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The Arkansas Bar Association will mark its 121st annual meeting beginning Wednesday in Hot Springs.

Anna Hubbard, publications director, said the Arkansas Bar Association has held its annual meeting every year in June since it was first organized in 1898 and has met in Hot Springs since at least 1921.

"Each year the new president of the association is sworn into office, annual awards are given, and continuing legal education and social events occur over multiple days," she said. "The event is a tradition for lawyers and judges from all over the state to see old friends and make new ones. The meeting has been a joint meeting with the Arkansas Judicial Council since around 1988. We expect around 800 lawyers and judges to attend this year."

Shannon Miller, the most decorated Olympic gymnast in U.S. history with seven Olympic medals, cancer survivor and lawyer, will headline the event as keynote speaker Thursday, according to a news release.

Miller is the only female athlete to be twice inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. After retiring from Olympic competition, Miller received her undergraduate degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and her law degree from Boston College. Now retired from competition, Miller has moved from Olympic athlete to advocate for the health and wellness of women and children. She has taken the lessons she learned through the obstacles she faced as an elite athlete, as a young adult and from her journey with cancer to publish an inspirational new book "It's Not About Perfect: Competing for my Country, Fighting for my Life," the release said.

"The theme for this year's meeting is 'Game Changers' and Gold Medalist Shannon Miller seemed like the perfect plenary speaker with her Olympic record and her experience as a lawyer," Hubbard said.

On Wednesday, the association will host a "Feed the Funnel" community service event in partnership with The Pack Shack. Meals packed will be delivered to Project HOPE Food Bank.

Hubbard said national and local experts will speak on various topics including the following:

• Technology and how it has changed the legal profession.

• Safety of client data or cybersecurity.

• Immigration law and how sweeping federal law changes impact clients.

• The role lawyers should take on the gun industry after mass shootings and police departments after shootings of unarmed individuals.

• Employment law changes following the #MeToo Movement.

• First Amendment and free press and how constitutional rights are under attack.

• The future of the legal profession and potential tort reform.

• The need for reform in Arkansas and the nation's criminal justice system.

"The meeting is not open to the public," Hubbard said. "(Attendees) have to register to attend. Non-attorneys can pay the member registration rate if they would like to attend. We do have law student rates, as well."

Local on 06/11/2019

Print Headline: 121st annual Bar Association meeting starts Wednesday

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