Welcome to the ABA's Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division!
As 2020-2021 Chair, I’m honored to serve this Division by working to provide practical, timely products and services to our members.
I chose to begin my career in the public sector where I obtained hands-on litigation experience and specialized knowledge in my practice area of antitrust and trade regulation. Public sector positions are ideal first jobs for young attorneys as they often provide opportunities to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience in a short period of time.
Currently, I practice in the San Francisco office of Shook, Hardy and Bacon where I represent clients from diverse industries in business and consumer litigation. I also counsel clients on antitrust, privacy and advertising matters. Before joining Shook, I was a senior attorney at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where I led antitrust investigations in the health care and pharmaceutical industries, as well as represented the agency in litigation. I also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, managing a caseload of more than 100 criminal cases.
I’ve actively participated in the ABA for many years. Involvement in the ABA helps me both professionally and personally. It provides me with valuable insights and contacts in my field while also connecting me with friends and colleagues who I can call upon for assistance. Serving as chair of this division allows me to give back to the legal community and to help young lawyers interested in exploring the value of public service.
One of the division’s most important benefits is CLE programming on a wide variety of topics. From FOIA to negotiation skills, to ethics, we have something for every public sector lawyer. We present most of our programs in a convenient live webinar format.
Outreach to law students is one of the Division’s top priorities. The Division’s Public Lawyer Career Panel Program, designed to provide law students information about various public sector jobs, practical advice about securing positions and general job-hunting tips has helped hundreds of law students. Using a user-friendly toolkit, Division members are encouraged to present a program. Please contact Alison Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All Division members receive the quarterly e-newsletter, Pass It On, which reports on Division activity and carries pieces on topics such as obtaining grants for public law offices, determining who is the government lawyer's client, and improving office efficiency. The Division’s magazine, The Public Lawyer, provides the latest information on complex issues such as government attorney-client privilege, the hiring of private outside counsel, politically motivated dismissals, and government sponsored social media.
Our Pro Bono webpage features a step-by-step guide to creating a government office pro bono program; sample federal, state, and local government office policies; relevant articles; and other helpful links. The Division’s members-only Public Law Office Management webpage offers resources on improving communication with clients, dealing with the media, supervising employees, and staff mentoring programs.
Created to provide benefits and services for military lawyers, the Division's Military Lawyers Conference (MLC) continues to thrive. The MLC offers online resources such as information on transitioning to civilian life and professional development opportunities. Membership in the Military Lawyers Conference is free for Division members and I encourage all interested members to join.
The Hodson, Dorsey and Nelson awards are presented annually at the General E. E. Anderson Awards Reception, to an exceptional public law office and to outstanding public lawyers. These awards provide an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary achievements of public lawyers and to help the community at large gain a better understanding and appreciation of their important work.
If you are already a Division member and want to become more involved, please browse our webpage for information about serving on a committee, writing an article, or proposing a project. If you are not a Division member, I hope that you will join us. We warmly welcome your involvement in our dynamic group.
Should you have questions or comments please contact us at GPSLD@americanbar.org. I welcome your suggestions.
Very truly yours,
Steve Vieux, GPSLD Chair