Carolyn Lamm, a Washington-based White & Case partner, has officially ended her term as president of the American Bar Association. At the ABA’s annual meeting today, Lamm passed the president’s gavel to Stephen Zack, a Miami-based partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner.
Zack, who was born in Cuba, is the first Hispanic-American to serve as ABA president. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and class actions. In 2000, he was part of then Vice President Al Gore’s legal team in Bush v. Gore. Check out The American Lawyer’s Q&A with Zack here.
Lamm, who was named one of The National Law Journal’s Most Influential Washington Lawyers in June, became the first Washington lawyer to head the ABA since 1958. During her tenure, Lamm ushered in a new management team and changed the way the ABA recruits new members, especially solo practitioners, government lawyers, and lawyers who work for non-profits.
After hearing from those lawyers that dues had become a financial burden, the ABA gave solo practitioners a 50% cut in how much they were required to pay and others received a 25% cut. Lamm also focused on offering additional networking and continuing legal education opportunities.
Lamm also reworked the organization’s management team. In November, Henry "Hank" White Jr., the executive director, left and was replaced by Jack Rives, the former judge advocate general for the U.S. Air Force. The ABA's chief financial officer also departed the organization, and the administrative hierarchy was retooled. The reasons for the departures were not disclosed, but Lamm defended the shake-up, saying after White's departure, "Now we're going to function even more effectively than we were."
Lamm also oversaw the ABA’s evaluation of now-Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Kagan received a “well-qualified” rating, the ABA’s highest rating.
Lamm was at the ABA’s annual meeting in San Francisco and was not immediately available for comment.