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May 04, 2020

New Ways to Connect on Law Day and Beyond

Judy Perry Martinez

Law Day is the national day set aside each year to celebrate how the rule of law can help make justice for all a reality. While traditional in-person events aren’t possible this year, our commitment to Law Day is stronger than ever, and we are connecting in new ways.

This year's Law Day theme, "Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy," couldn't be more timely as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, and as we convey the relevance of voting and equality today.

Resilience and Resources

The suffragists of a hundred years ago were resilient, and so are we. Though we're physically separated, today's challenges have brought out the best in the ABA, and all of us, to cultivate new and often better ways to connect with each other and develop ourselves professionally. Our sections of Antitrust Law, Litigation, and Real Property & Estate Law are among those that have conducted, or are planning robust conferences online, complete with "virtual receptions." ABA groups such as the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice are redoubling their live and on-demand programming, attracting more participants than ever.

Practical resources for lawyers are available throughout the ABA, including the Law Practice Division and Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division. ABA members may opt into membership in both divisions at no additional charge. We also offer, free for members, our frequently updated CLE Marketplace, with hundreds of widely accredited online and on-demand programs featuring leading speakers and timely topics.

2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting

The ABA is transitioning the 2020 Annual Meeting to an online virtual meeting, due to evolving pandemic-related developments. Though we will miss meeting in person, we invite all of you to join us for the 2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting, which this year we are offering as a complimentary member benefit.

Our online meeting will offer the highest quality programming with a revised schedule to accommodate members’ locations and time. Events will include governance and business meetings, CLE Showcase programs, virtual networking opportunities, General Assembly with the presentation of the ABA Medal, and the biannual meeting of the ABA’s policymaking House of Delegates. Please check our Annual Meeting website for the latest information.

Law Students: Our Future

Resilience through connection. That idea came to mind the other day as I had the honor, thanks to the ABA Law Student Division, of speaking to an online audience of law students from across the country. Today's law students have serious concerns about the bar exam and overwhelming student loans. Moreover, the pandemic’s full impact on legal education and the job market is yet to be seen. I was grateful for this opportunity to listen to the students. I also tried to share my confidence in their ability, however rough the road is now, to contribute in meaningful ways to our profession and the public that needs our legal services more than ever.

Today's law students also need us more than ever. If each of us reaches out to one law student or recent graduate with a show of concern and message of hope, we can collectively strengthen the future of our profession. Perhaps you can give a law graduate a gift of ABA membership or invite them to join you for the 2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting.

I ask that you contact a law student by text, email, video chat, or even a good old-fashioned phone call this coming week. You will make a difference in that future lawyer’s life and contribute tremendously to the community that is our profession.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything, and we will do our best to serve you.

Be safe and well.

Judy Perry Martinez, President, American Bar Association