Lawyers Conference members from across the country partnered with active and retired judges to spread the word about preserving the rule of law and the importance of judicial independence during the National Judicial Outreach Week (“NJOW”) held March 1-10. Programs which aim to increase public awareness about the importance of the courts in upholding the rule of law in the United States, were held in both in person and virtual formats.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the LC co-sponsored a wonderful seminar titled "Trailblazing Women in the Legal Profession: Their Stories and Legacies for Us”, which highlighted the stories of four trailblazing women (Margaret Brent, Myra Bradwell, Arabella Babb Mansfield, and Gertrude Rush) and their journeys into the legal profession. The recording of this free program is available to view and features a very distinguished panel that shared insights and thoughts about these remarkable women who shaped history. A special thanks to LC Immediate Past Chair Monica A. Fennell for all her hard work on this event.
As we look ahead to the remainder of the year, we have several amazing programs on the horizon. The LC is excited to co-sponsor an exciting CLE seminar titled “CARES ACT and PPP Loan Implications in Bankruptcy” during the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Spring Conference on May 6 at 10:30 am EST. The panel will focus on the Paycheck Protection Program, instituted as part of the CARES Act, and the implications of the PPP Loans on business bankruptcies.
We are also in the process of finalizing plans to start a “How to Become” seminar series, which will highlight the pathways various judges (State, Federal, Appellate, Specialty, Tribal, and Administrative) took to get to their current positions. The seminars will examine requirements to become a judge and provide tips to prepare for the positions.
Lastly, this fall, after a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, the LC looks forward to hosting a small group delegation for admission to the US Supreme Court the first Monday in October. Melissa Aubin along with staff has been diligently organizing activities at the Court. Although we’re still unsure about which activities will be possible and what COVID-19 restrictions may be in place, we remain optimistic that this year’s event will proceed as planned. As a black female attorney, this is news is very exciting since the country is now positioned to have its first black, female justice, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is currently awaiting confirmation.
In closing, I would like to take a moment to thank two of our departing Lawyers Conference members who had to resign due to their wonderful new jobs: Adam Landy, who left a position at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel to become a Special Trial Judge on the US Tax Court, and Jess Mekeel, who left a position as a career staff attorney with the US Court of Appeals for the Ten Circuit to become a federal administrative appeal judge (appointed by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra). We will miss them both but wish them the best of luck in their new roles. These resignations have created two vacancies on the Lawyers Conference Executive Committee. I encourage any attorney who is interested in joining the Executive Committee to support judges in the fair administration of justice, ensuring that protection of fair, impartial, independent and diverse courts will remain a focus of legal and policy decisions, and advancing educational programming and resources for judges and legal professionals, to submit a letter of interest to me via e-mail ([email protected]) by April 15, 2022. Those who don’t have the bandwidth to serve on the Executive Committee are encouraged to volunteer with one of our other committees. Member involvement can be limited to a specific project or event that you are passionate about or can include volunteering for a particular committee. I encourage you to visit our committee webpage to learn more about the various ways to get more involved. For those who are unable to volunteer but are still looking for ways to support nationwide, I encourage you to consider donating to the JD through the Fund for Justice and Education.