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The IAPP formally announced on Wednesday the Privacy Bar Section of the IAPP, a group geared toward administering to the distinct needs of those in the privacy-oriented legal profession. Of the IAPP’s more than 25,000 members, “we know more than 40 percent are lawyers,” said IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP, in an informal web conference announcing the forum, “and these lawyers need services. To meet, to engage, to learn about privacy as a legal topic.”

Enter the Privacy Bar Section of the IAPP, championed in part by Hogan Lovells' Christopher Wolf and the Future of Privacy Forum’s Jules Polonetsky, CIPP/US. “Today, there are hundreds of privacy and data security laws,” Wolf said. “We have hundreds of lawyers who are practicing privacy law as a distinct discipline. … The time has come for privacy lawyers to have their own separate forum.”

The bar aims to be a place for privacy-focused legal professionals and academics to come together to both discuss the issues of the day, foster legal scholarship, and “consider legal issues unique to our discipline,” Wolf said. “We expect that program to be heavily focused on the needs of lawyers in the fields of privacy,” Hughes added, encouraging listeners to expect exclusive content, web conferences, events, and “other things” unique to the bar. “The potential is just terrific,” Wolf continued, adding that the bar “can be a wonderful professional home. I encourage my fellow privacy lawyers … to engage in this terrific new initiative.”

For those interested in doing just that, opportunities abound. The Privacy Bar Section of the IAPP will have its inaugural event at the conclusion of the 2016 IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, on April 7. “How great would it be to say you were there for the ‘very first’” Privacy Bar meeting? Hughes asked. “It will be the group’s ‘foundational moment,’ so I hope you will be there with us.” More details about the event are forthcoming, he added.

The IAPP is also accepting nominations for the Privacy Bar Section's Advisory Board. Wolf will serve as chair, supervising a group of “10 to 12 additional leaders to guide the Privacy Bar sessions” who represent “a broad range of practice in the field of privacy law,” Hughes said. The members would work to develop bar programs and oversee its growth.

Interested in recommending a coworker? Do so here. Nominations are open until February 15.

The announcement coincides with the IAPP’s application to file its credentials with the American Bar Association (ABA), a move that the ABA was “very receptive towards,” Hughes said. “All this to say,” he continued, the dual actions were “very, very timely.”  

Indeed, IAPP pros are “unique, different, (and) incredibly important,” Hughes said, exhorting interested parties to be patient as the initiative will “grow organically – slowly, based on success after success.”

For the interested, “we will have lots more announcements in the days and weeks ahead,” Hughes continued. “We certainly have many great plans, and I know many of you will have great ideas.”

Comments, questions, or concerns? Email IAPP Member Engagement Manager Katherine Gilchrest here, and she’ll set you straight.


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