Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : January 2007

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  SECTION SPOTLIGHT  

Working for a Living

MSBA Section of
Labor & Employment Law

No. of Members
 
739

Founded
  December 1977

Officers
Chair:
  Glendora C. Hughes
Chair-Elect:
  Peter Guattery
Recording Secretary:
  Thomas J. Gagliardo

Newsletter
  Labor and Employment Law Newsletter

MICPEL Programs
  Employment Law Institute
 

"Labor and employment law changes every five minutes," remarks Glendora Hughes, Chair of the MSBA Labor & Employment Law Section. "Just when you think you have a handle on something, a decision comes down and everything shifts. There are a lot of twists and turns."

Having been a member of the Section for eight years, Hughes came to the post in 2006 with a firm understanding of the dynamic landscape and intricate structure of her particular field. During her tenure, however, a determined Hughes has worked to keep the Section focused, streamlining it in the process while navigating it into open waters.

The Section still touches on traditional topics such as employment-related legislation, taxes and fees pertaining to employment law (which, under the guidance of Program Chairs Al Palewicz and Thomas Gagliardo, is the subject of the Section's program at the 2007 Joint Bar/Bench Conference). It will also feature its Employment Law Institute this coming spring. Held every few years, this MICPEL-sponsored event is geared towards assisting new labor and employment lawyers in a variety of areas, as well as advancing the knowledge of the veteran attorneys.

Another major event slated for the spring is the Section's involvement in the amalgamated Business Law Section-sponsored mediation conference – a "one-stop shop" for countless attorneys dealing with mediation in different fields. When a membership is as vast and differentiated in terms of practice as this one is, a "drive-thru window" is sometimes a necessary addition.

Another feather in Hughes's Section Chair cap is the Section's involvement in the Women's Law Center (WLC)'s Employment Law Hotline, launched in fall 2006. The byproduct of a WLC task force – with which Hughes was directly involved from its inception – and the Maryland Employment Lawyers Association, the hotline is staffed by volunteer employment attorneys and provides advice to those stricken with employment law problems.

Overall, Hughes has tried to merge the old with the new in a cohesive manner.

"I think what we tried to do is get a sense of what members are interested in," Hughes reflects.

A mainstay within this prominent Section has always been its newsletter. Edited by Palewicz, the newsletter has always aimed at providing something for everyone – no simple feat with such a diverse Section. But while Hughes has led the charge to streamline the Section's concentration, she concurrently supports the broadening of the newsletter's focus. Given the mixture of readers, ranging from labor law practitioners to employment discrimination to general employment law, the newsletter continuously needs to be redefined in order to provide something for everyone, which it has successfully done due to a simple formula.

"We try not to get too narrow with the topics," notes Hughes. "That allows us not to box ourselves in the corner."

Possessed of a progressive mindset coupled with a firm and steady hand, Hughes has sailed this Section into new and uncharted waters, the likes of which could benefit all.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: January 2007

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