Opening Statements

732 ABA Journal Opening Statements articles.

Campaigns count on political lawyers to get the vote right

Political lawyers act as the first line of defense (or offense) in the critical days leading up to election night and in the immediate aftermath.

‘Making a Murderer’ team co-founds new Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences

A team of lawyers in Wisconsin has launched a center to fight the use of problematic forensic evidence in court. Two co-founders of the Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, are well-known in pop culture from their roles in the hit Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer. A follow-up season was released in October.

10 Questions: This former criminal defense lawyer builds on his Puerto Rican heritage as a bilingual comedian

Comedian Elizardi Castro is going to make you laugh, in two languages. Castro is the creator of Made in Puerto Rico, a high-energy bilingual one man show about island life, culture and pride.

Legal director of Lambda Legal has spent her life pursuing LGBT rights

Sharon McGowan is the chief strategy officer and legal director of Lambda Legal, which is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV.

Birth rights: Reproductive justice is a growing practice area

With women’s rights issues sparking a national dialogue, a niche practice area has emerged that is gaining momentum: reproductive justice. The practice area is broad, encompassing issues including forced sterilization and unwanted medical intervention during childbirth.

10 Questions: This single mother of 5 overcame a lifetime of obstacles to become a lawyer

This past October, with the help of her family, friends and church, Ieshia Champs became a statistic once again. She was among the 77.87 percent of first-time test takers who passed the July 2018 Texas bar exam. In December, she accepted a position as an assistant county attorney with the Harris County Attorney’s Office, where she’ll be working in the Children’s Protection division.

Law school tackles police reform

As co-founder and co-director of Georgetown Law’s Program on Innovative Policing, Rosa Brooks and her colleagues decided to create a fellowship to supplement the training of patrol officers. Every month for 18 months, officers visit the law center for a three-hour workshop on topics such as race and criminal justice, mass incarceration, youth development and implicit bias.

This lawyer’s blindness led him to a tech-focused law practice

Looking back, I was extremely fortunate but too oblivious to realize it. When interviewing for associate positions, I was usually asked, “How can you practice law being blind?” I think most who asked that question didn’t have a clue. At the time, however, I thought they were just asking for my strategy.

The wives of white-collar crime: Support group aims to help families and end stigma

Women from four continents learned the hard way that they were married to white-collar criminals. Now their private online support group, the White-Collar Wives Project, is shining a light on damage that white-collar crime can cause the entire family.

Arizona law determines fate of frozen embryos in divorce cases

Arizona’s Parental Right to Embryo law requires courts in divorce proceedings to award in vitro embryos to the spouse who intends to allow them to develop to birth.

JAG Corps captain’s journey took him from Bushido to the bar

Shane Blank’s law career was influenced by Bushido: The Soul of Japan, a book written by Inazo Nitobe in 1899. The samurai code inspired Blank to embrace adversity, join the the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps and discover in law the ways of the warrior.

Book about Jewish lawyers targeted in Nazi Germany resonates today

Lawyers Without Rights: The Fate of Jewish Lawyers in Berlin after 1933, by Simone Ladwig-Winters, is a chilling portrait through photos and narratives of how Jewish lawyers and jurists were degraded and debarred as the Holocaust began. Attorneys were arrested, imprisoned or forced to flee the country.

Crowdfunding campaign brings books to Texas jail

Public defender Amalia Beckner saw need at the Harris County Jail in Houston, and worked for change on social media.

Ramsey Clark’s 70 years of political and legal activism memorialized on film

The new documentary Citizen Clark … A Life of Principle, currently on Amazon.com, provides an overview of Clark’s incredible decadeslong, multidimensional career and his intense, complex and often-controversial commitment to justice and the rule of law. As the American people search for meaning in the lives of mavericks and activists, it may be the perfect time for a new generation to discover Clark, a 65-year American Bar Association member.

Making It Work: Erin Johnston

Erin Johnston is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis. Johnston is chair of the D.C. office’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. She has received Kirkland’s Pro Bono Service Award multiple times.

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