Joseph Sexauer receives 2014 Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize

Seyfarth Shaw LLP established prize in memory of Labor & Employment department partner

Friday, May 16, 2014

Joseph Sexauer has been awarded the 2014 Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize. The prize was established in 2009 at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law by the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP to honor the memory of Sandra P. Zemm, who died in September 2008 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize is awarded annually to a third-year IIT Chicago-Kent student in the Labor and Employment Law Certificate Program who exemplifies the qualities that Ms. Zemm possessed: "a commitment to pursue a career in labor and employment law, a pioneer spirit and willingness to take the initiative whenever possible, and a gracious and generous attitude toward helping those in need." Recipients are selected by IIT Chicago-Kent faculty who teach the law school's Program in Labor and Employment Law.

"Joe has been extremely generous with his time and energy throughout his time at Chicago-Kent, and his generosity is not ideologically grounded," said Professor Mary Rose Strubbe, assistant director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace at IIT Chicago-Kent. "Joe advises students interested in careers in labor and employment law, works to organize and present information and programming on careers in labor and employment law, and serves as a representative of the certificate program."

Joe Sexauer is a May 2014 candidate for a J.D. with a certificate in labor and employment law. Sexauer earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. As an undergraduate, he was co-founder of the campus chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. Prior to law school, Sexauer held positions with the Service Employees International Union, Teamsters Local 743, the Illinois Nurses Association and the University of Chicago.

At IIT Chicago-Kent, Sexauer is a student editor of the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal and is president of the Labor and Employment Law Society. He currently is a legal intern at Whitfield, McGann & Ketterman, a Chicago law firm that specializes in labor and employment law. Sexauer has completed two internships with the Chicago Teachers Union, a legal externship with the National Treasury Workers Union and a clerkship at Jac A. Cotiguala & Associates.

A Chicago native, Sandra P. Zemm earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois. She received her J.D. from Florida State University, where she served as managing editor of the law review.

Sandra Zemm joined Seyfarth Shaw in 1975 as the first female associate in the Labor and Employment Practice. In 1982, Ms. Zemm became the firm's first female equity partner in Labor and Employment. Her practice concentrated on traditional labor matters, and on matters involving employment discrimination, wage-hour and employment litigation. She negotiated collective bargaining and/or shutdown agreements with major labor unions, and represented management in more than 200 hearings before arbitrators, the National Labor Relations Board and various state labor agencies. In 2002, Ms. Zemm was elected to the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

"Sandy was beloved by her colleagues and clients and respected by her opponents. She was a no-nonsense labor lawyer and an elegant, sophisticated woman at the same time. Her ability to stand up to the toughest adversaries while always carrying herself with style and grace inspired many of us who came to the firm after her," said Allegra Nethery, Pro Bono and Philanthropy Partner at Seyfarth Shaw. "This award is our way of keeping her in our thoughts and honoring her legacy."

Seyfarth Shaw has over 800 attorneys located in 10 offices throughout the United States, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as internationally in London. Seyfarth Shaw provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. The firm's practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country's business and social fabric. Clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines and railroads. The firm also represents a number of federal, state and local governmental and educational entities.

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. IIT Chicago-Kent's Program in Labor and Employment Law allows students to specialize in the law governing the workplace.