At the Forefront – Miami Law Leads ABA and FL Bar


Miami Law has been at the front lines of legal innovation and continues to make its mark at the helms of the ABA and the FL Bar.

Leading the American Bar Association

Hilarie Bass

Hilarie Bass, J.D. `81, is the 2017-2018 president of the American Bar Association, the 410,000-member top legal organization with a stated duty to improve the profession. Bass is not the first alumna in the influential position -- Carolyn Lamm, J.D. `73 was president in 2009-2010.

Future of Legal Education

In Bass’s ABA acceptance speech at the annual conference in August 2016 she urged her fellow members to take up the ABA’s goals of serving the underserved, taking responsibility for strengthening legal education and more aggressively embracing advances in technology and innovation. She has done just that with the creation of a Commission on the Future of Legal Education.

Of the ten seats on the commission, Miami Law represents in three positions. Chairing the Commission is Dean and Professor of Law, Patricia D. White. Other members include Horacio Gutiérrez, J.D. 98  and General Cousel of Spotify, and David B. Wilkins, Harvard Law Professor and Vice Dean and participant in Miami Law's LawWithoutWalls program. The Commission’s overall goal is to influence dramatic changes in the legal profession over the next decade and beyond and to explore changes to the training and testing of future generations of law students. 

More Alumnae in the ABA

In addition to Hilarie Bass steering the American Bar Association, Deborah Enix-Ross, J.D. `81, is the chair of the ABA’s House of Delegates for 2016-18. Enix-Ross is the senior advisor to the International Dispute Resolution Group at Debevoise & Plimpton. She has served as the chair of the Business and Human Rights Project of the ABA Center for Human Rights and is a former chair of the ABA Section of International Law, where she was the Goal IX Officer and co-founded the Women`s Interest Network. 

Alumni Front the Florida Bar

Michael J. Higer, J.D. ’85 is president of The Florida Bar. The Berger Singerman, partner who has devoted his practice to commercial litigation and civil trial work, will serve as president for 2017-18. With more than 103,000 members, The Florida Bar is one of the largest unified bars in the nation. It is charged by the Florida Supreme Court with regulating the practice of law in the state as well as promoting the administration of justice.

Edith Osman, J.D. `83 and past president of the Florida Bar, is the State Delegate for the state of Florida in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.  In this role, the Carlton Fields Shareholder is serving a three-year term.

At the Helm Locally

Miami Law alumni commitment to leadership also extends to local and affinity bar organizations: President, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Miami-Dade Chapter, Katie S. Phang, J.D. ’00; President, American Association for Justice, Julie Braman Kane, J.D. ’93; President, Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers, Nikki Lewis Simon, J.D. ’99; President, Miami Dade County Bar Association, Jordan A. Dresnick, J.D. ’08; and President, National LGBT Bar Association, Dale Noll, J.D. ’12. 

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