Anna Williams Shavers, the Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law, is preparing to take the helm of the Section for the 2014-2015 bar year. Below, she discusses her top priorities for the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice during her tenure.
1. As incoming Chair of the Section, what are your priorities or goals for the Section this year? Are there ways in which the Section members may be able to help you achieve these goals?
My major priority is to assure that Section members realize the benefits of their membership. This can only be accomplished through the various committees and their leaders. While achieving this priority, we can retain members as well as attract new members and recognize the diversity that they can bring to the Section.
2. Are there any ongoing projects or initiatives that you are particularly interested in developing further or publicizing to Section members?
Regulatory reform and international regulatory cooperation are two issues that we will focus on this year. The activity in the Supreme Court and Congress with respect to agency regulatory practice is an area that Section members must be aware of and be provided with some opportunity to have input regarding proposed interpretations of existing law and the creation of new law. In addition, I believe that the increasing internationalization of regulated conduct will affect many agencies. Therefore our Section needs to keep abreast of these issues. We have two committees that focus particularly on international issues and they will present programs at the Fall Conference and throughout the year.
3. What advice might you give to lawyers or law students interested in being more involved with the Section? Perhaps you could explain why you joined the ABA and this Section.
There are lots of opportunities for participation. A list of our committees can be found at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/administrative_law/committees.html. Anyone who wants to be involved can contact me at email@example.com. Involvement with the Section can be very rewarding. As a professor, I find that the unique opportunity to discuss administrative law issues with agency lawyers, judges, lawyers in private practice, as well as other professors enriches my understanding in ways that I could not accomplish otherwise. While there are other organizations where these groups interact, it is our Section that provides this opportunity for anyone who is an ABA member. The Section also provides an opportunity to create great friendships.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing administrative law practitioners? How could the Section assist attorneys with these challenges?
Managing the information now available because of the increasing use of technology presents a challenge to administrative law practitioners. An administrative law practice requires decision making and decision making requires having the right information. Technology creates massive amounts of information that practitioners must learn to handle. The Section can assist in this task by providing timely and reliable materials and programming.
5. What do you think is most valuable about the Section with regards to how it can assist attorneys either in their daily practice or in meeting the challenges of a changing legal market?
No matter how obtuse or difficult an administrative law issue is, there is an expert in the section on that issue. These experts not only help create the Section publications and programs, but they also attend Section events and discuss these issues. The experience and expertise of the Section members that is shared among Section members helps meet the challenges that present themselves in an administrative law practice.
This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.