Pro Bono Project. The committee’s publication “The Economic Benefits of Paralegal Utilization,” includes speak- PUBLIC EDUCATION er’s materials, such as an outline and PowerPoint The mission of the ABA Division for Public Educa- presentation with specific examples for analyzing tion, www.abanet.org/publiced, is to promote the profitability of paralegal utilization. The mate- public understanding of law and its role in rials have been used in sessions offered to para- society. The division provides national leadership legal educators and paralegal managers, and at for law-related and civic education efforts in the bar association meetings. The committee’s Web United States, conducts educational programs, site contains information on state activity related develops resources, provides technical assis- to paralegal regulation as well as information on tance and information clearinghouse services, the ABA approval process. presents awards, and fosters partnerships among bar associations, educational institutions, PRO BONO AND PUBLIC SERVICE civic organizations and others. The division is a This Standing Committee reviews, evaluates and major producer of educational and informational fosters development of pro bono programs and resources for the public, with more than 40 print activity by lawyers and law firms, bar associa- publications produced annually. A Web page of tions, corporate law departments, law schools, resources and activities of special interest to judges and the courts, legal services providers journalists is at www.abanet.org/publiced/jour- and other members of the legal community. The nalists.html. Among programs and resources: committee analyzes and defines the scope, func- y Preview of United States Supreme Court tion and objectives of pro bono programs; and Cases, an 8-issue periodical, presents proposes and reviews legislation and policy that plain language expert analysis of the impacts on the ability of lawyers to provide pro issues, arguments, background and bono service to enhance equal access to justice. significance of every case slated for oral Major committee activities are the National Pro argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. Bono Celebration and the annual Equal Justice Through a special arrangement with the Conference, the latter co-sponsored with the Court, the Preview Web site, www.suprem- National Legal Aid and Defender Association. ecourtpreview.org, makes publicly available The committee presents five annual Pro all filed merit briefs. Bono Publico Awards to individual lawyers and y The division coordinates the ABA’s annual institutions in the legal profession that have Law Day program, www.lawday.org. Con- demonstrated outstanding commitment to pro ducted annually by the ABA and bar asso- bono legal services. It maintains on-line directo- ciations throughout the country, Law Day ries of programs offering pro bono opportunities on May 1 is a day of national dedication for lawyers and law school pro bono and public to the principles of government under law, service programs at www.abaprobono.org. The and was established in 1958. The 2009 committee supports diversity, state, local and Law Day theme is “A Legacy of Liberty: specialty bar associations and helps law firms, Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial .” corporate law departments and government at- y The division produces the American Bar torney offices integrate the delivery of civil legal Association Legal Guide series, www. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 27 abanet.org/publiced/practical/books/ ethnically diverse lawyers, judges, and others home.html. The books, 13 to date, provide who are in the legal profession. information about the law in plain, easy-to- Social Justice Issues - Established in 1992, understand language. Recently published COREJ addresses and provides services on titles cover such practical legal topics social justice matters related to racial and ethnic as credit and bankruptcy; home renova- bias in the justice system. Formerly known as tion; workplace law; and marriage, divorce the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice, COREJ’s and families—as well as a legal guide for name was officially changed in October 2009. Americans over 50. Educational Pipeline - Established in 2001, y The Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Pipeline Council provides services to in- the Arts, www.abanet.org/publiced/gavel, crease diversity among students from pre-kinder- recognize exemplary media efforts to foster garten to the profession. The Pipeline Council the American public’s understanding of law also manages the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholar- and the legal system. Eligible categories ship, which provides diverse students with finan- are newspapers, magazines, books, the- cial assistance to attend law school. Formerly ater, television, radio, film/video, and new known as the Presidential Advisory Council on media. ABA President H. Thomas Wells Jr. Diversity in the Profession, the Pipeline Council’s will present the 2009 Silver Gavels—the name was officially changed in October 2009. 