President's Letter

190 ABA Journal President's Letter articles.

Your vote is your voice

“As we approach the 2020 presidential election, many Americans are calling it the most consequential of their lifetime. But all elections are important, whether for school boards, local judges, town councils or the U.S. Senate,” writes ABA President Judy Perry Martinez.

Lawyers and the ABA must show resilience in tackling pandemic challenges
Law Day focuses on 19th Amendment centennial, voting rights
We must not squander the future of legal services

“Access to justice is a fundamental tenet of the rule of law. Without it, people cannot fully protect their rights, liberty and property; and the public’s confidence in our justice system is put at risk,” writes ABA President Judy Perry Martinez.

Protecting the Courts: Unfair attacks on judges undermine judicial independence, the rule of law

Bar associations have a special responsibility to ensure that the public understands the judiciary’s role and holds the judiciary accountable to the highest standards of fairness and impartiality.

ABA advances the rule of law to assure fairness, justice, and ultimately, our democracy

As lawyers, we see the rule of law as the promise that we live in a nation of laws that are justly and fairly enforced. These laws protect our freedom, rights and property from both government intrusion and the unlawful acts of others. The rule of law also requires that each of us, no matter whether elected official or private person in civil society, remains accountable under law so that justice will be done.

Defense of the unpopular: Lawyers should not suffer backlash for defending rights of unsympathetic clients

Our adversarial justice system requires a defense attorney to stand up for the accused and balance the arguments of the prosecution. A lawyer can guide a client through the process and defend their civil rights without excusing or condoning what the client is accused of doing. Even Nazi war criminals were afforded counsel. It did not mean their lawyers were sympathizers.

Our Civics IQ: ABA survey demonstrates people need better understanding of our democracy

Less than half of the U.S. public knows that John Roberts is Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, while almost one-quarter think it is Ruth Bader Ginsburg and 16 percent believe it is Clarence Thomas. The ABA Survey of Civic Literacy asked 1,000 adults in the United States 17 questions about the law, the U.S. Constitution and the rights of both citizens and noncitizens.

A Better Value: ABA reinvigorates benefits for current and new members

The American Bar Association, with an eye on a bright future, will begin introducing exciting changes starting this month as part of a new membership plan that offers greater value and significantly enhanced benefits.

ABA offers lawyers opportunities to get involved with government at ABA Day, Law Day

From April 9 to 11, ABA Day will bring together ABA leaders with state and local bar members from across the country to take the message of lawyers to Congress. Less than three weeks later, we will celebrate Law Day 2019, with this year’s topical theme of “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.”

Immigration Matters: A fairer process is needed for those seeking entry to the United States

Our nation needs to regulate and control immigration, have secure borders and keep people safe. But developing clear, comprehensive, practical and humane immigration law is possible—and long overdue.

Looking Ahead to 2019: Goals for us all: promoting civility and protecting justice
It’s time to promote our health

America’s lawyers need to know that the ABA is working hard to improve lawyer wellness. Through CoLAP, we are working to ensure that every lawyer, judge and law student has access to support when dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues.

America: The Resilient Land of the Free

All Americans have the responsibility to exercise their rights to speak out and to vote. Democracy is not served when the people do not participate. In the past 20 years, midterm election turnout has averaged under 39 percent, and we, as a nation, simply can and must do better.

Serving the public good: Pro Bono Celebration 2018 highlights disaster resiliency efforts

Oct. 21-27 is the 10th anniversary of the Annual National Celebration of Pro Bono—a nationwide opportunity for lawyers to honor our responsibility to the profession and our communities by volunteering to serve those who cannot afford legal services. This year’s Pro Bono Celebration will showcase disaster resiliency activities. United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan will serve as honorary chair.

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