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Greetings from your new ALA president!

15 Sep 2023 3:18 PM | Anonymous

I've been a member of ALA (formerly IATSBA and the NTSB bar association) for about 15 years. I was most recently the VP for Great Lakes region, and I am located in Grand Forks, ND. I'm best known for my work in drone law at the University of North Dakota.

Over the past 3 years, our organization has been facing some headwinds--declining membership, a hiatus in our newsletter, and having to cancel a conference and postpone another due to the pandemic. I'm confident we can adjust our throttle settings and get back on course. We're actively working on all of those now, and I'm thrilled to invite you to our Nov. 1-3 conference in Washington, D.C., where we can reconnect and get back to business! Please register as soon as you can and invite your friends and colleagues. It's going to be a great event, with a catered dinner at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Nov. 2!

One of my goals as president is to seek new members. As you may know, the University of North Dakota offers the nation's only formal certification in aviation law by a law school, and plans to open it up soon not only to all law students in the US but also to practicing lawyers to obtain the certificate, using remote teaching technology. I plan to explore a potential agreement between UND’s certificate program and ALA, creating a pipeline for new members to enter our organization from the certificate program. I would appreciate the assistance, wise counsel, and help from all interested members of our bar association to get it going.

university of north dakota shool of law building

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you in Washington, D.C. in November, getting a regular newsletter into your inboxes, and watching our membership roster grow! And of course I'm interested in hearing your ideas. Please feel free to call me at 701 885 2486 or email me at Thank you,


Photo of Joe Vacek


Originally founded in 1984 as the National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association, today’s Aviation Lawyers Association (ALA) has grown to comprise attorneys from across the United States and other parts of the globe.

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