Dear American Counsel Association Members and Guests:
From August 2013 to August 2014, I have the privilege
to serve as President of the American Counsel Association, the oldest
association of independent law firms in the world. For 80 years, our
association has supported members and their clients with an emphasis upon
professionalism, camaraderie, and scholarship in the field of law.
Each year we are proud to support exceptional law students who have demonstrated financial need and a commitment to public service by providing scholarship assistance. Our traditional scholarships are the Lowell Jacobson Scholarship and the
George Kerr ACA Scholarship which are presented to law students in the 7th
and 9th Circuits, respectively. In 2012, we awarded our first
"The Gerard McDermott International Scholarship Award" in honor of
our distinguished past president Gerard McDermott from Manchester and London,
UK, to an international law student. This scholarship recognizes the growing
membership of international lawyers within the ACA. In addition, at our annual
meeting in 2012, we created the Cohn-Dorsett Scholarship to honor Stanley
Cohn and Jim Dorsett, two of the finest Secretary/Treasurers and past
presidents to serve this organization. Some very fine lawyers serve justice
today at least in part because of the generosity of our members in supporting
these scholarships, and this tradition will continue in the foreseeable future.
Even in this age of electronic networking, we focus on
direct personal connections among our members. Our membership is intentionally
small, but a large portion of our group gathers twice a year to spend time and
enjoy one another's company in connection with the American Bar Association's
Midyear and Annual meetings. Membership in the ACA is generally limited to
members of one law firm per metropolitan area.
Although we are "American" by name, in
recent years we have become a truly international organization, as lawyers from
around the world have sought to join us. At our recent Annual Meeting in San
Francisco in August 2013, we were honored to be joined by guests from Austria,
Mexico, and Brazil.
We are particularly fortunate to have developed a
close relationship with the European Circuit of the English Bar. It organizes
annually an international conference and continuing education program
co-sponsored by our two organizations. This past year's meeting was held in
November in The Hague, Netherlands. For
more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have already started making our plans for 2014. These
plans include updating our By-Laws, our Scholarship Foundation By-Laws, and our
website, seeking national and international membership growth, awarding our
scholarships to deserving students, re-connecting with past scholarship
winners, and planning events for our Annual and Mid-Year Meetings.
I look forward to spending time with as many members
of our Association as possible at our upcoming meetings in Chicago (February
7-19, 2014) and Boston (August 9-11, 2014). If you are a member, I hope you
will find your way to at least one event. If you are interested in membership,
please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or
President-elect Livia Bandollar, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACA President, 2013-2014