The State Bar Association of North Dakota Fall 2015 Gavel Magazine - Page 26

ABA is Showing North Dakota Lawyers Some Love perspective, it seemed peculiar that it took the ABA a century to be led by a woman and 20 years more by a woman of color. Main Street ABA D A N T R AY N O R ABA Delegate The Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Chicago was a whirlwind of meetings and events. Several North Dakota lawyers and judges attended various section and committee meetings during the week-long convention. The highlight of the Meeting was the election of Paulette Brown as the first woman of color selected as president of the 136-year-old organization. President Brown practices labor and employment law in Morristown, New Jersey. By all accounts, she is an accomplished lawyer and professional. From my own interaction, I observed an engaging person with an admirable concern for young people. The president of the American Law Institute, Roberta Cooper Ramo, was awarded the ABA Medal. In 1995, Cooper Ramo was the first woman elected president of the ABA. She is the only person to have led both the ABA and the ALI. I have known her for many years as a talented lawyer and trailblazer in our profession. Upon witnessing the recognition of former President Cooper Ramo and election of President Brown, I was struck with a feeling of, “What took us so long?” In the view of some people, the ABA tends to be at the forefront of societal change. Others may view this as a fault. From today’s 26 THE GAVEL To expand the ABA’s reach across the country, President Brown launched the Main Street ABA initiative. Throughout the next year, Brown hopes to visit at least two states a month. She has tentatively agreed to attend the SBAND Annual Meeting on June 1517, 2016, in Grand Forks. In announcing the North Dakota visit, President Brown described the purpose of the outreach effort, “All lawyers deserve love from the ABA.” ABA Everyday President Brown also announced ABA Everyday, an initiative to provide a different membership benefit every day of the year. The initiative offers free CLEs, Publications, and Resources without charge to ABA members. A monthly calendar of ABA Everyday benefits is available at www. abaeveryday.org. ABA President Paulette Brown I was surprised to discover tickets for Lollapolooza were anywhere from $400 to $5,000. Tickets to the ABA meeting were much more economical. Kara Johnson Providing Leadership in the ABA Center of Professional Responsibility Lawyer-Palooza Disciplinary Counsel Kara Johnson has been involved in the ABA for several years. She was initially involved in the Young Lawyers Division as District Representative. Her practice in lawyer discipline was a natural complement to her current involvement in the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. The ABA meeting happened at the same time as the Lollapolooza concert in Grant Park. Chicago was teeming with an eclectic crowd of more than 100,000 fans there to see acts like Paul McCartney and Metallica. When a thunderstorm interrupted the music festival, the revelers in tie-dye shirts and cutoffs joined the much smaller group of lawyers in business suits and ties in the hotel lobby and bar. It made for a curious sight. Johnson serves as a liaison to the Center for Professional Responsibility Coordinating Council, which facilitates activity among the Center’s leadership and strategic discussions on pending policies before the House of Delegates and other national initiatives. She is also a member of the Center’s Section Officers Conference and coordinates professionalism initiatives of the association. If you are not a member of the ABA, I would encourage SBAND members to explore the benefits and join at www.americanbar.org.