by Kate Sigafoos, Assistant Director of Lawyer Chapters, ACS
From October 19 to October 21, progressive lawyers, judges and legal advocates from around the country gathered in beautiful Milwaukee, Wis. for the first-ever ACS National Lawyer Chapter Convening. There were more than 120 people in attendance with representatives from 16 states and the District of Columbia, including 19 ACS Lawyer Chapters, and what a time we had together!
The event started with a gathering at the grand Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda with welcome speeches from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and ACS President Caroline Fredrickson. The energy of the attendees’ enthusiasm was palpable as they networked and connected with ACS members from similar legal practice areas.
The next day of the convening was full of panel discussions and presentations, including lunch with keynote speaker Illinois. Attorney General Lisa Madigan who spoke on the role of state attorneys general in protecting our fundamental liberties. Panelists spoke on topics such as voting rights, the state of the judiciary, criminal justice, as well as offered “tips and tricks” for progressive leadership. The day ended with an award presentation and dinner at the Milwaukee Public Market, followed by a networking gathering hosted by Mastantuono & Coffee S.C.
During our last day together in Milwaukee, attendees amassed a stockpile of practical progressive advice from various workshops and presentations. From discussing ethics in pro bono work to engaging the media to advance the goals of ACS, participants learned and shared ideas of how best to turn their passion into action. ACS members walked away from the Convening with a long list of action items that can help them embark on their progressive legal mission.
Why a convening? You may ask. The ACS Lawyer Chapter team wanted this to be a more intimate event than our larger National Convention in June. Progressive lawyers, judges, and scholars spend so much time helping promote charitable causes, doing pro bono work, and working with law students. We wanted to provide an opportunity for them to connect with other lawyers in a meaningful way to recharge their energy and inspire them to keep up the hard work. With fewer concurrent sessions and more group and network events, attendees said they were able to have quality discussions with other ACS lawyers from around the country.
Thank you to everyone who attended, our hosts Craig Mastantuono and the Milwaukee Lawyer Chapter and Jeff Mandell and the Madison Lawyer Chapter, and our sponsors the Brico Fund, Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC, Mastantuono & Coffee S.C., and Stafford Rosenbaum LLP.
We are looking forward to seeing you next year at the second ever National Lawyer Convening!