January 01, 2016

The SciTech Edge for Rising Stars

Tapping into the right resources and making the right connections is critical to surviving—and thriving—in today’s legal market and business world. That’s where the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law (SciTech) can help.

Thousands of savvy new lawyers and law students are discovering that SciTech can give them the peripheral vision they’ll need throughout their careers, regardless of practice area, to identify risks and address unexpected challenges posed by continually emerging scientific and technological innovation. It’s all part of what we call The SciTech Edge.

I didn’t discover the benefits of ABA and SciTech membership until after I graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. I sometimes wonder how much I could have fast-forwarded my career if I’d joined and become active as a student (membership in both the ABA and SciTech is now free for law students). A partner at my law firm encouraged me to get involved in SciTech, where he was a leader. They were the right words at the right moment.

SciTech transformed my career and life in ways I never imagined. It raised my profile, made me a better lawyer, gave me client connections I might never have had, introduced me to a network of other lawyers and business people, provided outstanding publishing and speaking opportunities, and led to leadership positions where I’ve influenced policy and interacted with an ever-widening range of legal and business leaders. It also provided me with some friends and mentors who are a constant for me, regardless of where my career might take me.

SciTech gives wings to those who have great ideas and the ability and drive to see them through. Members have unlimited access to over 20 hot-topic committees/list serves and leaders who are eager to get new lawyers and law students involved, help them round out their résumés, and offer ways to stand out—as an e-newsletter editor, an author, a social media commentator, or another key contributor. To get started, complete a quick survey at ambar.org/standout. SciTech is always on the lookout for the next generation of leaders.

Other benefits of SciTech membership include: premium content delivered by three quarterly publications, including the award-winning SciTech Lawyer; two 90-minute Fast Forward webinars each year to get members up to speed on emerging science and technology law issues; free chapters from SciTech books; 24/7 access to our podcast, book chapter, and article archives; and great discounts on SciTech books and programs.

As indicated by the Rising Stars quoted below, SciTech can help you transform your career, discover new opportunities, and make connections that matter. Experience the SciTech Edge and the difference it can make in your life. Please contact SciTech’s Membership and Committees Manager at 312-988-5594 or me to explore ways to get the most out of your SciTech membership. And be sure SciTech has your email address so you can take full advantage of all of these resources and opportunities.

Discover Other Opportunities

“It’s a MAD World: Membership and Diversity, with a SciTech Edge” is a column designed to spotlight membership and diversity-related topics, resources, and opportunities for SciTech members. The column appears at www.ambar.org/scitech/madworld.

Deanna Adams

Sacramento, CA Senior Research Fellow, Council of State Governments

I joined SciTech as a law student to learn the ways in which law and technology converge within various practice areas. I worked in the digital law division of a major entertainment company and used resources from SciTech as guidance when exploring emerging technology. I now serve as the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Liaison to SciTech and as a member of the Section’s Membership and Diversity Committee. I’ve since contributed three articles to The SciTech Lawyer, moderated my first SciTech panel, and attended conferences on SciTech’s behalf, connecting with national experts and meeting lawyers from numerous industries. By following SciTech’s hot topics, I can integrate legal trends with my policy work to better understand the current landscape on issues such as telemedicine and information sharing.

Alysa Pfeiffer-Austin

Washington, DC Law clerk, DC Superior Court

At SciTech events, I think “these are my people,” from a professional, service, and collaborative perspective. Before my LLM in Cyber and National Security Law from Georgetown, I interned for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the UN, and I worked in a Mozambique orphanage. SciTech has helped me use this experience to make a difference in new ways. As a website editor for SciTech’s Homeland Security Committee, I’ve made amazing connections and worked with industry leaders on the latest practice area trends. A SciTech article I wrote was selected to be a featured ABA Everyday benefit for all ABA members. SciTech’s leadership opportunities have been vital in securing my current clerkship and distinguishing myself as a new attorney.

Jared Chaney

Minneapolis, MN Law Student, St. Thomas School of Law

Being the ABA Law Student Division’s Liaison to SciTech and a member of the Section’s Membership and Diversity Committee has given me an unparalleled opportunity to learn from, and network with, Section leaders. SciTech has given me a wealth of relevant experiences, such as writing for The SciTech Lawyer, to help me develop as an attorney and future leader in my profession. My diverse background spurred my interest in SciTech. As a research and development engineer before law school, one of my projects included using ceramic stereolithography to fabricate a part that is on the Mars Curiosity Rover. I also spent some time as a professional mixed martial arts combatant. SciTech is on the cutting edge of what is new and interesting and always welcomes new perspectives. I know that wherever my career as an intellectual property attorney takes me, SciTech will be part of it.

Clara Cottrell

Raleigh-Durham, NC Counsel, BASF

I joined SciTech as a third-year law student. I later applied to be an astronaut, but my JD and science undergrad weren’t the right fit for the mission. Fortunately the Section has space law experts, and I hope my two children will share my dreams of space exploration! My SciTech family is a network of fun and intellectually curious attorneys at the top of their respective fields who I rely on to advise and guide me on cutting-edge content related to everything from drones and data privacy to biotech and counterfeit art. SciTech’s practical tips, knowledge, and contacts gave me the confidence to grow my practice, first by becoming the internal source and then the client’s source of information related to new areas of law. When I moved from private practice to in-house counsel, I leveraged my SciTech network and have continued to rely on SciTech publications and CLEs for up-to-date information and practice pointers.

Kate M. Growley

Washington, DC Associate, Crowell & Moring

Undoubtedly, SciTech has been essential to my development as a cybersecurity attorney. As a member of my firm’s Privacy & Cybersecurity practice, it’s important for me to remain up to date on these evolving areas. SciTech resources and programs have helped keep me abreast of the latest thinking and developments and to learn from some of the most respected minds in the industry. My role as vice-chair of the Homeland Security Committee has also provided an invaluable platform for me to share ideas, raise my profile, and grow my network. My father is a retired chief information officer, so it’s fitting that I’m practicing in such a closely related area. SciTech has helped me not only to find opportunities in this field, but also to make the most of them.

Jay Johnson

Dallas, TX Of Counsel, Jones Day

I joined SciTech in 2014 at the invitation of Section Chair Cindy Cwik, a partner at my firm, who asked me to serve as vice chair of the Section’s Privacy and Computer Crime Committee. I’ve been fortunate to see the inside of the NASA-Johnson Space Center as a legal intern; clerk for wonderful judges; teach investigation techniques to foreign law enforcement personnel onsite in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Croatia; and represent the United States as a federal prosecutor in a variety of matters. I now represent corporate clients in privacy- and cybersecurity-related investigations and litigation and in cybersecurity assessments and compliance reviews. The Privacy and Computer Crime Committee’s focus on privacy, cybercrime, and other cybersecurity issues has been a great fit for me, and the opportunities for networking and continued learning that SciTech membership presents have been outstanding.

Karli Swift

Atlanta, GA Associate, Baker Donelson

As an associate at an AmLaw 100 law firm, I practice corporate law with a focus on technology transactions and emerging companies. Before getting my JD, I taught high school in Baltimore, Maryland, as a Teach for America corps member. I joined SciTech on the recommendation of one of my firm mentors, Linda Klein, who is a partner and the ABA president-elect. Since joining, I’ve worked as an editor of the quarterly update for the Healthcare Technology Committee and as the co-chair of the Big Data Committee. The great thing about SciTech is the opportunity to meet, connect with, and learn from the brightest legal minds in the country. Joining and actively participating in SciTech has given me the opportunity to engage thought leaders and enhance my public speaking skills and substantive knowledge.