MIAMI – August 9, 2016 – Hilarie Bass, co-president of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, today assumed the prestigious role of president-elect of the American Bar Association (ABA) at the ABA Annual Meeting. She will serve a one-year term as president-elect before becoming ABA president in August 2017, where she will work to further the organization’s mission of defending liberty and delivering justice for all.
“It is such an exciting and humbling experience to be selected by my peers to take on the position of ABA president-elect. Achieving this great honor would not have been possible without the support of my colleagues, clients, family and friends,” Bass said. “Giving back to the profession that has given so much to me is something I feel strongly about, which is why I have dedicated myself to actively supporting the ABA mission for more than 30 years. I look forward to serving my fellow attorneys in this new role, while working to eradicate bias, enhance diversity and advance the rule of law.”
Speaking Tuesday during the ABA Annual meeting in San Francisco, Bass highlighted her priorities for the organization in the coming years. Most importantly, she emphasized the significance of the Association’s involvement in advancing equal access to justice.
“At a time when many are questioning whether the concept of "Justice for All" applies to them, the ABA must lead by implementing strategies across this country to ensure that our citizens can believe the civil and criminal justice system is truly blind to color, gender, religion and income inequality,” Bass said.
Bass went on to stress the need for the law profession to embrace the use of technology to assist in meeting the largely unmet needs of the millions of citizens who seek legal aid but have been turned away for years because they cannot afford it. Technology can help make more information readily available to the public and enable individuals representing themselves to more easily access the information and the forms they need to navigate a complex judicial system.
Additionally, Bass pushed for the ABA to be a leader in evaluating how future lawyers can be better educated through a system that trains law students to gain “practical hands on skills, whether through internships or some other form of experiential learning, to allow them to graduate with the ability to solve a client’s problem in a practical and real way.”
“The ABA must be a leader in evaluating how we can do better in educating and testing the competency of the future lawyers of our country,” Bass said.
Bass has been actively involved with the ABA for more than 30 years, beginning as a young lawyer and working her way up to become chair of the 70,000-member Section of Litigation in 2010-11. As chair, she spearheaded the creation of a Task Force on Implicit Bias in the Justice System. She has held several other notable positions at the ABA, including serving as chair of the Committee on Rules and Calendar (2012-14), member of the Board of Governors (1990-93), House of Delegates (1988-95, 2000-present) and the Florida representative to the Nominating Committee (2010-present).
The ABA presidency marks another lifetime achievement and testament to the success that Bass has attained throughout her career. Based at Greenberg Traurig’s Miami office, Bass currently serves as co-president and a member of the executive committee for the multi-practice firm that has approximately 1,900 attorneys across 38 offices worldwide. She previously served an eight-year term as national chair of the firm’s 600-member litigation department.
Bass has successfully represented high-profile corporate clients in jury and non-jury trials involving hundreds of millions of dollars in controversy. In recognition of that success, Bass was inducted in 2011 to the American College of Trial Lawyers. She has worked and settled more than 100 cases, tried more than 20 cases to conclusion and argued numerous appeals. Among her significant cases, Bass led the effort to eliminate Florida’s 20-year-old ban on gay adoption, which was found unconstitutional in 2010 and led to the state removing questions on sexual orientation from the adoption application.
Outside of her firm, she has led many top legal and community organizations and received numerous awards and accolades. Among them, she is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America,” “Who’s Who Legal: Florida” and “Chambers USA.” In recognition of her work, Bass has been honored with the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Outstanding Practitioner Award (2016), silver medallion from the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews (2011) and C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU in Florida (2009), among several other awards throughout her career.
Bass earned her law degree at University of Miami School of Law and her bachelor’s degree at George Washington University.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1,900 attorneys serving clients from 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is No. 1 on the 2015 Law360 Most Charitable Firms list, third largest in the U.S. on the 2015 Law360 400, on the 2015 Am Law Global 100, and among the 2015 BTI Brand Elite. More information at:www.gtlaw.com.