American Bar Association taps retired Chief Justice to lead distinguished panel

August 02, 2012

Indiana University Public Policy Institute (PPI) Executive in Residence Randall Shepard has been appointed chairman of an American Bar Association (ABA) presidential commission examining the state of legal education in America.

As Chairman of the Task Force on the Future of Legal Education, the retired Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court will lead an effort to assess how well the nation's law schools are preparing graduates to meet the legal needs of today's marketplace. Shepard will work with leaders from America's judiciary, organized bar, legal education, and legal practice communities on an initiative expected to conclude in 2014.

"The task force will solicit views in the widest way possible to help us identify how the bench, bar, and legal education community can work together to provide meaningful opportunities for law students and graduates that benefit clients and the public at large," Shepard said when the panel was announced.

Shepard joined PPI, a part of IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, in June, shortly after retiring from the Indiana Supreme Court, where he served for 27 years.

PPI staff and volunteers will participate in the ABA effort. "We're proud that this important work will be led by Shepard and that PPI will have an opportunity to contribute," said John L. Krauss, director of the IU Public Policy Institute.

"Chief Justice Shepard is widely respected for his leadership in promoting legal education, professionalism, and civility in the legal profession," ABA President William T. Robinson III said in announcing the task force. "He is universally respected for his wisdom, integrity, and openness to new ideas. Therefore, I am certain he will lead our esteemed and thoughtful task force members to consider a broad range of issues in order to make sound, compelling recommendations."

To review the America Bar Association release announcing the task force, go to