Sustainability: How Values-Driven Law Firms are Surviving Tough Times and Prospering over the Long Term

American Bar Association
Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee

Cosponsored by Chicago-Kent College of Law
Presents a “Quick Teleconference” program

Program Materials

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Central Time
12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time / 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time
(A 30 minute break will occur half way through the session)

Presentations and Related Articles:

ABA SEER Sustainability Framework

All Presentations

  • William R. Blackburn [ Bio | Presentation]
  • James Brusslan [ Bio | Presentation]
  • Howard Dakoff [ Bio | Presentation]
  • John Dernbach [Bio | Presentation]
  • John Gullace [ Bio | Presentation]
  • Carolyn Kaplan [ Bio | Presentation]
  • George Kuhlman [Bio | Presentation]
  • Pamela McDevitt [ Bio | Presentation]
  • Robert B. McKinstry, Jr. [ Bio | Presentation]
  • Saulius Mikalonis [ Bio | Presentation]
  • Allen Pusey [Bio | Presentation]
  • Robin Rone [ Bio | Handout]
  • MaryAnn Whitehall [ Bio | Presentation]
  • Cheryl Zalenski [ Bio | Presentation]

Program Overview:
The objective of the session is to explain how the values-driven management focused on social, economic, and environmental responsibility aspects of sustainability is helping firms prosper over the long term. The program will consist of an overview of sustainability by an expert, a keynote from one of the more advanced firms in this regard, a panel of ABA staffers talking about how their Sections can aid firms who want to pursue values-driven approaches, and a panel of practitioners from law firms who have subscribed to the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources model sustainability framework for law firms.

The conference builds on an article entitled “ Sustainability: How values-driven law firms are surviving tough times and prospering over the long term” appearing in the ABA publication Law Practice Today at

Educational Objectives:

  • The sustainability concept as it is emerging in global business, government NGO and academic circles
  • Insights from law firms that are succeeding through values-based management framed around the sustainability concept
  • The wide range of tools offered across the ABA and other organizations to aid firms that want to adopt a values-driven approach based on sustainability

Saulius Mikalonis, Plunkett Cooney, Bloomfield Hills, MI

William R. Blackburn, William Blackburn Consulting, Ltd., Long Grove, IL
James Brusslan, Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, Chicago, IL
Howard Dakoff, Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, Chicago, IL
John Dernbach, American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Harrisburg, PA
John Gullace, Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Carolyn Kaplan, Nixon Peabody LLP, Boston, MA
George Kuhlman, American Bar Association, Ethics Counsel, Chicago, IL
Pamela McDevitt, American Bar Association, Law Practice Management Section, Chicago, IL
Robert B. McKinstry, Jr., Ballard Spahr LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Allen Pusey, American Bar Association Journal, Chicago, IL
Robin Rone, American Bar Association, Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline and the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Chicago, IL
Cheryl Zalenski, American Bar Association, Center for Pro Bono, Chicago, IL

AGENDA (Central Time)

1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. – Introduction to sustainability at law firms

  • Bill Blackburn, William Blackburn Consulting, Ltd.

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – ABA resources and best practices for firms that want to pursue sustainability

  • Allen Pusey, Managing Editor, ABA Journal
  • Pamela McDevitt, Director, ABA Law Practice Management Section
  • John Dernbach, Professor and Director, Environmental Law Center, Widener
    University Law School; Member, ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources
  • Robin Rone, Director, ABA Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline and the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • George Kuhlman, Ethics Counsel and Associate Director, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility
  • Cheryl Zalenski, Director, Center for Pro Bono

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. – Break

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. – Strategic approach to sustainability at Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC

  • Howard Dakoff, Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. – How law firms are pursuing sustainability strategically

  • Saulius Mikalonis, Plunkett Cooney
  • James Brusslan, Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC
  • Robert B. McKinstry, Jr., Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Carolyn Kaplan, Nixon Peabody, LLP
  • John Gullace, Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP

5:30 p.m. – Wrap up and close

  • Saulius Mikalonis, Plunkett Cooney