Samantha Dudzinski receives 2015 Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize

Monday, July 13, 2015
Samantha Dudzinski ’15 is the recipient of the 2015 Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize.
Samantha Dudzinski ’15 is the recipient of the 2015 Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize.

Samantha Dudzinski '15 is the recipient of the 2015 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 in the law school's Program in Labor and Employment Law.

Dudzinski earned her J.D. with a certificate in labor and employment law in May. She completed her undergraduate education with a degree in politics at Oberlin College.

"Samantha Dudzinski embodies the qualities that made Ms. Zemm so special," said Professor Mary Rose Strubbe, assistant director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace at IIT Chicago-Kent. "Samantha's willingness to help those in need has been demonstrated since early in her law school career through her work with CARPLS as a student volunteer, her work with Chicago-Kent's Society of Women in Law, and her membership in the Labor and Employment Law Society."

Professor Strubbe also cited Dudzinski's enthusiasm to work in the field of labor and employment law. During law school, she has clerked for a law firm that does workers' compensation law and has served as a legal intern in the law school's Plaintiffs Employment Law Clinic.

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 R. 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 more than 800 attorneys located throughout the United States, as well as internationally in London, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney. Seyfarth Shaw provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate, and real estate.

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.