Looking Ahead at 2020

Crystal ball

In the news business, you can’t take too much for granted. But while 2020 is sure to bring an abundance of surprises, we at the ABA Journal have plans in the works for new series, special projects and revamps of older products. Here’s a look behind the editorial curtain at a few of the things you have to look forward to in 2020.

An Asked and Answered Revamp: We will be trying some new things with our longest-running podcast. From Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward: “Starting in January, Asked and Answered will be making some changes to have more lawyers discuss their experiences with unusual—and sometimes challenging or humorous—situations practicing law. Our first episode with the new format launches Jan. 27, and it focuses on what it’s like when your client shows up with a camera crew, ready to tell their stories on cable TV or Netflix. We have three episodes planned, so let us know what you think. If you like what you hear, we’ll keep going! You can let us know what you think by reviewing us on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcasting app, or by letting us know directly on Twitter at @ABAJournal or my own handle at @sfw70II.”

A Look at Law and Aging: As baby boomers age, a growing percentage of Americans are going to be facing the challenges that come along with aging. Are the American courts—and American legal professionals—ready for those challenges? We’re interested in everything from how lawyers can best represent elderly clients’ interests to how you can know when it’s time for you to put away your own shingle and retire. What can you do if you suspect that your client is a victim of elder abuse? If you’re interested in elder law as a field, how can you break into it? What does the latest neuroscience teach us about aging brains, and what can that mean for criminal culpability? Are law schools preparing students to serve the needs of this population? These are all issues that may be explored.

100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment: 2020 is likely to be a big year for voting rights advocates, and it also marks the centennial of the constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote—even though it still took decades for many American women of color to have true access to the voting booth. “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100” will be the theme of the ABA’s 2020 Law Day celebrations May 1, and we will be taking a look back at the battle for enfranchisement.

Women and the Law: From Assistant Managing Editor Blair Chavis: “A hundred years after getting the vote, what do women’s rights look like in the legal system? In what ways has American law made progress, and where is it lagging? The ABA Journal’s upcoming yearlong series will reflect on suffrage, women’s representation in government, many other areas of the law that affect women, and how women’s treatment under the law is moving forward—or failing to do so.”

Ethics Traps in 2020: Back in 2007, we took a look at the top 10 ethics traps for lawyers. It remains one of our most popular articles, but after 13 years, we feel it needs to be updated to account for new technological developments and modern challenges. Stay tuned for our piece on ethics pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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