Committee Structure Generally
The LC committee structure is designed to align to the Conference’s mission, to establish consistency with the JD level committee structure, and to maintain efficiency in the committee system. Under the structure, there are seven (7) standing committees, with more detailed descriptions contained herein:
- Finance & Non-Dues Revenue
- Programs & Publications
- Public Outreach
Each committee should be organized and managed in a way that promotes:
- Value to Members: To ensure sustainability and attract and retain members, the Conference’s programs and services must provide measurable value and benefits to LC members.
- Service to the Administration of Justice and the Rule of Law: In keeping with the LC mission to be a voice for the judiciary, LC programs, publications and services should focus on issues that improve the efficiency, accessibility, fairness and impartiality of our nation’s federal, state, local and tribal courts, as well as public understanding of the importance of an independent judiciary to the rule of law.
- Diversity and Professionalism: In all of its activities, the LC should solicit and encourage the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds in the LC’s leadership, services and programs and promote a professional and collegial working environment.
Duties of Committee Chairs
Committee Chairs are charged with the following duties: (1) execute the mission and programs of the committee in a timely and professional fashion; (2) report on the committee’s work and progress at each EC call and at the Annual and Mid-Year meetings; (3) engage committee members by conducting regular conference calls and assigning deliverables to achieve the committee’s goals; and (4) communicating feedback to the LC officers regarding any needs or suggested improvements.
The Communications Committee is responsible for marketing and publicizing LC programs, e-content, news, member benefits and events through print and electronic means, including but not limited to email, social media, website updates, newsletters, print publications and ABA resources for media and public relations. Towards these ends, the Communications Committee must ensure timely submission of quality and informative content for the JD Record in coordination with the Conference Editor, who shall be a member of the Communications Committee.
The Diversity Committee is tasked with ensuring that the Conference will vigilantly focus on the commitment of the ABA to ensuring diversity among leadership and CLE speakers and will explore ways to improve diversity within the bench and bar, all with an eye of increasing the voices of those from historically marginalized parts of our communities. The Chair of the Diversity Committee will also: (1) be the LC appointee to the JD’s Standing Committee on Diversity on the Judiciary and regularly attend its meetings and report to the EC on JD level diversity initiatives; (2) encourage committee members to join the JD Fighting Implicit Bias Committee (open enrollment) and solicit reports from LC members on that committee to report to the EC; (3) include the LC appointee to the Judicial Clerkship Program and devise strategies to encourage JCP attendees to join the Conference as their home in the ABA.
Finance & Non-Dues Revenue Committee
The purpose of the Finance & Non-Dues Revenue Committee is to ensure that the Conference expends its financial resources according to its budgetary needs and ABA guidelines. The committee further will consider requests for financial support and other matters that involve the expenditure of LC funds, as well as report regularly to the EC regarding revenues and budgetary issues. The committee is also charged with periodically reviewing the LC’s strategic plan and ensuring it is executed in a manner consistent with the LC’s sustainability and the overall strategic plan of the Judicial Division. This includes planning to promote growth in the Conference’s non-dues revenue stream in coordination with other LC committees. Because the Chair-Elect is a mandatory member of the JD Level Finance & Non-Dues Revenue Committee and JD Strategic Planning Committee, the Chair-Elect shall serve as the Chair of the Finance & Non-Dues Revenue Committee.
The Membership Committee is tasked with: (1) monitoring and reporting to the EC on current and past LC membership, including dues paying and non-dues paying members; (2) developing strategies to bring in new dues-paying members to the Conference from inside and outside the ABA, including but not limited to outreach efforts towards the YLD and other SDFs; (3) developing and implementing strategies to retain law student members once they enter the practice of law; (4) coordinating with the Communications Committee to share information with current and prospective members about the value of LC membership as shown through upcoming events, programs, publications and services; (5) planning social events and other opportunities for member engagement; (6) coordinating with the Programs & Publications Committee to communicate information to help develop programs and e-content that is desirable for LC membership.
Take on duties of former committees:
- Member Engagement Committee
- Perspectives of Young Lawyers on the Judiciary
- Judicial Clerkships and Resources to Help Law Students
- Receptions and Social Events
The Chair of the Membership Committee is also a designee on the JD Membership Committee and should attend those meetings and make regular reports to the LC at its conference calls and meetings.
