Kara Maciel is a founding Partner of Conn Maciel Carey and Chair of the firm’s national labor & employment practice group.
Ms. Maciel works to create workplace solutions for her clients. She counsels clients on issues related to ADA accessibility requirements, wage hour compliance, prevention of harassment and discrimination, effective employment policies and procedures, and developing a compliant employee handbook. She also defends employers in litigation at both the federal and state levels. For unionized and non-unionized companies, Ms. Maciel provides advice and counsel regarding the employer’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
Kara is an avid traveler (pre-pandemic) and foodie, so it makes perfect sense that she focuses much of her practice on issues facing companies in the hospitality industry (including hotel owners and managers, resorts, restaurants, and country clubs); retail; grocery; food distributors; and non-profit sectors.
Get to Know Kara!
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Hands down Lake Tahoe! If I could spent the entire summer there I would. My family grew up in Northern California so we spent many summers in the Sierra Mountains and after my parents retired to Reno, Nevada, Lake Tahoe became a perfect location for our family reunions. I am not much of a skier but spending the summers hiking along the Pacific Rim Trail and boating around Emerald Bay is a heavenly getaway from the D.C. area.
What was your first job?
I worked as a host at a local Italian restaurant in high school. Having worked in the restaurant industry, I learned a lot about the front and back of the house environment which has served me well counseling many of my restaurant clients.
If you could share a cup of coffee with one individual, living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to share a cup of tea with my Smith College fellow alumna, Julia Child, and hear about her experiences in Paris working as a spy. She lived a fascinating life abroad and in the US and she seemed to have an incredible sense of humor and love of life.
What do you do for fun?
Pre-pandemic times, I loved to travel and I hope to be able to do that again soon. I love eating out at different restaurants and experiencing a variety of cuisines. Now, I do a lot of walking and hiking and outdoor activities.
What do you “Netflix”?
Blacklist, Ozark, Yellowstone, Schitt’s Creek!
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Professionally, it would have to be starting this law firm. It came at a time after I had my second child (pictured to the right) and I felt compelled to be an example to her as a working parent who strived for work-life balance but who thoroughly enjoyed her career. Starting the firm with around 11 people and now having it double in size and expanding in locations has been exciting and fulfilling, as well as being able to work with fantastic people and clients. I love my job and I am incredibly grateful for it!
What is your most embarrassing lawyer moment?
I am too embarrassed to share this on social media!
What advice would you give to a law student?
Learn the business of law and not just the legal principles. Intern or take a law clinic course to be able to use your skills. Be flexible in the areas of practice because the law constantly changes and those who are nimble enough to adapt and think outside the box will be a valued counselor to clients.