Julia S. Acken


Ms. Acken focuses her practice in labor and employment law. She has defended numerous companies in gender, race, and disability discrimination cases in state and federal court.


Ms. Acken focuses her practice in labor and employment law. She has defended numerous companies in gender, race and disability discrimination cases in state and federal court. Ms. Acken also has wide-ranging experience representing both public and private entities in EEOC claims, wage payment/overtime, wrongful termination, internal and external compliance audits, internal investigations, and state and federal leave issues. She also currently serves as the Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and as Chair of the Recruiting Committee.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Acken was in-house employment counsel to a large international company. In that capacity, she partnered with the Human Resources Department to draft and implement employment policies, assist with union labor negotiations and issues, resolve employee relations issues, manage civil and administrative employment and labor claims, draft and revise multi-state employment policies, and audit and implement new processes company-wide for I-9 and wage and hour compliance. Ms. Acken also trained both management and non-managerial employees on employment law compliance issues.


Admitted to Practice

  • Arizona

Court Admission

  • Supreme Court of Arizona (2002)
  • Federal District Court, District of Arizona (2002)

Representative Experience

Labor and Employment

  • Responds to EEOC and ACRD charges of discrimination on behalf of employers, including investigating and drafting position statements
  • Responds to unfair labor practice charges on behalf of employers, including investigating, responding to Board requests, drafting position statement, and attending Board interviews
  • Attends mediations on behalf of employers and draft and revise subsequent severance and release agreements
  • Drafts employment handbooks and associated policies, including paid sick time policies
  • Provides sexual harassment and gender sensitivity training to employees


  • Drafts and revises petitions to adopt in a variety of adoptions, including foreign re-adoptions, ICWA qualifying adoptions, step-parent adoptions, and direct-placement adoptions
  • Represents prospective adoptive parents at final adoption hearings
  • Advises prospective adoptive parents concerning associated legal issues, including terminating parental rights, obtaining parental consents, immigration requirements, and vital records

Media and Presentations




  • Presenter, “Labor & Employment Law Updates and Hot Topics,” Arizona Rock Products Association (February 10, 2021)
  • Panelist, “Vaccination Mandates and the Workplace Implications of Prop. 207,” Jennings Strouss Labor & Employment Webinar (December 17, 2020)
  • “Issues Facing Employers During The COVID-19 Crisis,” The Asbestos Institute (March 26, 2020)
  • Presenter, “Managing Innovation Risk,” The Gavel Conference (January 20, 2020)
  • Presenter, “Accommodating Patients Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing,” Bayless Integrated Healthcare (December 2, 2019)
  • Presenter, “Labor & Employment Seminar,” Jennings Strouss & Salmon (November 14, 2019)
  • Presenter, “Labor & Employment Seminar,” Jennings Strouss & Salmon (November 15, 2018)


State Bar of Arizona

  • Member, Employment Law Section

Jennings Strouss Diversity & Inclusion Committee

  • Chair

Jennings Strouss Recruiting Committee

  • Chair

Community Involvement

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona

  • Member, Board of Directors (2019)

Honors and Awards

  • Listed, “Top 100 Lawyers for 2020,” AZ Big Media (2020)
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America© in the categories of  Employment Law – Management (2021) and Litigation – Labor and Employment (2020 – 2021)