The primary purpose of the Nominating Committee is to recommend a slate of LC officers, the HOD Delegate and EC members at the Annual Meeting each year for approval by the LC membership. The Nominating Committee is required under Article 8.02 of the LC’s Bylaws:
The Chair shall appoint, not later than 90 days after the closing assembly of the ABA Annual Meeting, a Nominating Committee of no less than three Conference members, which shall report at each Annual Meeting its recommendations to fill the vacancies for officers, Judicial Division Delegate to the House of Delegates, and members of the Executive Committee. The names and mailing addresses of the members of the Nominating Committee shall likewise be published in any regular publication of the conference or the Judicial Division no less than 90 calendar days prior to the opening assembling at the Annual Meeting.
The report of the Nominating Committee shall either be sent to all members or published in any regular publication of the Conference or Judicial Division no less than 60 days prior to the opening assembly at the Annual Meeting. Additional nominations may be made by nominating petition signed by at least nine voting members and received by the Conference Administrator at least 30 days prior to the Annual Meeting
For officer positions, the Nominating Committee shall only consider applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to the LC through the following: (1) service on the EC; (2) regular attendance at LC meetings at the ABA Annual and Mid-Year meetings; (3) regular attendance on EC monthly conference calls; (4) leadership of one or more LC committees or subcommittees; and (5) demonstrated professionalism and commitment to the ABA’s Business Conduct Standards. The Nominating Committee may solicit nominations if it concludes there are insufficient qualified applicants to nominate for approval by the LC membership.
As a secondary role, the Nominating Committee will also be responsible for the following:
Awards: The Nominating Committee must either consider itself or establish a subcommittee to consider nominations to receive the Burnham “Hod” Greeley Award (usually awarded at the Mid-Year meeting to someone/an organization that has made an outstanding contribution in the promoting public understanding of the role of the judiciary and the rule of law) and the Robert B. Yegge Award (awarded at the Annual Meeting to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of judicial administration).
LC Fellows Program: The Nominating Committee must either manage or appoint a subcommittee to manage and develop the LC Fellows Program. This Program was inaugurated in 2017 and is intended to give all past LC officers and EC members automatic membership in the LC Fellows Program and to encourage them to help sustain the LC either through participation in LC committees or financially through contributions to the FJE.
Programs & Publications Committee
The mission of the Programs & Publications Committee is to develop and deliver live CLE programs, e-content, publications and other programs that provide value to LC members and a source of non-dues revenues for the Conference. This includes reviewing proposals for CLE programs at the Annual & Mid-Year CLEs, webinars and other electronic programs, and communicating and coordinating with the Conference Editor to The Judges’ Journal. This Committee includes the Supreme Court Admissions Program and the Special Masters Committee.
The Chair will: (1) serve on the JD Programs Committee; (2) regularly communicate with the Chairs of the Ad Hoc Subcommittees regarding important deadlines and ABA procedures for program proposals; (3) ensure the submission of program proposals from the subcommittees to the JD Programs Committee in a timely fashion according to published deadlines; (4) work with the subcommittees to ensure at least two webinars or other e-content that can serve as a source of non-dues revenue for the LC; (5) serve as a point of contact for requests to co-sponsor programs with other JD conferences or other SDFs and present those requests to the EC for consideration.
In 2016, the number of LC subject matter committees greatly expanded, and this was maintained in 2017. This expansion had the goal of including more members in LC leadership and developing broader issues for program consideration, including issues that reflected the JD and LC Chair themes. The following were topics of committees in 2016 and 2017, and we encourage members interested in these or other topics to bring forward ideas to the Programs & Publications Committee:
- Court Administration
- Court Funding
- Courtroom Technology
- Impact of Changes in Legal Education
- Interaction of Three Branches of Government
- International Courts and Proceedings
- Joint Projects with the Council of Appellate Lawyers
- Promoting Specialized Courts
- Relationship of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches
- Role of In House Counsel in Improving Our Court System
- Tribal Courts
- Veterans and the Courts
Public Outreach Committee
The Public Outreach Committee is charged with organizing and implementing programs that engage the public or outside parties to advance public awareness and knowledge of the importance of a fair, independent and impartial judiciary. Specifically, this committee will be expected to work with and assist the following JD level public outreach and education programs and specific LC initiatives:
- JD Judicial Outreach Network to promote and broadly implement programs during the National Week of Judicial Outreach, March 1-10 annually. LC Chair appoints an LC member to this JD Committee and that appointee sits on this LC Public Outreach committee. (Other LC members can join JD JON outside of the one appointee)
- JD Rule of Law and International Courts – open enrollment
- JD Amicus Committee – LC and CAL Chair each appoint 6 members
- LC Day on the Hill – open enrollment