Get Involved in SALT Standing Committees
Photo by ENLACE Student Albert Matos
SALT’s committees examine critical issues facing the legal academy and profession through three core committees: Legal Education, Access to Justice, and Human Rights & Equality. We encourage you to reach out to a committee chair if you are interested in current committee affairs to get involved.
Check Out A Few SALT Highlights From 2017
In 2017, SALT continued its passionate work on issues central to our core missions: diversity, justice and academic excellence. Thank you to all the Board members, Committee Chairs, SALT members, friends, and institutions who contributed time, energy, and resources to SALT’s efforts. SALT is a member-supported, all volunteer organization. None of this work would be possible without your commitment and dedication.
- Beginning this year, SALT restructured its many mission-oriented committees into three core committees: Legal Education, Access to Justice, and Human Rights & Equality. The threads of SALT’s mission— diversity, justice and academic excellence—are woven through the work of all three committees. SALT also dramatically reduced its membership dues. Both are part of a larger effort to make SALT engagement more accessible.
- At its January 7 Annual Dinner in San Francisco, SALT honored Professor Frank Askin (Rutgers) with the Great Teacher Award and Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Council on American-Islamic Relations, with the Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award.
- On January 8, SALT held its annual Cover Workshop at Golden Gate Law School in San Francisco on the topic “No Peace, No Justice: Everyday Mindfulness Practices to Help Disrupt Bias and Challenge Inequity.”
- SALT submitted a public statement opposing the White House’s proposed elimination of funding for the Legal Services Corporation and continues to work on advocacy around LSC elimination and access innovations such as limited licensure as means of expanding access to legal services.
- SALT continued its engagement with issues in legal education, participating in meetings and hearings of ABA Council on Legal Education and its Standards Review Committee. SALT opposed elimination of the requirement for the fulltime faculty after the first year of law school. Consistent with SALT’s comments, the Council in November voted to reject the proposal.
- In particular, SALT continued its work toward making bar licensure more appropriate and just. In February, a coalition including SALT succeeded in fending off a proposed bar passage requirement that could threaten diversity in legal education and in the profession. In the fall, SALT urged the California Supreme Court to lower the state’s bar exam passing score to open access the legal profession without loss of attorney quality or integrity.
- In July, SALT participated in an invitational roundtable sponsored by the ABA Standards Review Committee, which provided an opportunity to discuss larger issues facing legal education with SRC members and other interested organizations.
- SALT sponsored the Norman Amaker (Chicago), Trina Grillo (Las Vegas), Robert Cover (New Hampshire), and Rocky Mountain (Denver) student public interest and social justice retreats, which provided a unique opportunity for law students, faculty, and practitioners to exchange viewpoints, explore career opportunities, and formulate strategies for social justice.
- SALT joined the effort to oppose the UNC Board of Governors’ threatened prohibition on participation in litigation by the independently funded UNC Center on Civil Rights.
- On September 28, SALT co-sponsored the Fifteenth Annual SALT-LatCrit Junior Faculty Development Workshop in Orlando, FL. These workshops support aspiring and junior faculty members in their teaching, service, and scholarship; fosters progressive and critical outsider scholarship; and cultivates a community committed to social justice work on behalf of underserved people.
- SALT continued its Online Access to Justice Curriculum Project effort to make SALT’s website a valuable resource for gathering and sharing teaching ideas that will help faculty incorporate social justice themes, particularly about lawyers’ professional responsibility to provide access to legal representation, across the curriculum.
- SALT joined in four briefs amicus curiae this year: two opposing the Trump administration’s travel ban for inflicting irreparable harm to American institutions of higher education, one challenging Fort Lauderdale’s criminalization of public food sharing on First Amendment grounds, and one supporting Minnesota pipeline protestors’ right to raise the necessity defense in their criminal cases.
- SALT has been granted Special Consultative status to the United Nations.
- Throughout the year, SALT has benefited from collaboration with and support from the new SALT Student Advisory Council (SSAC). In its first two years, SSAC has been made up of students nominated by SALT Board Members. Nominations for the third year, academic year 2018-19, will be open to the broader SALT membership.
- At the Annual Members Meeting, the following new members were elected to the SALT Board of Governors: Steve Friedland (Elon), Catherine Grosso (MSU), Joan Howarth (MSU/UNLV), Margo Lindauer (Northeastern), Steve Ramirez (Loyola Chicago), and Christine Zuni Cruz (New Mexico). The following Board members were re-elected: Emily Benfer (Yale), Olympia Duhart (Nova), and Alexi Freeman (Denver).
- In 2017, SALT mourned the passing of founder Norman Dorsen (NYU), who also served as SALT’s first president and received the 1994 SALT Great Teacher Award.
- Looking ahead: SALT’s 2018 Teaching Conference—on Legal Education for a Changing Society—will be held at Penn State Law School on October 5-6, 2018. We are grateful to Dean Hari Osofsky, a SALT Board member, for hosting the conference.