AALS Annual Meeting 2020

AALS Section on Leadership Meeting

Learning from Lawyer-Leaders Throughout the Profession • Fri. Jan. 3, 2020, @ 1:30pm

As more and more law students and lawyers find themselves holding positions other than in law firms, law schools must prepare our students for a wide variety of leadership roles they might play in both the public and private sector. Lawyers, through their legal education and training, are especially needed to lead in these challenging times. The 2020 Section on Leadership’s program will feature conversations with lawyers who serve in a variety of roles, including government, public interest, judiciary and professional associations. The panel will discuss the need for law schools to better equip law students for the challenges they will face as leaders in an ever-increasingly complex and challenging world.

Scheduled panelists:

  1. Hon. Cheri Beasley, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of North Carolina
  2. Judy Perry Martinez, President, American Bar Association
  3. Anthony Thompson, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law and author, “Dangerous Leaders: How & Why Lawyers Must be Taught to Lead”

The Section on Leadership is pleased to announce a Call for Papers from which one additional presenter will be selected for the section’s program, “Learning from Lawyer-Leaders Throughout the Profession,” to be held during the AALS 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington on Friday, January 3, 2020 at 1:30pm.

For more information and to submit, view the Call for Papershere.

Programs Co-Sponsored by the AALS Section on Leadership

Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities Section • Sat. Jan. 4, 2020, @ 8:30am

This all-star panel will discuss the funding issues facing organizations such as the Legal Services Corporation and state Access to Justice Commissions, how this impacts pro bono and access to justice issues, how pro bono is effective at closing the access to justice gap, and what law schools can be doing to help. 

Scheduled panelists:

  1. Betty Balli Torres, Executive Director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  2. David Bienvenu, Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service
  3. Darcy Meals, Assistant Director of Center for Access to Justice at Georgia State University College of Law
  4. Jim Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation

This panel will be moderated by Baylor Law’s Assistant Dean Stephen Rispoli, recipient of the State Bar of Texas 2019 Pro Bono Coordinator Award.

Pro Bono and Public Service: Pillars of Democracy and the Legal Profession

Lawyers have an obligation to uphold the rule of law and be the guardians of our legal system and society. Pro bono and public service are essential elements to the profession remaining a profession – helping those who cannot help themselves. These historical roles of the lawyer have been critical in protecting our society through cases for individual clients, serving as advisors for non-profit organizations, or serving in public office. Moreover, this service is not just good for clients and society, it is also good for the lawyer doing it.

However, these traditional roles face modern challenges. This session will discuss funding issues that the Legal Services Corporation and state Access to Justice Commissions face, how defunding them may affect pro bono around the country, and how legal education can help. Finally, this session will provide some practical tips and sample programs that attendees can implement at their home schools.

AALS Section on the Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession: An Empirical Look: How Well Are We Preparing Law Students to Become Ethical Leaders Who Serve Others • Thurs., Jan. 2, 2020 @ 2pm

This panel will feature research conducted on the ways in which law schools provide law students with skills and competencies, and encourage values that are central to leadership, public service, ethical conduct, and fulfilling responsibilities to others. Moreover, we envision that the panel will discuss newly emerging empirical research, often building on prior efforts, which focuses on the interest of law students in public service when applying to law school, and the impact of experiences such as clinical training, and pro bono and public interest opportunities within law school, on the leadership and public service that legal professionals undertake within our communities. Finally, we will highlight work that informs our understanding of the changing nature of leadership roles undertaken by lawyers both in government and the private sector.