chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
January 17, 2024

Equity, diversity concerns top American Bar Association meeting Feb. 1-5 in Louisville

CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2024 — Legal measures to achieve a more equitable U.S. justice system, celebrations of champions of diversity and hot-button topics such as qualified immunity and gun control are chief among legal concerns that will be explored at the 2024 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 1-5.

With several dozen top-quality legal programs, 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 policy-making body — will meet in-person on Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. EST at the Kentucky International Convention Center (221 South Fourth St). For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.   

For reporter access, contact Media Relations and Strategic Communications at [email protected] with proof of credentials. The access code for free online registration will follow ABA approval.

Highlights include:

Thursday, Feb. 1

“Post-Pandemic Trends and Challenges in Housing and Eviction Cases” Stakeholders – including Kentucky Supreme Court Justices Laurance VanMeter and Michelle Keller; Legal Services Corporation Board Chair John Levi; and representatives from Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Access to Justice Commission and other advocacy groups – will trade lessons learned from the COVID-driven wave of home eviction cases, share their most effective responses and explain the necessary reforms to ensure tenants’ due process.
3:30-5 p.m. at Louisville Marriott Downtown, Marriott Ballroom 7

Friday, Feb. 2

Constitutional Policing: The Case for and against Qualified Immunity— Experts will report the current state of qualified immunity and debate proposals to ensure the Constitutional rights of those who encounter the police. Can we protect law enforcement from frivolous legal action without eschewing the consequences of abuse of power?
9-10 a.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Old Louisville Room

The Past and Future of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Executive Director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law and other legal experts explore the Second Amendment’s interaction with various federal, state and local gun regulations – including laws restricting gun possession by domestic abusers, categorical bans on semiautomatic weapons and “sensitive places” laws – as well as trace the path of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Second Amendment jurisprudence.
12:45-1:45 p.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Old Louisville Room

Experts in Court: The Challenges for Science and Law— Researchers share new findings on how scientific experts in court view the legal system and their challenges when working with the U.S. justice system. What can be done to resolve friction between scientists and the courts?
2-3:30 p.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Commonwealth 2

Stephanie Stuckey— The CEO of Stuckey’s Corporation, who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1999-2013, shares lessons learned along her unique career path.
5:30-7:30 p.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Marriott Ballroom 6

Saturday, Feb. 3

CROWN Act Goes to Court Insiders share developments on fighting discrimination against African descendants’ natural hairstyles and discuss the commonplace injustice within historical, legal and transnational contexts, while also highlighting reforms that address race-based hair discrimination, including civil rights litigation, enforcement, policy and legislation popularly known as CROWN Acts.
9-10 a.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Cherokee Triangle Room=

Pathways to Equity: Navigating Racial Equality in the Aftermath of Students for Fair Admissions — Stakeholders report the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that eliminated race-based college-admissions practices. How can educational institutions now diversify their student ranks.
10:15-11:15 a.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Old Louisville

Trailblazers Advancing Diversity in Law The ABA recognizes four legal professionals with its 2024 Spirit of Excellence Award for their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession: Capt. Benes Z. Aldana, Judge Dolly Gee, Sara Hill and Juan R. Thomas.
Noon-2 p.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Commonwealth 1-4

Firekeepers: Elevating the Voice of Native American Women Attorneys in the Profession Native American women lawyers share their experience in the profession using the new ABA study “Experiences of Native American Women Attorneys in the Profession” as a launch point.
3-4:30 p.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Old Louisville

Champions of LGBT+ Legal Causes 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: Paula E. Boggs, former general counsel of Starbucks; Janice Grubin, partner at Barclay Damon LLP in New York; and Mark Johnson Roberts, former board co-chair of the National Lesbian & Gay Law Association (now the National LGBT Bar Association).
5:30-7 p.m. at Omni Louisville Hotel, Commonwealth 4

NOTE: Midyear Meeting programming is available to news reporters according to the ABA Open Meetings policy. Media credentials include free access to fee-based association events, including the Spirit of Excellence Awards. 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.