ABA Journal

Inter Alia

50 ABA Journal Inter Alia articles.

Firms team up to tackle systemic race issues

At the virtual summit of the recently formed Law Firm Antiracism Alliance this fall, Louisiana lawyer Jamila Johnson walked through the ways that post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws inscribed white supremacist beliefs into criminal law—and how the effects are still felt in practical and painful ways. LFAA formed in June as a collaboration of law firms interested in combining efforts to address long-standing systemic racism. At the beginning of October, 280 firms from every state had signed on to the organization.

BigLaw litigation partner uses his platform to fight for civil rights

In law school, my plan was this: Spend two to three years at a large law firm and then return to my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, to practice civil rights law and run for public office. But life doesn’t always go exactly as planned, and my trajectory turned into an improbable 34-year journey in BigLaw, where I found my path and have made the kind of difference I always hoped for.

Meet a new chief public defender in Texas working to end criminal justice disparities

As a public defender in the Bronx, New York, for almost a decade, Adeola Ogunkeyede saw firsthand how patterns of institutional racism and systemic inequality impacted her clients even before they entered the criminal justice system. This spring, she moved to the Lone Star State to establish the first-ever public defender’s office serving Travis County, which includes Austin, the state capital. Travis County had been the largest jurisdiction in the country without a PD’s office.

Female lawyers face unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

Female lawyers face unique work-from-home issues, compounding well-documented attrition and promotion challenges. Virtual work makes it harder to establish relationships with mentors and sponsors, and fractionalization can happen.

3 strategies to reframe your negative mindset

While the negativity bias may be useful in helping lawyers spot potential pitfalls in their clients’ cases, it can also impact lawyer well-being. The good news is that there are many practices for combating the negativity bias and increasing happiness and resilience.

The power of my hearing loss

To many, it may seem ironic that a deaf judge presides over hearings. Although I navigate the world as a South Asian Muslim woman with hearing loss, seeing my disability as my power is what shaped my path to law.

After nearly a decade in the MMA industry, this general counsel now keeps NASCAR on track

Not many lawyers can say they’ve worked with the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, with cage fighters nicknamed The American Psycho, Cyborg and Rampage, and with the first family of stock car racing. But not many lawyers have a career like Tracey Lesetar-Smith’s.

Could this be America’s tipping point?

America is struggling to emerge from dark and uncertain times. COVID-19, record unemployment, civil unrest. As the turmoil unfolds, there has been a seismic shift in the national discourse, and 2020 may be one of those defining years of resurgence that bends the arc, ever so slightly, toward justice.

Support and sacrifice paved the way for teen mom to eventually become a lawyer

The label “teen mom” can carry negative connotations. No one would expect someone who came from a poor background and had a child before she even became an adult to beat the odds and accomplish her dream of becoming an attorney. By sharing her story, lawyer Jasmine Grant wants others to know that they are capable of so much more than what society may believe.

David Lat discusses conquering the coronavirus, pursuing dreams

Lawyer, journalist and publishing entrepreneur David Lat has spent nearly two decades covering the ins and outs of the legal world while working as a federal prosecutor and later through the popular legal news-and-views site he co-founded, Above the Law. Rarely, however, has Lat stood at the center of a news cycle. That changed with COVID-19.

Ballot box battles are more high-stakes than ever

Dale Minami discusses his life of fighting injustice

“I lined up the qualities I wanted in a job, measured them against my strengths and weaknesses, and discovered that I was best fit to practice law with my partners who have the same passion for justice, hard work and great legal skills. I never had to look back.”

New implicit-bias tool offers insight and answers

Despite evidence that diverse workplaces perform better and lead to better financial results, the legal profession has been slow to respond. Conscious and unconscious biases are baked into the system through hiring, how career-enhancing work is assigned and how lawyers are evaluated and compensated.

Once in prison for life, this New Jersey lawyer’s story has inspired an ABC TV series

In 1991, a New Jersey jury decided Isaac Wright Jr. was a drug kingpin and sent him to prison for life plus 70 years on related charges. Except Wright didn’t do it—he was framed by the very prosecutor arguing the case against him. Wright spent the next seven years studying law from his maximum-security prison cell, eventually proving his innocence and winning his freedom.

Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and America’s cruel justice equation

“Change must come, not just through outrage but by powerful, countervailing forces. Every state needs strong and enforced hate crime laws, prosecution of police officers who abuse their power, and top-down political resolve that this will not be tolerated,” writes the ABA Journal’s Liane Jackson.

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