A Series Remembering Anna Shavers, by Jill Family
The American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice is honored to organize this collection of tributes to Anna Shavers. Unfortunately, our community lost Anna in January 2022. In remembrance and with great respect, I will begin this celebration of Anna’s influence and contributions by explaining her influence on my career.
Talking about immigration law as administrative law is crucial to the development of immigration law. Anna was an early proponent of this idea. Her work in the ABA Administrative Law Section as an immigration administrative law specialist cleared the way for later scholars, including myself.
Soon after I entered academia, I realized that the immigration law questions that fascinated me the most were administrative law questions. A mentor suggested that I become involved with the ABA Administrative Law Section to develop my administrative law expertise and to create connections between the two fields. I showed up for a section council meeting to see what the section was all about. I was uncertain whether there would be room for an immigration law specialist in a section devoted to administrative law.
And then I met Anna at that meeting. Anna showed me that there was, indeed, space for immigration law in administrative law. Anna’s presence in the section convinced me to return after that first meeting. I quickly discovered that the section embraces discussion and study of all facets of administrative law, including immigration law. In fact, the section seeks out those types of connections.
After that first meeting, I had the honor to work with Anna through various section activities, including during her time as section chair. We edited a book together, planned immigration law panels, and coordinated with other ABA entities addressing immigration law issues. I loved working with Anna. Anna always embodied professionalism and reason, and she was a force for consensus. She showed me how to seamlessly move between the worlds of administrative law and immigration law.
I become chair of the ABA Administrative Law Section in August. In my mind, there is a direct connection between this achievement and Anna. Anna’s example and support were catalysts in my career, and I am forever grateful.
Jill Family is the Vice Chair of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and Professor of Law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School.