September 01, 2015

My kind of town, Chicago is….The 23rd Fall Conference

Scott J. Sachs

If your work is concerned with policy, transactions, or trials you will want to join your colleagues for the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources’ 23rd Fall Conference, October 28–31, 2015, at the Swissotel Chicago. For the first time, the Windy City will be our venue for the Fall Conference—home to the Cubs and Sox, the Art Institute, and the Magnificent Mile! Whether you are attending the entire conference—or just one day—you will not want to miss the practical learning and networking experiences featuring several senior-level U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Justice officials, as well as top transactional and trial lawyers.

Conference kickoff

The conference kicks off on Wednesday morning with an enriching public service project at a local elementary school that will include a Q&A session on environmental issues with the students. Plan to arrive early to participate!

That afternoon, programming begins with “Getting Your Foot in the Door: How to Get Hired by In-House Counsel,” featuring an engaging panel sharing insights on what in-house counsel look for in their lawyers. Consultants and in-house and outside counsel will cover the do’s and don’ts of marketing to potential clients, as well as strategies for keeping clients once you have won their business. The panel will highlight their points with a role-play by lawyers making pitches for new business to counsel from a hypothetical corporation.

CLE and more!

Thursday’s and Friday’s plenary sessions will focus on legislative priorities for the next few years and emerging issues for what may become tomorrow’s Supreme Court cases. Breakout session topics include:

  • Developments under the primary environmental statutes: the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, CERCLA, and RCRA;
  • Issues involving our nation’s water resources that are affected through runoff;
  • What lawyers need to know when advising multinational corporations;
  • Our nation’s largest freshwater system on Earth and the challenges of protecting and governing one-fifth of the world’s water supply;
  • Trends in regulatory and citizen suits for agricultural operations; and
  • Environmental risk transfers in M&A and issues affecting the oil, gas, and transportation sectors.

A conference highlight will be a live litigation deconstruction as lawyers argue before a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Honorable Virginia M. Kendall. If you have enjoyed the “Titans” sessions at past Fall Conferences, you won’t want to miss this one!

The conference would not be complete without a session on today’s ethical issues facing lawyers on the move. A panel will discuss potential ethical snares when moving between firms or between the public and private sectors and how to navigate around them.

In addition to the above CLE sessions, there will be further opportunities to learn at Friday’s Technical Roundtables. Over lunch, roundtable presentations will be offered on air monitoring, ESA compliance, underground injection, and the new CCR Rule.

Get to know your colleagues—and Chicago

We hope that you will join your colleagues at:

  • Thursday night’s social event at the Museum of Science and Industry, featuring 35,000 artifacts and many hands-on exhibits to remind us that science surrounds us. The evening will provide fun, food, and informal networking. It will also serve as our Halloween celebration, so pack your costume!
  • Taste of SEER dutch-treat dinners at local restaurants on Friday night; and
  • Receptions on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

You will also have networking opportunities throughout the conference, including

  • A Speed Networking session, and
  • Coffee breaks between CLE sessions.

Plan to attend!

The Fall Conference is the premier forum for keeping abreast of legal developments in environmental, energy, and resource law; networking with your colleagues; and meeting government, industry, and private practice leaders. You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity! Up-to-the-minute conference information can be found at We look forward to seeing you in the Windy City in October. 

Scott J. Sachs

Scott J. Sachs is a senior counsel in Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud and Romo’s Cerritos, California, office. He is the program chair of ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ 23rd Fall Conference.