(Year denotes end of Council member's current term.)
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
Buffalo, New York
Diane F. Bosse practices law in Buffalo, New York. She was appointed to the New York State Board of Law Examiners in 1998 and has been its chair since 2001. She served on the Board of Trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners from 1999 to 2008 (chair, 2006-2007), and is presently a member of the Conference's Testing Task Force. Ms. Bosse is a past president of the Defense Trial Lawyers of Western New York and a past member of the boards of directors of the Bar Association of Erie County and of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association.
Prior to serving on the Council, Ms. Bosse served on the Accreditation Committee for six years (2007-2013), including two as committee chair; on the Standards Review Committee for three years (2004-2007); and on the Bar Admissions Committee for two years (2002-2004). Ms. Bosse is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Ms. Bosse received her undergraduate and law degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Scott Bales became the Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver in September 2019 after his retirement from the Arizona Supreme Court. Bales had served on the Court since 2005, including a five-year term as Chief Justice from 2014 to 2019. He is also a member of the Council of the American Law Institute and formerly served as the chair of the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA’s Judicial Division and on the board of directors for the Conference of Chief Justices.
Before his appointment to the Court, Bales worked at Lewis and Roca LLP from 2001-2005, served as Arizona’s Solicitor General from 1999-2001, and, was an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1994-1999. He also was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Policy Development and a Special Investigative Counsel for the Justice Department’s Inspector General. He has often taught courses as an adjunct professor at the law schools at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
Bales earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from Michigan State University, an M.A. in economics from Harvard University, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review from 1981 to 1983. He also was a Teaching Fellow from 1979 to 1983 at Harvard University and received the Allyn Young Prize for Excellence in Teaching Economics in 1980 and 1981. After graduating from law school, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Judge Joseph T. Sneed III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Vice Chair (2020)
Leo P. Martinez
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
San Francisco, California
Leo Martinez is Dean and Albert Abramson Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He served as UC Hastings’ Academic Dean for twelve years and he served as the Acting Chancellor and Dean of the college in the 2009-2010 academic year.
Professor Martinez is a past president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He has chaired or served on more than two-dozen ABA law school site evaluation visits and he has assisted ten law schools in their strategic planning. He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI); he was one of the academic advisers on the ALI’s Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance project, and he was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education that issued its final report in 2014.
Outside of academia, Professor Martinez has chaired the boards of four different non-profit organizations including KQED, Inc.; Public Advocates, Inc.; the St. Francis Hospital Foundation; and Public Media Company. He is a member of the board of CollegeTrack, a Bay Area-based organization that provides mentoring for high school students living in low-income and underserved areas and he recently finished his term as a member of the University of Kansas Chancellor’s Advisory Board.
Professor Martinez is a co-author of a leading insurance law casebook, a co-editor of a four-volume insurance treatise, and the author of many articles on tax, insurance law, and legal education that have appeared in journals including the Stanford Law Review, Tulane Law Review, Yale Law and Policy Review, and the China EU Law Journal.
Dean Emeritus and Professor
University of Puerto Rico School of Law
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Before becoming the eighth president of the University of Puerto Rico in November 2001, Antonio García-Padilla had been dean of the school of law for 15 years. He is the president of the Puerto Rico Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation. Earlier in his career he served as law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer, now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, then serving as a circuit judge in the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and to Justice Angel M. Martín of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
Dean García-Padilla has served on the Section’s Accreditation Committee and Council. He has also served as a member of the council of the American Law Institute. Dean García-Padilla received his law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1978 and a master’s in law from Yale Law School in 1981.
Immediate Past Chair (2020):
Dean Emeritus and Professor
Saint Louis University School of Law
St. Louis, Missouri
Jeffrey Lewis joined Saint Louis University School of Law as dean in 1999 and served in that capacity for 11 years. He returned to full-time teaching in 2010 with the title of dean emeritus and professor. He began his law teaching career in 1970 at the University of Akron School of Law. He served on the law faculty at the University of Florida from 1972 to 1999, and during his tenure at Florida he served as associate dean for seven years and dean for eight years. Dean Lewis earned both his bachelor’s degree and law degree from Duke University.
