It won’t be long before one of our favorite times of the year, as we welcome more than 200 law students to Chicago for the ABA’s Annual Meeting, starting August 2 and running through August 7. We know most of you will only be around through Sunday, August 5 – so we want to help you make the most of your time in town.
So get your best professional gear on, and get ready. Here’s a guide to the highlights of the schedule:
Hanging with the Young Lawyers Division
Law students will be hanging around a lot with the members of the YLD, and many of our events will involve the people you’ll be in a few years.
So it’s appropriate that our events with them start out right away as we welcome Louise Phipps Senft, chair of the Relational Practices Task Force, for a talk on “Being Relational – Improving Your Well Being Through Quality Interaction.” The relational approach focuses on an optimistic view of people, problems, and what is possible.
Right after that we’ll be hanging out with them at the Law Student and Young Lawyer Welcome Reception at 5 p.m. on Thursday. It’ll be a time to mingle, trade stories, and network.
And for a more formal setting, get your tickets to Friday’s YLD Fellows Gala, which honors the Honorable Ann Claire Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge, and formerly U.S. District Court Judge, Northern District of Illinois.
Also on the menu …
Some of you may be coming to Chicago for the deep-dish pizza or a Chicago-style hot dog. But don’t order it with ketchup – and remember you have a few chances to grab some food while sticking with the rest of us.
The YLD and law students will network over breakfast on Friday and Saturday. Times vary, so check the schedule. And for the second year in a row, the Planting the Seed for a Judicial Career breakfast is back, as The Judicial Division brings together small groups to discuss how to join the bench.
Your lunch options are all on Friday. The menu includes speed networking with the Section of Tort Trial & Insurance Practice (TIPS) or meeting the members of the Section of Labor Law to talk about careers. Registration is required for both, and seating is limited.
And if you’re looking for dinner on Saturday after the Law Student Division Assembly, we have a limited amount of seats available for the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner from the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Former Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder is this year’s honoree, and the keynote speaker is Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF).
A Friday full of events
Friday afternoon does have some required events for SBA presidents, ABA representatives, and entity liaisons. But there are also great options in terms of programming.
Our day begins at 9 a.m. with the Law Student Diversity Roundtable, where the topic will be “Increasing Diversity Competence: How Office Culture Promotes Good Working Relations.” The moderator will be Robert Grey, Jr., senior counsel (retired) at Hunton Andrews Kurth, who served as ABA president from 2004 to 2005.
Brian Cuban, author of “The Addicted Lawyer,” will discuss his personal path to redemption—overcoming depression, alcohol addiction, and cocaine addiction and how his career choice impacted his mental health and substance abuse issues. That’s also at 9 a.m.
At 10 a.m., find out how to address your student loans with “Road To Zero: A Strategic Approach to Managing Student Loans & Repayment” with the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. This workshop brings together financial experts to talk about payment plans, consolidation options, and even the possibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
On the YLD side, you’ll have a choice of three events at 10:15 and 11:30 a.m.
The first set:
- Coding for Lawyers: Python for Beginners: An interactive session where attendees will be writing code, so bring your laptop!
- Raising the Bar – Razzle Dazzle Them in Trial: Experienced trial practitioners who will provide keen insights on effective trial preparation, efficient lawyering, and insiders’ trial strategies.
- If the Shoe Fits: What Footwear Cases Teach US About IP Protection & Enforcement: Find out what recent cases have to say about data privacy issues with footwear wearable technology.
And the second set:
- Let the Ethical Games Begin (Again): Display your ethical prowess and win bragging rights (and prizes!) and learn more about legal and professional ethics.
- So You Think You’re Done with Legal Writing? Think Again! Get a refresher in legal writing fundamentals, help improve everyday writing skills, and introduce best practices for some of the challenges and tasks unique to the practice of law.
- Flyers’ Rights: What Every Traveler Should Know: Learn the laws and regulations surrounding consumer rights in air travel and explore whether there is too much regulation, too little or just enough.
More official events around the city
While we don’t want you to leave us, there are some great events going on with other groups and the main ABA. On Thursday, ABA President Hilarie Bass leads a form on “#MeToo, Time’s Up – Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.” This panel will discuss the birth of both the influential movements, the implications across industries, and what lies ahead. Current Deputy Attorney General of the United States Rod Rosenstein will address the ABA afterward at 4:30 p.m.
Following the rousing success of last year’s concert in New York, the ABA will present the “Concert for the Legal Services Corporation – It Is Only Fair 2” on Friday at 4 p.m. This year’s concert will include noted Broadway, cabaret, and other entertainers doing a song or performance interspersed with speakers and clients who will tell inspiring stories about the difference the LSC made in their lives. Joey Jackson, Defense Attorney and CNN/HLN Legal Analyst, makes an encore as the Master of Ceremonies.It’s a nonpartisan event focusing on how a well-funded LSC helps create fairness for all in our justice system.
On Saturday, Bryan Stevenson will receive the 2018 ABA Medal and serve as the keynote speaker at the General Assembly. Stevenson is an attorney, human rights activist, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of “Just Mercy.”
And wrap up the fun with the President’s Gala at 7 p.m. Saturday under the world’s largest stained-glass Tiffany dome at the Chicago Cultural Center. Dance the night away to the sounds of the Chicago Catz with a guest appearance by a local blues artist. Laugh the night away at two special improv performances by iO Theater. Plus catch amateur ABA members showing off their vocal talents in the ABA Cabaret. The menu will include names you’ve heard of – Portillo’s, Gibson’s and Lou Malnati’s.
Last-minute things to know before you go
Now that we’ve hit the highlights, check out our complete Annual Meeting information with maps, lists of required events, and Assembly information and requirements for voting. We’ll see you in Chicago!