(NLJ/Diego M. Radzinschi)

The American Bar Association has convened in New York City for the first time in ten years. The ABA Annual Meeting, which began Wednesday, will primarily be conducted at the midtown Hilton hotel.

But President Linda Klein said she hopes that the attendees will have ample opportunity to “get out of the hotel.” To that end, the organizers have created the new “CLE in the City” series which will be piloted on the premises of over fifty law firms in Manhattan. The ABA will be offering low-cost continuing legal education programs, targeted toward attorneys who have never attended an ABA event before, over the course of the five days of the meeting.

This will also be the first time that the organization has opened its doors to non-members to attend the meeting. A brainchild of Klein’s, she said she believes it would be a “great and unique opportunity for non-members to eventually become a part of the Association.”

The ABA has partnered with over 20 bar associations in the city to host various events and ceremonies. Klein said she is “very excited about the trial of the two pizzas,” where the organization will fly in pizzas from Chicago to test them against the famous New York pizzas.

They will also be hosting a “Judicial Ethics in the Time of Fake News, New Media and a New Administration” panel on Friday, bringing together judges and journalists to discuss the duties of a judge.

Klein added that she is very keen on the “Deportation, Due Process, and the New Frontier of U.S. Immigration Policy,” event, also on Friday. The panel will focus on various immigration policies introduced by the Trump Administration and their impact on the courts and the legal community.

The ABA will be convening for a rally on Friday evening to demand “funding for legal services.” Klein said that the reduction in funding has served as a “tremendous blow to the legal community” and she hopes that the rally will help create awareness.

This year, the Bar Association’s highest honor, the ABA medal, will be awarded to Fordham University School of Law professor John D. Feerick on Saturday. Feerick, who helped draft the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1964, has also authored a Pulitzer Prize nominated book.

“He is a wonderful person,” said Klein. “And he can do a lot more in a year than people do in their lifetime.”

August 15 will mark the last day of the event and Klein’s last event as the President of the ABA. She will be passing on the baton to President-Elect Hillarie Bass.