Dean Lewis has been active with the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) throughout his career. He previously served on the Council from 1999 to 2004. He also chaired the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Review Committee, served on the AALS Accreditation Committee, and chaired or served as a member of more than 20 ABA/AALS site evaluation teams.
Mary Lu Bilek (2022)
The City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law
Long Island City, New York
Mary Lu Bilek has served as dean of CUNY School of Law since 2016. Under her leadership, the Law School has been named “the premier public interest law school in the country” and tops the list of “the most diverse law schools in the country.” Having joined the faculty shortly after the school opened, Bilek served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for three deans and is credited with leadership in moving the school to accreditation, developing and implementing CUNY Law’s innovative curriculum, spearheading programs that increased the diversity of the Law School and the profession, and supporting the development of programs to address the justice gap.
Bilek served as dean of the University of Massachusetts School of Law from 2012-2016, charged to lead the Commonwealth’s new public law school to accreditation. Under her leadership, UMass Las saw a rise in applications and academic credentials, as well as an increase in student diversity.
Bilek served on the ABA Special Committee on the Professional Education Continuum, chaired the Section on Legal Education Diversity Committee, and has served on many ABA Site Visit Teams, chairing several. She regularly participates on the faculty of the Site Visit Team and Chair Workshops and has served on the faculty of the New Deans Workshop. She has served on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission and the Boards of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the National Center for Economic Justice, and CALI. She is a member of the NYC Bar’s Council on the Profession, the Task Force on Right to Counsel, and the Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession.
Named as one of the Most Influential People in Legal Education by National Jurist in 2016, Bilek graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary’s College and cum laude from Harvard Law School.
David A. Brennen (2022)
Dean and Professor
University of Kentucky College of Law
David A. Brennen joined UK in 2009 from the University of Georgia School of Law where he was a professor since 2006 and from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) where he served a two year term as deputy director. Along with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom, Brennen is regarded as an innovator in the field of nonprofit law as it relates to taxation. He is a co-founder and coeditor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, founding editor of Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, cofounder of the AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law and a co-author of one of the first law school casebooks on taxation of nonprofit organizations.
Brennen received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida Atlantic University in 1988 and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1991, where he also received his LL.M. in tax law in 1994. In 2002, Brennen was elected to the American Law Institute where he is an adviser on its project titled, “Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations.” Brennen has also served in leadership roles with AALS, the Society of American Law Teachers and the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education.
Brennen began his career in legal education as an adjunct professor at Florida A&M University in 1994. He also taught as a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, the University of Richmond School of Law and Mercer University School of Law prior to his last position at the University of Georgia. In addition, Brennen taught as a visiting professor at the University of Alabama and Temple University.
His law practice work began with Moody & Salzman, PA in Gainesville, Florida. He went to work with Bobo, Spicer & Ciotoli, PA in West Palm Beach, Messer, Vickers, Caparello, Madsen, Lewis, Goldman & Metz, PA in Tallahassee and the State of Florida Department of Revenue.
He has been a member of the Florida Bar - Tax Section, American Bar Association - Section of Taxation and the National Bar Association. In addition, he has served on several boards and held many special appointments, including being appointed to American Bar Association Accreditation Committee, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Reaffirmation Committee, and the boards of directors for Access Group and Hospice of the Bluegrass.
David Byers (2022)
Administrative Director of the Courts
Arizona Supreme Court
David Byers is the Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Director of the Courts. He is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Arizona Court system with over 10,000 employees and a total budget of $740M. The system also operates both juvenile and adult probation programs and 13 juvenile detention centers. Mr. Byers began his career with the court in 1978 as the first director of the Foster Care Review Board. Before being appointed administrative director by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1992, Mr. Byers was the director of the Program Services Division, director of Adult and Juvenile Probation, and deputy director of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Mr. Byers has also served as chairman of the $34B Arizona State Retirement System; and is currently a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, the Arizona Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory Council, the Governor’s Drug and Gang Policy Council, and the Department of Justice Global Advisory Committee. He is the founder and first president of the National Association of Foster Care Reviewers, and cofounder of the Arizona Friends of Foster Care Foundation.
