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November 01, 2023 Column

Chair’s Message

Jessica A. Bacher

As the ABA State and Local Government Section’s incoming Chair, I am pleased to present the Section’s fall newsletter and introduce the Section’s plans and goals for the year. First, I would also like to thank Jennifer Bragar for the significant effort she put into the Section this past year as Chair.

The Section will undertake several new initiatives to increase mentorship and leadership opportunities in the coming year. The Section will create a new Academics Committee that will allow us to better engage professor members, partner with law schools, and expand outreach to law students. In addition, to further engage young lawyers, expand membership, and build leadership, the Section will appoint a young lawyer or law student to serve as a vice-chair for each substantive committee. Each substantive committee will set new content goals to ensure the Section offers robust programming on current state and local government issues, such as affordable housing, resiliency planning for natural and other disasters, tribal law, and elections and voting rights.

To further expand the Section’s reach and develop additional high-quality content for members, we will continue to co-sponsor CLEs within ABA and with partner organizations by actively seeking partnership opportunities and reinvigorating our liaison positions. The Section’s Fall Meeting will partner with the Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development in New Orleans from October 5-7, 2023. This two-day “Fall Boot Camp” will provide in-depth workshops for newer lawyers and specialized sessions focused on affordable housing, community development, and state and local law issues for more experienced lawyers. Learn more and register here. Next year, we will have robust programming at the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, from January 31 to February 5 and at the 2024 Spring Meeting at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University in White Plains, New York, from May 2nd to May 4th.

During the following year, the Section will prioritize the development of publications on topics relevant to state and local government through book publishing and the Section’s law review, The Urban Lawyer. We also plan to reinvigorate the Young Lawyers and Student Writing Competition and build a revenue program focused on expanding publication royalties, giving, program, and publication sponsorship.

Don’t forget that your Section Member benefits include discounts on CLE events, free committee memberships in practice-specific groups, access to The Urban Lawyer and State and Local Government Law News, our quarterly publication, and discounts on practice-related publications. The Section comprises a diverse group of lawyers, including new practitioners, partners, and associates from firms big and small and those who work in many practice areas of state and local government law. This year, we are pleased to continue offering networking opportunities with your peers, real-world advice, and specialized programs with your professional interests in mind.

I look forward to serving as Chair for the coming year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with comments or questions.

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

Jessica A. Bacher

Land Use Law Center

Jessica A. Bacher, Section Chair, is Executive Director of the Land Use Law Center and Adjunct Professor of Law at Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University. Jessica also serves as a lecturer at Yale School of the Environment and a Staff Consultant at the Housing Action Council.