52nd annual awards—at the National Press Club on July 1, 2009. RULE OF LAW The American Bar Association (ABA) established RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY the Rule of Law Initiative in 2007 to consolidate The ABA Board of Governors created the ABA its five overseas rule of law programs, including Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity (Center) the Central European and Eurasian Law Initia- in 2001 to serve as the administrative and tive—widely known as ABA CEELI—which was programmatic oversight body for the three major created in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. ABA entities that focus on racial and ethnic Today, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) diversity issues. The Center provides the frame- implements legal reform programs in more than work for effective utilization of ABA resources 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, committed to diversity; improves coordination Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle and collaboration of diversity efforts throughout East and North Africa. ABA ROLI has nearly 500 the Association; and helps to maintain racial people, some working in the United States, but and ethnic diversity as a priority issue for the As- most serving abroad, including our professional sociation, in support of ABA’s Goal III. Services and local staff, plus a cadre of short- and long- provided by the Center include: term expatriate volunteers. Over the past 20 y A centralized web-based clearinghouse that years, these volunteers have contributed more serves as a portal to diversity activities than $200 million in pro bono technical legal within the ABA. assistance. ABA ROLI’s local partners include y Coordination of collaborative opportunities judges, lawyers, bar associations, law schools, to achieve diversity within the ABA and the court administrators, prosecutors, legislatures, legal profession. ministries of justice, human rights organizations y A joint publishing initiative to develop and and other members of civil society. promote expanded publishing on diversity While ABA ROLI implements technical assis- topics. tance programs in an array of substantive areas, y Collaborating and advising ABA depart- including commercial and property law reform, our ments on their diversity activities, including efforts are concentrated in seven focal areas. Human Resources, Membership and Office y Access to justice and human rights. Our of the President. programs increase access to legal services The Center is comprised of three racial and by establishing legal aid and law school ethnic diversity entities. Through the initiatives clinics, developing public defender pro- of the programmatic entities listed below, the As- grams and supporting structural changes sociation addresses racial and ethnic diversity in in the justice system that increase citizen a three-pronged approach: access to the courts and other forms Legal Profession - Established in 1986, the of dispute resolution. We also increase Commission provides services for racially and awareness of international human rights 28 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES standards and humanitarian law, as well as at the request of host country partners, conducts train legal professionals to seek redress legal research, produces resource guides on rule for human rights violations in domestic, of law issues, and develops and implements a regional and international courts. wide range of assessment tools. To date, ABA y Anti-corruption and public integrity. ABA ROLI has developed the following assessment ROLI programs focus on drafting and tools: Judicial Reform Index; Legal Profession implementing public integrity standards Reform Index; Prosecutorial Reform Index; and freedom of information laws, develop- Legal Education Reform Index; Human Traffick- ing national action plans, conducting public ing Assessment Tool, based on the anti-human education campaigns on the corrosive trafficking protocol to the United Nations (UN) impact of corruption, and encouraging the Convention against Transnational Organized public to combat corruption through mecha- Crime; ICCPR Index, based on the UN Interna- nisms such as anonymous hotlines. tional Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and y Criminal law reform and anti-human traf- the CEDAW Assessment Tool, based on the UN ficking. Our programs train criminal justice Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of professionals—including judges, prosecu- Discrimination Against Women. ABA ROLI has tors and police—to combat crimes such conducted more than 50 assessments in over as human trafficking, money laundering 20 countries using these tools, all of which are and cybercrime, while helping to reform key publicly available and are regularly relied upon by criminal law legislation, including criminal local reformers, technical assistance providers, procedure codes. international donors and scholars alike. y Judicial reform. ABA ROLI promotes greater independence, accountability and transpar- SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER ency in judicial systems, assists in draft- IDENTITY (SOGI ) ing and enacting codes of judicial ethics, The Commission on Sexual Orientation and promotes judicial education and training, Gender Identity was created in June 2007 to and enhances court administration and help implement the Association’s anti-bias goal efficiency. now called Goal III which reads: “Eliminate Bias y Legal education reform and civic educa- And Enhance Diversity. Objectives: 1. Promote tion. We promote legal education reform by full and equal participation in the association, assisting law schools in introducing new our profession, and the justice system by all courses and practical training methods persons. 2. Eliminate bias in the legal profession that better meet the needs of tomorrow’s and the justice system.” legal professionals. We also promote a SOGI’s mission is to secure for lesbian, gay, rule of law culture through civic education bisexual and transgender persons full and equal campaigns on citizens’ rights. access to and participation in the ABA, the legal y Legal profession reform. Our work includes profession and the justice system. Through assisting in the development and admin- education efforts, policy development, building istration of bar examinations, developing relationships with leaders in the profession, and codes of legal ethics, and strengthening other activities, the commission seeks to secure bar associations to serve as advocates equal treatment in the justice system without for, and protectors of, the rule of law. We regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, also enhance continuing legal education remove barriers to professional advancement, programs to ensure