Message From the Chair

Vol. 9, No. 1

Eric Y. Drogin, J.D., Ph.D., is the Chair of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law and a member of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School.

I’m delighted—but also saddened—to be writing the last of four “Messages from the Chair” for The SciTech Lawyer. Any opportunity to communicate with you directly is a welcome one. It’s been terrific fun to serve as Chair, but it’s disappointing to be reminded that this bar year is already drawing to a close.

My previous messages focused upon three reasons that our colleagues tend to belong to a professional association: to look like a better lawyer, to affiliate with other lawyers, and to serve the legal profession. The fourth and final reason identified in last summer’s issue of The SciTech Lawyer involves “becoming a better lawyer.”

This column has focused in each instance on how we as attorneys can strive to meet our goals on our own—but what of those others of us who have worked so hard, within our own Section, to enable us all to thrive?

In March, I notified our members that:

We’ve just learned that Shawn Taylor Kaminski, our long-standing Director, has accepted a new, higher-profile position within the ABA as Director of the Commission on Women in the Profession.
From where I sit, this was an inevitable development, of a sort that many of us have anticipated for some time now. Shawn’s combination of talent, experience, and ongoing professional training have made the transition to a more demanding role within our Association just a matter of time.
Needless to say, this isn’t any reflection on SciTech. The ABA needs to avail itself of this uniquely honed skill set in other areas. . . . I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing our dear colleague the very best in her new professional journey.

Along similar lines, we recently bid goodbye to Maria Gamboa, our administrative assistant. Like Shawn, Maria provided us with several years of devoted service and was given the opportunity to take on an exciting new ABA role. We miss her already.

You don’t need to leave SciTech to find out how much your lawyer colleagues really think of you! Julia Passamani, our Membership and Committees Manager, has continued to perform admirably in this position while deftly covering the additional tasks that inevitably arise during a transitional period. Jill Peña, whose official title is “Division Director, Administration and Operation, Professional Services Chicago,” has graciously agreed to cover Section Director duties during the interim, channeling former duties—among other ABA roles, Jill once directed the Health Law Section—with such seeming effortlessness that one would be tempted to believe that running a Section is like riding a bicycle. Without the expert and tireless assistance of Tom Campbell, Sarah Orwig, and Rick Paszkiet, there would be no SciTech magazines or books for us to read.

I’m told that by the time you read this column, the Section will have a new director, and a new administrative assistant soon thereafter. These latest hires will be the product of a complex and in-depth search process, and numerous qualified candidates have already been identified. Member services will continue uninterrupted. Our congratulations go out to our new and former staff colleagues alike.

I’m always pleased to hear from you, and I hope you won’t hesitate to contact me directly at 877-877-6692 or at if I can help in any way.

Also, please visit our Section website for more information on SciTech’s “Year of the Mind” theme and related CLE opportunities.


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