Midyear Meeting

2024 ABA Midyear Meeting kicks off in Kentucky

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Louisville skyline

Louisville, Kentucky, is hosting the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting. (Images from Shutterstock.)

The 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting opens in the Derby City this week, giving members the chance to network with colleagues, attend CLE programs and events and honor inspiring leaders in the legal profession.

The annual conference, which runs Wednesday, Jan. 31, through Monday, Feb. 5, in Louisville, Kentucky, also features a full agenda of ABA governance meetings, with the Board of Governors convening Friday to discuss the association’s business matters. The House of Delegates is expected to consider about 30 proposed resolutions—including a measure involving a member dues rate increase—Monday. The ABA Journal will be providing coverage of the House debates on our Midyear Meeting page.

The House of Delegates Nominating Committee will vote on the next president-elect nominee after its meeting Sunday. Michelle Behnke, the principal of Michelle Behnke & Associates in Madison, Wisconsin, is running unopposed. She has served as treasurer of the ABA and as chair of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

The Nominating Committee will make its recommendation to the full House of Delegates for a final selection Monday. If approved, Behnke will serve as president-elect for the 2024-2025 term.

Additionally, Jonathan Cole and William D. Johnston are competing for the nomination for chair of the House of Delegates for the 2024-2026 term.

Cole, a shareholder of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Nashville, Tennessee, was chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and the Services and Young Lawyers Division. Johnston, a partner of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor in Wilmington, Delaware, has held several ABA leadership positions, including as chair of the Business Law Section and as a delegate to the House of Delegates.

Time to celebrate

The ABA invites attendees to several key events throughout the week.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, the Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline will host the Alexander Awards Reception. (All times are provided in Eastern Time.) The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law’s Center for Racial Justice and Criminal Justice Reform; Haynes and Boone; and the Appellate Project are this year’s recipients.

On Saturday, the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession will present the Spirit of Excellence Awards during a luncheon that starts at noon. Tickets are $150.

The honorees are as follows: Capt. Benes Aldana, the first Asian Pacific American chief trial judge in the U.S. military; Col. Jose Cora, an attorney in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps; Judge Dolly Gee, the first Chinese American woman to be nominated and confirmed as an Article III judge; Sara Hill, the former attorney general of the Cherokee Nation and now judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma; and Juan Thomas, of counsel to Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer in Chicago and immediate past-chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.

Also on Saturday, the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will present its Stonewall Awards to Janice Grubin, a partner at Barclay Damon in New York; Mark Johnson Roberts, a former board co-chair of the National Lesbian & Gay Law Association (now known as the National LGBT Bar Association); and Paula Boggs, the founder of Boggs Media and former general counsel of Starbucks Corp. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.

Other key events during the midyear meeting include the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s Keithe E. Nelson Memorial Military Law Luncheon at noon Friday and the Center for Human Rights Luncheon at noon Monday. Tickets are $40 and $75, respectively.

Follow along with the ABA Journal’s coverage of the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting here.

Insight into the profession

The 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting offers members several programs and panel discussions on important issues in the legal profession.

At 4 p.m. Friday, Stephanie Stuckey, the CEO of Stuckey’s Corp., who previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives, will discuss lessons learned throughout her career during the Present and Powerful Speaker Series wine and cheese reception. The Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s Women’s Initiative Network coordinates the annual series.

The Section of State and Local Government Law is hosting several CLE sessions on Friday and Saturday. Members can pay $35 per program or purchase the entire package for $150.

The first program, “Constitutional Policing: The Case for and Against Qualified Immunity,” begins at 9 a.m. Friday. “Stepping Up, Lawyers Defending Democracy,” follows at 10:15 a.m. Friday’s last program, “The Past and Future of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms” is at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday’s programs are “The CROWN Act Goes to Court,” at 9 a.m., and “Pathways to Equity: Navigating Racial Equality in the Aftermath of Students for Fair Admissions” at 10:15 a.m.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, the Commission on Women in the Profession will present “Firekeepers: Elevating the Voice of Native American Women Attorneys in the Profession.” The complimentary CLE program will focus on Excluded & Alone: Examining the Experiences of Native American Women in the Law and a Path Towards Equality. The commission and National Native American Bar Association released the seminal report in November.

An ABA press release with additional conference highlights is here. The full schedule can be found on the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting website. While most events and programs take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center, Omni Louisville Hotel and Louisville Marriott Downtown, some will be held in other nearby locations.

Registration for the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting is complimentary for all ABA members and nonmembers. Attendees can register for ticketed events and programs through the midyear meeting website.

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