adequate mastery of and promote diversity. existing and newly enacted laws. The commission has liaisons with 17 other y Women’s rights. ABA ROLI focuses on ABA entities and will work closely with the assisting both government and non-gov- National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, an ernmental entities in addressing women’s affiliate entity of the ABA. In its first year, the rights issues such as domestic violence, commission conducted three focus groups to sexual harassment in the workplace and explore the experiences of lesbian, gay male, and widespread gender-based violence (including gender variant attorneys, respectively. Though the systematic rape in post-conflict situations). climate of acceptance had improved over the last ABA ROLI’s overseas work is supported by legal several decades, much remains to be done. In research and assessments. The program con- the fall of 2008, the commission hired a full-time ducts in-depth assessments of draft legislation staff director. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 29 SOGI participated in collecting Goal III data the public on exemplary programs that address for 2008-2009 and, like the other diversity com- substance abuse as well as the many problems missions will produce a “report card”. For more associated with illegal drug use. information, please contact Michael Helfgott at The committee has focused its efforts on 312-988-5830 or email@example.com. programs and policies that offer long-term solu- tions to the nation’s drug problems. It provides SPECIALIZATION research, publications and technical assistance The Standing Committee on Specialization on such subjects as alternatives to incarcera- administers the ABA Standards for Accreditation tion, such as drug courts; treatment services for of Specialty Certification Programs for Lawyers. drug-dependent persons processed through the Since the standards were adopted in 1993, the criminal justice system, and treatment in lieu of committee has recommended 14 programs for criminal prosecution in appropriate cases; educa- ABA accreditation. tion, prevention and treatment programs, espe- The committee is working with state and local cially for children and young people at risk for bar organizations, as well as private certifying substance abuse; policies that sanction discrimi- organizations, in an effort to amend state ethi- nation against individuals in recovery; and state cal rules pertaining to communication of field of driving-under-the influence- of-drugs laws. practice so that they recognize certified special- The committee is co-sponsoring a national ists and ABA accredited programs. Through an conference of chief justices to evaluate and annual census, the committee publishes a vari- recommend future directions for unified fam- ety of data on specialty certification. The census ily courts. Titled “American Bar Association/ identifies the number of certified specialists prac- University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center ticing in the United States, tracks overall growth for Families, Children and the Courts Summit of specialty certification programs, and looks at on Unified Family Courts: Serving Children and specific areas in which lawyers are specializing. Families Efficiently, Effectively and Responsibly,” The committee sponsors an annual Round- the conference is scheduled for May 2007. In table on Lawyer Specialty Certification, bringing addition, the standing committee has received together bar association representatives, plan a grant from the Criminal Justice Policy Founda- administrators and others working in the field to tion to develop a constructive evaluation of the discuss developments in specialization, including federal government’s anti-drug policies to com- ethical issues. Publications include the Concise memorate the 35th anniversary of the enactment Guide to Specialty Certification, a primer for enti- of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention ties considering specialty certification, Certifica- and Control Act of 1970. tion Link, a quarterly electronic newsletter, and the State Status Report, which tracks changes WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION in state ethical rules relating to specialty certi- As the national voice for women lawyers, the fication and the adoption of state specialization Commission on Women in the Profession helps plans. The standing committee is working with forge a new and better profession that ensures the Young Lawyers Division, General Practice, that women have equal opportunities for profes- Solo & Small Firm Section and other ABA entities sional growth and advancement commensurate to expand understanding of board certification. with their male counterparts. Commission projects and activities include: SUBSTANCE ABUSE y Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achieve- The Standing Committee on Substance Abuse is ment Awards Luncheon – This program committed to promoting justice system reforms recognizes and celebrates the accomplish- that address problems associated with the illegal ments of women lawyers. The award is use of drugs and alcohol in this country. To carry presented each year during the ABA Annual out this mission, the committee collaborates with Meeting to five outstanding women. other ABA entities; federal, state and local public y Women of Color Research Initiative – The and private organizations; and state, local and commission embarked on a groundbreaking territorial bar associations. The committee also research initiative to fully examine advance- participates in an extensive range of coopera- ment and retention issues among women tive ventures with bar associations to address of color in law firms. The final report, Visible substance abuse issues in their communities, Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms, and works to inform and educate lawyers and published in October 2006, presents the 30 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES