Colin Walsh
Texas Employer Lawyer Colin Walsh

As the fog rolled in and the sound of a lonely trumpet drifted through the air, I ducked inside a hotel on Mission Street.  It was Thursday.  The hotel was not too far from the lamb chops at John’s Grill and just a few blocks away from Spade and Archer’s old office on the fifth floor of the Hunter-Dulin Building.  I guess it would be just Spade there now.  If he was still alive.  It was a nice hotel, big spaces, bright lights.  It was the kind of place nice people went for nice conventions.  And indeed, that’s why I was there.  I checked the slip of paper in my hand.  This was it, the location of the National Employment Lawyers Association’s annual convention.  I pulled my fedora lower down on my face.  I had places to be.

Last week, our firm went to the National Employment Lawyers Association’s annual convention in San Francisco.  It was the first in-person convention in two years.  As a plaintiff’s employment lawyer, it is certainly one of the highlights of my year.  The convention itself is around two and half days of lectures and presentations on all things employment law related.  There are sessions on tons of things like causation standards, trial techniques, and negotiation.  Lawyers and law professors from all across the country come to the convention.  It is wonderful to meet so many people doing the same thing and who want to help you grow as an attorney fighting for your clients’ rights.  

It is always deeply inspiring and this year was no different.  For example, on the first day of the convention we heard from plaintiffs who successfully brought cases against Tesla and Amazon for race discrimination, and another plaintiff who sued a state university for sexual assault.  And that was just before lunch!  Then we heard from the person who helped form the first ever union of Amazon workers in the United States.  All of the speakers and the presentations give you hope for the future and energize you for the rest of the year.        

Every year, I learn something new and become a better attorney for it.  Every year, after attending two and half days of presentations, I am always eager to get back to the office so that I can try those new things.  Going to the convention and attending the presentations definitely enables me to better represent my clients in their cases.  Whether it’s a different technique for noticing and taking depositions, or a different way of seeking discovery from a company, my toolbox always expands after attending a NELA convention.

It is not all work, though.  We also had a chance to do some sightseeing around the city, go to a baseball game, and a hike in Muir Woods.  Some lucky people—ok, just me—saw some of the places mentioned in the book and movie, The Maltese Falcon, which turned out to be right around the hotel. It was my first time in San Francisco, and I would definitely return.

  As I have been writing this blog, I have been trying to think of some way to end it in a noir-ish fashion befitting Fog City or Baghdad by the Bay, but I haven’t come up with anything.  The problem is that noir is too cynical, too jaded, even hopeless to end this blog post with because I feel inspired to get back out there and fight for my clients’ rights.  And I will, right after I see a guy about a certain bird. It’s uh, the stuff dreams are made of.



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Photo of Colin W. Walsh Colin W. Walsh

We asked Colin W. Walsh, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Wiley Walsh, P.C., to impart his candid answers to a range of questions.   After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Mr. Walsh

We asked Colin W. Walsh, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Wiley Walsh, P.C., to impart his candid answers to a range of questions.   After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Mr. Walsh carries.

1. What do you like most about being an employment lawyer?

I enjoy getting tangible results for my clients and being involved in an area of law that affects everybody every day.

2. What is the most important issue to you of being an advocate?

One of the most important issues to me as an advocate is to not only zealously represent my clients, but also the law.

3. What kind of clients do you like best?

I like the clients that I am able to help who were not able to find help elsewhere.  On a couple of occasions now, a client has told me that my firm is the first one that has listened to his or her issue and offered any kind of assistance.

4. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?

The client.  If the client is not invested, then the other side won’t take it seriously and neither will the jury.

5. What labor and employment issues do you think are currently trending?

The biggest employment discrimination issues I see right now are related to age, disability, and pregnancy discrimination.  For some reason, these types of discrimination seem to be acceptable to employers.  The other issues right now are minimum wage and overtime pay.

6. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?

Justice William Brennan.

7. What would you say to HR of a company about how to treat employees?

It would be to listen to your employees.  Most employees are not looking to sue when he or she goes to Human Resources.  These employees are sincerely looking for help.  Nothing makes an employee seek legal counsel like when he or she complains about something and HR starts investigating the employee instead of the complaint.

8. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?

The most interesting job I’ve had is working as an extra in film and television.  I should have known that I was destined to be a lawyer at that point because two of my biggest gigs were the TV show “Boston Legal” and the film Charlie Wilson’s War.

9. What is your favorite food?

Meat pies.  I first discovered them when I studied abroad in undergrad.  I can’t believe these have not caught on in the U.S. because they are brilliant.

10. What’s the best part of living in Austin?

All of the outdoor festivals.  And the Longhorns.

Colin W. Walsh is a Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Wiley Walsh, P.C.  He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in theatre in 2006.  Mr. Walsh then graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with honors in 2011.