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Convention Highlights

In honor of all that we have accomplished and with renewed vigor for all that lies ahead, please join NELA in Celebrating 30 Years Of Employee Rights Advocacy in Atlanta, GA.

The Convention program reflects NELA's long tradition of practical, innovative, and timely topics. Focused tracks on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Discovery, Strategies & Tactics, and Trial Advocacy are complemented by cutting-edge presentations on the impact of Hobby Lobby on employee protections, ethical and evidentiary issues with smart technology, recent developments in LGBT workplace rights, sexual harassment and assault under Title IX, and much more. Featured plenary sessions include the always popular "Year In Review: Significant Developments In Employment Law," along with "Rules Of The Road For The Plaintiffs' Employment Lawyer," "What Great Movies Can Teach Us About Ethics & Professionalism," and "The Changing FRCP: What Every Litigator Needs To Know."

President's Welcome Reception
Wednesday, June 24
6:30–8:00 p.m.

Convention participants are invited to join NELA President David L. Lee, the NELA Executive Board, and the 2015 Annual Convention Committee for an informal gathering to celebrate 30 years of employee rights advocacy, renew friendships, and make new ones. First-time Convention participants are especially encouraged to attend.

The President's Welcome Reception is generously co-sponsored by AARP Foundation and NELA Georgia.

An Insider's View: Tips On Forging A Career Path In Employee Rights Advocacy
Thursday, June 25
1:30–7:00 p.m.
$25 Law Students and Recent Law Graduates

Atlanta area law students and recent law graduates are invited to participate in NELA's 2015 Annual Convention, Celebrating 30 Years Of Employee Rights Advocacy, for an afternoon of learning, networking, and tips for success as developing employee rights attorneys.

This program is sponsored by the National Employment Lawyers Association and The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy. Find out more


Tobias 5K Run
Friday, June 26
7:00 a.m.

Join the early risers for the Tobias 5K Run. Meet NELA Founder Paul H. Tobias in the hotel lobby and take a run through downtown Atlanta before the morning plenary.

2015 Annual Convention Keynote Speaker
Taylor Branch
Friday, June 26
9:00–10:00 a.m.

NELA is privileged to welcome acclaimed American author and historian Taylor Branch as our Keynote Speaker for this year's Annual Convention. Mr. Branch is best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy's first book, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards in 1989. Two successive volumes also gained critical and popular success, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65 (1998) and At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 (2006).

In 2009, Simon and Schuster published The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President. Far more personal than Mr. Branch's previous books, this memoir tells of an unprecedented eight-year project to gather a sitting president's comprehensive oral history on tape. The collaboration is a story in itself, born of mutual concern over the declining quality of raw material for presidential history. Mr. Branch met with President Bill Clinton for 79 secret sessions, nearly always late at night in the White House residence. They recorded candid observations for posterity. The book reveals a president up close and unguarded, as perceived by an author struggling to balance many roles. In October 2011, The Atlantic published Mr. Branch's capsule history of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), "The Shame of College Sports." When that essay sparked national debate, released an expanded e-book version called The Cartel, which is available online or by print-on-demand.

Aside from writing, Mr. Branch speaks before a variety of audiences. He has discussed doctrines of nonviolence with prisoners at San Quentin as well as officers at the National War College. His 2008 address at the National Cathedral marked the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's last Sunday sermon from that pulpit. In 2009, he gave the Theodore H. White Lecture on the "Press and Politics" at Harvard.

His musical sidelights have spanned the Atlanta Boy Choir in the 1950s, a high-school folk trio, and a contemporary octet for spirituals. In 2006, he and two friends reconstituted their 1960s college band as the cover group Off Our Rocker, which has recorded and released two CDs in playful tribute to the Beatles.

Mr. Branch began his career in 1970 as a staff journalist for The Washington Monthly, Harper’s, and Esquire. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from ten colleges and universities. Other citations include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the National Humanities Medal in 1999. Samples of his book reviews, lectures, media appearances, blogs, printed commentary, and musical tracks are available on the website,

Mr. Branch will be introduced by his friend and longtime NELA member, Alan Banov.

The Power Of NELA ~ Vision ● Inspiration ● Passion
NELA's 30th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser
Honoring The Founding Leaders Of NELA

Friday, June 26
8:00–11:30 p.m.

You are cordially invited to join the NELA Family on the evening of Friday, June 26 for our 30th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser. We will celebrate The Power Of NELA by honoring our founding leaders, the women and men whose vision, inspiration, and passion led to the creation of the Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association (PELA) in March 1985, now known as NELA. The first members of PELA's Executive Board—Naida B. Axford, Joseph A. Golden, Steven G. Heikens, Penny Nathan Kahan, Jean Klingensmith, Michael G. Okun, Wayne N. Outten, Cliff Palefsky, Barry D. Roseman, and Paul H. Tobias—believed that the fledging organization would level the playing field for employee rights advocates and their clients. Thirty years later, NELA and its members have transformed the landscape of employment law by protecting and expanding the rights of workers.

The Power Of NELA will be a festive gathering as we revel in our collective accomplishments of the past 30 years before launching into the opportunities and challenges of NELA's next 30 years. After a brief ceremony, we will enjoy an evening of dancing, socializing, and fun. Music will be provided by Moon Dance, a popular Atlanta-based band.

We welcome your support of The Power Of NELA.