As a first-time attendee of the ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, I was delighted to see the enthusiasm and energy the JIOP committee has for the program and how that inspired other attendees to get involved to further the programs reach and impact. The conference was an overall awesome experience; aside from the welcome reception, I was fortunate to attended the local Bar reception, the JIOP committee dinner, and participate in the Committee Expo.
Photo (left to right): JIOP alum William Knight, working group member Maureen Manning, alum Marcos A. Tapia, and JIOP Alumni Chair Ida Wahlquist-Ortiz show off their JIOP spirit during the SAC 2014 Committee Expo. The theme for this year’s expo was “Famous Cases in History” and the JIOP Committee was assigned Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (Below): A close-up of the proud alums and three amigos.
During all of the events at the conference, I was able to meet many of those involved that make JIOP function so successfully. We spoke about their JIOP experience and program activities in their particular location. Everyone was extremely personable and enthusiastic, which made networking so easy and fun.
In particular, the Committee Expo was definitely a highlight of my time. Every year during SAC, committees participate in an expo where they have the opportunity to showcase themselves and network with other Section committee members. The expos also function as a friendly competition for “best booth” built around a different theme each year. This year’s theme was “Famous Cases in History” and JIOP was assigned the case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (see photos).
Being surrounded by many of the other Section committees and speaking with so many successful practitioners I was able engage with attendees from around the country that were motivated by the program and were willing to get involved to expand the program in their part of the country.
In the end, I was able to take away a newfound motivation and an even higher sense of pride for the JIOP program. I was motivated to further get involved and help the program grow because I saw the difference it made, not just for me but also for other alums and the potential of the program going forward. I would recommend any other alum to get involved and join JIOP at future conferences.