Skim Highlights from the ABA Annual Meeting

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Miss the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco?

That’s alright, we’ve got you covered.

Behold below, a master list of recent highlights. A tip sheet, if you will, to some of the most significant developments, as announced this week by the ABA. If we missed anything, feel free to email us at

  • Linda Klein, senior managing shareholder at Baker Donelson, was sworn in as president of the American Bar Association at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting in San Francisco. She will serve a one-year term ending in August 2017. Klein plans to focus heavily on veteran’s legal needs, voting rights and children’s education.
  • Deborah Enix-Ross of New York, a senior advisor to Debevoise & Plimpton’s international dispute resolution practice, was elected to become chair of the ABA’s House of Delegates for the 2016-2018 term. Debevoise wrote to tell us that this makes the fourth of its attorneys to hold leadership positions at bar organizations. The others three:
    • David W. Rivkin serves as President of the International Bar Association;
    • Donald Francis Donovan serves as President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA); and
    • John S. Kiernan was elected President of the New York City Bar Association in May.
  • The ABA has selected Hilarie Bass, co-president of the law firm Greenberg Traurig, as president elect of the ABA. Bass will serve a one-year term as president-elect before becoming president in August 2017.
  • ABA President Paulette Brown condemned the killings of dozens of attorneys during a terrorist attack at hospital Quetta, Pakistan on Monday. “It is particularly troubling that lawyers were targeted in a coordinated assault,” Brown said in a statement. “In addition to the severe human cost, the attack also strikes at the rule of law. In the end, our shared commitment to justice will win out against these contemptible agents of terror.”
  • The House of Delegates also approved a proposal from the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar allowing students to receive academic credit for paid externships for the first time. The proposal is aimed at helping law students offset the sometimes six-figure debt they incur in over three years of law school.
  • On Tuesday, the House also adopted a resolution requiring federal agencies to provide an online source to access material incorporated by reference into their regulations. The resolution is aimed at giving the public greater access to technical and scientific standards written by private standards developing organizations (SDOs). According to the ABA, some 9,500 federal agencies use these privately-drafted IBR rules, as they are called, in a range of areas from toy and crib safety to food additive standards.

Previous ABA coverage from Big Law Business:

Staying On Point with Marijuana Law: Three Takeaways

Transgender Law is the New Big Thing

At ABA Meeting, Renewed Call for Diversity Among GCs


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