American Bar Association

Legal Profession at ‘Transformative Stage,’ ABA President Says in Law Day Message


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Law Day 2010 program guide at LawDay.org.

ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm says in a Law Day op-ed that lawyers need to adapt their practices and acquire new cultural understandings to adjust to law in the 21st Century.

The legal profession is at “a transformative stage,” Lamm writes in a commentary on this year’s Law Day theme: “Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges.”

Lamm notes changes throughout the world as economic markets become global, populations become more mobile, and the Internet bridges distances.

“The law, too, is changing,” she writes. “New technologies are increasingly having a profound impact on the legal profession and reshaping the practice of law. Indeed, the legal profession is at a transformative stage in its history.

“Our global interdependence places new demands on lawyers to move flexibly and fluidly within and between nations. Lawyers face new challenges from attorney credentials to licensing requirements to regulation of the legal profession. We must renew our commitment to the enduring principles of law, become knowledgeable about other legal systems, recognize the need to adapt our practices, and acquire new cultural understandings.”

President Obama acknowledged Law Day in a presidential proclamation that referred to the need for “time-honored legal traditions” in “an increasingly interconnected world.”

“The prosperity we enjoy as a nation of laws increasingly depends on preserving the rights and liberties not just in our own country but also in other nations,” the proclamation says.

President Dwight Eisenhower established Law Day on May 1, 1958, as “a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.” The ABA provides leadership to bar associations, courts, schools and community groups honoring the tradition. More Law Day information is available at the ABA website.

Last updated 10:40 a.m. to include President Obama’s proclamation.

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