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Association reaches turning point as ATLA becomes AAJ.

This issue of TRIAL marks a milestone in the magazine's history: It is the first issue to be published by the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

The membership's vote at last year's Annual Convention to change ATLA's name was a significant turning point for the organization. While the old name focused on who the association's members are, the new name clearly communicates what they are fighting for--ensuring access to justice for every American.

The new name was selected because it met three essential criteria: It makes sense to members and the public, avoids trademarks and other conflicts, and sends the right message about what AAJ does.

Now, whenever members and staff speak to reporters, clients, or the public, they can state that AAJ stands for justice. The new name is part of an effort to reframe the debate about the civil justice system and define personal injury attorneys' role in it, rather than letting big corporations' front groups and so-called think tanks spread misinformation and half-truths.

Although it was approved last summer, the name change took effect December 11. In the coming months, members will see the new name and logo introduced at conventions, in other publications, and on stationery. Current ATLA membership cards will remain effective until a member's next renewal; at that time, the member will receive a new AAJ card in the mail.

When the association's full name is not being used, the shortened version should be pronounced letter by letter: A-A-J.

AAJ's Web site has a new look and a new address, www.justice.org, but it is also accessible through the old ATLA Web address, www.atla.org. When a member types the old address into a Web browser, he or she will be directed automatically to the new AAJ site.

For a significant period of time, staff will be reachable at their old ATLA e-mail addresses. Or members can now use new staff addresses at firstname.lastname@justice.org.

AAJ remains a professional organization, committed to protecting the civil justice system and serving members with the same high standards as in the past.

AAJ officers and senior staff will continue traveling around the country, talking with members about the decision to change the organization's name and updating them on the implementation process. For more information, contact Meghan Scott in the Communications Department at meghan.scott@justice.org.
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Title Annotation:Association of Trial Lawyers of America, American Association for Justice
Publication:Trial
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:393
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