Judy Perry Martinez is a lawyer who has made public service a part of her career from the start. She continues that legacy in August as she assumes the presidency of the 400,000-member American Bar Association during its annual meeting in San Francisco. On this episode of LawNext, Martinez joins host Bob Ambrogi for a wide-ranging discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing the ABA and the profession at large.

Over more than 30 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions at the ABA, including as chair of the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which three years ago released it seminal study on access to legal services, Report on the Future of Legal Services in the United States. Martinez also chaired the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all prospective nominees to the federal bench.

Other roles in which she has served include as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations, a member of the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, a member of the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity, and a member of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence.

She spent much of her career at the law firm Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans, where she is of counsel. In 2003, she joined Northrop Grumman Corporation as assistant general counsel-litigation, eventually rising to become vice president and chief compliance officer before leaving in 2015 to spend a year at the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard University.


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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.