findings of the survey and focus group y Women in Law Leadership Academy – research and concludes with specific rec- Participants are taught to take charge of ommendations for law firms interested in their leadership potential, self-assess, and retaining women of color. A follow-up report, build their own personal leadership plans. From Visible Invisibility to Visibly Success- Almost 600 women lawyers attended the ful: Success Strategies for Law Firms and fourth WILL Academy held in Philadelphia Women of Color in Law Firms, published in in April 2010, and more than 800 women August 2008, provides information, insights, lawyers attended the second and third and advice gathered from women of color leadership conferences held in 2006 and partners in national law firms as well as an 2007 in Chicago. examination of law firm practices that con- Publications – Recent books/reports published tributed to their success. The second phase by the commission include Fair Measure: Toward of research will focus on current and former Effective Attorney Evaluations, 2nd Edition; Dear Department of Justice attorneys from 1994 Sisters, Dear Daughters: Strategies for Success to the present, regardless of gender or race, from Multicultural Women Attorneys; and Sex- to assess how women attorneys of color are Based Harassment: Workplace Policies for the faring on a comparative basis. Legal Profession, 2nd Edition. OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 31 OTHER ASSOCIATION- WIDE PROJECTS ABA PUBLISHING books at a discounted price. ABA Publishing is the official publishing arm of y The winner of numerous industry awards, the ABA, and each year is the one of the legal the Design and Production Department is profession’s leaders in creating new and innova- a unique design firm within the ABA that tive content, including books, periodicals and handles publications, including periodicals electronic downloads. The division consists of and books, marketing pieces, reports, the following departments: periodicals, book meeting materials, web design, and brand- publishing, copyrights and contracts, design and ing. This department creates and executes production, advertising, and print administra- high-quality design work while providing tion. These departments partner with a rich ar- counsel and service to association enti- ray of ABA entities to serve members, the legal ties, staff and leaders. profession, and the public. y The Advertising Department sells adver- y Each year the Periodicals Department tising space for periodicals and the Web, publishes and distributes to ABA members and provides counsel on marketing and more than 90 award-winning print and elec- brand strategy; promoting and presenting tronic periodicals, including magazines, the unique properties of the ABA, includ- journals, and newsletters. ing advertising rate structures and special y The Book Publishing Department will issues. publish more than 120 new books and y The Print Administration Department over- e-products in FY2009. Book Publishing pro- sees the manufacturing and printing of all vides the business structure, processes, publications produced by the entities that and planning for the many book publishing work with ABA Publishing. This includes programs at the ABA to succeed, including books, magazines, newsletters, marketing the creation and execution of strategic, materials, and meeting materials. editorial and marketing plans. This depart- ment also manages the marketing for the ABA WEB STORE ABA Web store, www.ababooks.org. The ABA Web Store, www.ababooks.org, pro- y The Copyrights and Contracts Depart- vides a single source for members and non- ment reviews all publishing contracts and members to find and buy ABA content distribution agreements in conjunction with y The ABA Web Store contains more than the ABA General Counsel’s office, provides 3,000 products that align with the associa- contract drafts and suggested language, tion’s mission to improve legal education licenses ABA materials to third parties, and lawyering skills, provide tools for pro- obtains copyrights to make it possible to fessional development, advance the rule of license, handles requests to reprint ABA law, and increase public understanding of materials, assigns ISBNs and registers the law. books with the Library of Congress, and y One of the goals for the ABA Web Store is manages the ABA Package Plan program to become a destination and resource for which enables libraries to subscribe to both the profession and the public in find- ABA periodicals and to purchase ABA ing essential legal tools. 32 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES In June 2006, the ABA Web store was selected The center also offers career advancement by Internet Retailer as one of the Top 500 Web manuals and workbooks, as well as resumé Sites, as well as one of the 50 fastest-growing reviews and telephone-based career counsel- e-retailers. ing for lawyers involved in or contemplating a job search. The center’s career enhancement AMERICAN BAR ENDOWMENT products include a business development toolkit, With more than 30,000 policies in force, the a sabbatical manual, and professional develop- American Bar Endowment, an affiliate of the ABA, ment reviews for law firms. The center’s legal ca- has one of the largest insurance programs for reer counselors make in-person presentations at American lawyers and one of the only insurance firm, bar association, and law school alumni and programs with a charitable giving feature that student gatherings, often with corporate support advances the goals of the legal profession. The for these and other projects, including a Pre-Law ABE also offers a Charitable Gift Fund, a donor Toolkit for School Counselors at all grade levels. advised fund that provides ABA members a way to advance their charitable legacy and manage ABA CENTER FOR CONTINUING LEGAL their wealth. EDUCATION Through the generosity of its members who The ABA Center for CLE serves