Focus On The New York City Chapter ~ Fall 2020 Newsletter Print

President's Message

Dear Members,

Thank you. When our chapter was founded in 2004, video conferencing was still in its infancy. Skype wouldn’t release Skype for Business until 5 years later, and Zoom wouldn’t launch until 2011. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when you elected me to be your President-Elect in 2018, I couldn’t have predicted that my tenure as your President would start seven months into an unprecedented pandemic resulting in the chapter’s unexpected transition to entirely virtual CLEs, programs and events. It simply wouldn’t have been possible without your flexibility, feedback, and enthusiastic participation.

I also want to thank the outgoing and ongoing leaders of the chapter for their innumerable contributions, visionary crisis management and grit. During the past seven months, chapter leadership, with the support of our Executive Director, has held countless (virtual) meetings and worked tirelessly to charter new territory while retaining our focus on the mission at hand: promoting the professional and business interests of our members through information, education, networking opportunities, and advocacy initiatives. I cannot thank them enough for going above and beyond to reschedule, reformat, and rethink our chapter’s approach to its mission at a time when there are so many competing demands on our time, energy, and attention.

As we continue to evolve and adapt in response to the pandemic, social movements, and other challenges ahead, we will inevitably have successes and failures along the way. We endeavor to learn from both, and we appreciate your continued patience and support as we work toward the ACC-NYC of the future. As we work to embrace this change, we welcome your feedback, ideas, and participation. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly to me, any other member of the Board, or our Executive Director.

Best regards,

Penny Williams
President, ACC New York City Chapter



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Featured Articles

What is Legal Operations?

By: Greg OgarrioIronclad

As they recommend and establish processes, systems and technology, in-house Legal Operations professionals have the unprecedented opportunity to transform Legal — often seen as a blocker to the business — into a valued business partner. Even as remote-first enters today’s business lexicon and culture.

Whether working inside a startup or a Fortune 100 company, in-house Legal Operations across companies and industries share a common mission to transform Legal into an efficient, agile business unit, aligning people, processes and tools toward a company’s core business metrics.


BREAKING: US DOL Issues New Regulations After Federal Court Invalidated Old Regulations

By: Michael C. Schmidt, Cozen O’Connor

Employment Law Now, a podcast discussing the latest trends, news, and updates in employment law, is hosted by Michael Schmidt, the vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department and the office managing partner of the firm’s New York Midtown office.

In the most recent episode Mike analyzes the regulations recently issued by the DOL in response to the federal court’s August decision invalidating portions of the DOL’s prior regulations. This episode and more can be found at


The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Employees with Disabilities

By: Michael A. Sabella and Anat Maytal, BakerHostetler

As it did with the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically impacted attorneys and other professionals with disabilities on multiple levels, including the massive shift from working in office buildings to their homes. Companies, law firms, and organizations adapted to the new status quo quickly in order to ensure that their operations would be intact, and the needs of clients would continue to be met with few interruptions. Gone were in-person court hearings, depositions, and mediations, replaced by videoconferencing; gone were client meetings and strategy sessions in office spaces with PowerPoint presentations on large screens, replaced by teleconferencing and screen sharing; gone were the schools, teachers, and caregivers that supported employees’ families, replaced by homeschooling and virtual lessons. But how did this shift specifically impact employees with disabilities?

Before addressing this, a step back is necessary to dispel certain preconceptions of disabilities and employees with disabilities.

Preconception No. 1: All disabilities are visible



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2020-2021 ACC NYC Board and Officers

ACC-NYC is proud to announce our new 2020-2021 Board of Directors. Please join us in congratulating the new officers and directors who were elected at our Annual Meeting on September 30, 2020.

Officers: Penny Williams, President; Ashley Miller, Immediate Past President; Tia Gilford, President Elect and Vice President – Pro Bono and Cultural Outreach; Danielle Manner, Vice President – Sponsorship; Kate McMenamy, Vice President – Programming; Jacob Berman, Vice President – Membership; Christopher Lalan, Vice President – Spotlight and Inclusion; Patricia Ranieri, Treasurer; Marco Salcedo, Secretary

Directors: Jeanine Anderson; Erich Drotleff; Sipoura Barzideh; George Dunston; Karl Dragosz; Jonathan Jung

We are looking forward to another great year!

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Past Presentations

Did you know ACC NYC curates a webpage of all our past presentations exclusively for our members? Whether you’re looking to reference a particular topic that was raised or you’re curious what you may have missed at an event, make sure to bookmark this important resource:

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