Dana Gallup’s Story
I am often asked, “Why did you choose to become a labor and employment law lawyer?” Well, for me, my passion for employment law initially came from my family.
Growing up, my father, who was a lawyer, would tell me stories about the labor movement of the early 20th century and the progress that was made through that movement, including child labor laws, payment of minimum wage and overtime, improved working conditions, safety standards and so on.
And, while I was too young to remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, my older sister would share stories about Martin Luther King Jr., school integration, race and sex discrimination in the workplace, equal rights efforts, and the struggle of minorities and women for equal pay and to push beyond the “glass ceiling.”
Influenced By Education and a Motivation to Help People
By the time I attended college at the University of Florida, I had developed a growing interest in history, particularly American history, which, of course, included learning about civil rights grounded in our Constitution and tested through the evils of slavery and again with Jim Crow laws and segregation, ultimately culminating with many of the civil rights and employment laws we have today.
After obtaining my degree in history from the University of Florida, I went on to attend law school, also at the University of Florida. Not surprisingly, of all the various courses I took — from criminal law to property law to contract law, etc. — the two courses that completely captured my interest were Constitutional Law and Employment Discrimination Law.
As A Young Lawyer, I Knew Two Things
First, that many areas of law bored me to tears and, if I had to practice in those areas, I would be miserable and likely not remain a lawyer.
Second, that I wanted to handle employment law cases, whether it be representing employees who had been treated unfairly in the workplace or assisting small to medium-size businesses in complying with labor and employment laws and resolving disputes and claims made by their employees.