Issue: June 2019

Chair's Column

Since our last issue of The FLASH, we have held our final two Midwinter Meetings of the year: the Technology in the Practice and Workplace Committee held its National Symposium on Technology in Labor and Employment Law on April 10-12 in Chicago, and the International Labor and Employment Law Committee held its Midyear Meeting in Buenos Aries, Argentina on May 5-7, both of which drew near record breaking attendance! The Technology Committee not only enjoyed a great turnout, but offered top notch programming on cutting edge topics, such as artificial intelligence, the gig economy revolution, biometrics in the workplace and the use of technology in discovery and at trial. Distinguished panelists included The Honorable Mary Rowland, The Honorable Michael Panter, former EEOC Chair Jenny Yang, and many other prominent speakers from all of our constituencies.

The Buenos Aires meeting marked the first time the International Labor and Employment Law Committee has met in South America, and it attracted over 130 attendees from 22 countries. Over half of this year’s attendees were non-U.S. lawyers, and we are very excited that this constituency has grown so dramatically in recent years. A special thanks to our International Committee’s leadership for their successful outreach efforts!

Now that the Midwinter Meeting season is behind us, we will be convening our next Leadership Development Program (“LDP”) in Chicago on July 17-19. After a very competitive process, 25 applicants were ultimately selected to participate in this outstanding program. If you did not apply this year, or your application was not accepted, we strongly encourage you to apply for the 2021 LDP. The program provides an excellent pathway for leadership within the Section by offering training in leadership skills to a select group of Section members and then engaging them in a wide range of Section activities.

From August 8-13, the ABA Annual Meeting will take place in San Francisco and will feature labor and employment programming on Friday, August 9. Then on Sunday, August 11, one of our long-time Section leaders, Kelly Dermody, will receive the coveted Margaret Brent Women Lawyers Achievement Award at the 29th Annual Margaret Brent Luncheon sponsored by the Commission on Women in the Profession. I am so thrilled that Kelly was selected for this well-deserved honor! Kelly has been a huge contributor to our Section, having served on our Council for 8 years and as Co-Chair of the Annual Section Conference, the Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Committee and the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. Kelly is one of the top plaintiffs’ employment attorneys in the country, and she has been a tireless advocate for gender equality and LGBTQ rights. I hope you can join us in San Francisco to celebrate Kelly’s amazing career at the Margaret Brent Award Luncheon.

Shortly after the ABA Annual Meeting, our New Membership Model (“NMM”) will go into effect on September 1, 2019. Not only will the NMM reduce dues for new lawyers from $450 to $75 for the first 5 years, but it will cap dues at $150 per year for government lawyers, not-for-profit lawyers and small firm lawyers. At the same time, the NMM will offer enhanced benefits for all members, including “curated” digitized content that spans the full range of labor and employment law topics as well as free on-demand webinars on the latest developments in our field.

I urge you to spread the word about the NMM and the enhanced benefits it soon will offer young lawyers at a fraction of the cost. For more information about the NMM visit the ABA website.

Finally, I would like to note that there are still a few openings for our second biannual Trial Institute, co-sponsored by the National Employment Council (NELC) and Chicago-Kent Law School, which will take place in Chicago on September 19-22, 2019. Having participated in the Section’s inaugural Trial Institute, I can assure you that the quality of the instruction and hands-on experience participants receive is second to none. Visit our website for more information and submit your application as soon as possible as space is limited. The deadline for submitting applications is today, June 28, 2019.

The Section and Bloomberg Law are also in the process of finalizing a new book, Trial Techniques for the Labor and Employment Law Practitioner, which will be used as the primary resource for the Trial Institute. It is our hope that this book will be a valuable resource for all practitioners who seek practical advice on handling trials in the area of labor and employment law.