Silvia Chicas and Sidnee McDonald Selected as Class of 2024 NELC Academy Fellows

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Silvia Chicas and Sidnee McDonald have been selected by the National Employment Law Council (NELC) as Class of 2024 NELC Academy fellows. Chicas and McDonald were selected based on their high potential for success and a commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in management-side employment law.

Chicas concentrates her practice on labor and employment. Chicas successfully moved to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a UFC fighter against a renowned sports performance expert for breach of fiduciary duty and gross negligence. She also worked on a 12(b)(6) motion in a trade secret dispute resulting in dismissal with prejudice. Prior to joining Cozen O'Connor as an associate, she was a labor and employment law clerk with the firm, where she gained experience assisting in cases involving affirmative action compliance, trade secrets, discrimination claims, breach of contract, professional negligence claims, misuse of company funds, and enforcement of restrictive covenants. She has experience drafting motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, separation agreements, mediation statements, discovery, release of claims agreements, and conducting investigations. Chicas served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Christina Bryan, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and for the Honorable Justice Veronica Rivas-Molloy, of the First Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas. Chicas is a member of the Order of Barristers.

McDonald concentrates her practice on labor and employment. She has experience advising and counseling clients on many employment matters, including compliance with federal, state, and local laws, and drafting independent contractor, master service, and employment agreements. She also has experience drafting position statements and motions to dismiss, responding to discovery requests, reviewing employee handbooks, and conducting workplace investigations. McDonald serves on the Young Professionals Advisory Board of the Pittsburgh Legal Diversity & Inclusion Coalition (PLDIC), is a mentor for Pursuing the Esquire and the Penn State Law Minority Mentor Program, and is an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association serving in various leadership roles.

About the National Employment Law Council Academy

The NELC Academy provides advanced skills training, exposes participants to the NELC’s national network of experienced minority labor and employment attorneys, encourages mentoring relationships, promotes the NELC to attorneys who will soon be eligible for membership, and creates a pipeline for future NELC leaders. Space in the NELC Academy is strictly limited to a maximum of 30 participants. Fellows are selected based on a short application, a client or partner reference, and an endorsement from a member of the NELC’s Board of Directors.

About Cozen O'Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 850 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 33 offices across two continents.


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