13 August 2013

New ABA president pledges support for legal jobs

Newly elected American Bar Association President James Silkenat has pledged to put the lack of jobs facing newly qualified lawyers as one of his priorities during his year at the helm of the organisisation.

By Mary Heaney

San Francisco: new ABA President elected at annual meeting topseller

He also criticised sweeping cuts to the federal judiciary which amounted to $350 million last year and saw layoffs to government lawyers including public defenders, according to the assocation's online magazine, the  ABA Journal. Speaking at the ABA’s annual meeting, the New York lawyer said that he would be highlighting two issues for the profession – access to justice and the dearth of jobs available for junior lawyers. He has created the Legal Access Jobs Corps Task Force to oversee the problem and review what state and local bars are doing. 

Cuts to judiciary

The new President said that the organisation needed to improve the fit between ‘the needs of the profession and those of society.’  He said that the cuts meant that the poor would have more difficulty getting representation. Mr Silkenat is a corporate partner in Sullivan & Worcester’s New York office and has been involved in the ABA for most of his career. He received a Lifetime Acheivement Award from the ABA Section of International Law in 2007.



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