ABA Journal

President's Letter

201 ABA Journal President's Letter articles.

ABA Survey of Civic Literacy shows people are in favor of protecting the right to vote

“The American Bar Association is constantly working to enhance the integrity and public perception of the electoral process in a nonpartisan fashion with policies promoting consistent and fair ballot-counting and a reduction in wait times to vote,” says ABA President Reginald Turner. “We all need to be confident that our votes matter. We all must work to preserve access to the ballot box for all who are eligible. We must keep the right to vote ‘the crown jewel of American liberties.’”

Law Schools’ Impact on Justice: U.S. legal education advances rule of law around the world

“World leaders getting a degree in the law should not be surprising. Many in key positions in corporations or media and many other professions have studied law. Leading a country is just another area in which the skills attained in law school can be beneficial,” writes ABA President Reginald Turner. “Our nation’s law schools have played and will continue to play their role, particularly when it comes to training foreign lawyers and educating potential world leaders. It is an often overlooked but vital component of U.S. efforts to foster an adherence to the rule of law throughout the world.”

A 1997 experience taught me the power of pro bono and the need to fight for equality

“Diversity, justice and equality are vitally important to our nation’s health. That’s why diversity, equity and inclusion are among the American Bar Association’s core goals. For attorneys, a professional obligation exists to pursue justice and equality, especially for vulnerable populations. And volunteering for pro bono work is one of the most fulfilling ways to do this.”

ABA calls on lawyers to join push to tackle the student debt crisis

Graduating from law school and starting a legal career should be an exciting and hopeful time. But for far too many, student debt causes apprehension and struggle.

ABA members need to tout value, importance of bar membership

“Membership is the lifeblood of our bar association,” says ABA President Reginald Turner. “That is why in the year ahead, I urge you all to make a habit of reaching out and mentoring young lawyers and law students by demonstrating how bar associations make us better lawyers and fulfilled citizens who make a difference.”

Our ‘calling’ demands more of us as lawyers in the public square

When we choose a career in the law, it is not about simply getting a job. It is a choice to join a learned, self-governing profession. We say a person is “called to the bar” because that is what law is—a calling. Part of that calling involves upholding and defending the rule of law, the principle that all of us are equal in the eyes of the law and no person is above the law.

Serving as a juror was an unexpected duty during my year as ABA president

“‘All rise for the jury’ is something I have heard scores of times as a trial lawyer. But this time, and for the first time, I heard them as a part of a jury,” writes ABA President Patricia Lee Refo.

Lawyers and the ABA are on front lines in protecting the bedrock of our democracy

While the rule of law has been the foundation of America since its birth, recent events and unprecedented attacks on our institutions underscore the need to remain vigilant about protecting it. The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing racial injustice and attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of presidential power have all highlighted broader challenges around justice in America.

Justice for All: ABA acts to expand civil legal assistance

ABA joins with dozens of law schools to address issues in police practices

“The American Bar Association stands for equal justice and has long worked to eliminate bias in our justice system. We always must encourage innovative and proactive approaches that promote justice for all,” writes ABA President Patricia Lee Refo.

Lawyers can play a key role in safe, fair and accessible elections by volunteering as poll workers

Our country will hold a national election next month, and the ABA wants to make sure every eligible citizen in every corner of this nation has a safe and fair opportunity to cast their ballot. Americans must be able to exercise their right to vote in a way that is secure and accessible—especially vulnerable populations such as the elderly, disabled and homeless, as well as military serving abroad.

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.

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