Mr. Byers earned a B.A. from Northern Iowa University and a master’s degree from Arizona State University. He was honored with the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Leadership Award, the 2013 Warren E. Burger Award, the National Center for State Courts’ Distinguished Service Award, the Arizona Supreme Courts Distinguished Service Award, the State Bar’s Award of Appreciation, and the Cedar Falls, Iowa 1970 Man of the Year Award.
James J. Hanks Jr. (2020)
Partner, Venable LLP
Jim Hanks represents publicly- and privately-held corporations and other entities in a wide variety of general corporate law and governance matters. Mr. Hanks been a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law, a visiting senior lecturer at Cornell University’s business school, and an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School, teaching courses in mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and corporate law and governance. In addition, he has taught classes in corporation law at various law schools in the U.S., Guatemala, the Republic of Georgia, and South Africa, and at the Institute of Law in Beijing. For many years, Mr. Hanks also has been a visiting professor at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. Since 2015, he has been Distinguished Visiting Professor from Practice at the University of Maryland School of Law.
For the Section, Mr. Hanks has served on the Standards Review Committee and on the Accreditation Committee, and on several site evaluation teams. He has also been active in the ABA Section of Business Law and is a member of The American Law Institute. He earned an A.B. from Princeton University; an LL.B. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was an editor of the Maryland Law Review; and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. For a year after receiving his LL.B., Mr. Hanks was law clerk to Judge Charles Fahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Pamela Lysaght (2021)
Glen Arbor, Michigan
Pamela Lysaght retired in 2015 from the faculty at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where she was the inaugural director of the Applied Legal Theory and Analysis Program and was instrumental in designing the law school’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program. She co-chaired the Curriculum, Strategic Planning, and Assessment Committee for nearly a decade, and she served one year as associate dean for academic affairs. She received the law school’s James T. Barnes, Sr. Memorial Faculty Scholar Award in 2003 for demonstrated excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service. Ms. Lysaght received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan with Distinction and her J.D. from the University of Detroit. While in law school, she was a member of the Law Review and the Moot Court Board of Directors.
A recognized expert in the legal writing and research field, Ms. Lysaght is the co-author of Michigan Legal Research (three editions) and Successful Legal Analysis and Writing: The Fundamentals (four editions), the co-creator and a co-author of CiteStation, and a contributor to the Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs (2d edition). Additionally, she has published articles in the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. Ms. Lysaght is a member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, serving as president in 2000-2001, and the Legal Writing Institute. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute from 2008-2016. In 2004, she was awarded the Thomas F. Blackwell Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing by the governing boards of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute.
Within the Section, Ms. Lysaght currently serves as Chair of the Standards Review Committee, and she served on the Accreditation Committee from 2010-2016, including one year as vice chair (2015-2016). She has chaired, or served on, several ABA site evaluation teams and is a former member of the ABA Communication Skills Committee. In addition to her work for the Section, Ms. Lysaght is a member of the Glen Arbor Township Planning Commission, the Glen Arbor Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Glen Arbor Art Center Board of Directors.
Daniel T. Madzelan (2020)
Associate Vice President, Government Relations
American Council on Education
Daniel T. Madzelan joined ACE in 2014 as associate vice president for Government Relations. In his role, Madzelan helps advance ACE’s advocacy on behalf of the higher education community, particularly the array of federal policies and issues critical to the missions of American colleges and universities and the students they serve.
From 2009–10, Madzelan served as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he was charged with primary responsibility for administering a $2.6 billion program budget providing financial support to colleges and universities and their students, and had policy and program budget responsibility for the Title IV student financial aid programs that provided nearly $130 billion in grant, loan and work-study assistance to more than 14 million postsecondary students and their families. Previously, he was a longtime director of the forecasting and policy analysis service in the department’s office of postsecondary education. He worked in a number of capacities in that office before becoming a director.
Madzelan is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor of arts in economics with a concentration in mathematics and statistics.
Mary Campbell McQueen (2020)
National Center for State Courts
Mary C. McQueen has served as president of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) since August 2004. Previously, Ms. McQueen served as Washington State court administrator from 1987-2004 and director of judicial services for the Washington State Office of the Administrator for the Courts (1979-1987), president of the Conference of State Court Administrators (1995-1996), and chair of the Lawyer’s Committee of the American Bar Association/Judicial Division. She is a member of the Washington and U.S. Supreme Court Bars.
