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From the ABF Director

A Message from Ajay K. Mehrotra
Director of the American Bar Foundation
Research Professor
Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law

I am delighted and honored to begin my second year as the Executive Director of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). During my first year, I had the privilege of attending numerous exciting ABF Fellows events across the country. These events gave me a chance not only to discuss some of our empirical and interdisciplinary research on law and the social sciences, but also to thank personally a few of the thousands of Fellows who generously support ABF research. This year I am looking forward to attending even more events, and extending my appreciation to even more Fellows. Thank you to all the ABF Fellows throughout the country and the world!

As in the past, the Fellows once again surpassed their recruiting and fundraising goals. In the 2015-16 fiscal year, more than 1,000 new Fellows were elected, and total Fellows revenue exceeded $1.8 million. Perhaps even more importantly, Fellows have continued to help the ABF develop and disseminate its innovative and influential research by providing practical feedback to ABF researchers, by helping organize CLE seminars, and by hosting receptions and other events showcasing ABF research. It is this combination of financial and intellectual support that makes the Fellows an integral part of the American Bar Foundation.

Fellows events this past year highlighted, for example, ABF research on criminal justice, employment discrimination, diversity and inclusion in the professions, access to justice, and the role of the legal profession in advancing human rights and the rule of law. In the coming year, we look forward to broadcasting even more of our cutting-edge and impactful research at Fellows events and other venues.

One reason for the continued success of the Fellows program is the outstanding leadership and staff of the Fellows program. We were fortunate to have yet another excellent group of Fellows Officers, who this year led several dozen other Fellows into a bold and ambitious strategic planning process. Thanks to Cara Lee Neville (Chair), Mike Byowitz (Chair-Elect), Rew Goodnew (Secretary), and Kathleen Hopkins (immediate past chair) for all their hard work and commitment to the ABF. And to the many other Fellows who participated in the strategic planning process. Thanks also to Kathy Pace (Director of the Fellows), Tim Watson (Assistant Director of the Fellows) and to their dedicated staff.

As we embark upon a new 2016-17 fiscal year, I am looking forward to working with this year’s officers, to meeting new Fellows, and to thanking all of our supporters, as we continue to expand the Fellows program and advance the ABF’s important research mission. Thank you.

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