July 15, 2020 Women in Criminal Justice

Undefined Vision: An Ally’s Journey

Lucian E. Dervan

I remember the telephone conversation well. It occurred in the summer of 2018 as I prepared to assume my duties as chair of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. Over the preceding months, Kevin Scruggs, executive director of the Section, and I had discussed various issues related to my term and the goals I had identified for the Section during the next year. Many of those topics were of a familiar sort—increasing membership; addressing particular pressing issues in the criminal justice system, such as the dominance of plea bargaining; increasing the role of committees; finding new leadership opportunities for our younger members, etc. But one idea that stemmed from those conversations was quite different and held the possibility of having a fundamental impact on the profession more broadly.

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