chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
July/August 2021

News & Events: Big Ideas During Uncertainty

Zachary Bambacht

For more than a year now, we have all faced significant professional challenges. Some of those challenges we were reasonably prepared for, while others would’ve been near impossible for us to anticipate. Challenges require goals and action; goals and action lead us to our solutions. Big ideas can inspire us to take action to make things better—hopefully to get the outcome that is the best fit for the challenge we are facing. Several years ago, few lawyers could’ve ever imagined the possibility of most of us working remotely full time due to a pandemic. Big ideas have helped us navigate through the reality of exactly that.

The Law Practice Division has made some major pivots over the last 15-plus months to better serve the needs of our members and to make more meaningful contributions to the American Bar Association for the membership we all serve. We proudly contribute CLE webinars to the ABA’s CLE library that are available to all ABA members at no additional cost. Under ordinary circumstances, our programs focus on management, technology, marketing and finance. But when the needs of our membership abruptly changed, we as a Division wanted to address those needs in as close to real-time as possible and provide timely, real-world, practical solutions.

Our Professional Development Board and our committees responded with their big ideas and turned them into immediate action. Instead of working with our normal resource allocations and our regular cadence of CLE production, our Professional Development Board, supported by all our Law Practice substantive committees, reallocated resources, identified critical topics to address where practitioners may have critical deficits or not be as prepared as they would like, and, what possibly deserves the most recognition, volunteered and gave more back to the profession. What they didn’t do was reallocate slots that were already committed to programs of pre-COVID subject matter. Instead, they produced more, they maintained their quality standards, they supported the profession with urgency, and they cared and wanted to help as much as they could in a crisis. They still do; these efforts haven’t diminished. Here a few of the programs they produced that are available in the library:

  1. How to Move Your Office Into the Cloud Now: Transitioning to Paperless Office Operations in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis & Future Events
  2. Pandemic Planning for Your Practice: What You Need to Know to Get Started and Client Communications and Management, Remote Systems and Virtual Meetings With Clients
  3. How to Effectively Conduct “Zoom” Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
  4. Reopening Safely: Making the Right Choices and Accommodations for Your Workplace and Employees
  5. Leveraging Your Firm Technology for Social Distance and Accessibility

If these topics are of interest to you, they are still available to you, as a member, at no cost in the CLE library. To check them out and to see all programs that are available to you as a member benefit, please visit the ABA's CLE Library. As a Division, we are grateful and humbled by all our active members, from all across Law Practice, who made these programs possible.

Zachary Bambacht


Zachary Bambacht is the director of the ABA Law Practice Division in Chicago. [email protected]

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.