Ms. McQueen has served on numerous ABA committees and task forces including the Standing Committee on State and Federal Courts, the Commission on the Future of Legal Services, and the newly created ABA Center for Innovation. In her capacity as president of NCSC, Ms. McQueen coordinates major national initiatives for the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) including the review of model rules and policies on admission to the bar, legal education requirements and professional ethics for lawyers and judges. She serves as Secretary General of the International Organization on Judicial Training (IOJT) consisting of 80 country members. Ms. McQueen holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.
Gregory G. Murphy (2020)
Gregory Murphy has been practicing law in Montana for more than 37 years. After being awarded a B.A. with high honors at the University of Montana, he earned a J.D. at Notre Dame Law School where he was a Thomas and Alberta White Scholar and served as associate editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. After graduation, he served a law clerkship with the Honorable John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before returning to Montana to practice law where he enjoys the highest peer review ratings.
Mr. Murphy has long been active in bar admissions and legal education. He has served as chair of the Montana Board of Bar Examiners, chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), chair of the Multistate Bar Examination Committee, and chair of the Uniform Bar Examination Committee. For approximately a decade he served on the Multistate Performance Test Drafting Committee. He has served on and chaired numerous other committees and boards. Mr. Murphy was elected to the Council in 2010, served as vice chair from 2014 to 2015, chair-elect from 2015 to 2016 and chair from 2016 to 2017. He currently serves on the Section Council as Immediate Past Chair. Mr. Murphy’s service to the Section also includes a term as chair of the Accreditation Committee. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has received numerous awards for his leadership and service in bar admissions and his community.
Charles Ray Nash, Ed.D. (2021)
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
The University of Alabama System
Charles R. Nash has served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for The University of Alabama System since 1992. As the senior academic officer in the System, he is the chief liaison to academic, institutional research, and planning officials at The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He advises the Chancellor on all academic policy matters and provides primary leadership in program planning, development, and review. Additionally, he is the liaison officer for the UA System to the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Community College System, and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. In 2009, his duties were expanded to include Student Affairs functions for The University of Alabama System.
Dr. Nash holds a bachelor’s degree from Jackson (Mississippi) State University, a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University; and has studied at Southeastern Louisiana (graduate study), Stanford University (distance learning), Harvard University (Institute for Education Management), and the Oxford Roundtable.
Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Nash served as Associate Executive Director (Vice President) for the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He has also held the position of Dean of the School of Education at Armstrong Atlantic State University (Georgia) and Director of Special Studies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Development for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. He began his career teaching junior high school science and served as a high school assistant principal and as an elementary school principal.
Dr. Nash completed a six-year term on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and served on the executive committee of the National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions. He serves on the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee, the Access to Justice Commission of the Alabama Supreme Court, the governing board of the A+Education Partnership of Alabama, and the New York Academy of Sciences/SUNY STEM Advisory Committee. For the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, he has served on the Accreditation Committee (AC), the Council, and the AC’s Foreign Programs subcommittee and the Non-JD subcommittee as Chairman.
In 2009, Dr. Nash was inducted into the McComb, Mississippi High School Hall of Fame and was chosen as Citizen of the Year in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. In 2010, he was named a Pillar of the Community of West Alabama. He was presented the first Friend of the Alabama Mathematics, Science, and Technology Initiative Award and the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award. In September 2013, Nash was inducted into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame.
Charles has also served as the President of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, the United Way of West Alabama, the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Vice President and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Black Warrior Council of Boys Scouts of America, Chairman of the APLU Chief Academic Officers Council, Chairman of the Alabama Council of University of Chief Academic Officers, Chairman of the National Council of University System Chief Academic Officers, etc.
Eduardo M. Peñalver (2022)
Dean and Professor
Cornell Law School
Ithaca, New York
Eduardo M. Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. He became Cornell Law School's 16th Dean on July 1, 2014. Dean Peñalver most recently served as the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.
He received his B.A. from Cornell University and his law degree from Yale Law School. Between college and law school, he studied philosophy and theology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oriel College, Oxford. Upon completing law school, Dean Peñalver clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and at the Supreme Court for Justice John Paul Stevens.
