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Midyear Meeting 2008

Likely ABA President Stands With Atticus

Posted Feb 11, 2008 5:17 PM CDT
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Lamm. Photo by Mark Harmel

“I remember watching To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time,” Carolyn B. Lamm, a partner at White & Case in Washington, D.C. who became the ABA president-elect nominee this weekend, told the ABA House of Delegates this afternoon.

“I remember longing to stand beside [Atticus Fitch], to stand for what he stood for, and to fight the good fight.”

The ABA has “allowed us to stand with Atticus, and we don’t stand alone. No firm, no matter how large, can stand alone. No solo practitioner, no matter how talented, can stand alone ... No constitution, no matter how revered, can fight for itself.” That is the job of the organized bar, she said.

Lamm said increasing the number of ABA members—now in excess of 400,000—would be a priority during her tenure as its head. “That only 6 percent of solo and small-firm practitioners are members of the ABA is unacceptable. The fact that young lawyers account for only about a third of our membership is unacceptable,” she said.

Lamm’s selection by the Nominating Committee during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles virtually assures that she will be formally elected by the ABA House of Delegates in August when it meets during the association’s annual meeting in New York City. Lamm will serve as president-elect starting at the end of the annual meeting, then will automatically become president for a one-year term starting in August 2009.

Last August, the National Law Journal named Lamm one of its 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America and then included her on its list of 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.

Lamm, a past president of the District of Columbia Bar, has been a member of the ABA's policy-making House of Delegates from 1982 to 2005, and she served on the Board of Governors in 2002-05. She currently is a member of the Standing Committee on Membership and the board of directors of the ABA Museum of Law. In 1995-96, she chaired the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, which vets the U.S. president's nominees to the bench. She chaired the Young Lawyers Division in 1982-83. She has held various leadership positions in the sections of Business Law, International Law, Litigation, and Public Contract Law. Lamm also is active in the American Arbitration Association.

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