The American Bar Association will open its annual meeting the last week of July in Chicago, bringing attorneys, judges, academics and government officials together to examine a variety of legal and public policy issues.
The event begins July 30 and concludes with the ABA House of Delegates meeting Aug. 3 and 4.
Former Supreme Court of the United States Justice John Paul Stevens will be the keynote speaker during the presentation of the 2015 International Human Rights Award luncheon July 31. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill will both speak Aug. 1.
Panel discussions will be held throughout the conference and will cover a range of topics including race and policing, medical marijuana, drones and same-sex marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court will also be the topic of multiple panels. On Aug. 1, Assistant Solicitor General Nicole Saharsky will join the discussion examining the high court’s past 10 years under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts. The next day, solicitors general serving under the last five presidents will discuss the Supreme Court’s practices and trends in deciding major issues.
Commissioner Ellen Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission will participate in a panel on July 31, examining the election law trends and recent voting rights precedent that will have an impact on the 2016 elections. On Aug. 1, another panel will review the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In addition, the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services will hold a two-hour hearing Aug. 1 to solicit comments about ways to improve the access to and delivery of legal services in the U.S.
The House of Delegates is scheduled to consider a number of proposals for amendments to the ABA’s bylaws and for recommended policy changes to federal and state governments. The list of resolutions would:
• Urge state and territorial bar licensing entities to eliminate any questions about mental health for the purpose of bar admission;
• Concur on the action of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in making amendments to the “ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools;”
• Urge the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar to mandate enhanced financial counseling for students;
• Urge legislatures and government agencies to provide funding necessary to develop, implement and maintain appropriate cybersecurity programs for the courts.