General Counsel Bryan Perry shapes future lawyers, local law enforcement, employment law

NIU General Counsel Bryan Perry recently accepted three new appointments that will allow him to contribute to the community and to the legal profession.

General Counsel Brian Perry

“I have always felt that community involvement is important,” says Perry, who became NIU’s chief legal officer in June of 2019 after serving in similar capacities at Baltimore City Community College and Morgan State University.

In his new roles, Perry will have an opportunity to help shape local law enforcement, cultivate and support future lawyers and strengthen and improve the practice of employment law across the globe.

The latest opportunity to serve was confirmed this week when Perry will assume the role of secretary of the Employment Labor and Law Network of the Association of Corporate Counsel. The 6,000-member committee acts as a central resource for lawyers across the globe with an expertise or interest in labor and employment law matters, providing insights on regulatory changes and information on best practices.

Being able to help shape law in those areas is particularly exciting as that type of work has dominated much of his career, says Perry. The position as secretary also sets Perry on a path to become chair of the committee in a few years.

Earlier this summer, Perry was named chair of the Diversity Outreach Pipeline Taskforce at the National Bar Association, the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African American attorneys.

In that role, he will help the association develop programs that create awareness of jobs in the legal profession and help set students from under-represented groups on a path for careers in the law. Those efforts include working with students as early as high school to create awareness of legal careers,  supporting college students who have demonstrated an interest in the profession and providing mentorship of law students through internships, networking and other opportunities.

The role is an extension of work that Perry has done privately for years by mentoring law students, including several at NIU.

“I look at this role as an opportunity to establish a legacy,” says Perry. “I have been fortunate to achieve success in my career, and this is an opportunity to provide the type of mentorship and guidance to future lawyers that I wish I had had myself. It is an opportunity to participate in the preparation of future generations of lawyers and I consider that a great privilege.”

In September, Perry was appointed to a position on the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Commission. In his new role, he will have the opportunity to help shape the testing and certification of those who wish to become part of law enforcement in DeKalb County. Specifically, the commission helps oversee the hiring and promotion of individuals wishing to work as dispatchers, corrections officers and deputy sheriffs.

“Having the opportunity to serve on this committee will allow me to build a stronger relationship between the university and local law enforcement, to bring a student voice to matters related to law enforcement in DeKalb County and to share some new perspectives with those involved in the process,” says Perry. “It is a great process, and I look forward to serving.”

These new roles add to a long history of professional and social involvement. Previously Perry has devoted his time and talents to the support of the United Way of Central Maryland, the National Kidney Foundation and Ready at Five, an organization (which works to improve the quality and practice of childhood education in Baltimore.

While the work can be demanding of his time, Perry says it provides him with great satisfaction

“It means giving up some evenings and weekends, but I like doing things where I make a difference, and I don’t mind the extra commitment,” Perry says. “You can only make a difference if you are involved.”

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