In memoriam: Michael Rothenberg, public interest lawyer

Michael Rothenberg

Michael Rothenberg, a remarkably accomplished public interest lawyer in New York City, a devoted father and husband, and a generous colleague and friend, died two weeks ago at the age of 47. Michael lost his battle with depression.

On this blog, I sometimes pose the question: What will be your body of work? In other words, in taking stock of our lives, what have we experienced, what have we given, what have we contributed to the world?

In his all-too-short life, Michael’s body of work was abundant, giving, and meaningful.

Michael’s signature professional success came in his work as Executive Director of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a pioneering public interest law firm that uses impact litigation and community organizing to better the lives of everyday residents of the city.

But this is only part of his story. For more, please check out this short podcast, free of charge, from the New Workplace Institute podcast series page.

Super Bowl edition: Coach Vince Lombardi, civil rights pioneer

Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame coach

This Sunday, the winner of the Super Bowl will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1967.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Maraniss captured Vince Lombardi the human being in his masterful 1999 biography, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi.  For those who think of Lombardi purely as the gruff, demanding football coach that he was, you’re in for a few surprises.

Most notably, Lombardi was, in his own way, a civil rights and equal opportunity pioneer, buoyed by his Catholic faith and his own experiences of bigotry as an Italian American. This heartfelt commitment extended not only to African American players, but also to gay players, making Lombardi a man way ahead of his time.

For more of the story, check out my free podcast commentary (less than 4 minutes). Go to the New Workplace Institute podcast series page and click “Super Bowl edition: Vince Lombardi.”

Champion for inclusion

(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia)

Free podcast series, No. 1: About the New Workplace Institute

I’ve launched a new podcast series that will serve as a multimedia complement to this blog. You can access the podcasts without charge from iTunes!

In podcast No. 1, “Creating Healthy Workplaces: The New Workplace Institute,” I answer these questions from Ian Menchini, Director of Electronic Marketing at Suffolk University Law School:

1. Professor, what is the New Workplace Institute and why did you create it?

2. Can you give us an example of the kind of activity you want the Institute to host or sponsor?

3. Tell us a bit about your blog, Minding the Workplace, as well as your plans for this Podcast series.

4. Will Suffolk law students have opportunities to become involved with the Institute?

We’ll be posting new podcasts roughly 3-4 times a month. Next week’s podcast will be devoted to explaining the Healthy Workplace Bill, the anti-bullying legislation I’ve written that is the basis of our law reform movement.


Many thanks to Ian Menchini at Suffolk University Law School for his instrumental assistance in creating this series.

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