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23 B. Leader 14 (1998-1999)
An Interview with ABA President Philip S. Anderson

handle is hein.journals/barlead23 and id is 60 raw text is: BAR LEADERSHIP
An interview with ABA President

Philip S.


Philip S. Anderson became the
122nd president of the American Bar
Association in August at the conclu-
sion of the ABA Annual Meeting in
Toronto. He is a partner in the law firm
of Williams & Anderson in Little
Rock, Ark.
Anderson is past chair of the ABA
House of Delegates and served as a
member of the Board of Governors for
two terms. For three years until 1997,
he chaired the ABA Coalition for Jus-
tice, which is attempting to strengthen
public confidence in the U.S. justice
system. The coalition oversees the Jus-
tice Initiatives program, which encour-
ages lawyers and judges to involve the
community in improving state and lo-
cal justice systems. He is past chair of
the Section of Legal Education and Ad-
mission to the Bar.
By presidential appointment in 1978
and 1979, Anderson served on the U.S.
Circuit Court Judge Nominating Com-
mission Panel for the Eighth Circuit.
He was a member of the Federal Advi-
sory Committee for the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from
1983 to 1988. He is a member of the
Council of the American Law Institute,
and a fellow and past chair of the
Arkansas Bar Foundation. He belongs
to the American Judicature Society and
the American Counsel Association. His
service on the Arkansas Supreme Court
Committee on (civil) Jury Instructions
for 35 years earned him a Special
Award for Meritorious Service from
the Arkansas Bar Assocaition in 1966.
Anderson received his B.A. and law
degrees from   the  University  of
Arkansas, and served as editor-in-chief
of the Arkansas Law Review.
His community service includes
serving as trustee of the Southwestern
Legal Foundation; trustee and past
president of the Central Arkansas Li-
brary System; and past president of Lit-
tle Rock Unlimited Progress, Inc., and
Friends of the Little Rock Public Li-
brary. He is a former member of the

Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Last fall, Anderson discussed his
goals as ABA president-and particu-
larly his focus on the independence of
the judiciary and the need to enhance
public confidence in the legal profes-
sion-with Cleaveland D. Miller of
Baltimore, now immediate past chair
of the ABA's Standing Committee on
Bar Activities and Services.
Miller: Phil, I wanted to start the
interview with some questions that
are of a personal nature so that we
might give our readers some idea of
who Phil Anderson is, in addition to
being an outstanding lawyer and bar
leader. Tell me what motivated you
to become a lawyer. Was this some-
thing that you were interested in as a
young person or did your interest de-
velop later?

Anderson: My interest in being a
lawyer began at a pretty early age. I
have always been interested in political
science and civics and it always
seemed to me that lawyers have had a
very important role to play in our soci-
ety. We are a country that is devoted to
the rule of law. My interest in law did
develop at an early time.
Miller: Was your father or any-
one in your family a lawyer? I know
that my mother encouraged me to be
a lawyer and my uncle was a lawyer.
That was an influence on me.
Anderson: No, my father was not a
lawyer but he encouraged me to go to
law school when he saw how strong
my interest was in being a lawyer.
Miller: I know your father-in-law,
Edward Wright, served as a presi-
dent of the ABA (1970-1971) and

14/Ainter 1999

Bar Leader

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