58 ABA Journal Members Who Inspire articles.
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.
Aug 1, 2022 12:30 AM CDT
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.
Jul 20, 2022 8:42 AM CDT
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.
Jun 1, 2022 12:50 AM CDT
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.
May 31, 2022 1:12 PM CDT
“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.”
Apr 1, 2022 1:00 AM CDT
Luz Arévalo has spent most of her career helping immigrants and members of other marginalized communities sort through issues with their taxes.
Mar 31, 2022 2:54 PM CDT
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.
Feb 1, 2022 12:50 AM CST
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.”
Jan 20, 2022 9:22 AM CSTMembers 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.
Dec 17, 2021 9:34 AM CST
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.
Dec 14, 2021 1:19 PM CST
“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.”
Dec 1, 2021 12:40 AM CST
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.
Oct 1, 2021 1:30 AM CDT
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.
Sep 27, 2021 9:50 AM CDT
As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, Koslov thought she might pursue a career in journalism. That changed after Koslov saw a gunman shoot and wound her father as they walked together near their home in 1983. “My dad was such a good writer and communicator, but he was not a lawyer, so he was dependent on the lawyers to tell his story,” she says. “I thought, ‘I like to speak, and I love to write. Maybe I need to focus my skills in that direction instead.’”
Aug 23, 2021 10:00 AM CDT
Since March 2020, Emily Benfer has focused on tracking eviction moratoria, researching the effects of COVID-19 evictions on racial health equity and advocating for interventions to help provide communities hardest hit by the pandemic with financial support and legal protections. “Racial, housing and health justice are inseparable,” Benfer says. “Justice in any of these areas requires justice in all of them.”
Aug 1, 2021 12:30 AM CDT