Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division

GPSLD provides publications, programming, and services designed for the unique needs of government lawyers; advocates for policies that benefit public lawyers; promotes professionalism; and recognizes excellence within the public sector. 

The Ins and Outs of Qualified Immunity: Ready for Reform?

CLE Webinar: Thursday, November 19, 2020, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern

Qualified immunity is a complicated doctrine. It shields police and other government officials from personal liability for constitutional violations, as long as officials have not violated “clearly established” statutory or constitutional rights. Many are now seeking reforms for this long-established judge-made doctrine. Panelists will discuss the history and theory behind qualified immunity, the elements of the doctrine, how and when it is asserted as a defense, and some of the proposed reforms.

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Data & Privacy: Emerging Issues During COVID-19

CLE Webinar: Thursday, December 10, 2020, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern

As governments, businesses, and education systems seek to control the pandemic, they have turned to technology as a potentially potent weapon. Contact tracing, quarantine restrictions, travel monitoring, immunity passports and more have emerged as possible tools to control virus spread. But use of these tools also raises heightened concern about data privacy. Expert panelists will discuss the legal and policy considerations that govern—and ought to govern—the decisions about how to employ this technology.

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How to Manage Remote Employees in the Pandemic Era

Tips for Managers

COMMUNICATION – Establish regularly scheduled check-ins and team meetings to ensure effective communication and camaraderie. When everyone is working remotely, it's more important than ever to establish a sense of normalcy by ensuring on-going communication among staff. INVOLVEMENT – Spend a few minutes before each meeting or check-in catching up with your remote employees. Ask a few questions about how they're holding up. It's important to put a more effort into your interpersonal connections when everyone is working remotely. APPRECIATION – Be generous with your praise. When a face-to-face thank you is not possible, it's even more important to remember to praise employees. If they've done a good job, tell them that you are grateful for their work. It may seem obvious, but a lot of supervisors forget the importance of showing gratitude to their employees.

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Virginia Solicitor General: Government Lawyers' Work is Critically Important

The work of government lawyers is “critically important to the balance of the rule of law,” Virginia Solicitor General Toby Heytens said during his speech at the American Bar Association Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s Legal Skills Conference held Oct. 18 at the Omni Richmond (Va.) Hotel.

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Government Lawyers Volunteer in Richmond, Virginia

Would you like a cup of coffee?

This simple question was the basis of the ABA’ s Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s (GPSLD) recent volunteer project at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, on October 17. Hospital visitors were thankful for the simple gesture. But it was the government lawyer volunteers who were appreciative. The volunteers were grateful that they could bring a smile to the face of those who served our country. Several people approached the group and relayed moving stories of how they had been assisted by public lawyers. Government lawyer volunteers distributed information about lawyer referral services and pro bono assistance to those who asked for legal help. Thank you to former GPSLD council member Kristine Kassekert, who organized the project! Photo Caption L-R: Katherine Mikkelson and Bernadette Peele

Join Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division

The Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division's mission is to serve the nation’s public lawyers. By promoting integrity and excellence among public advocates, providing meaningful services not obtainable elsewhere, and by highlighting the extraordinary work of public lawyers, GPSLD works to enhance the position of public lawyers, create camaraderie within the public sector, and provide representation within the ABA for public lawyers.

Contact Us

American Bar Association Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036

GPSLD Committee Highlights

GPSLD's International Pro Bono Committee provides members with information about pro bono opportunities around the world. The Hot Topics Committee monitors public law practice to determine if there are any issues that the division should investigate more deeply by, for instance, publishing an article, presenting a CLE program or sponsoring policy before the ABA House of Delegates. To join either or both committees email