August 08, 2019

James M. Durant, III

James M. Durant, III
Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (2022)
Senior Executive Service member serving as chief counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Chicago
Howard University School of Law, J.D. 1990

James is a retired U.S. Air Force JAG colonel, served 22 years. Member of the House of Delegates since 2011. Chair of the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (2009-2010) and Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law (2002-2004). Fellow and past director of the Young Lawyers Division (2000-2002). Member of the Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness. Member of the U.S. Senior Executives Association Board of Directors. Reason to serve: “I’m in my third term in the House. It’s time to step it up and to provide a wealth of experience, background and hopefully make a difference. I’m ready to step up my game. From a diversity standpoint, I sat on the Center on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. It was one of my presidential appointments. We led the rewrite of the ABA diversity plan, making sure that we continued to emphasize diversity and inclusion. That was fulfilling. ... One of the things I enjoy about the ABA is its ability to make the law better, make access to justice truly a goal set. Our motto, ‘Defending liberty, pursuing justice,’ that motto itself is what keeps me in it. I know firsthand about access to justice.”

Plans for term: “The main thing is to keep the ABA running, growing and achieving its goals. Ensuring entities can flourish and do the tasks that they have set for themselves, to move the law forward. In terms of our goal set, to sustain us with a high operation tempo. That’s what I hope to accomplish, so when it’s all said and done, I can say we grew. We have smarter operations. We’re not wasting time or money. We’ve increased our membership across the board—sustained and increased our membership.”

Positive experience with the ABA: “The Young Lawyers Division affiliate outreach programs, where the ABA goes out in the community and makes a difference. For example, teaching young high school students about our judiciary and how it works. Access to justice issues. Going into a juvenile delinquent facility and meeting and talking to the children and building a bookcase for them. Those were times we went out and actually made a difference in the local community where we had our meetings.”