Rule of Law - Lady Justice

I'm a lawyer, how can I get involved?

Articles and events mentioned here do not necessarily represent the view of the ACBA or its Board. If you would like us to post your event, please email the details to Tiela Chalmers at

Advocacy Alerts

  • Added 5.26.17 – Urge your representatives to protect access to justice! The president’s budget calls for the elimination of the LC budget. Find your representative here.
  • Added 3.16.17 – Tell Congress that you will fight for LSC! Register as a legal Aid Defender and the ABA will hand-deliver your Legal Aid Defender card with your personal message to your Members of Congress. Become a Legal Defender
  • Added 3.16.17 – Join the Californians for Legal Aid to get Policy updates by email, Advocacy alerts on legal aid issues, and/or the Justice Matters newsletter. Sign up here
  • Added 3.15.17 – The LAX and SFO Coalitions are currently on-call and staffing the airport with internal members of the coalitions. We will reach out with more details once the situation on the ground is clear. Sign up to get alerts from One Justice. Contact information for passengers:
    • SFO:
      Council on American-Islamic Relations: +1-408-986-9874
      Asian Americans Advancing Justice: +1-415-848-7711
      ACLU Northern California: +1-415-621-2488
  • Added 3.14.17 Volunteers needed for the EBNatz Fremont Citizenship Workshop – Saturday, April 22. Learn more 


  • Immigration Law Under the Trump Presidency and Immigrant Rights – July 18th Learn more
  • Introduction to Naturalization (webinar). Learn More
  • Resilience of Racism Conference, June 1-3, Oakland – The Equal Justice Society is hosting this conference too explore mind science concepts such as implicit bias and racial anxiety to help us understand and ameliorate racism in all its manifestations. Speakers include Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender; Sara Campos, Attorney, Consultant, Writer, Immigrants Rights; Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, UC Irvine Law School; Eva Paterson, President, Equal Justice Society; John A. Powell, Chair, Haas Institute for Fair & Inclusive Society; Dr. Jennifer Richeson, Professor of Psychology, Yale University. Learn more

Civic Engagement/Resources

  • LSC Funding: President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the LSC budget, giving LSC a pittance to wind down. Read our letter to Congress, and send your own! Read the letter here
  • From Muslim Advocates – Community Guidance: Revised Executive Order Restricting Muslim Entry to the U.S. Read more
  • AG Jeff Session’s memo to federal prosecutors re making criminal immigration offenses a priority.

Articles that caught our eye

  • Could Trump Muzzle Comey? A Look at Executive Privilege (NY Times)
  • Opinion: The bureaucrat who made the Trump administration blink (East Bay Times Op Ed by ACBA member Mark Morodomi)
  • A Constitutional Puzzle: Can the President Be Indicted? (NY Times)
  • Trump’s travel ban ‘drips with religious intolerance,’ says en banc appeals court; injunction sticks (ABA Journal)
  • Judge says Trump can’t punish cities over sanctuary city policies (SF Chronicle)
  • Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse (NY Times)
  • White House tells ABA it won’t be asked to review lower court judicial candidates before nomination (ABA Journal)
  • Muslim Advocates, SPLC, Americans United File Lawsuit Against Muslim Ban 2.0 (Muslim Advocates)
  • California Chief Justice Accuses Feds of ‘Stalking’ Immigrants at Courthouses (Recorder)
  • Trump budget eliminates Legal Services Corp. funding (ABA Journal)
  • 2 Federal Judges Rule Against Trump’s Latest Travel Ban (NY Times)
  • Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students (NY Times) Read the DOJ letter here
  • The Trump administration detailed its new immigration policy, which greatly expands the categories of people subject to deportation (NY Times)
  • At Midyear, ABA President Linda A. Klein Urges Lawyers to Uphold Rule of Law (ABA)
  • Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary (Washington Post)
  • Executive Power Run Amok, by John Yoo (New York Times)

ACBA Statement on the Judiciary

February 10, 2017 – Oakland CA: The Alameda County Bar Association is concerned by President Trump’s recent statements questioning the independence and loyalty of the Federal Courts. The Founding Fathers created three independent and equal branches of government – the executive, the legislative and the judicial – specifically in order to achieve the checks and balances that are at the heart of our democratic system. The fact that a judge does or does not agree with the actions of another branch of government does not make the judiciary political – it simply reflects checks and balances at work. We join with others in finding the President’s statements disheartening, and urge the Administration to respect the basic structures that make the United States government so strong and enduring. 
The ACBA is a membership association of attorneys who live, work and/or practice in Alameda County. Our mission is to promote excellence in the profession and to facilitate equal access to justice. 

Alameda County Bar Association Statement on the Rule of Law

In the face of the political divisiveness and uncertainty that 2017 brings, the ACBA remains committed to our mission of promoting excellence in the legal profession and facilitating equal access to justice. We are a strong group of passionate people with the skills and commitment to protect and serve the most vulnerable in our community.

We believe in the critical role of checks and balances in our democracy, and remain dedicated to protecting the constitutional structure of our government. Upholding and promoting the Rule of Law, one of the defining characteristics of a democratic society, is an inherent part of our mission, and we are committed to continuing that work in the current political climate.  While we may not all agree politically, we all stand for the power of the law, and the power of the Rule of Law.

The ACBA and VLSC serve our community in Alameda County by representing immigrants and other vulnerable communities, ensuring that they have equal access to the justice system, regardless of the language they speak or their ability to pay. Part of our justice mission is to champion the interests of those least able to stand up for, or protect, themselves.  Through the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, the Lawyer Referral Service, and the Court Appointed Attorney Program, we offer support and assistance to those who face discrimination or unfair treatment, and those who are the victims of brutality, hate crimes, or unconstitutional treatment.

What can you do?

  • Get involved. Volunteer with the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC). We hold over 40 monthly clinics and are launching a new Saturday clinic called CLASP: Community Legal Advice Saturday Program – a free drop-in clinic designed to give anyone who walks in a chance to meet with an attorney and receive a 15-20 minute consultation in a wide spectrum of areas of law. Contact Christina Wiellette, VLSC Manager, for more information at
  • Get educated.  Attend one of our MCLE programs (now free to members!) to learn how you can use your skills to help those grappling with the uncertainty and fear so rampant today. To find out what we have planned, or to suggest an idea of your own, check out our website at, or contact Hadassah Hayashi, Membership and Education Manager, at
  • Get connected.  Keep in touch with us. We will keep you posted on issues as they arise, and we will respond, working locally, to challenges to the Rule of Law and to our Constitution. If you want to participate in this work, contact Tiela Chalmers, CEO and General Counsel, at

Together we will stand tall with our community. 

How Local Lawyers Can Get Involved

Concerned about defending the Constitution, the rule of law, and protecting civil rights under the new administration? We will update the ACBA website with trainings, events, volunteer opportunities, and calls-to-action as they come in.

While we may not all agree politically, we all stand for the power of the law, and the power of the Rule of Law.