Latest Features

ABA launches initiative to help measure effectiveness of regulatory reforms

The ABA Center for Innovation has launched an initiative focused on developing uniform metrics that states could use to measure the effectiveness of new approaches they are taking to regulating the legal industry.



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While many jurisdictions had few or no online bar exam testing violations, California had many

Following the administration of the first online remotely proctored bar exam in October, California appears to have sent out significantly more notices of potential testing violations than other large jurisdictions.



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Meet Annaliese Fleming, the ABA’s new general counsel

After an extensive nationwide search, ABA Executive Director Jack Rives announced in October that the association had found its new senior associate executive director and general counsel.



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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, legal services providers find creative ways to serve older adults

Many legal services providers have worked in the past year to change how they reach and assist their clients, particularly those who are older and at higher risk for developing more severe cases of COVID-19. While some created or expanded their partnerships with community organizations, others moved their services online or outdoors.



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Ethics attorneys hopeful COVID-19 will prompt changes in remote working rules

The continued spread of COVID-19 has resulted in lawyers across the country working remotely for months on end, including in jurisdictions where they are not licensed to practice law. While this trend prioritizes public health and provides workers with increased flexibility, it could also raise ethical issues for some attorneys.



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Will paper bar exams become a thing of the past?

While there’s significant disagreement on how the bar exam should change, many believe it will, and there’s a wide range of ideas about what should happen.



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5 ways to do more pro bono in 2021

For attorneys who want to do more pro bono in 2021, here are five ways to get involved.



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Meet 14 ABA members who inspired us in 2020

Throughout the year, the ABA Journal profiles exceptional ABA members in its Members Who Inspire series. In 2020, we featured attorneys from across the country whose important and influential work includes using visual storytelling for legal advocacy, bringing attention to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, and combating racial injustice and inequity.



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Thousands of California bar exam takers have video files flagged for review

More than 3,000 people who sat for the State Bar of California’s remote October exam had their proctoring videos flagged for review, and dozens report receiving violation notices from the agency’s office of admissions.



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Pardon me? A look at the broad, yet somewhat-murky clemency powers of a president

Presidents have long used the pardon power in ways that have resulted in outrage and controversy. One of the broadest, yet least-understood clauses in the U.S. Constitution, the pardon power has been the subject of renewed focus and attention, thanks to the parlor game of what President Donald Trump can or cannot do with regards to granting clemency.



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Tough calls: Innovative rap album recorded from prison helps sound the alarm about predatory phone charges

Global Tel Link is one of the biggest players in the prison telecommunications industry that connects calls between jail and prison inmates and the outside world. GTL is how Drakeo the Ruler was able to lay down the vocal tracks for his mixtape while he was being held in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail pending retrial.



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New Mexico tosses restriction that prevented parents in law school from receiving child care subsidy

After hearing about child care concerns from a campus parent group, the University of New Mexico School of Law School convinced the state in September to change a child care subsidy rule, which until then prohibited eligibility for graduate and postgraduate students.



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Jurisdictions with COVID-19-related diploma privilege are going back to bar exam admissions

As of Dec. 3, the five jurisdictions with emergency diploma privilege precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic had announced plans for a remote bar exam in February 2021. None of the jurisdictions has yet released plans for July 2021 admissions, but law school deans in those regions are telling third-year students to plan for a bar exam.



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Persecuted and marginalized: Black LGBTQ immigrants face unique challenges

About eight weeks after the first COVID-19 diagnosis in the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security shut down all immigration ports of entry to nonessential travel, including immigrants arriving to the southern border seeking asylum. But even as the border closure put a halt to the flow of people trying to enter the country, it created new challenges for immigration lawyer Tsion Gurmu.



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How law firms can plan holiday parties during the coronavirus pandemic

This year, COVID-19 is disrupting plans, decimating the big, fancy affairs. But some firms are getting around the pandemic, using everything from virtual games to gift deliveries in an effort to make the party as festive as possible.



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Alternative legal services provider teams up with Bechtel Corp. to provide diverse legal talent

Legal Innovators, a startup alternative legal services provider, has entered into a new partnership with the Bechtel Corp., in which it will provide the engineering and construction company with junior attorneys who will assist the company’s in-house team.



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How can aging judges know when it's time to hang up the robe?

Lawyers, law professors and even members of the judiciary voice concerns that judges are serving too much time on the bench without ensuring their cognitive skills stay sharp. They have called for mandatory retirement and cognitive testing as well as a more consistent approach to addressing cognitive decline. But members of the legal community who have experience with neuroscience argue that the question of when a judge should step down is complex.



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Lawyers involved in the gun debate are primed for the Supreme Court to take the next big case

As fatal police shootings and gun violence ravage Black communities, and mass shootings and active shooter drills have become ingrained in the American experience, local and state governments have countered the threat by creating more gun laws. As gun rights groups have fought those laws in the courts, it’s become a common refrain that trial judges are flouting the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller and undermining Second Amendment rights.



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Friends remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her longtime association with the ABA

Over the years, Ginsburg received various ABA honors, including the Margaret Brent Award in 1993. In June of that year, President Bill Clinton announced her nomination to the Supreme Court. The nomination hearings were in July, and the Brent Award ceremony, which she attended, was in August. The same month, she took her seat on the Supreme Court.



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Law enforcement is using location tracking on mobile devices to identify suspects, but is it unconstitutional?

The use of reverse location warrants with Google and other companies tracking location data has exploded since that type of warrant first was used by federal authorities in 2016. As the use of geofence warrants has grown, so have controversies surrounding them.



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Law school debt is delaying plans for recent grads

Some new attorneys delay buying a home or a new car. Others reluctantly postpone marriage and having children while altering the career plans they had going into law school. These are among the personal and professional sacrifices young lawyers often make due to their sizable student loan debt.



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Supreme Court considers Trump's plan to adjust census based on immigration status

In Trump v. New York, the central question is whether President Donald Trump has the authority to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the base population number of the 2020 census that’s used for the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.



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Law Society of British Columbia launches 'innovation sandbox' to address access-to-justice gap

The law society’s initiative comes several months after the Utah Supreme Court launched its own regulatory sandbox amid a growing movement in North America to open up the legal marketplace to nonlawyer financial interests and practitioners.



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Years of service: Mark Daniel Maloney reflects on journey with Rotary International

“It is an opportunity to connect while you are doing good in the world,” says Mark Daniel Maloney, a member of Blackburn, Maloney and Schuppert and now the immediate past president of Rotary International. “It is wonderful to be a volunteer, but you go in and you perform the service, and you leave.”



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