March 31, 2021 State & Local Government Law

2021 Spring Conference

ABA President-Elect Reginald M. Turner, Jr.

ABA President-Elect Reginald M. Turner, Jr.

Wednesday Panelist

Tuesday, April 13 - Thursday, April 15

Joint meeting with the ABA Young Lawyers Division

Special thanks to our sponsor



Meeting Sponsor


Tentative schedule subject to change. Registration opens soon.

Tuesday, April 13

1:30 – 2:30pm ET
When Your Career Chooses You
Experienced attorneys share how their career paths emerged & developed, the choices they made — or didn't make, and how those experiences can be helpful throughout your career.
Donna Frazier, Caddo Office of the Parish Attorney, Shreveport, LA
Erika Robinson, Jackson Public School District Office of The General Counsel, Jackson, MS
Steve Stapleton, Clark Hill PLC, Grand Rapids, MI
Elizabeth Yang, WStrong LLC, Reston, VA
Daiquiri Steele, Tulane University Law School,  New Orleans, LA

3 – 4pm ET
Student Debt: Is it a consumer issue?
Leading state & local experts on consumer protection share strategies plus potential solutions for combatting this ongoing crisis.
Farah Majid, Legal Service, Birmingham, AL
Creola Johnson, Professor, President's Club Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Daniel A. Zibel, National Student Legal Defense Network
Aaron Sohaski, Counsel, Henry Ford Health System; ABA YLD Student Loan Debt & Financial Wellness Director

4:30 – 5:30pm ET
Women of Criminal Justice: Why Do They Leave?
A diverse panel of leaders from the Criminal Justice Section's Women's Task Force openly discuss successes & failures of their own career paths, and obstacles & biases that women may encounter in practice.
Maryam Ahranjani, Associate Professor of Law Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professor, University of New Mexico Law School
Honorable Denise Langford Morris, Oakland County Circuit Court – 6th Circuit, Oakland County, MI
Kim T.  Parker, Attorney & Counsultant, Eudora, KS
Bianca Brown, Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Chicago, IL

5:30 – 6:30pm ET
Social Event

Wednesday, April 14

12:30 – 1:30pm ET
People of Color as Attorneys General
More people of color are serving as state Attorneys General than ever before. Our esteemed panel share their paths to being the top attorney in their states & why representation is more important than ever.
Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey Attorney General
Kwame Raoul, Illinois Attorney General, Chicago, IL
Jonathan Bogues, ABA Young Lawyers Division Men of Color Chair

2  – 3pm ET
People of Color in Bar Leadership & High-Level Leaders
Past presidents of the National Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, and the National Native American Bar Association discuss the impact of minority bar associations and their relationships with the ABA.
A.B. Cruz III, President, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, San Antonio, TX
Victor Marquez, Past President, Hispanic National Bar Association; Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, San Francisco, CA
Robert Saunooke, Past President, National Bar Association; Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, Chicago, IL
Reginald M. Turner Jr., President-Elect, American Bar Association; Clark Hill PLC, Detroit, MI
Linton Clarke, Young Lawyers Division MoCP; Total Tax Inc., Sugar Land, TX 

3:30 – 4:30pm ET
Alternative Paths: Less Common Career Paths for People of Color
The legal profession suffers from an embarrassing lack of diversity. Attorneys of color often find themselves pigeonholed into a few fields within the law. People of color who have forged paths in areas of the law with low representation share firsthand experiences.
Jerome Crawford, ABA Young Lawyers Division Men of Color Project Past Co-chair; Director of Legal Operations, Pleasantrees, Detroit, MI
Janet Steverson, Douglas K. Newell Professor of Excellence, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, OR 
Jeffery Page, Attorney Advisor, Office of General Counsel Operations, US Department of Transportation, Washington, DC
Linton Clarke, Young Lawyers Division MoCP; Tax Attorney, Total Tax Inc., Sugar Land, TX
Marcus McGhee & Lawrence Pittman, Young Lawyers Division Men of Color

5 – 6pm ET
Social Event

Thursday, April 15

12:30 – 1:30pm ET
Voting Rights on Tribal Lands
How do elections work in a nation inside another nation? Unfortunately, as with many other vital systems, elections and voting rights of indigenous people on tribal lands often lack the resources of other political subdivisions in the country. Learn more about developments and the people fighting for these Americans' rights.
Spencer Rubin, Attorney, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP; ABA Young Lawyers Division NCT Member

2 – 3pm ET
Energy & the Climate Crisis: Are we entering a new energy paradigm?
New trends in energy generation & equitable access to clean power, along with critical developments in energy law & regulation  — including the Paris Agreement — will be topics of conversation.
Craig Hart, Executive Director, Pace Energy & Climate Center
Pilar Thomas, Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP
Ilan Gutherz, VP of Policy & Strategy, Borrego
Jordan Lesser, Ithaca, NY

3:30 – 4:30pm ET
An Appetite for Risk: Embracing Change
A discussion with Thomas J. "Tom" Murphy, former Mayor of Pittsburgh and former PA State Representative reflecting on how cities will succeed or languish depending on their responses to the pandemic, when choices on where to live, shop, work and play have been turned upside down. Cities that are succeeding have a clear strategic vision of their strengths and their future.
Thomas J. "Tom" Murphy, Jr., ULI Canizaro/ Klingbeil Familes Chair for Urban Development; Senior Resident Fellow, Urban Land Institute; former Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA; former Pennsylvania State Representative
Jessica Bacher, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University; Executive Director, Land Use Law Center, New York

5 – 5:30pm ET
Closing Plenary

5:30 – 6:30pm ET


Tentative schedule subject to change. Registration opens soon.


Registration now