Hilarie Bass

hilarie Bass hilarie Bass
Alumna and Trustee, Hilarie Bass, J.D. '81

Alumna and Trustee Hilarie Bass, J.D. '81, is named president of American Bar Association

On August 15, Miami lawyer Hilarie Bass, J.D. '81, took the reigns of the American Bar Association. She will be steering the nation’s 400,000-member professional association as the group’s 141st president. The organization’s mission includes improving the profession and assuring meaningful access to justice.

The position gives Bass an opportunity to continue working on issues she has championed throughout her career, including equal access to the law and diversity within the profession. Bass will be the eighth female president of the ABA, and the second president practicing in Miami. [The first was Stephen Zack, president from 2010-2011.]

As one of the country’s highest-profile female attorneys, Bass has represented major clients including Microsoft, Hilton Hotels and the government of Brazil. She is now co-president of Greenberg Traurig, an international multi-practice firm with 38 offices worldwide and approximately 2,000 lawyers.

Though she frequently represents clients with millions of dollars on the line, for Bass, some of her most important work was a pro bono case on behalf of two foster children. Her work led to the elimination of Florida’s 20-year-old ban on gay adoption, which was declared unconstitutional.

Bass will serve a one-year term for the ABA, where she has served in various leadership positions since the mid-1980s, including chair of the litigation section and Florida’s state delegate. The group boasts over 400,000 members, making it the country’s largest volunteer professional organization.

While her work has brought her national attention, she’s stayed strong in her Miami roots. She graduated from the University of Miami School of Law, where she edited the law review, and now serves on its board of trustees. Last year, she donated $1 million to the school.

Bass has big plans for her ABA tenure, which she discussed with the Miami Herald.

By: Andrea Januta  | Miami Herald