The ABA Annual Meeting is an event I look forward to attending every year. This will be my 36th. The Annual Meeting enables us to reconnect with friends, meet new ones, and continue our efforts to improve our profession and strive for equal justice for all under the rule of law.
Yet this year is different for all of us. Due to evolving pandemic-related developments, the ABA Board of Governors voted today (April 30) to transition the 2020 Annual Meeting to an online virtual meeting. While we will not meet in person this summer in Chicago, I am pleased that we will nonetheless gather together to continue our important work.
We identified, analyzed, and considered the impact of various factors that would influence the decision to hold an in-person meeting in Chicago, starting with the current State of Illinois shelter-in-place order through May 30. Other factors include air travel limitations and self-quarantine orders for travelers along with social distancing guidelines that are expected to remain in place throughout the summer.
Of course, safety of members, ABA staff, and their families and colleagues were paramount as we analyzed the ability to meet in person. You can find more information about the Board of Governors decision under the Q&A.
The challenges to our traditional Annual Meeting brought on by the pandemic also have triggered creative and innovative ideas from members and staff. We invite all of you to join us for the 2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting. For the first time in ABA history, we are offering this entire capstone event as a complimentary member benefit, which will enable even more lawyers to participate, perhaps some for the first time. The virtual meeting will offer the highest quality programming with a revised schedule to accommodate members’ home locations and time. Events will include governance and business meetings, CLE Showcase programs, virtual networking opportunities, the General Assembly with the presentation of the ABA Medal, and the House of Delegates. Please check back for the latest information.
Stay well. And know that your ABA is here for you with a fresh, new approach to our always informative and inspiring Annual Meeting that so many of us and our families look forward to each summer.