This January we lost one of our former Section Chairs, Professor Anna Shavers. Anna embodied the spirit of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Her death leaves a hole in the heart of the Section as well as a vacancy on the Council where her leadership always embraced the representation of diverse voices and advocated for policy positions reflecting that those voices had been heard.
As many others have observed, Anna leaves a legacy of effort to do the often invisible and unglamorous work essential to advance the Section’s business—serving as Secretary for three years and as Chair of the Publications Committee, as well as numerous other roles. Anna was instrumental in the Section’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts including taking the lead in reaching out to affinity bar associations.
What Anna liked about being involved in the Section also demonstrates what we have lost during the pandemic. Anna loved the travel to participate in Section activities, whether to Washington, DC, for the conferences and Council meetings or to the resort locations where the mid-year and spring Council meetings sometimes took place. This dedication to travel was even more impressive because journeying from Lincoln, Nebraska, necessarily involved multiple flights—first to Omaha and then onward. The meeting schedule sometimes meant that she had to spend another night at the meeting location before commencing the return trip was possible. She turned what could have been a burden into a guilty pleasure—trying to find spa time whenever possible!
As travel to more exotic locations became less sustainable, and was curtailed during the pandemic, like all other organizations, we have lost some of that sense of personal connection that was a hallmark of the Section. That we did not have the opportunity through the Section or ACUS meetings to be with Anna in person recently makes the experience of her loss even more poignant. In addition to the satisfaction she took in her many contributions to the fields of immigration law and administrative law, Anna was also so proud of her daughter and often coordinated her travel to connect with her daughter.
I want to extend deep condolences to Anna’s husband, Stanley Shavers, and, in addition, to thank Anna’s daughter, Amber Shavers, for sharing so much of her mother with us to make our profession more in tune with its stated values and to make the world a better place.
Renée M. Landers is a a Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Health and Biomedical Law Concentration and the Masters of Science in Law: Life Sciences Program at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. She is also a former Chair of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. This tribute originally appeared in the Section’s Administrative & Regulatory Law News quarterly magazine.