Latest Features

Prove it up: Scholars criticize law prof’s speech about secret folders and say it was unsupported

Shortly before the Jan. 6 riot started at the U.S. Capitol, John Eastman spoke at a rally for then-President Donald Trump, enthusiastically sharing his theory that there was cheating in the November and January elections. According to him, there were “secret folders” placed inside voting machines filled with ballots to be matched with registered voters who did not cast their ballots.



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Judges differ on when it's safe to hold in-person jury trials

Despite reports from federal courts of in-person jury trials being held safely, many judges across the country are still deliberating whether to hold in-person jury trials at all.



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How Jim Crow-era laws still tear families from their homes

Heirs’ property is considered a vestige of the Jim Crow South, where unsophisticated property owners without the means or ability to hire a lawyer—or with a justifiable distrust of the courts—divvied up their assets informally, creating “interests” for descendants.



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Courts attempt to balance innovation with access in remote proceedings

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the judiciary was slow to innovate and resistant to virtual proceedings. Now courts are using every tool at their disposal, balancing safety with the need to keep the wheels of justice spinning.



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Successful ballot measures for marijuana and other drugs create opportunities for lawyers



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New laws aim to quash racial profiling in 911 calls

Rep. Janelle Bynum, a Black member of the Oregon House of Representatives, was inspired to sponsor a bill against racial profiling in 911 calls after someone called the police on her as she went door-to-door in a Portland suburb to speak to constituents in an effort to keep her seat in the state house. The incident prompted her to co-sponsor a bill to deter biased 911 calls, allowing civil claims for up to $250 in damages.



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2021 Legal Rebels: Meet 10 legal professionals who are courting change

For this year’s class of Legal Rebels, the ABA Journal and the ABA Center for Innovation have chosen to highlight judges, lawyers and legal professionals who have helped bring about changes to the judicial system.



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The 19th Amendment and its legacy: Fights remain for voting inclusivity

The 2020 display of female political power came in the centennial year of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified by two-thirds of the states in 1920, which granted women the right to vote. It was a fitting coda to a 100-year-old story about women achieving access to the ballot box.



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Tales of double-crossing, big egos and cattle brands swirl around Gerry Spence lawsuits

Over the years, many attorneys shelled out thousands of dollars to spend three weeks in a converted Wyoming cattle ranch described as “spartan,” with no cellphone service, so they could listen and learn from the self-proclaimed “greatest trial lawyer in history.” From all over the country, lawyers came to the Trial Lawyers College to learn from Gerry Spence, the famed litigator who claims to have never lost a criminal case.



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ABA helps animal shelters address challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

Last week, Katie Bray Barnett moderated the ABA’s ninth Animal Shelter Law Symposium, an all-day conference that concentrated on mitigating housing problems for pet owners, protecting animal shelters from liability and preparing effective foster home agreements during the COVID-19 pandemic.



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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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