“Equal justice does not mean justice for the rich, for the
powerful, for the privileged. . . . It means justice for everyone that lives
in this country.”
–Stephen N. Zack,
immediate past president of the American Bar Association and administrative
partner at Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP, during his commencement address at Whittier Law School
in Costa Mesa May 12.
Zack discussed the current state court
funding crisis–which plagues 42 states across the country, including
California. The state budget Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled days after
Zack's local remarks proposed another $544 million in cuts to a state judicial budget that has already been trimmed by $653 million since 2008.
you have one of the most difficult situations,” Zack said. “. . . The courts in the United States are closing down, and
as important as our legal profession is, it cannot operate without a
functioning court system.”
He called on graduates to become great lawyers by making
a difference now, despite the underfunding of state courts.
“We all need our court system sooner or later,” Zack said, “but it
won't be there unless you and your generation of lawyers fight to keep
our courts open.”