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January 15, 2024

Statement of ABA President Mary Smith RE Martin Luther King Jr. Day

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2024 — Today, the American Bar Association joins the nation and the world in commemorating the extraordinary life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his formidable contributions to civil justice and racial equality — a mission as vital now as it was in his lifetime. 

Dr. King’s message that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” holds renewed urgency as we face attacks on democratic principles, voting rights and equal representation. These challenges, mirroring the struggles for which Dr. King valiantly fought, remind us of the inseparable bond between civil rights and democracy, essential to our nation’s well-being. 

The ABA remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting equity, equality and justice. We are dedicated to safeguarding democratic values, promoting fair and impartial justice and ensuring that every citizen’s rights are protected. Our efforts to eliminate bias and enhance inclusion within the association, the legal profession and the justice system reflect the enduring principles of fairness and impartiality for which Dr. King advocated. 

Let this MLK Day of Service reinforce our commitment to a society where justice is not just an ideal, but a reality for every individual. We call on all in the legal profession to join us in our efforts to ensure that the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice. Together, we can build a future that truly honors his legacy. 

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 X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.