ABA Journal


715 ABA Journal Features articles.

Taking Sides

Parental alienation happens when one parent engages in behaviors that cause a child to reject the other parent for no legitimate reason. It can become the subject of fierce debate in high-conflict divorce cases when one parent claims the other parent intentionally turned a child against him or her.

What I wish I’d learned in law school

The ABA Journal asked 25 lawyers what they wish they’d learned, as well as the best advice that they got in law school and whether school had prepared them for practice.

Art Lien sketched court figures for 45 years, from blockbuster cases to the arcane

Art Lien retired at the end of that 2021-22 term after 45 years of sketching the U.S. Supreme Court. “I turned 70, have no debts and my eyesight isn’t getting any better,” Lien says. “It was time.”

Supreme Preparation

For first-time advocates before the U.S. Supreme Court, it can come as a shock when they realize how close they are to the justices—so close some are just out of their sight line. In the words of Supreme Court veteran Neal Katyal, Chief Justice John Roberts “sees everything—he sees you sweat.”


Accusations of systemic racism at the highest ranks of the NFL have plagued the league for decades. After the racial unrest of 2020, sports teams promoted their efforts to address problems through acts that proved more symbolic than effectual. But as is often the case, legal action rather than moral imperative is being used to try to effect change.

The Big Bilk

Lawyers and academics interviewed by the ABA Journal say the application process for the $800 billion loan program, part of the 2020 coronavirus stimulus package known as the CARES Act, was fraught with fibbers. Many doubt that most of the bad actors will be arrested because the volume of fraud seems so high.

2023 Legal Rebels: Charging Forward

This year, for the first time in a while, things have started to feel somewhat normal again. That being said, when it comes to Legal Rebels, what is considered “normal” or “status quo” has never been of much concern. This year’s class is no different.

Aftershocks: Navigating the morass of state abortion laws post-Roe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 3 million women in the U.S. have experienced a rape-related pregnancy. Still, abortion opponents are making it increasingly difficult for women who are victimized by rape or incest and who may become pregnant as a result to access the medical care they need, when they need it.

Slow Going: Despite diversity gains, some law firm leaders bemoan lack of progress

A series of recent studies have revealed the lack of diversity in law firm partnerships—even after the May 2020 murder of George Floyd spurred the profession to respond to calls for racial justice by launching in-house diversity programs and hiring more chief diversity officers.

Lawyers are lighting up the budding cannabis industry

Justice Cannabis Co. is one of the biggest of the little guys in the rough-and-tumble, fast-paced and legally treacherous world of marijuana growing and selling.

Examining the Bar

The profession often has a hard time with change, and some have said there’s a sense that keeping a bar exam will likely assure people in power that wealthy clients won’t be harmed by admissions alternatives. Nevertheless, lawyers interviewed by the ABA Journal say it’s important that states are even considering changes at all.

Runaway Sentences

Standing in front of a judge, tears in his eyes, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos wanted to say something before being sentenced for killing four people and injuring six others after he lost control of his runaway truck on a Colorado highway. At 26 years old, he was facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Tulsa Reckoning

With the clock ticking, the stakes are high. This case could be the “last best hope” for the survivors to see some form of justice before they die. “This massacre impacted Black people around this nation. This is a win that we need as a people.”

Forced Labor?

For decades, activists have been challenging what has become a widespread policy of paying little to nothing for work done by immigrant detainees. The October 2021 verdict in Nwauzor v. the GEO Group has been hailed as not just a success story but also a potential game changer for a practice advocates say violates civil rights.

Psychedelic Rx: Legal battles aim to expand patients’ access to psilocybin and other hallucinogens

While Indigenous communities have long integrated plant-based psychedelics such as peyote and ayahuasca into their spiritual practices, interest in using both natural and synthetic hallucinogenic substances to alleviate depression and anxiety as well as anorexia, substance use disorder and other mental health conditions has increased in recent decades.

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