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Standing Committee on Law and National Security

The Standing Committee on Law and National Security is the oldest Standing Committee in the ABA. We have sustained a commitment to educating the Bar and public on national security issues.

About the Standing Committee

The Standing Committee on Law and National Security celebrated its 60 year anniversary in 2022 and is the oldest Standing Committee in the ABA. The Committee, since 1962, has sustained an unwavering commitment to educating the Bar and the public on the importance of the rule of law in preserving the freedoms of democracy and our national security. Founded by then-ABA President and later Supreme Court Justice Lewis J. Powell, the Committee focuses on legal aspects of national security with particular attention in recent years to issues raised by legal responses to terrorist events. The Committee conducts studies, sponsors programs and administers working groups on law and national security-related issues to serve members and the profession. Activities assist policymakers, educate lawyers, the media and the public, and enable the Committee to make recommendations to the ABA. The 11-member Committee is aided by an Advisory Committee, Counselors, and liaisons from ABA entities.

Register Now: 33rd Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law CLE Conference

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November 16 -17, 2023 | In- person at The Westin Washington, DC Downtown (*Previously, the Renaissance Hotel)

The 33rd Annual Review CLE Conference is a premier event that brings together distinguished legal professionals, scholars, and practitioners in the field of National Security law. This year's conference will focus on critical topics and emerging challenges that are shaping the landscape of national security, both domestically and internationally. Attendees can expect in-depth discussions, engaging presentations, and invaluable networking opportunities.

Register - Now

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Material

33rd Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference CLE Material available.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Resource Page

— follow developments on Section 702 useful to policymakers, the press, and the public. Read selected articles and legal materials and learn about upcoming events on FISA and 702. Visit regularly as the site will be updated as new materials become available.

Women in National Security Law Webinar Program: National Security and Emerging Technologies

Aired Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Listen to a discussion with Lala Qadir, ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security Law (SCOLANS) Advisory Committee, Chair and Principal Assistant Director and Chief of Staff of the National Security Division at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The discussion was moderated by Margaret Hu, SCOLANS Advisory Committee member and Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School and opening remarks were given Jennifer O’Connor, Chair, Women in National Security Law. They discussed the role of emerging technologies in national security and the development of long-term science and technology strategies to strengthen our national security and competitiveness.

Past Event

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FISA Section 702 Symposium

(On April 26,2023) The Georgetown Law Center on National Security and The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security co-sponsored an event at Georgetown University Law Center. The symposium covered the current operations and challenges brought by and reforms for reauthorization of FISA Section 702. Speakers included the National Security Advisors to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Kevin McCarthy; lawyers from the National Security Division, Department of Justice and the FBI; General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and representatives from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

View Event Details & Recording - Here

National Cybersecurity Strategy Released

(March, 2023) The Biden Administration has released its National Cybersecurity Strategy. The Strategy sets out five pillars of focus for the administration including defending critical infrastructure, investing in future capabilities, and foreign partnerships.

AI Resolution 604 Unanimously Passes House of Delegates

The ABA took a strong stand on artificial intelligence and related issues during the 2023 ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Resolution 604 sets out standards for the development and utilization of artificial intelligence products, services, and systems, and encourages transparency and accountability.

32nd Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference

Thank you for joining the Standing Committee on Law and National Security in person for the CLE conference in Washington, DC.

Left to right - Stephen Dycus, William Banks, and Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker

2022 The Morris I. Leibman Award

(November 18, 2022) Lawyers Stephen Dycus and Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker were presented with the Morris I. Leibman Award in Law and National Security at a 60th Anniversary Dinner held at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., following the 32nd Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference.

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An Anthology: 60 Years of Transformation | National Security Law

The Past Ten Years, The Next Years, An Anthology - Edited by: Julie J.R. Huygen, Cynthia Ryan, Edgar Gonzalez and Brandon Gaskew


The 60th Anniversary Anthology will review the past ten years and forecast the next ten years in the development of national security law. These articles capture the history, growth, and development of the Committee, the nation, and the world's evolution in national security law. The articles will be released serially through our website. We will later compile the articles in an e-book that can be downloaded or printed as a reader chooses. New essays are added regularly.

Women in National Security Law Webinar Recording

A Conversation with Avril Haines Director of National Intelligence

(Aired October 13, 2021) We were honored to host Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence. As the first woman to serve as DNI, Avril Haines has an extraordinary perspective and the experience to match. Among many things she discusses - China, investments in cyber and intelligence infrastructure, creating a more diverse workforce, the shifting threat landscape, and opportunities for women in the intelligence community.

Women in National Security Law

Watch the webinar panels and read more about the Standing Committee's programs to support, promote and develop women engaged in the practice of national security law.

Past Event: Reforming the Classification System: Challenges, Approaches, and Priorities

Cosponsored with the Federalist Society and the Hudson Institute

(HUDSON INSTITUTE | DECEMBER 06, 2022) Our national security relies on the careful and deliberate creation, dissemination, and protection of classified information. But some contend that the current system for classifying and declassifying US government records is outdated and imposes significant economic and public policy costs, directly and indirectly harming national security. Storage and maintenance costs increase as classification levels rise, and these costs will increase with newly classified electronic records growing exponentially, and with numerous records approaching mandatory declassification review. Join the ABA Standing Committee along with the Federalist Society and the Hudson Institute in this pre-recorded discussion.

View Speaker List - at HUDSON.ORG

Conferences and Events

Visit the ABA Cyber Task Force Page

The ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force's mission is to identify and compile resources within the ABA that pertain to cybersecurity, and to focus and coordinate the ABA’s legal and policy analyses and assessments of proposals relating to cybersecurity.

ABA Cybersecurity Handbook

The third edition of the Handbook published by the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force addresses current overarching threats, describes how the technology works, outlines key legal requirements and ethical issues, and highlights special considerations for lawyers and practitioners of all types. It's a must read for anyone working in the field.

ABA Vendor Contracting Cybersecurity Checklist (2nd)

The Cybersecurity Checklist, Second Edition (2021) is directed to solo and small firm attorneys who interact with vendors, often involving access to a client's sensitive data or internal systems. As we face increased cybersecurity risks, the mantra "know your supplier" cannot be overstated. This Checklist highlights how practitioners who are not steeped in the nuances of data privacy and data security can minimize cybersecurity risks in their contractual transactions with third party vendors. Available for free to ABA Members.

Find more National Security Resources

For more articles, books and information on the law, visit our resources page.