chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
January 28, 2022

Racial inequity, justice reforms among highlights at American Bar Association Virtual Midyear Meeting Feb. 9-14

CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2022 — Reform to address U.S. racial inequity; implicit bias through the lens of the Kyle Rittenhouse case; and the corrosive impact of partisan redistricting are chief among hot topics that will be explored at the 2022 American Bar Association Virtual Midyear Meeting Feb. 9-14.

With several dozen top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by America’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.

The ABA House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body, will meet online Feb. 14 at 8:30 a.m. CST. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.    

Registration is available for the media. Credential guidelines are here.  

Highlights include (all times are CST):

Thursday, Feb. 10

“The Impact of Implicit Bias in the Courtroom” Courtroom insiders will explore the responsibilities and expectations of judges to minimize bias during the lifecycle of a trial, including in the areas of jury selection, courtroom management and sentencing.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“The Times They are a Changing: Regulatory Innovation and Its Potential for IOLTA Programs” The repercussions of regulatory changes led by state supreme courts in 15 jurisdictions — the elimination of nonlawyer firm ownership, eased restrictions on lawyer marketing and the licensing of paraprofessionals, among them — will be examined by stakeholders who will share how these innovations will or will not improve access to justice and affect IOLTA programs and grantees.
12:30-1:40 p.m.

“Returning Land Ownership”  In the wake of a new California law that recently provided for a Manhattan Beach property seized in 1924 under eminent domain to be returned to its original Black owners, a panel of frontliners -- including State Sen. Steven Bradford, author of SB 796; Manhattan Beach Mayor Hildy Stern; and U.S. Rep. Henry C. "Hank" Johnson (D-Ga), who introduced the "Tulsa Greenwood Massacre Claims Accountability Act" -- will discuss the growing number of such cases in the country, including the process and cost of restoring land that was taken from U.S. citizens without due process.
12:45-1:45 p.m.

“Gender Issues in the Military: Roundtable Discussion” — U.S. military insiders will discuss legal issues involved with gender discrimination in the armed services, the involvement of the JAG Corps and whether gender-specific concerns have impacted accession and retention of members of the JAG Corps.
1-3 p.m.

Lawyers Advancing Racial and Ethnic Diversity The ABA will recognize five legal professionals with its 2022 Spirit of Excellence Award for their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession: Gabriel S. Galanda of Galanda Broadman; Chief Justice Steven C. González of King County (Washington) Superior Court; Kay H. Hodge of Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP; Justice Adrienne C. Nelson of the Oregon Supreme Court; and Carlos E. Moore of The Cochran Firm – Mississippi Delta.
5-6:15 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 11

“The Lawyers’ Role in Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Programs” — Pioneers of the LEAD model from Seattle offer promising outcomes from their alternative to traditional criminal prosecution, in which law enforcement and prosecutors utilize a trauma-informed, intensive case-management program to maximize the opportunity for the behavioral change of offenders. Panelists will also offer lessons learned from the various jurisdictions that have successfully replicated LEAD practices.
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

“Reconciling the Past and Planning for the Future: The Use of Racial Impact Assessments in Land Use Planning and Zoning”  Experts will examine the widespread adoption of racial impact assessments in U.S. real estate development, the importance of these studies to historically underserved communities and the environmental justice movement advancing their usage nationwide.
1-2 p.m.

“The Rittenhouse Trial: Implicit Bias in Plain View” — Leading Seattle jurists from the King County Department of Public Defense, Prosecutor’s Office and Superior Court will take an in-depth look at the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, how implicit bias affected the outcome of the case — and how the case exemplifies the biases in plain view that are present in many aspects of routine courtroom process across the country. 
1:30-3 p.m.

“Roundtable on Model Rule Amendments” Stakeholders provide comment on “Discussion Draft of Possible Amendments to Model Rules of Professional Conduct Concerning Lawyers’ Client Due Diligence Obligations,” which addresses possible changes to ethical guidance relating to lawyers’ obligations to conduct client due diligence to avoid engaging, or assisting a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.
1:30-4 p.m.

Democracies and International Law — Researchers explore their new findings on the state of efforts to advance democracy around the globe in the face of rising authoritarianism worldwide and forecast the consequences of the shifting balance of power on international legal order.
3-4:30 p.m.

“Unleashing the Power Within” Rosie Allen-Herring, chief executive officer of the United Way of the National Capital Area, draws from personal experience to advise women on thriving in the workplace during these uncertain and ever-changing times, focusing on her self-developed strategies on cultivating internal “personal power.”
4-5 p.m.

Legal Trailblazers Advance LGBT Justice Three longstanding activists will be honored by the ABA with its 11th annual Stonewall Award for advancing LGBT people in the legal profession and championing LGBT legal causes. Honorees are Colorado LGBTQ activist Jordan Blisk, assistant director of chapters at the American Constitutional Society; Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Washington State Supreme Court Justice G. Helen Whitener.
5-6 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 14

The Challenges of Partisan Redistricting – Does Gerrymandering Pose a Threat to Our Democracy?— Experts will explore the reapportionment of election districts around the country and the resulting controversies over partisan gerrymandering. Will these redistricting battles further erode public confidence in our electoral system?
1:30-2:30 p.m.

NOTE: Midyear Meeting programming is available to media according to the ABA Open Meetings policy. Media credentials include free access to fee-based association events, including the Spirit of Excellence Awards. To attend these virtual programs, contact [email protected] once reporter credentials have been approved by the ABA Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division. For general assistance regarding the Midyear Meeting, contact [email protected] or 202-662-1090. Stay up to date on conference developments at the Midyear Meeting Reporter Resources webpage.

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.