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January 01, 2018

The Future Leaders Are Now: SciTech’s Ascending Stars Building Tomorrow’s ABA

David Z. Bodenheimer

Once again, The SciTech Lawyer looks over the horizon at the marvel of tomorrow’s technologies accelerating past yesterday’s laws. Where else would you find “blockchain” and “illicit antiquities” in the same sentence? Or see the intersection of mobile devices, visual arts, and the Copyright Act?

We must also look over the horizon for our future ABA leaders who will bring the technical savvy, professional drive, and legal curiosity that keep SciTech—and The SciTech Lawyer—at the forefront of predicting next year’s hottest headlines where technology and science meet the law. We should celebrate some of the recent successes and ask how we can build upon them for our next generation of SciTech leaders.

ABA Careers Event. Hosting its Fourth Annual Legal Careers in Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Information Law event on October 17, SciTech drew over 50 D.C.-area law students to hear how both seasoned professionals and younger attorneys have carved out careers as cyber lawyers, privacy professionals, and policy advisors in this burgeoning field of law. With great thanks to our long-time SciTech leaders who supported this event again, we also welcomed a talented new team of our younger SciTech leaders to speak, including Kate Growley (Co-Chair, Homeland Security), Chris Adams (Co-Chair, Open Source Software), Stephanie Reiter (Vice-Chair, E-Privacy), David Husband (Vice-Chair, Homeland Security), Nkechi Kanu (Vice-Chair, Cloud Computing), and Matt Welling (Vice-Chair, Information Security). By sharing their career paths with the law students, our newer SciTech leaders offer concrete examples of where students may find their future careers and also how SciTech may help.

Ascending Stars of ABA SciTech. On November 9, SciTech sponsored its first in a program series: “Ascending Stars of ABA SciTech: Hot Topics in 60 Minutes.” In rapid-fire blasts, this program drew over 75 registrants and covered the latest issues on setting up bug bounty initiatives, complying with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, protecting open source software, tackling blockchain technology, building privacy compliance, and more. In addition to Chris Adams, Stephanie Reiter, and Matt Welling mentioned above, this talented panel of ascending stars included Willa Morgan (Vice-Chair, E-Privacy) and Chris Hoff (Vice-Chair, Internet of Things). Special thanks go to Grace King (Vice-Chair, Homeland Security) for her tireless energy and exceptional leadership in making this program happen.

SciTech Opportunities. SciTech offers opportunities galore for both young lawyers and law students, ranging from web editors to e-newsletter publications to National Institute reporters. Alysa Pfeiffer-Austin (Vice-Chair, Homeland Security) is a great example who started as the Homeland Security Committee’s web editor, rose to Vice-Chair, published “Insights from the Women of Cybersecurity” in The SciTech Lawyer (Spring 2016), and had her article on the ABA Careers program showcased on the ABA President’s ABA Everyday national platform. With the many opportunities within SciTech, we must identify our rising stars and allow them to seize the challenges that make our Section unique and welcoming.

SciTech Mentorship. As we mourn the loss of Gil Whittemore as one of our great SciTech leaders, we also must remember Gil as one of our finest mentors for future SciTech leaders. We owe him special thanks for supporting Katherine Lewis (SciTech Secretary), who rose through the SciTech Committee and Division leadership ranks and whose vision for the Museum and Arts Committee made today’s edition of The SciTech Lawyer possible.

In closing, the future SciTech leaders are now. Let’s embrace our ascending SciTech stars as we fulfill our mandate for building our new and diverse SciTech leadership team. u

David Z. Bodenheimer