In October the American Bar Foundation celebrated the launch of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Endowed Fund for Research in Civil Rights and Gender Equality, as well as the first hybrid ABF/JPB Access to Justice Scholars Program workshop. This issue will highlight ABF researchers and Fellows who have recently been recognized by their legal communities, registration details for our next National Fellows Webinar, and an interview with one of our Visionary Fellows.
ABF Launches its New Ruth Bader Ginsburg Endowed Fund for Research in Civil Rights and Gender Equality
ABF Board President Tom Sullivan addresses the audience; ABF Executive Director Ajay Mehrotra, ABF Research Professor Tom Ginsburg, and President Sullivan chat with attendees. Photos by John Zich
On October 13, 2021, the American Bar Foundation launched its Ruth Bader Ginsburg Endowed Fund for Research in Civil Rights and Gender Equality (RBG Fund) at the University Club of Chicago. The new fund honors the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy as a crusader for civil rights and gender equality, and supports the ABF's prominent research and programming in areas of great importance to Justice Ginsburg. The RBG Fund recognizes the late Justice's close relationship with the American Bar Foundation, where she was a Patron Fellow, an Outstanding Scholar Award winner, and a Board member throughout the 1980s, holding an officer position as Secretary for many years. Generous sponsorship support from the Chicago Community Trust and the Chicago-based national law firm of Harrison & Held LLP made the event possible.

Speaking at the reception was University of Chicago Law Professor and former Justice Ginsburg clerk Aziz Z. Huq, who reminisced about how the late Justice’s exacting technical and moral standards taught him to appreciate the complexity of the law. Justice Ginsburg’s son, Cedille Records Founder and President, Jim Ginsburg, offered additional powerful remarks about his mother’s personal and professional legacy. The evening closed with soprano Patrice Michaels, the late Justice’s daughter-in-law, and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang performing pieces from their recording, Notorious RBG in Song, perfectly encapsulating the late Justice’s love of music and the law.
University of Chicago Law Professor and former RBG law clerk Aziz Huq discusses Justice Ginsburg's impact on his approach to law.
Cedille Records Founder and President, Jim Ginsburg, describes his mother's personal and professional legacy.
Soprano Patrice Michaels and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang perform two pieces from Notorious RBG in Song.
To support the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Endowed Fund for Research in Civil Rights and Gender Equality, click here.
ABF Researchers in the News
ABF Faculty Fellow Rebecca Sandefur Receives 2020 Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration

The National Center for State Courts has presented ABF Faculty Fellow Rebecca Sandefur with the 2020 Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration. The award honors court leaders outside of the judiciary who have made significant contributions to the improvement of state court management. According to NCSC leadership, Professor Sandefur’s access to justice research and advocacy has been pivotal to the ongoing refinement of state judicial practices.

Read more here.
ABF Research Professor Tom Ginsburg Quoted in CBS News Coverage of President Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States

On October 14, 2021, CBS News cited ABF Research Professor Tom Ginsburg in a piece about President Biden’s Supreme Court Commission. The commission, of which Professor Ginsburg is a member, is composed of 36 highly-regarded judicial experts tasked with exploring possible Supreme Court reforms related to court packing, term limits, and the “shadow docket.” The article delves into the commission’s recently released discussion materials, highlighting Professor Ginsburg’s comments about the prudence of imposing term limits for officials whose powers extend beyond mere symbolism.

Read more here
Fellows in the News
Below are highlights from our Fellows news segment, Fellows in the News. You can view many more on our website here. Please send Fellows in the News submissions to
Two Washington Life Fellows Honored with 2021 Washington State Bar Association APEX Awards

Washington Life Fellows James F. Williams and William H. Gates, Sr. (Deceased)
Two ABF Life Fellows have been honored by the Washington State Bar Association’s 2021 APEX Awards, James F. Williams and the late William H. Gates, Sr. The “Acknowledging Professional Excellence” Awards are designed to honor the contributions of the Washington legal community’s most pivotal members. Mr. Williams received the Justice Charles Z. Smith Excellence in Diversity Award, while Mr. Gates received the posthumous Lifetime Service Award.

Read more here.
Harold D. Pope III, ABF Board Member and Michigan Life Fellow, Earns 2021 Concordia College Alumni Achievement Award

ABF Life Fellow and Board Member Harold D. Pope III has received the 2021 Alumni Achievement Award from his alma mater, Concordia College. The award honors past graduates who have achieved career distinction in the decades following their departure, in alignment with the school’s institutional values of intellectual and ethical excellence.