as a central donate their insurance dividends and the prudent resource for the ABA and the profession for investment of these donated funds, the ABE up-to-the-minute, high-quality CLE distributed provides annual charitable support to more than through a variety of delivery formats. Working 200 law-related public service, educational, and closely with ABA entities, ABA-CLE selects ex- research programs of the ABA Fund for Justice pert, diverse faculties to present MCLE accred- and Education and American Bar Foundation. Pro- ited educational programs and products for the grams funded by the ABE include research on the convenience and growth of lawyers across the improvement of the criminal justice system and nation and internationally. the legal profession and projects to address the ABA-CLE produces numerous titles available legal needs of children, the elderly, minorities, in a wide range of formats, including: and victims of domestic violence. For almost 70 y National Institutes – live, multi-day semi- years, the ABE has provided grants of more than nars held throughout the country that $232 million to fund law-related good works. provide high quality legal education by The ABE’s wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary, nationally known experts, as well as oppor- American Bar Insurance Plans Consultants, Inc., tunities for lawyers and faculty to establish was established in 1989. ABI sponsors insur- networking opportunities. ance programs for ABA members that do not y Teleconferences/Audio Webcasts – pro- lend themselves to the Endowment’s dividend grams delivered live via telephone and the contribution structure. ABI is paid compensation Internet that cover hot topic issues, often by the underwriters of the programs it sponsors on a fast-track basis, and provide time for and contributes an appropriate portion of its participant questions, are accessible from net profits to the Endowment to support its an office, home, or even a mobile phone. charitable work. y Audio CD and DVD Packages – Most ABA-CLE live programs are available for CAREER RESOURCE CENTER purchase as either audio CD or DVDs The ABA Career Resource Center, working under with printed course materials. Some are the guidance of the Section Officers Conference, studio-produced DVDs that include dra- provides information to lawyers, law and pre-law matizations, demonstrations, and other students to enrich their career choices and job visual effects to enhance the content and satisfaction. The center’s Career Counsel Web help lawyers understand the seminar topic site, www.abanet.org/careercounsel, centralizes quickly and easily. Many of these programs ABA-wide career information. In addition, the can be incorporated into in-house training center’s Web site features Attorney By Attorney programs. Additional course materials can profiles highlighting lawyers’ varied career paths, also be purchased. includes weekly tips for job search and career y Online Courses – ABA-CLE offers a compre- development, and incorporates monthly updated hensive collection of online video and au- feature articles from a variety of ABA entities on dio courses. Lawyers can listen and watch finding jobs and enhancing legal careers. the nation’s leading legal experts from their OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 33 desktops at work or in the comfort of their establishes legislative and governmental priori- own homes. Online courses, many of which ties for the association, based on a nationwide are free, include downloadable course ma- survey of bar leaders. The ABA is a non-partisan, terials in protected document format and voluntary membership organization, and has no simply require access to the Internet. political action committee. Podcasts and Audio/Video Downloads – ABA-CLE offers most courses as audio and/or video down- LEGAL TECHNOLOGY RESOURCE CENTER loads via the ABA-CLE website and as a subscrip- The ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center is tion via iTunes, offering legal professionals the the starting point for lawyers seeking information option of downloading programs to their comput- about implementing and understanding technol- ers and to MP3 players such as the iPod™. ogy, and has been providing practice technology services to association members since 1985. GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS OFFICE The LTRC provides a hotline for ABA members to The ABA is actively involved in public policy de- get help with technology questions, and the Cen- bate and development before Congress, the Ex- ter’s Web site at www.lawtechnology.org provides ecutive Branch, and other governmental bodies, resources including a library of training videos, lobbying on approximately 100 issues each year. technology discounts, articles, presentations, the The ABA’s Governmental Affairs Office serves as ABA Site-tation blog, discussion lists, surveys, the “eyes, ears and voice” of the organized bar comparison charts, and more. in the nation’s capital. LTRC staff develops resources and provide The GAO coordinates the association’s guidance on wide-ranging issues such as the Washington activities, and all representation on intersection of ethics and technology, choosing behalf of the ABA before governmental entities or law office hardware and software, and harness- officials. The GAO conveys the views of the asso- ing Web 2.0. The Center publishes the annual ciation on a broad range of issues each year. The Legal Technology Survey Report that provides a ABA testifies regularly before Congress, provides comprehensive overview of how the legal profes- other expert background via letters and briefings, sion uses technology. Center staff is active in and files amicus briefs to the Supreme Court on outreach and participates in educational confer- key cases of relevance. ences for lawyers around the country, speaking The ABA is keenly focused on federal govern- at ABA TECHSHOW and at programs for state ment action regarding such issues as: indepen- and local bars, as well as speaking to librarians dence of the judiciary and of the legal profession, and other legal professional groups. The Center access to legal services, criminal justice im- also provides support for initiatives from the provements, and anti-terrorism and preservation Standing Committee on Technology and Informa- of due process. The ABA’s Board of Governors tion Systems. 