Fowler School of Law Dean Paul D. Paton has been appointed by American Bar Association (ABA) President-Elect William R. Bay as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on International Trade in Legal Services (ITILS) for a three-year term beginning this August. The Standing Committee on ITILS monitors ongoing trade negotiations and other initiatives that impact trade in legal services; informs and educates ABA members and state regulators about legal services trade issues and their implications for the regulation and practice of law in the US and abroad; and regularly communicates with the Office of the US Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce regarding legal services.

This appointment represents the latest honor in Dean Paton’s acclaimed record of service to the legal profession in the United States and internationally on issues concerning lawyers, professional regulation, legal ethics, and the future of legal services delivery in the public interest. He is highly regarded and respected for his far-ranging expertise in comparative lawyer regulation and his continuing efforts to develop practical solutions to important theoretical and policy questions.

Between 2010-2013, Dean Paton served as a Reporter to the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission with primary responsibility for its work on multidisciplinary practice and alternative business structures within the broad ambit of that Commission’s work on the impact of globalization and technology on the transformation of the profession. Between 2020-2023, Paton was appointed by then ABA President Patricia Lee Refo as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation, the entity in the ABA responsible for “developing, promoting, coordinating, and strengthening professional disciplinary and regulatory programs and procedures throughout the nation, including developing and promoting ABA activities relating to professional discipline, model rules for disciplinary enforcement and standards for the imposition of sanctions.” In that capacity Paton “held the pen” on what ultimately became Revised Resolution 100 (2023), adopted by the ABA House of Delegates to amend Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16(a) and Comments [1] and [2] to address a lawyer’s responsibility to inquire into and assess the facts and circumstances of a matter.

Paton previously served five terms, two as Chair, of the Canadian Bar Association’s national Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, leading efforts to develop resources for lawyers dealing with ethics issues in a new age of technological change. He stepped in to serve as CBA national Interim CEO in 2021. He currently serves as Chair of the International Bar Association’s (IBA) Alternative and New Law Business Structures Committee and has spoken at IBA conferences in Seoul, Miami, Paris, and Dublin.

We are delighted to celebrate this remarkable acknowledgment and achievement for our dean and look forward to more great news from an already distinguished career.