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Midyear Meeting 2010

President-Elect Candidate Bellows to Turn Attention to Jobless Lawyers

Posted Feb 7, 2010 2:35 PM CDT
By James Podgers

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Laurel Bellows.
Archive photo.

Don't tell anyone, but Laurel G. Bellows will become ABA president in August 2012.

Bellows, a principal at the Bellows Law Group in Chicago who concentrates much of her business law practice on litigation matters, formally announced her candidacy today with a speech to the ABA Nominating Committee.

The fact that Bellows, a popular member of the ABA leadership ranks who chaired the House of Delegates in 2006-2008, is running unopposed makes her election virtually inevitable, although candidates, following the etiquette of ABA politics, always are reluctant to acknowledge such realities.

But it is a given that the Nominating Committee will formally select Bellows as ABA president-elect nominee at the 2011 Midyear Meeting in Atlanta, and then the house will officially make her president-elect in August 2011 at the annual meeting in Toronto. She will automatically become president in August 2012 at the close of the annual meeting in Chicago.

Even at this early stage in her presidential candidacy, Bellows is giving serious thought to how the ABA can help lawyers navigate their way safely through the recession.

"Lawyers don't have jobs for the first time in my memory," Bellows told the ABA Journal after this morning's meeting of the Nominating Committee at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Moreover, she said, "Most lawyers don't have access to what can help them best in a fast-moving technological society."

That is the gap the ABA must take steps to fill, said Bellows, especially to help practitioners at smaller firms—like hers, which has eight attorneys. "We have a chance to do wonderful things for lawyers, and we're doing them right now," she said. "The hands-on help for lawyers is something the ABA is well-placed to provide."

Updated Feb. 8 to correctly indicate in the headline that Laurel Bellows is a president-elect candidate.

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