Wayne Outten ‘70, an attorney who specializes in employment law and civil litigation, was the guest speaker for LeBow College of Business’ Lunch, Learn, and Lead series on October 28. His presentation was titled “Doing Good While Doing Well: A Manhattan SuperLawyer Details his Experience Representing Employees and How to Find the Best Caree Path for You.”
Outten said there are five key skills that a person must posses in order to become a good lawyer: Analytical thinking, problem solving, writing, negotiating, and people skills. “I like dealing with people, this is the reason I went to business school. You will never be a good lawyer if you are unable to communicate and deal with people,” Outten told the audience.
He gave the audience a brief history on employment law from the beginning of labor laws in the 1930s, but said it wasn’t until the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the Equal Opportunity Commission were approved that the basis for employment law really was set, said Outten. The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 followed, and was a major step forward in the field of employment, Outten said.
Outten then went on to be one of the founding members of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) in 1985, and he served on the board for 11 years. Outten is also the founder of the New York NELA affiliate, where he held the position of president for 15 years.
Outten discussed the reason he decided to become a lawyer. He said he wanted to earn a living doing something that mattered, and by becoming a lawyer he felt he could “make a living helping people.” By making the workplace a better place for employees, he said he feels he is “improving the world” — which he finds personally rewarding. He told the audience he gets great satisfaction and reward doing what he does and aside from the fact the “I get paid to do it.”
Before finishing Outten gave the audience his six insights to good management with the overlying theme of “do good while doing well” which is his own approach to managing his firm: Treat everyone with dignity and respect; act as to bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself; play to the strengths not to the weaknesses of your employees; give feedback — positive and negative, empower employees, and make decisions and allow others to do the same.
Outten ‘70 earned his B.S. from Drexel and his J.D. from New York University. He is a managing partner in Outten & Golden LLP, the largest firm specializing in employment law in the country.