“Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, urged his fellow attorneys to deepen their commitment to justice, be willing to get uncomfortable and never lose hope.
During an impassioned speech before the American Bar Association General Assembly at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago on Saturday night, Stevenson offered ways to address the injustices he has spent a career trying to remedy.
“There is an urgent need for us to keep doing what we’re doing—but to actually do more,” he said. “We’ve got to find new ways to create justice, to open doors that have been closed for too long, to create opportunities for people who feel marginalized and excluded.”
Stevenson’s remarks came after ABA President Hilarie Bass presented him with the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor. The ABA Medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service by a lawyer or lawyers to the cause of American jurisprudence.
Stevenson said the privilege of practicing law and having an education allows lawyers to make choices in how they use that privilege. “We have an opportunity to do things that matter,” he said. ‘There can’t be enough lawyers who are helping those without counsel. Our commitment, literally, has to be to get closer to those who are suffering.’”
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