Skip to main content

From the ABF Director

A Message from Bryant Garth
Interim Executive Director and Affilited Research Professor, American Bar Foundation
Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California-Irvine School of Law

I am excited to work with all of our Fellows Officers, state chairs, and individual Fellows to continue the ABF’s mission of expanding knowledge and advancing justice.  

Despite the challenges of the past few years, the ABF continuesin my opinionto be the world’s leading research institute for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. Our highly productive ABF scholars continue to garner international awards and recognition, as well as grants and funding from such prestigious organizations as the National Science Foundation, the AccessLex Institute, and the JPB Foundation. In the past two years, the ABF has produced a remarkable amount of scholarship.  

The past year in particular has been a highly productive one for ABF research and programming. Our community continues to generate cutting-edge research on diversity in legal education and the profession, with the capstone book from the After the JD project currently in the editorial process at the press. Similarly, our work on nearly all aspects of criminal justice— from the collateral damage of mass incarceration to juvenile justice issues to the impact of problematic policing on political participation—remains a vital part of ABF research. Our scholarship on international law, including the rule of law during wartime and the relationship between legal institutions and democratic governance, continues to provoke significant policymaking conversations. In this sense, all of our ABF research operates not only at the intersection of law and the social sciences, but more importantly at the juncture of law and society. 

In addition to our research, ABF programming maintains our longstanding commitment to building the pipeline of emerging, diverse, and talented lawyers and legal scholars. Our Montgomery Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows and our Postdoctoral and Doctoral Fellows programs – both of which have been in existence for decades – continue to help us diversify not only the academy, but the legal profession as a whole 

None of our ABF achievements would have been possible without the support of the ABF Fellows and the American Bar Endowment, our two most important sources of funding. We are especially grateful for this year’s Fellows’ leadership: Darrel Mottley (Chair), Laura Farber (Chair-Elect), Frank Neuner, Jr. (Secretary), and Dean Cynthia Nance (Immediate Past Chair). Thanks to their outstanding guidance and our amazing staff, the ABF Fellows had another outstanding year of fundraising. We not only electedover 600 new Fellows this past year; we also raised over $2.3 million. 

It is an honor for me to return toguide the ABF during the Executive Director search and to meet many of our ABF Fellows throughout the world. Thank you for all that you do for the American Bar Foundation. 

Site design by Webitects

© 2023 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Contact the Fellows
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.