Dean Peñalver’s scholarship focuses on property and land use, as well as law and religion. His work explores the way in which the law mediates the interests of individuals and communities. His writing on property has appeared in numerous leading law journals. His book, Property Outlaws (co-authored with Sonia Katyal), published by Yale University Press in February 2010, explores the vital role of disobedience within the evolution of property law. His most recent book, An Introduction to Property Theory (co-authored with Gregory Alexander), was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Dean Peñalver previously taught at Cornell Law School (2006-2012) and at Fordham Law School (2003-2006). He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Yale Law School.
The Honorable Mary R. Russell (2021)
Supreme Court of Missouri
Jefferson City, Missouri
Mary R. Russell, a seventh-generation Missourian, is a judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2004 and served a two-year term as chief justice from July 2013 through June 2015. Justice Russell was raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, near Hannibal and was educated in the Hannibal public schools. She attended Truman State University, graduating summa cum laude with both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts. She earned a J.D. from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law.
Upon graduation from law school, Justice Russell clerked for the Honorable George Gunn of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She then practiced law in Hannibal with the law firm of Clayton and Rhodes until her appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, in 1995. At the court of appeals, she served as chief judge from 1999 to 2000. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2004.
Justice Russell is active in many professional and legal organizations around the state and country, including the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges; Missouri Lawyers Trust Account Foundation; a commission to select a federal judge for the Eastern District of Missouri in 1993; House of Delegates to the American Bar Association; Young Lawyers Council of The Missouri Bar; numerous Missouri Bar committees; the Missouri Press-Bar Commission; and the Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee and Appellate Practice Committee. She is a past co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) and has served as chair on other committees in BAMSL.
She also has served on a variety of statewide boards and commissions including the board of governors of Truman State University (president, 1996), Missouri State Senate Reapportionment Commission in 1991, the Missouri Council on Women’s Economic Development, and the Missouri Job Development and Training Council.
Justice Russell is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Women’s Justice Award, the Faculty/Alumni Award from University of Missouri–Columbia, the Citation of Merit Award from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law, the Distinguished Alumni Award–Truman State University, the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Equal Justice Award, the Lasting Legacy award from Missouri CASA, the Soroptomist International Women Helping Women Award, the Jefferson City Rotarian of the Year, Zonta Woman of Achievement in Jefferson City, the Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club Appreciation Award and the Kirkwood Citizen of the Year. She is also named in the 2015 Ingram’s 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is a Henry Toll Fellow, a member of the Missouri Academy of Squires and a member of the Rollins Society of the University of Missouri.
Daniel Thies (2021)
Webber & Thies PC
Daniel Thies is a partner at Webber & Thies PC in Urbana, Illinois. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, ERISA, insurance law, class action defense, and estate planning.
Mr. Thies has served as an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School, teaching intellectual property trial advocacy. He has served as the Reporter for the 2009–2010 ABA Presidential Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Profession and Legal Needs, and as the Reporter for the 2012–2013 ISBA Special Committee on the Impact of Law School Debt on the Delivery of Legal Service. He has also represented Illinois as a delegate in the ABA Young Lawyers Division Assembly.
Mr. Thies is a member of the ISBA’s Federal Civil Practice Section Council and the Young Lawyers Division Council, and has served as the chair of the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Education, Admission, & Competence. Prior to joining Webber & Thies, Mr. Thies was an associate at Sidley Austin LLP (2013-2018). He also clerked for Chief Judge James F. Holderman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (2011–2013) and for Judge Jerry Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2010–2011). Mr. Thies graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010 and magna cum laude from Yale University in 2007.
Phyllis D. Thompson (2020)
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Phyllis Thompson was appointed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in 2006. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she served for several years on the court's Committee on Admissions, grading the written component of the District of Columbia bar examination and conducting character and fitness reviews. As a judge on the court, she now serves as liaison judge to the Committee on Admissions. Since 2014, she has also served on the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Her board of trustees committee assignments include chairing the Editorial Advisory Committee (which oversees The Bar Examiner publication) and serving on the Multistate Bar Examination Committee.
Judge Thompson received her J.D. with high honors in 1981 from George Washington University Law School, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and was a Notes Editor of the law review. She received a master's degree in religion from Princeton University in 1976 and a B.A. in anthropology in 1974 from George Washington University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa during her junior year and was valedictorian of her graduating class.
