Civil Rights Law Section

Civil Rights Law Section

Message from the Chair

Section Chair: 


 
Wylie Stecklow
Stecklow Cohen Thompson 
New York, NY

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela

This sentiment, recently tweeted by President Obama, has been widely shared in the past few weeks as the country has become more divided by differing notions of what is good and what is evil. The tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia highlighted this division while invigorating those of us involved in the Federal Bar Association’s Civil Rights Law Section more than ever.

Civil Rights lawyers around the country have had busy years in deed. Our nation faces bigger challenges than most of us have seen within our lifetime, and some believe that we are living through historical moments while revisiting some of the worst moments of our past. With great change has come enormous hurdles, and it has been a privilege to watch civil rights attorneys across the country come out in full force. For the Section’s part, we have enjoyed hosting panels, educating attorneys, and connecting and building relationships with lawyers in firms across the country. We also gathered in New Orleans in April to host our first, national CLE, the Civil Rights Etouffee, where we heard from speakers on topics that run the gamut of current civil rights issues.

For all our hard work this year, I am proud to say that we are being honored with the Federal Bar Association’s Recognition Award! This will be the first time the civil rights section will be recognized with this annual award. Our success would not have been possible without all the hard work from our board, our officers, our committee chairs, our national liaisons and our general membership. I will proudly accept this award at the national convention in Atlanta, Georgia in September on behalf of all of us.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and thank our new members for joining, and to extend an invitation to each of our members whose memberships may soon be up for renewal to join us again for the coming year! There is a lot in store and we look forward to providing interesting, helpful and engaging programming for all to enjoy.

I also want to recognize and thank our new officers that our nominating committee put forward (Thanks Eileen, Jeff, Bonnie, and Keegan) and who were unanimously approved, for their dedication to the section and for all the work yet to be done (thanks Stephan, Robin, Rob, and Jared). To keep our momentum going, we have been setting goals for the coming year. We are working hard to expand our membership; support and plan local CLEs and panels in multiple cities; and begin planning for our next Etouffee in the Fall of 2018.

We have also set goals to submit at least one article each month for the Federal Lawyer and to increase our social media presence. We are lucky to have some incredible law students helping lead this charge (thanks Keegan and Lindsey).

We are looking forward to filing our first amicus brief in the upcoming year, with the leadership of our amicus team (here’s to Kevin & Jared). We will be lending support to important civil rights issues on major appellate cases throughout the country. We will start to have monthly informational emails to join our monthly phone calls. So look for information about amicus applications and submissions, and much more, in these emails that will be sent in the weeks to come (Thanks Robin)!

In spite of all the unrest we are witnessing throughout the country, it has been incredibly satisfying to witness the tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to stand up for the gains the civil rights movement has made to date. Droves of smart, dedicated people continue to commit themselves tirelessly to progress and what they know to be right. We look forward to supporting and encouraging you in your goals in the coming year, and appreciate your support and work with the FBA Civil Rights Section.

Wylie Stecklow

Proud FBA National Civil Rights Chair

Resources

Register for the New Orleans CLE Program!


Instructor Guide Lesson

A lesson plan for freedom of speech/expression.


Civil Rights Section Bylaws


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