Meet 11 ABA members who inspired us in 2019
Members Who Inspire is an ABA Journal series profiling exceptional ABA members. This past year, we featured many in the legal field who are doing good work and paying it forward, including pro bono for veterans, fighting for prisoners' rights, and promoting literacy and advancing diversity.
Alaska lawyer Margaret Stock fought new restrictions on MAVNIs–service members in the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, which recruited immigrants with highly desired skills.
Led by Mir Ali, Schiff Hardin lawyers in the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program have started representing veterans and their loved ones in appealing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denials of benefits.
Margaret Cassidy connected with other female attorneys in solo and small-firm practice in Washington, D.C., and brought them together to discuss their businesses, share successes and provide referrals. Now, more than six years later, her group, the League of Women Lawyers, has more than 100 members who communicate weekly via email and meet regularly for happy hours.
Jack Fan is a volunteer with Texas Legal Answers, part of the ABA’s Free Legal Answers virtual legal aid clinic. The service allows income-eligible clients to post civil legal questions for pro bono attorneys in their state. According to the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, which annually recognizes attorneys who provide extraordinary pro bono services through Free Legal Answers, Fan has answered more questions than any other attorney in the country. In 2018, he responded to nearly 1,100 of them.
Prisoners’ rights advocate Julie Abbate didn’t hesitate when members of the ABA Criminal Justice Section asked her to draft a resolution about access to tampons and sanitary pads in 2018. Restricting access to feminine hygiene products to incarcerated people can be severe.
A trio of early influences led Artika Tyner to what she calls her life mission—promoting literacy, training the next generation of leaders and advancing diversity and inclusion as the founder of the Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute.
“Part of the whole point, I think, in the ABA making this opportunity available is so that people can talk about it to people who care what’s happening on the border but can’t go themselves,” says Mary Ryan, an environmental litigator at Nutter McClennen & Fish in Boston. “It will make you a better advocate.”
Dale Minami—known as one of the lawyers who helped overturn the conviction of Fred Korematsu, the Japanese American man whose name is on a notorious and widely repudiated U.S. Supreme Court case—has been awarded the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor.
Casey Trupin has worked on issues related to youth homelessness for more than two decades in Seattle, California and Washington, D.C., and throughout Latin America. He is the director of youth homelessness at the Raikes Foundation, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that focuses on challenges facing young people, particularly those in marginalized groups.
As a civil rights attorney with the Department of Justice, John Rosenberg fought discrimination and segregation in the South during the 1960s. Later, as the founder and director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, also known as AppalReD, in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, he provided people living in poverty with free legal aid for more than 30 years.
Fear and luge are not compatible. Cameron Myler—a four-time Olympian who spent countless hours lying on her back on a tiny sled, feet stretched out in front of her, hurtling down an icy track without brakes—would know. This unique perspective is something she brings to New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, where she teaches sports law and governance classes to undergraduate and graduate students.
Members Who Inspire is an ABA Journal series profiling exceptional ABA members. If you know members who do unique and important work, you can nominate them for this series by emailing [email protected].