Members of ABA's Commission on the Future of Legal Education named
American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass. Photo by Len Irish.
Redesigning legal education will be a priority for Hilarie Bass, the American Bar Association’s new president, and on Wednesday she announced the 10 members of a commission that will work on the issue.
A joint statement (PDF) from Bass and Maureen O’Rourke, the new chair of the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, stated that they “look forward to working together to ensure that legal education in this country provides the best possible preparation for the nation’s future lawyers.” O’Rourke is the dean of Boston University School of Law.
Bass, co-president of the 2,000-lawyer firm Greenberg Traurig, announced plans for the Commission on the Future of Legal Education in February.
The commission chair is Patricia White, dean and professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law. The comission’s other members:
- • David Faigman, the chancellor and dean of University of California Hastings College of Law, who recently advocated to lower the California state bar exam cut score.
• Horacio E. Gutierrez, Spotify general counsel.
• Gillian Hadfield, director of the University of Southern California Center for Law and Social Science and a professor of law and economics there.
• Deborah Jones Merritt, an Ohio State University law professor who writes at the Law School Cafe blog.
• Blake D. Morant, the dean of George Washington University School of Law.
• Andrew D. Hurwitz, a judge on the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
• David Stern, executive director of Equal Justice Works.
• David B. Wilkins, a professor at Harvard Law School, the director of its center on the Legal Profession, and its vice dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession.
The practice of law will look very different in the next few years, Bass has said, and her presidential platform will address that, including how future lawyers are educated.
“The creation of the commission is an important step forward in recognizing the ABA’s critical role in speaking out on behalf of the legal profession in connection with the future of legal education,” Bass said in February.