Joseph K. West (2022)
Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Duane Morris LLP
Joseph K. West is a partner in the trial group at Duane Morris, LLP. He also serves on the firm’s partners board and is also the firm's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. He handles complex litigation matters and advises global companies on a wide array of matters. His clients currently include the Dubai-based Al Ahli Holding Group; Mercedes Benz-USA, Altria, Discover Financial Services, Inc. and Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Mr. West was formerly Associate General Counsel - Head of Global Outside Counsel Management at Walmart Stores Inc. where he was responsible for managing the company's relationships with all of its outside law firms worldwide, including oversight of over 600 law firms and a budget of over $300 million. He was also a member of Walmart’s Class Action – Complex Litigation Group wherein he helped manage a number of groundbreaking matters including the largest class action matter in U.S. history.
A nationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion, Mr. West previously served as CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), a national advocacy group that conducts research and training on corporate diversity and inclusion issues. He has lectured and written extensively on this issue and currently represents, trains and advises numerous publicly traded companies, their boards and CEOs on issues related to diversity and inclusion and the compliance, risk management and corporate strategies associated with this important and growing area of concern. Mr. West was recently elected to the board of directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Mr. West was appointed by ABA President Paulette Brown to the ABA Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360. He was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education, and has served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel's ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee and formerly served on the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Walton Arts Center Corporate Leadership Council. Additionally, former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appointed him to chair the Louisiana State Museum Board.
He is a graduate of Tulane Law School and formerly served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Tulane. He currently lectures at the George Mason Antonin Scalia School of Law on corporate leadership and diversity and was recently retained by the school to help develop the first of its kind curriculum in corporate diversity and inclusion.
Rebecca Hanner White (Retired) (2021)
Dean and Professor
The University of Georgia School of Law
Rebecca Hanner White, Dean and J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Georgia School of Law, served as dean of the law school from 2003 until 2015. Previously, she served as associate provost and associate vice president of academic affairs for UGA. She specializes in the areas of labor law, employment discrimination, employment law and labor arbitration. White retired from the law school on May 31, 2016.
White's scholarship, cited by federal and state courts across the country, includes numerous articles and books on employment discrimination and labor law. In 2000, White received the Josiah Meigs Award, UGA's highest honor for teaching excellence. She was selected by law students six times as the recipient of the Faculty Book Award for Excellence in Teaching and received the John C. O'Byrne Memorial Award for Contributions Furthering Student-Faculty Relations. She served as a UGA Senior Teaching Fellow in 2000-01 and was inducted into UGA's Teaching Academy. In 2002, she was selected as a Senior Faculty Fellow for the university's Foundation Fellows program. In 2015, she received both the law school’s Distinguished Service Scroll Award and the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s Faculty Service award. She served on the ABA’s Section of Legal Education’s Accreditation Committee from August 2011 until August 2016, chairing the Committee during her last 2 years of service.
White earned her undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University and graduated first in her class from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Law Journal. She served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Judge George C. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, then practiced labor and employment law at the law firm Dinsmore & Shohl in Cincinnati, Ohio before beginning her teaching career at UGA.
Section Representative to the ABA House of Delegates
Joan Howland (2020)
Associate Dean & Professor University of Minnesota Law School
Joan Howland is the Roger Noreen Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Information and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Professor Howland teaches a course on American Indian legal history and a course on Magna Carta and the evolution of Anglo-American law. Her scholarship focuses on American Indian law and culture, information technologies, business management, thoroughbred horseracing and equine law generally, legal research methodologies, and law librarianship. She served on the Accreditation Committee from 2001 to 2006 and on the Council from 2006 to 2016, including a term as chair from 2014-2015. Professor Howland was a member of the Section's Law Libraries Committee from 1992 through 1994 and co-chaired that committee from 1994 through 1996.
Professor Howland is active in the Association of American Law Schools and is the current chair of the Committee on Law Libraries and Technology. She is also active in the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Indian Library Association, and the American Library Association. She is a member of the American Law Institute. In addition to a JD, Professor Howland earned master’s degrees in history, library science, and business administration. Prior to joining the faculty at Minnesota, she held administrative positions in the law libraries at U.C. Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford.
The Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr. (2021)
Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio Cleveland, Ohio
Judge Oliver was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by President William Clinton in 1994, and served as that court’s Chief Judge from 2010 to 2017. Judge Oliver holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster, an M.A. in political science from Case Western Reserve University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. From 1975 to 1976, Judge Oliver was a law clerk for the late Judge William H. Hastie of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Oliver was an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, where he served as chief of the Civil Division and chief of Appellate Litigation. From 1982 to 1994, he was a professor at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and served as associate dean from 1991 to 1994. Judge Oliver currently serves as a member of the teaching faculty of the Harvard Law School Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop.
He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Wooster and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the New York University Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association and was inducted into the Case Western Reserve School of Law Society of Benchers. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the College of Wooster. Judge Oliver has served on the Judicial Conference of the United States, and on its Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and its Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules. He was a member of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 1996 to 2005 and from 2011 to 2015, including a term as chair from 2013 to 2014. He has also served on the Accreditation Committee, the Standards Review Committee and numerous site visit teams. Judge Oliver previously served as co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee. He currently serves as a special advisor to the African Law Initiative Council.
Law Student Member
Zachary Faircloth (2020)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
JD Expected May 2020
Zachary Faircloth is a law student at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law where he is a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the SMU Law Review. Mr. Faircloth also participates in a variety of advocacy competitions and serves as a research assistant for Professor Hillel J. Bavli and an Academic Success Program mentor.
Prior to law school, Mr. Faircloth earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. in Political Science with College Honors from Louisiana State University, where he served as LSU Student Body President and the only student member of the LSU System Board of Supervisors. Mr. Faircloth was a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist and recipient of the Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award, the highest award presented to an LSU senior. During his time at LSU, Mr. Faircloth also served as president of his fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, a co-founder of the LSU Club Baseball Team, and Vice President of Engineers Without Borders-LSU.
Mr. Faircloth’s past work experience includes serving as a Congressional intern for the office of Congressman Garret Graves, a control systems intern with ExxonMobil, a summer associate with Baker Botts LLP, a summer associate with Fish & Richardson P.C., and a judicial extern for Judge Sam Lindsay of the Northern District of Texas.
The election of Council officers and members took place at the Section’s annual business meeting, Friday, August 9, at the Marriott Marquis San Francisco Hotel during the ABA Annual Meeting.
One or more additional nominations may be made for any designated seat on the Council, including officers of the Council (except Chairperson and Immediate Past Chairperson), by petition signed by not less than 50 members of the Section in good standing, not more than 10 of whom are residents of any one state. A person so nominated shall be called the "petitioner". The petition shall specify which nominee the petitioner is challenging and shall state that the petitioner has agreed to the nomination and meets the criteria for the position being sought. The petition shall be delivered in person or by mail to the Section Office at the Association headquarters and must be received no later than July 15. The Secretary shall thereupon confirm that such individual is eligible to serve if elected. If additional nominations are made, the Chairperson shall distribute to the membership a final notice of nominations as soon as practical, but no later than July 22.
Board of Governors Liaison
Michele Wong Krause (2021)
The Wong Krause Law Firm
Young Lawyers Division Liaison
Mathew Kerbis (2021)
Condon & Cook, LLC
Mathew Kerbis is an associate attorney with Condon & Cook, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. He focuses his practice in civil insurance defense of first party and third-party insurance and personal injury matters. Mathew earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and he earned his law degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. While in law school, Mathew served as an extern for the Honorable Justice Robert E. Gordon of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District.
For the 2013-14 bar year, he served as Chair of the ABA Law Student Division. During his tenure as Chair, his team’s greatest accomplishments were restructuring the Division and lobbying for legal education reform. As Chair, Mathew had the privilege of lobbying Congress with other ABA leaders on behalf of the legal profession. For the 2014-15 bar year, Mathew served as an Emerging Leader in the ABA Young Lawyers Division ("YLD"). As an Emerging Leader, he served on the Truth in Law School Education Task Force. He drafted the Task Force’s Uniform Bar Exam resolution, which the YLD Assembly adopted at the February 2015 Midyear meeting. He also served as an Associate Editor for the YLD’s national publication, TYL, The Young Lawyer, from 2014 until 2017. Mathew currently serves as a Managing Editor for TYL.