34 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES WEB PAGE INDEX ABA HOMEPAGE .................................................................................................. www.abanet.org/ SECTIONS ............................................................................................................ www.abanet.org/ Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice .............................................................................adminlaw Antitrust Law .......................................................................................................................... antitrust Business Law .......................................................................................................................... buslaw Criminal Justice .......................................................................................................................crimjust Dispute Resolution .................................................................................................................. dispute Environment, Energy and Resources ..........................................................................................environ Family Law .................................................................................................................................family Health Law ............................................................................................................................... health Individual Rights and Responsibilities ............................................................................................... irr Intellectual Property Law ........................................................................................................ intelprop International ..............................................................................................................................intlaw Labor and Employment Law .......................................................................................................... labor Law Practice Management .............................................................................................................lpm Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar ................................................................................legaled Litigation ...............................................................................................................................litigation Public Contract Law ................................................................................................................ contract Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law ................................................................ pubutil Real Property, Probate and Trust Law ............................................................................................. rppt Science and Technology Law .....................................................................................................scitech State and Local Government Law ........................................................................................... statelocal Taxation .........................................................................................................................................tax Tort Trial and Insurance Practice .....................................................................................................tips DIVISIONS ............................................................................................................ www.abanet.org/ General Practice, Solo and Small Firm ................................................................................ genpractice Government and Public Sector Lawyers ...................................................................................... govpub Judicial Division ...............................................................................................................................jd Law Student Division ......................................................................................................................lsd Senior Lawyers Division .........................................................................................................srlawyers Young Lawyers Division .................................................................................................................... yld OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 35 FORUMS .............................................................................................................. www.abanet.org/ Affordable Housing and Community Development Law .............................................................affordable Air and Space Law ......................................................................................................forums/airspace Communications Law ........................................................................................ forums/communication Construction Industry ........................................................................................... forums/construction Entertainment and Sports Industries ......................................................................... forums/entsports Franchising ............................................................................................................ forums/franchising STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS .............................. www.abanet.org/ Amicus Curiae Briefs, Standing Committee .................................................................................amicus Bioethics and the Law, Special Committee on ......................................................... publicserv/bioethics Center for Professional Responsibility ..............................................................................................cpr Client Protection, Standing Committee on ........................................................ cpr/clientpro/home.html Delivery of Legal Services, Standing Committee on .............................. legalservices/delivery/home.html Domestic Violence, Commission on .......................................................................................... domviol Election Law, Standing Committee on ...................................................... publicserv/election/home.html Environmental Law, Standing Committee on .................................... publicserv/environmental/home.html Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Standing Committee on ..................... cpr/committees/scepr.html Evaluation, Standing Committee on ........................................................................ cpr/e2k/home.html Federal Judicial Improvements, Standing Committee on ................................................. scfji/home.html Federal Judiciary, Standing Committee on ............................................................................... scfedjud/ Gavel Awards, Standing Committee on ............................................................................publiced/gavel Governmental Affairs, Standing Committee on .............................................................................poladv Group and Prepaid Legal Services, Standing Committee on .................. legalservices/prepaid/home.html Judicial Independence, Standing Committee on ........................................................................... judind Law and Aging ............................................................................................................................ aging Law and National Security, Standing Committee on ............................................................... natsecurity Law Library of Congress, Standing Committee on ............................................................. publicserv/loc Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Standing Committee on ................legalservices/lris/home.html Lawyers’ Professional Liability, Standing Committee on ................................legalservices/lpl/home.html Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, Standing Committee on ....................legalservices/sclaid/home.html Legal Assistance for Military Personnel,Standing Committee on ..... legalservices/probono/soc/lamp.html Medical Professional Liability, Standing Committee on .................... dch/committee.cfm?com=sc129400 Mental and Physical Disability Law, Commission on ................................................ disability/home.html Multijurisdictional Practice, Commission on ............................................................. cpr/mjp/home.html Paralegals, Standing Committee on ......................................... legalservices/legalassistants/home.html Pro Bono and Public Service, Standing Committee on ...........................................legalservices/probono Professionalism, Standing Committee on ................................................cpr/professionalism/scop.html Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, Commission on .................................minorities/home.html Solo and Small Firm Practitioners, Standing Committee on .............................................................. solo Specialization, Standing Committee on ...................................... legalservices/specialization/home.html Substance Abuse, Standing Committee on ............................................................................. subabuse Technology and Information Systems, Standing Committee on ........ dch/committee.cfm?com=SC136080 OTHER ENTITIES .................................................................................................. www.abanet.org/ Bar Services Division ............................................................................................................... barserv CEELI ......................................................................................................................................... ceeli Continuing Legal Education ............................................................................................................. cle Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project .............................................. moratorium/home.html Death Penalty Representation Project ............................................................................... deathpenalty Gun Violence, Coordinating Committee on .................................................................................. gunviol Immigration Policy, Practice and Pro Bono ..........................................................immigration/home.html International Liaison Office .........................................................................................................liaison Justice Center, Coordinating Council of the ..................................................... justicecenter/council.html Legal Services Division ...................................................................................................... legalservice Media Relations and Communication Services Division ................................................................ media Professional Responsibility, Center for ........................................................................... cpr/home.html Public Education Division ........................................................................................................ publiced OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 37 NOTES 38 OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 39
"of American Bar Association Activities"