The American Bar Association (“ABA”) is the world’s largest voluntary network of legal professionals and law students, with approximately 400,000 members. Founded in 1878, the ABA’s mission is based on supporting the legal profession with practical resources for legal professionals and law students, while also improving the administration of justice, accrediting law schools, and establishing model ethical codes.
This year, the ABA hosted its Annual Meeting at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts from August 7th – August 10th, 2014. Judges, attorneys, deans, professors, law students, and other legal professionals from around the world were invited to partake in discussions on ABA initiatives and vote on such initiatives, attend panels and CLEs, and participate in professional networking events. Five Charlotte School of Law students attended the Meeting on behalf of the law school for the Law Student Division: Alexandria “Lexi” Andresen (CSL ABA Representative, 3L), Brittany Smiley (CSL ABA Vice Representative, 2L), Marlowe Rary (SBA President, 3L), Angelo Zingaretti (SBA Senate Chair, 3L), and Maritza Adonis (Fourth Circuit Governor, 2L).
Picture taken at Quincy Market, the place where the Founding Fathers met (left to right): Angelo Zingaretti, Marlowe Rary, Brittany Smiley, and Lexi Andresen.
Picture taken during the ABA Law Student Division Assembly: The Newest President of the American Bar Association, William C. Hubbard, and Charlotte School of Law ABA Representative, Lexi Andresen. (Fun Fact: the President of the entire ABA knows Dean Conison!)
Picture of (left to right): Brittany Smiley, Lexi Andresen, and Campbell Law Representative, Emily Pappas, at the ABA President’s Reception at the Hynes Convention Center.
Picture of one of the walls at the Supreme Judicial John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.
Picture taken at the Supreme Judicial John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts during the ABA Judicial Division Reception with (left to right): CharlotteLaw Professor Carolyn Dubay, William “Marlowe” Rary, Brittany Smiley, the Honorable Frank Whitney, Chief Judge of the Western District Court of North Carolina, Raleigh Attorney Christopher G. Browning, Jr., Angelo Zingaretti, and Alexandria “Lexi” Andresen.
Picture of (left to right): Brittany Smiley and Lexi Andresen after Charlotte Law received the Excellence in Membership & Programming Award.
During the Annual Meeting, the Law Student Division accepted donations of school supplies for the children of domestic violence survivors at the Casa Myrna residential program. Charlotte School of Law donated large quantities of pens, pencils, journals, binders, highlighters, and other related school supplies to this cause.
Although the Charlotte Law student representatives were primarily at the Meeting to attend the Law Student division events, they also had the rare opportunity to attend the Judicial Division Lawyers Conference /Supreme Court Fellows Alumni Association Joint Reception, organized by Charlotte Law Professor, Carolyn Dubay. Many prominent judges and attorneys from across the country were also in attendance at this event, including: the Honorable Judge Frank D. Whitney, Chief Judge of the District Court of Western District of North Carolina; the Honorable Patti B. Saris, Chair, U.S. Sentencing Commission and Chief United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; and the Honorable Ben C. Clyburn, Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland. The event took place at the Historical John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.
Notably, Charlotte School of Law received a nationally recognized award at the ABA Annual Meeting—The Excellence in Membership and Programming Award. This award recognizes Charlotte Law for its outstanding ABA membership efforts, involvement, and activity in the ABA Law Student Division. Charlotte Law’s student representatives accepted the award on behalf of the school in front of national ABA officers and 102 other law schools represented at the event.
ABA Representative Lexi Andresen states:
When Charlotte Law was announced as the recipient of the Excellence in Membership & Programming Award, the first thought that went through my mind was how appreciative I am of the students involved in the ABA at Charlotte School of Law. We work very hard to put on events that are interesting, informative, and provide networking opportunities for students. I am incredibly pleased that our efforts and the participation of the Charlotte Law student body in ABA events, were recognized on a national level!
I have had the wonderful opportunity of attending the ABA Annual Meeting two years in a row now. Both times, one thing stuck with me after each meeting – it’s truly amazing how much this organization is making important and substantive changes to the legal system, legal education, and the world in general.
As a Ms. JD Fellowship Recipient, Lexi also had the esteemed opportunity to attend the 24th Annual Margaret Brent Awards Luncheon on Sunday, August 10, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Check out our earlier post on this event for more details!
ABA Vice Representative Britany Smiley sums up the 2014 ABA Annual Meeting with this:
I think I speak on behalf of all of the Charlotte Law student leaders who attended when I say that the trip to Boston was a wonderful experience, both academically and socially. We were able to learn so much about the ABA and everything it has to offer law students, young lawyers and seasoned professionals as well as the many initiatives that the organization is taking in various areas of practice and educational reform. We were also able to network with professionals from around the country, including professors, attorneys, judges, past and present ABA Presidents, as well as student representatives from various schools across the nation. We are excited to bring all that we learned, and the connections that we made, back to Charlotte and cannot wait for the upcoming year!
If you are interested in becoming a member of the ABA Law Student Division at Charlotte School of Law, please visit www.americanbar.org/join. Please contact the Charlotte School of Law ABA Representative, Alexandria Andresen (email@example.com), with any questions that you may have regarding ABA involvement.
Congratulations to all of these amazing students for their accomplishments and for taking the time to share their experiences with the Charlotte Law Library blog — and a special thanks to our Core Operations student worker, Mili Banerji, for her assistance in compilation of this article!