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2020 CRSJ Midyear Council Meeting

Austin, TX | February 12 - 17

Austin, TX

Austin, TX


Join fellow civil rights attorneys, public interest lawyers, social justice advocates, and other legal professionals from across the country in the heart of Austin for exceptional CLE programs, business meetings, and networking opportunities at the ABA Midyear Meeting.

We are thrilled to participate in the first-ever "Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice: Working Together for Access, Equity and Inclusion" free two-day summit as part of this year's Midyear Meeting. Designed to engage and mobilize the legal profession on critical justice issues, the summit begins with a keynote by Austin Mayor Steve Adler followed by two days of free CLE programming showcasing innovations in advocacy and the delivery of holistic legal services and pro bono through a race-equity lens. This will take place on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. 

During the Midyear Meeting, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will offer one CLE program, "One Person, (N)one Vote: Gerrymandering with the Help of the Disenfranchised" and one non-CLE program, "From Separate But Equal to Affirmative Action: Where Are We 70 Years After Sweatt v. Painter?," that will educate you on developing legal issues in the civil rights arena and offer you an opportunity to engage in a meaningful and important dialogue regarding underrepresentd communities and marginalized groups.

Our Section's Committee and Council Meetings provide additional opportunities to expand your network and exchange ideas with fellow legal professionals. You will not want to miss our Section's signature event on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the life work of former Section Chair Robert N. Weiner, honorable recipient of the 2020 Robert F. Drinan Award.

CRSJ Headquarters Hotel
JW Marriott Austin
111 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 


We ask that all individuals attending the Midyear Meeting register, even if you are only attending Section events or Section CLE programs. Tickets for CLE programs and other tickets may be requested at the time you register online or later if you have already registered. Please click this link to register. 

To register for the Robert F. Drinan Award Reception, please follow the above link. After entering either the email address associated with your ABA membership OR your ABA ID Number, please click "submit." Click "Register Now" on the page you are re-directed to and enter your contact details. On Step 4 of the registration page, you will see "Course Selection." Click on "Civil Rights and Social Justice" where you may register for the Robert F. Drinan Award Reception.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, February 13

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Section Executive Committee Meeting
JW Marriott Austin | Room 301

Friday, February 14

8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Section Council Meeting
JW Marriott Austin | Lone Star Ballroom, Salon G

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Section Sponsored Program

One Person, (N)one Vote: Gerrymandering with the Help of the Disenfranchised (CLE)
JW Marriott Austin | JW Grand Ballroom, Salon 1

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Robert F. Drinan Award Reception
Honoring Robert N. Weiner
JW Marriott Austin 
| JW Grand Ballroom, Salon 7

Saturday, February 15

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Section Council Meeting
JW Marriott Austin | Lone Star Ballroom, Salon G

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Spirit of Excellence Awards Luncheon
JW Marriott Austin | Lone Star Ballroom, Salons D-E

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Council Committee Meetings
Membership, Diversity, & Inclusion
Development and Fundraising
JW Marriott Austin | Rooms 303 & 304

4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Section Sponsored Program
From Separate But Equal to Affirmative Action: Where Are We 70 Years After Sweatt v. Painter? (non-CLE)
JW Marriott Austin | JW Grand Ballroom, Salon 1

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Section Leadership Dinner
El Mesón | 2038 S. Lamar Blvd.

Sunday, February 16

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Substantive Committee Meetings
JW Marriott Austin | Room 304

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Commission on the 19th Amendment Meeting
JW Marriott Austin | Lone Star Ballroom, Salon H


One Person, (N)one Vote: Gerrymandering with the Help of the Disenfranchised


This panel will examine modern-day residency requirements and moral character tests that continue to bar homeless people, students, and those with criminal convictions or awaiting pre-trial detention from voting.  The speakers will also analyze the implications of these voting policies when it comes to obtaining accurate census counts and redistricting, especially with respect to prison-based gerrymandering and transient populations.  In addition, the panelists will explore the role the ABA can play in advocating for increased ballot access and fairer state redistricting plans to protect these vulnerable and marginalized communities.


  • Nancy Abudu (Moderator), Deputy Legal Director, Voting Rights | Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Chad W. Dunn, Director of Litigation, UCLA Voting Rights Project | UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative
  • James W. HeatonSupervising Attorney | Mission United Veterans Pro Bono Project
  • Sean J. Young, Legal Director | ACLU of Georgia

Joint Sponsors

From Separate But Equal to Affirmative Action: Where Are We 70 Years After Sweatt v. Painter?


On the 70th Anniversary of the decision of the Sweatt v. Painter landmark decision, panelists will delve into the progress, or lack thereof, in advancing systemic support for aspiring African American lawyers who choose to attend law school and whether there still exists a disparity in school funding. Affirmative action is a core issue of the discussion, but so is equity in terms of school funding and/or access to public/state law schools for African American law students. This is a unique opportunity for an audience to engage on the challenges to ensuring that the legal profession is as diverse as our country. 



Hotel Reservations

Hotel reservations can be made directly with the hotel using a customized reservation link provided in your Midyear Meeting registration confirmation. You must be registered for the Midyear Meeting to make a hotel reservation within the ABA block.

Upon making your hotel reservation online, you will receive an immediate confirmation from the hotel, which can then be used to make changes or cancellations directly. The deadline to secure hotel reservations is January 15, 2020.