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April 08, 2021

ABA Young Lawyers and State and Local Government to host joint virtual spring conference

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2021 The American Bar Association 2021 Young Lawyers Division and State & Local Government Law Joint Virtual Spring Conference will be held April 13-15. Programming will include the impact of attorneys general of color on the justice system, diversity in the profession, trends in energy generation and voting rights in Indian Country.

What:   2021 Young Lawyers Division and State and Local Government Law Joint Virtual Spring Conference
Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division and the Section of State & Local Government Law

When:  Tuesday-Thursday, April 13-15

Where: Online

Thomas J. Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will give the keynote address, “An Appetite for Embracing Change,” on Thursday, April 15, at 2:30 p.m. ET. 

Program topics include:

  • “When Your Career Chooses You”
  • “Student Debt: Is it a Consumer Protection Issue?”
  • “People of Color in Bar Leadership & High Level Leaders”
  • “Alternative Paths: People of Color in Less Common Legal Practice Areas” 
  • “Energy and the Climate Crisis: Are We Entering a New Energy Paradigm?”

Other highlights:

Women of Criminal Justice — Why Do They Leave?” — The panelists will discuss the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section’s Women’s Task Force findings on why women leave the practice of criminal law and share the successes and failures from their own career paths — prosecutor, defender, judge and professor. Panelists are Maryam Ahranjani, associate professor of law, Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professor, University of New Mexico School of Law; the Honorable Denise Langford Morris, Oakland County Circuit Court judge, Pontiac, Michigan; Kim T. Parker, Kansas County and District Attorney’s Association; the Honorable Rachel L. Pickering, adjunct professor, Washburn University School of Law; Sarah Redfield, professor emerita, University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce School of Law; and moderator Bianca Brown, attorney, Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Tuesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET

“People of Color as Attorneys General” Panelists will discuss how the addition of people of color in attorneys general positions is changing the conversation of justice in the United States and its territories. Panelists include Keith Ellison, attorney general of Minnesota; Aaron Ford, attorney general of Nevada; Gurbir Grewal, attorney general of New Jersey; Kwame Raoul, attorney general of Illinois and Jonathan Bogues, YLD Men of Color chair. Wednesday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET

“Voting Rights in Indian Country” This program will explore the voting rights of indigenous peoples on tribal lands, which often lack the resources of other political subdivisions in the country. Jacqueline De León, staff attorney, Native American Rights Fund; Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, director, Indian Legal Clinic and associate clinical professor of law, and moderator Spencer Rubin, attorney, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, will discuss new voting rights developments and the people working to expose inequities and fighting for voting rights.

Thursday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET

The complete agenda can be viewed online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at [email protected].

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 and on Twitter @ABANews.