California Lawyers Association

Going the Distance with Erika Frank, Legal Counsel, and Section Chief for CLA

By Sheila Johnston, Associate Executive Director, Communications

Erika Frank
Erika Frank

It was only five minutes into a virtual meet-and-greet with my new colleague when we realized our mutual passions—associations, members, and exercise. Our paths to the California Lawyers Association were almost identical, except where Erika went to law school and I graduate school. Despite our degrees, we quickly remembered that we had met nearly 20 years prior in the halls of the State Capitol and now, again, as colleagues. Of course, I asked her a million questions, only fitting for someone whose professional career as a communications executive! 

Here’s a sneak preview of what I found out.

Have you ever heard of the CalChamber? Yes. Erika worked there.

Policy wonks and lovers of the law from around the nation know that CalChamber is a big deal. The one-stop shop for small, medium, and large businesses, the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the head honcho for all things business. As attorneys, you are probably well aware of CalChamber’s celebrity status! But in case you haven’t heard of the CalChamber, the most prominent broad-based business advocate to government in California works at state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California businesses. While at the Chamber, Erika served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs, specializing in employment law compliance, providing oversight of the Labor Law Helpline, and assisting countless members with their labor and employment law questions. She played an integral part in launching the CalChamber’s podcast, “The Workplace,” and hosted it!

For Erika, her work at the Chamber put her at the center of every strategy session, be it advocacy, human resources, or communications—if the Chamber did it, Erika knew about it! And now that Erika is with CLA, she is intuitively aware of members’ conversations in their law-focused conversations. 

And private practice? Erika’s been there too! 

And when you didn’t think Erika’s resume couldn’t get any better, it does, as Erika worked in private practice too! Before joining CLA, Erika worked at Shaw Law Group as Of Counsel; she used her subject matter expertise in employment laws providing advice and counsel to clients and conducting workplace investigations. More so, Erika produced and conducted numerous seminars and webinars on topics including leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention. 

So what else did I find out?

Erika is all about relationships—every relationship that Erika forms is grounded in positivity and authenticity. Even her relationship with exercise and wellness, her personal passion, is about the long game. She slows down when she needs to and speeds up when up against the clock, but at the end of the day, her journey in law and associations is about delivering the best version of herself every day. 

Want to learn more about Erika and what she plans to accomplish this year? Reach out to her at today!

Sheila Johnston is the Associate Executive Director of Communications at California Lawyers Association. In her role, Sheila is the official storyteller of CLA, putting members, their passion, and the work done on behalf of all of our volunteers in the spotlight. Her goal, you ask? Make CLA a household name!  

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