I just returned from a function of the Section of Antitrust Law of the American Bar Association. It was such an enjoyable and educational experience that I wanted to reflect a bit on why belonging to the Antitrust Law Section is so important to me and how it may be of benefit to you.
I hope every lawyer takes pride in what they do in representing their clients and upholding the rule of law. But to me, there is something special about antitrust law. In U.S. v. Topco Associates, Inc., Justice Thurgood Marshall announced that “[a]ntitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise.” I feel privileged to have spent my career in the antitrust field. Through the Antitrust Section, I have met lawyers from across the street and around the world.
The Antitrust Section is not the largest section in the ABA, but it is one of the most productive in terms of the literature published, podcasts produced, conferences held around the world, including the crown jewel, the ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting in Washington DC, and the unparalleled opportunity to get involved and network. These are just a few of the highlights of the Section:
- There are over 9,000 members, predominantly from the United States, but also representing most jurisdictions from around the world.
- There are over 35 committees including Consumer Protection, Intellectual Property and various civil and criminal antitrust related committees. Most committees publish newsletters and presents teleconferences. It is easy to join a committee and help with these projects.
- Besides numerous teleconferences on antitrust, consumer protection, privacy, big data and a host of other subjects, there are major international conferences throughout the year. These conferences provide top-notch substance and CLE credit, but also are great networking opportunities. They are a great way to get involved.
Antitrust Section membership is a great way for young lawyers to get involved. If you volunteer, you will certainly be put to work. Committee membership is an invaluable experience—the earlier in your career the better. You can build lifelong friendships. I recommend business lawyers join the Antitrust Section. Even if antitrust/consumer protection is not in your daily practice, antitrust issues arise all the time in the business world. Simply being able to spot potential issues is invaluable. (Right now, there are plenty of business lawyers, and their clients, who wish they were more familiar with the antitrust pitfalls of “no-poach” agreements.). The Antitrust Section has also become very international with events held around the globe and a strong foreign lawyer membership.
Here are a few links for further information:
Section of Antitrust Law Homepage:
Events and CLE:
Disclaimer: This post is not endorsed by or represent the views of the Section of Antitrust Law or the American Bar Association. It’s just my own sincere belief about the value of membership
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email or give me a call. Bob Connolly