Posts Tagged ‘ESADE Law School’

“Lawyers possess the greatest power that anyone can enjoy: The ability to right a wrong”

ABAPresident elect of the American Bar Association speaks at ESADE Addressing a class of law students at ESADE Law School, president elect of the American Bar Association (ABA), Steve Zack, focused on the importance of the rule of law and the role of lawyers as catalysts for change. “If you study law simply with a view to making money, you fail to understand the power of law school” he said, “it is all about the ability to right a wrong.” Zack, a Cuban immigrant to the US at the age of 13, cites his experience being separated from his family and isolated overnight by the Cuban authorities as one of the reasons he decided to become a lawyer. “I had the feeling that someone should have done something and I realized that no one should feel like that, like they had no rights.”

If you study law simply with a view to making money, you fail to understand the power of law school”

The four-hundred thousand member strong, American Bar Association has exerted its ability to at least try to right a wrong on a number of occasions, particularly in the area of maintaining a free judiciary. “The ABA stood up and protested when the Pakistani government removed their independent judiciary and law students have the same responsibility: to speak out.” Zack stressed. “You will be practicing in a brave new world” he told ESADE law students, “it will be up to the international community of lawyers to protect the independent judiciary, because they can’t protect themselves.” Throughout his address Zack painted a picture of the future of the legal profession. “We are undergoing the greatest upheaval we have seen for a hundred years,” he said, major changes to legal services are afoot, “in Australia and soon in England and Wales it will be possible to publically float a law firm, third parties in some jurisdictions can now fund lawsuits, technology has made

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virtual law firms possible and outsourcing has revolutionized document management.” He noted, “Technology has changed the world and the legal profession is no exception… It will soon be possible to work from the beach” he said, much to the delight of the law students. When asked whether, in the light of recent years, America is still the land of opportunity, Zack affirmed, “Now more than ever! Where else could a diabetic woman from Puerto Rico be elected to the Supreme Court, as Sonia Sotomayor has been? … There is no other country in the world where someone like Obama could be president… Even I have lived the American Dream, when I landed on American shores,

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I didn’t have five cents.” In legal education we can expect changes as well, “we are creating a generation of lawyers from the same legal system” Zack highlighted, “You will see it in your lifetimes” Along these lines, respected academic and practicing lawyer at KPMG, Ramon Mullerat O.B.E. expressed his hopes that a Hispanic president of the ABA might be the ideal person to bridge the great legal divide and join common and civil law. “There is much the Spanish Bar Association can learn from the ABA to help lawyers develop a collective understanding and defend liberties through practice.” In closing Zack stressed the rule of law as the most important part of ensuring economic stability for developing countries. “No-one is going to invest if there is no rule of law… Strong economies are always based on a stable legal system… Large multinationals must solve many issues, but it is up to lawyers to have an influence through such companies.” Dean of ESADE Law School, Enric Bartlett said, “It is a great honor for ESADE Law School to welcome such a prominent member of the international legal profession, his words have truly been an inspiration to our young lawyers who will partake in a period of great change in the profession.”