May 13, 2020

ABA forms group to identify solutions, provide resources for post-COVID-19 legal landscape

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2020 – The American Bar Association announced the creation of the Coordinating Group on Practice Forward to provide thought leadership on the emerging challenges and opportunities confronting the legal profession and the justice system arising from the COVID-19 pandemic's impact.

The Coordinating Group will leverage the knowledge and power of the ABA to look beyond the pandemic for innovations and new ways of providing legal services and delivering justice. It also will coordinate the dissemination of ABA resources — seminars, publications, best practices and other resources — to ABA members and the profession. The Coordinating Group will seek input and information from partners in state, local and special focus bar associations and work with ABA entities to provide resources for how the post-COVID-19 legal workforce can function. The group will harness the knowledge of experts from a broad range of areas including economics, health, social psychology, and technology.

“The American Bar Association is the preeminent body in the country positioned to exercise its convening power and provide the kind of thought leadership that the legal profession needs now. Adjusting to the new legal realities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a major focus for the ABA moving forward,” said ABA President Judy Perry Martinez. “That is why President-elect Trish Refo and I are working together to help the legal profession rethink what may or may not be essential to sustaining lawyer client relationships, maintaining quality, ethics and competency, and assuring public protection in both the civil and criminal justice arenas.”

Bill Bay, a St. Louis partner with Thompson Coburn LLP and current chair of the ABA House of Delegates, and Laura Farber, a long-time ABA leader and partner with Hahn & Hahn(‘s litigation and employment practice groups) in Pasadena, California, will co-chair the Coordinating Group, which will run through August 2021.

“We are going to leverage the power of the entire ABA to address all of the changes to the practice of law that will arise out of this extended period of remote working,” Refo said. “Our work will help lawyers in all practice settings to better serve their clients.”

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.