Read more here.
Professor Jamila Jefferson-Jones, Louisiana Fellow, Receives 2021 Jefferson B. Fordham Advocacy Award

Wayne State University Law Professor Jamila Jefferson-Jones has been honored with the 2021 Jefferson B. Fordham Award for Advocacy. The award is one of several that are presented annually by the ABA Section of State and Local Government in honor of Jefferson Fordham, who was the first chair of the section in 1949. The Advocacy award recognizes legal professionals who focus their practice on promoting justice for local and regional governments.

Read more here.
Fellows Emblem Graphic Available for Websites, Email Signatures

The Fellows Emblem symbolizes a commitment to the ABF's goals of "Expanding Knowledge and Advancing Justice." If you would like to display a copy on your website or email signature, please email with the subject line "Fellows Emblem."
ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program Holds Inaugural Research Workshop
ABF Faculty Fellow Rebecca Sandefur kicks off the fall workshop of the ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program
The ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program held their first hybrid workshop on October 15-16, 2021. The program, a partnership between the American Bar Foundation and the JPB Foundation, unites faculty scholar cohorts with research mentors from around the country with the goal of expanding and strengthening the field of access to justice research. Over the weekend, thirteen scholars presented their research for feedback from mentors, Advisory Council members, and their peers, before listening to a panel of judges and legal aid practitioners discuss their strategies for incorporating access to justice research into their practice. 
Register Now:

"Cooperation without Submission: Coordinating Native and Non-Native Governmental Powers and Authorities at the Tribal, National, and International Levels"

ABF Faculty Fellow Justin Richland, University of Colorado Law Professor Kristen Carpenter, and Hopi Appellate Court Associate Justice Patricia Sekaquaptewa
Join us online on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 11:00am PT / 12:00pm MT / 1:00pm CT / 2:00pm ET for our free National Fellows Webinar titled "Cooperation without Submission: Coordinating Native and Non-Native Governmental Powers and Authorities at the Tribal, National, and International Levels."

The event will feature ABF Faculty Fellow Justin B. Richland, University of Colorado Law Professor Kristen A. Carpenter, and Hopi Appellate Court Associate Justice Patricia Sekaquaptewa in conversation about institutional relations between indigenous and non-indigenous governments and Native Nation strategies for maintaining sovereignty.

Register here.

Fellow Spotlight:

Ohio Visionary Fellow and ABF Legacy Society member Daniel J. Hoffheimer may technically be retired, but his unflagging dedication to community service and the legal profession has never really been confined to the office. Ever since graduating from the University of Virginia Law School, Mr. Hoffheimer has fully immersed himself in a wide range of organizations and projects designed to improve society through advancements in art, education, medicine, and the proper administration of justice. The Taft Stettinius leader has been legal counsel for two presidential candidates, is a cornerstone of the Cincinnati estates and planned giving community, and is active with various bar organizations at the civic, state, and national levels. His contributions have been recognized by many leading law publications, including Law and Politics and The Best Lawyers in America.

Daniel J. Hoffheimer
Visionary Fellow

Q: What does being a Fellow mean to you? 

A: Taking on the responsibility of being a Fellow is a disciplined way to support the highest aspirations of the legal profession and to inspire one’s colleagues to do so as well. It is the single most central manner in which to connect oneself to the pursuit of justice on a national level.

Q: Where were you born and raised? 

A: I grew up in Cincinnati, the son and grandson of lawyers and judges. My family first came to Cincinnati in 1830, and we have been here ever since. I went away to prep school, college, and law school, and despite temptations from Wall Street firms, I came back to my home town to practice law and engage with the community.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in law? 

A: My father and grandfather gave my brother and I such fine role models as lawyers that I only briefly flirted with another path in college. My brother and I both became lawyers, have prospered, and are eternally grateful for the path we have followed.

Q: If you hadn’t pursued a career in law, what would you have done? 

A: I intensively studied Chinese history and culture in college, and was encouraged to go for a doctorate in East Asian studies. I have been able to study and publish in the area of Chinese law, so my chosen path of the law did not deter me from Chinese interests, among many others. Had I the musical talent, I would have wanted to become a concert pianist or orchestra conductor.

Q: What do you do in your free time? 

A: What free time? Now that I am “of counsel” and have transferred all but a trickle of client work to much younger lawyers, I am as busy as ever on boards and in community organizations and Democratic politics. In between, I attend the theater and concerts on the average of once per week. And then there are the piles of books, music compact discs, and courses online!

Q: Anything else you'd like to share with us? 

A: I hope that we Fellows can inspire our colleagues to join us. The research published with our support continues to improve the law, and thereby to make our society more just. We must fulfill Dean Roscoe Pound’s dictum that the law is a profession pursued in the spirit of public service. Through the ABF we do that.
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