American Bar Association President to Speak at UM Law School Commencement

May 21, 2014

MISSOULA – James R. Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association, will deliver remarks during the University of Montana School of Law Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre. Eighty students will graduate from the school.

Silkenat is a partner in the New York office of the national law firm Sullivan & Worcester and is a member of its corporate department. Before his election by the ABA House of Delegates last year as the association’s president-elect, he was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He also served as co-chair of the ABA Solo and Small Firm Leadership Coalition.

He has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1990. He was chair of the body’s New York Delegation from 2000 to 2009. He is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee, and is a former national chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

In his legal practice, Silkenat helps coordinate the firm’s international business practice and concentrates on the areas of project and infrastructure finance, banking, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate law. He is a former legal counsel at the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C.

A frequent author and lecturer, Silkenat is the editor or co-editor of 14 books and author of more than 100 articles on legal and justice system issues. His books include “The Law of International Insolvencies and Debt Restructurings,” “The Imperial Presidency and the Consequences of 9/11: Lawyers React to the Global War on Terrorism” and “The ABA Guide to International Business Negotiations.”

Silkenat earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago School of Law and his Master of Laws in international law from the New York University School of Law.

For more information about the graduation and hooding ceremony, call Carla Caballero-Jackson, director of external relations for the UM School of Law, at 406-243-6254 or email



Contact: Carla Caballero-Jackson, director of external relations, UM School of Law, 406-243-6254,