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2000 Newsl. 1 (2000)

handle is hein.aals/aalsnews2000 and id is 1 raw text is: 

February 2000                                                                            Number 2000-1

The President's Message

President's Address:

Striving for Equal Justice: The AALS in Its Second Century

(Editor's Note: The following is the Presidential
Address of Elliott S. Milstein before the House of
Representatives at the 2000 Annual Meeting in Janu-

     I want to thank my predecessor, Greg Williams, for
the truly excellent work he did as President and to
complain as well about what a tough act he is to follow.
He and I have become very close friends during our time
together on the Executive Committee. I have learned a
great deal from him, and he laughs at my jokes. Greg's
life story, familiar to so many of us who read his power-
ful autobiography, Life on the Color Line, the story of a
boy whose childhood defined deprivation and trauma,
poverty and rascism, and whose adolescence required
struggle and courage beyond measure, is a story that
enobles all of us. I say this because it is through the
work we have the privilege to do, to teach and to open the
doorway to the legal profession, to social mobility, that
Greg became a lawyer, a distinguished law professor, the
dean of The Ohio State Law School and the president of
the Association of American Law Schools. And because
of his leadership and his example, the AALS has a new
project, a Diversity Task Force, strengthening our
enduring commitment to our mission of ensuring that all
of the groups within our society are represented in the
bar, and searching for new ways of protecting that
mission from the assaults that are being leveled against
     I am, of course, ecstatic to be before you as the
millennial, centennial president, and very happy that the
AALS is kicking off its second century with a clinical
teacher at the helm. Indeed, because in many ways the
AALS was founded to promote the idea that lawyers
should be prepared in law schools rather than through
apprenticeships, it is ironic that 100 years later we would
have sufficiently legitimized experiential learning that

someone whose
career has been in
that field could be
where I am.
     In 1968, I was
a 2d year student at
University of Con-
necticut law school
and was the chair of
the student legal aid
organization. It was, of AALS President Elliott
course, the year that   Milstein addresses the House of
Martin Luther King was  Representatives at the 2000
assassinated and there  AnnualMeeting
were riots in Hartford and across the country and many
people were arrested. In the midst of it all, Joe
Harbaugh, then the chief public defender of the state and
ever since my mentor, my teacher, my friend, gave a
speech to the students and alumni of our organization-
including judges and practicing lawyers-in which he
passionately and persuasively claimed that it was our
individual and collective duty to ensure that the criminal
justice system operated fairly through this crisis. Mass

(Continued on page 2)

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