ABA Journal

Members Who Inspire

60 ABA Journal Members Who Inspire articles.

Lauren Champaign has big goals for BigLaw

In summer 2020, Lauren Champaign and two colleagues proposed to Foley a three-part action plan for addressing racial injustice and inequality. “We took it very seriously and talked about how it felt to be in this moment as African American lawyers and what we wanted to see changed,” Champaign says. “Sometimes people think about organizational change, and that’s something, but with our three-part action plan, we were like, ‘No, we are intelligent, corporate attorneys doing really creative things. Here is a massive problem that has gone on for centuries. We can do more than just internal work.’”

Roula Allouch is leading efforts to stop cyberbullying and discrimination

Roula Allouch thinks about young people in her community whenever her civil rights work starts to feel daunting. “Working with youth helps refocus and recenter me on the reason that we’re doing it all: to make things better for the generation coming after us,” says Allouch. “I don’t want the next generation of Arab-American kids and Muslim youth to be dealing with those same challenges.”

Succession Planning: In retirement, Janet Goelz Hoffman supports nonprofits through pro bono and mentoring

More than 40 years ago, Janet Goelz Hoffman set out to help those who help others, building a sizable client base of nonprofit organizations before retiring as a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman. Now in the next chapter of her career, the veteran public finance attorney continues to prioritize the needs of nonprofits at Katten’s Chicago office as a senior counsel and pro bono counsel. She not only assists these clients with transactional pro bono matters, but she also is mentoring younger attorneys who are also interested in making pro bono part of their practice.

Washington Supreme Court justice shows ‘representation does matter’

G. Helen Whitener brings several different perspectives to her work as a state supreme court justice. She is the first Black woman and fourth immigrant-born justice to sit on the Washington Supreme Court. She is the first Black LGBT judge in the state of Washington. She also identifies as an individual with a disability.

Carrie Cohen opens practice of law to women around the world

Carrie Cohen credits one particular experience for changing the course of her career. She graduated from Cornell University in 1989 and decided to defer law school for a year so she could work as a paralegal at what is now Vladeck, Raskin & Clark in New York City. Learning from trailblazing labor lawyer Judith Vladeck and her daughter, Anne, had a profound impact on Cohen. “They represented unions, and then Mrs. Vladeck had a specialty representing women in employment discrimination, sexual harassment and sort of #MeToo issues before that term ever existed,” Cohen says.

Scott Schoettes has ‘personal stake’ in work for individuals living with HIV/AIDS

In a landmark ruling in April, the Department of Defense was ordered to stop discriminating against people with HIV and permit them to deploy and commission as military officers. Scott Schoettes represented the two plaintiffs who brought the suit, a case with personal meaning for him as an attorney living with HIV.

‘Lucky in Life’: Emily Feinstein creates opportunities for others through pro bono and hockey

“I always say I have been so lucky in life,” Emily Feinstein says. “I was lucky that my dad married my mom, because that relationship provided me with so many opportunities that would not have otherwise been available—the ability to go to college and the belief that I was obviously going to law school. I don’t think that would have been ingrained in me. And so being able to take what I have and use it to help others has always been really important.”

Luz Arévalo helps immigrant and low-income clients facing tax problems

Luz Arévalo has spent most of her career helping immigrants and members of other marginalized communities sort through issues with their taxes.

Matt Simpson competed in goalball at his second Paralympics in Tokyo

Matt Simpson was 10 when he attended a sports camp hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes in North Carolina and discovered goalball, a sport developed in 1946 to help rehabilitate World War II veterans. He has since competed at the sport’s highest level, playing on the U.S. men’s national team that won the silver medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro and representing the United States again at the delayed 2020 Games in Tokyo last summer.

Darryl Wilson shares love of cooking with others during COVID-19 pandemic

Darryl Wilson, an in-house attorney at Tyson Foods in Springdale, Arkansas, has used cooking as a form of therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He launched his own Instagram account, where he regularly posts photos of his dishes, and taught two virtual cooking classes to members of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. “We always have to find things that make us happy and that are fulfilling or rewarding to us,” he says. “Mine just happens to be cooking.”

Meet 12 ABA members who inspired us in 2021

The ABA Journal regularly profiles exceptional ABA members in its Members Who Inspire series. In the past year, we featured many in the legal field who are encouraging and energizing others with their good work, including advocating for inmates on death row, mentoring prospective law students of African descent and fighting to stop bullying in the workplace.

August Hieber helps create access to legal services for older LGBT adults

August Hieber created Proud to Thrive, the first program in Chicago specifically designed to provide culturally responsive legal advocacy to LGBT older adults. Hieber recognized this population is less likely to access resources because of past experiences with discrimination and worked with the Center for Disability & Elder Law to host legal clinics and train other legal professionals on how to offer services.

David Yamada is fighting to end workplace bullying

“We’re taught to be really good at manipulating language as lawyers, and language is the stock-in-trade of bullying and abuse,” Prof. David Yamada says. “Most of the time, it’s not about physical aggression. It’s about commissions and omissions, I guess you could say, in terms of how people treat one another.”

Judge Neil Axel uses DUI court experience to tackle traffic safety

Judge Neil Axel works with the ABA’s Judicial Outreach Liaison and Judicial Fellows Program. As one of its two judicial fellows, Axel helps educate judges nationwide on issues involving impaired driving offenses, including drug-impaired driving; evidence-based sentencing practices to reduce recidivism; and the impact of the legalization of marijuana on highway safety. He also works closely with the program’s nine regional JOLs and 22 state JOLs, all of whom provide training and support on impaired driving and other highway safety issues to courts in their areas.

Law student Emily Dillan is an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence

Emily Dillan went to the University of Massachusetts School of Law hoping to help survivors of domestic violence in her community, but through a new opportunity with the ABA, she could soon extend her advocacy across the country.

Read more ...