I’ve had two life-changing blind dates in my life. The first was in 1996 when I agreed to go out with a former classmate of a co-worker. That leap of faith resulted in me walking down the aisle a year later and has led to annual celebrations of not just our wedding date but also that first, blind, date. Maybe because that date worked out so well, I was very receptive to facilitating a blind date for someone else.
The year was 1998 and I had joined Liebert Cassidy as its Marketing Director. The firm had a statewide practice but was a little better known in Southern California. With eyes to the future, the firm was open to partnership opportunities. Like a good blind date, though, we didn’t want to be set up with just anybody. We were looking for a firm that could go the distance with us. A firm that shared our client service philosophy and our commitment to quality. A firm, in short, with whom we could share our professional lives.
Enter Whitmore, Johnson and Bolanos, who also had a statewide practice, but was a little better known in Northern California. On paper, things looked good. But, relationships aren’t built on paper. We decided that a group date was in order. A date that might help us figure out if we were compatible throughout the organization and help us determine if we had the right temperament for the long haul.
The Public Sector Employment Law Conference was born. Yes, our first conference was kind of a blind date for the two firms. We planned our “date” together and ensured that every presentation had a presenter from each firm. We talked about what we wanted our respective clients to gain from attending and what we hoped to learn from, and about, each other. Our first conference took place in June 1999 in San Francisco with approximately 150 attendees. We learned a lot about each other and decided to continue the relationship. Shortly after our second conference, in June of 2000, we merged to become Liebert Cassidy Whitmore.
The firm is still going strong. The conference has become an integral part of who we are. It remains an opportunity to reconnect with public agency management from across the state and in a way, renew our commitment to providing innovative presentations on topics that impact our clients as well as provide insights on trends in the area. It has grown to include a pre-conference (this year it is our Labor Relations Academy’s Costing Labor Contracts session); a public safety track and a human resources boot camp track. Along the way, we’ve added MCLE, POST and HRCI credit.
Last year more than 550 people participated in the conference. For some, it was a leap of faith. They had heard about the conference and thought they would check it out.
As my first [LCW] conference I truly had a great time here and learned so much. I cannot wait to bring everything I am learning here back to my agency!
It was my first conference and overall it was excellent. I met new people, made connections and learned a lot.
For others, it was like coming home. Attending the conference has become a part of who they are and what they do as professionals.
I come every year. Such awesome information and classes. I love them. So grateful for you all sharing you expertise.
Thank you so much for all you do and for putting on such great training! I look forward to this conference every year because I know I will come away with such great information.
Whether you are “coming home” or taking that “first leap of faith,” know that you will be welcomed with open arms by all of us at LCW. I look forward to seeing everyone – old friends and new – at the 2020 LCW Conference in January!
To learn more about the 2020 Public Sector Employment Law Conference, please visit our website here. The conference will take place in San Francisco at the Hyatt Regency from January 22-24.