TIPS Council met twice at the ABA Annual meeting at the Swissotel in Chicago, August 5-6, 2022, and honored outgoing Chair John McMeekin for his leadership and service, then welcomed Gary Gassman as the new Chair as plans were made for the coming Bar year.
The TIPS Leadership Academy class met for its third in-person conference in association with the ABA Annual Meeting. It was an occasion for much excitement with incredible speakers and unique opportunities. For one, some of the class took pictures with former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer after he received the ABA Medal at the President’s Reception on Saturday, August 6. Similarly, the Leadership Academy’s programming for this session focused on current issues of the judiciary, service, and servant leadership. The class met with and heard from the President of the American Bar Association, Deborah Enix-Ross, regarding her ideas and plans for this bar year and particularly her goals regarding civics, civility, and collaboration. Chair of the ABA House of Delegates Gene Vance also addressed the class on similar themes.
After an introduction by the immediate past chair of TIPS, John McMeekin, Victoria Alvarez, Leadership Academy Task Force Member, Leadership Academy Alum, chair of the TIPS Litigation Trial Practice Committee, and Commissioner on the Commission for Women in the Profession, moderated a panel featuring Miki Kamijyo, General Counsel at Asana Partners, and Kimberly Richardson, Senior Corporate Counsel at Amazon Web Services. The panelists discussed servant leadership as in-house counsel, the role of outside counsel, and handling the legal career while navigating personal and family life. Mike Bergman, executive director for the Public interest Law Initiative and chair of the ABA’s Membership Committee, spent time with the Class discussing public service within the legal profession and how lawyers can meaningfully participate. TIPS Chair Gary Gassman and TIPS Delegate Bob Peck, president of the Center for Constitutional Litigation, provided an interesting education on TIPS and the good that the Section does for the legal community.
Finally, a panel of esteemed judges, the Honorable William C. Carpenter (Delaware), the Honorable Randi Mueller (Mississippi), and the Honorable Peter Reyes (Minnesota), shared their journeys to the bench and knowledge from the bench. Included in the panel discussion were their thoughts and ideas on how to recruit more qualified and diverse attorneys to ascend to the bench. The panel graciously stayed to answer more questions from the class, and hearing about their career paths was very enlightening.
After Caucus, the class participated in the public service project planned for this session, which is a tradition for each Leadership Academy Class. On Saturday afternoon, class members worked together at The Chicago Greater Food Depository doing hands-on hunger relief work packing food boxes to help address food insecurity.
Chicago is always an inspirational city and getting out and about together to explore and enjoy the natural and architectural beauty of the Windy City was a highlight of this Annual Meeting. We all look forward to being together soon at the TIPS Fall Meeting at the Omni Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the Leadership Academy Class will graduate and TIPS Committees and Council will meet and continue the good work of the Section, while also networking with our colleagues, our excellent sponsors and having some fun in the desert.