Recent Graduate Fritz Is ABA Commission on Disability Rights 'Spotlight Lawyer of the Month'

The American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights has designated Kevin Fritz, JD '13, its Spotlight Lawyer of the Month. Fritz was also recently named to the 2013 Governing Board of the National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN), a youth-driven, youth-led organization overseen by young adults with disabilities from around the country.

Fritz was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that causes muscle weakness and makes daily living tasks difficult to perform. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he left his home in Pennsylvania to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 2006.

As an undergraduate, he worked for then-Senator Obama as a health policy intern, representing Obama’s office at hearings and roundtable discussions. He spoke with Obama on several occasions, and he was deeply touched when the future president told him he recognized the effort Fritz was making to be on the job every day.

In law school, Fritz interned for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Commissioner Chai Feldblum. While his interests range across employment, health, disability, and technology law, his experience with Commissioner Feldblum solidified his interest in labor and employment defense.

As a law student, he also served as primary editor of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, director of strategic initiatives for the Public Service Advisory Board, and executive director of advocacy for the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities. After taking the bar this summer, he will work on labor & employment matters at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago.

On its website, the ABA writes, “Every day, as Fritz strives to become a top performer at his law firm, he hopes he is also inching forward the cutting-edge recruitment efforts of qualified people with disabilities in the workplace and showing firsthand their ability to be successful.”

The NYLYN recognized that same drive when it named him to its governing board. “Kevin has an extensive background in advocacy and disability empowerment,” said Jessica Croner, NYLN president. “He took his passion for helping others to the next level by learning how to apply his interests to the law.”

“I am very honored to have been recognized by the ABA and selected for the NYLN’s 2013 Governing Board,” Fritz said.

“Since college, I have been fighting for my rights and the rights of other people with disabilities, and these honors  put a national spotlight on my cause,” he continued. “I am very excited to begin working as an attorney and will continue to demonstrate that regardless the physical situation, a qualified employee can get the job done, and done well.”

For more about Fritz, see this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. 

By Timothy J. Fox