In today’s episode I speak with Christine E. Webber who is a leading plaintiff-side class-action civil rights & employment attorney. Christine is a Partner and Co-Chair of the Civil Rights & Employment practice group at Cohen Milstein. In this role, she represents victims of discrimination and wage and hour violations in class and collective actions. She has represented clients in some of the largest, groundbreaking discrimination and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class and collective actions in the United States. She has been recognized with numerous of awards for her work and has served as a leader in a number of employment-law related organizations. Christine started her career as a law clerk to Judge Will on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and as a Fellow at the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights.
In our conversation we discuss her path to law which began by lobbying for more rights for girls in her 3rd-grade classroom, the differences between changing the law through policy and through litigation, the importance of seeing both the big picture and the narrow details in plaintiff-side class action work, how she prepares for depositions (in her words, it is like putting a puzzle together without having the picture on the box) and the importance of both planning and flexibility in that process, why she loves working with statistical experts who are so important to her cases, how "winning" differs as a plaintiff-side class action lawyer, the skills that make newer lawyers stand out in her experience (research, details, preparation), why her decision to take a risk early on and jump at an uncertain opportunity made the rest of her career possible, and the various paths to the kind of work that she does.
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