Other Pursuits

"There are, from time to time, moments when I engage in pursuits other than the law. Most days, I spend at least a little time pursuing my life-long passion for chess. In all candor, I’m not particularly good at it, but it brings me peace when I win and humility when I lose. For me chess is, above all else, a constant reminder not to take myself too seriously in this win some, lose some world.

"When not lawyering or trying to tap into my inner Garry Kasparov—or I suppose it’s Magnus Carlsen these days—you may find me by following the low notes to my music room, where I eschew gently weeping guitars in favor of the bone-rattling thunder of the electric bass, a constant in my life since my teenage years. I played in bands from junior high school through college, and in college I ran the on-campus recording studio. Today, depending on my mood, I may jam to classic rock, pretty much anything from the 80s, grunge, or whatever else I heard on the radio that day. My axes of choice are an MVP4 and a Pentabuzz, both by Pedulla, run through a Fender Super Bassman 300W stack. I have an emotional attachment to my rig. Don’t judge me.

"I am also a husband and a father of two sons and a daughter. This is, by far, the most important and interesting aspect of my life. My children delight, confound, amaze, frustrate, amuse, irritate, and inspire me on a daily basis, which I think means we are all doing our respective jobs.

"I grew up minutes from where the New England Patriots play. I have been hooked on the team since Steve Grogan’s third year, which means that I lived through a lot of lean years—I remember those 2-14 and 1-15 seasons—before the recent pleasantness. In our house, though our kids have always lived in Northern Virginia, we all are die-hard Patriots and Red Sox fans. When our teams go to the big dance, we go with them. For my kids, their frame of reference is that the family goes to the Super Bowl or the World Series to cheer for our team about every two or three years. Having experienced the searing pain of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, however, I know all too well that this is not the natural state of things for Boston or any other city, so I am teaching my kids never to gloat, and instead to enjoy and to appreciate every minute of this extraordinarily good run while it lasts, before it reverts to another 86 years of soul-crushing gloom.

"Life is good."

— Paul DeCamp

Paul DeCamp Super Bowl
Paul DeCamp Family
Paul DeCamp Chess Books
Paul DeCamp Basses
Paul DeCamp Bass Rig

Focus Areas


  • Challenged the DOL on behalf of the National Restaurant Association in federal court and before agency personnel to withdraw its 2011 regulations regarding tip credits. Paul’s work paved the way for restaurants and other businesses to create tip pools for tipped and non-tipped employees.
  • Defended 30 NCAA Division I universities against claims they owed their student-athletes the minimum wage under the FLSA as employees for time spent participating in intercollegiate sports. In arguing the absence of an employment relationship, Paul secured the first federal appellate ruling that collegiate athletics should continue as an amateur endeavor rather than as paid employment.
  • Defended a pharmaceutical company in three lawsuits (in California, Florida, and Illinois federal courts) that challenged the exempt status of pharmaceutical sales representatives. Though plaintiffs’ counsel attempted to transfer all three suits to the only circuit that classified those workers as non-exempt, Paul persuaded the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to conclude that each case should remain in its original district.
  • Defended Shoe Show, a large independent shoe retailer, against attempts to certify a nationwide FLSA collective action involving the exempt status of store managers. Paul challenged the plaintiff’s contention of common practices by proving the plaintiff had limited knowledge of payment practices at other store locations.


  • The Best Lawyers in America©Employment Law—Management (2019 to 2024); Litigation—Labor and Employment (2017 to 2024)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, District of Columbia—Labor & Employment (2018 to 2023); Virginia—Labor & Employment (2011 to 2017)

According to a source, “[Paul] is without a doubt the smartest attorney I have ever worked with. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of his practice area and, moreover, is practical in his advice." Another source says that Paul “combines a deep knowledge of the law and has a real understanding of the economics that drive our business. He has a great work ethic, and is extremely efficient with his time." And another source adds, “He is an excellent lawyer, especially on wage and hour."

  • The Legal 500 United States, Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2018 to 2023); Workplace and Employment Counseling (2018 to 2021)
  • Washington, DC, Super LawyersEmployment Litigation: Defense and Employment & Labor: Employer (2014 to 2023)
  • Washingtonian Magazine, “Top Lawyers,” Employment Defense (2020, 2022)
  • Virginia Super Lawyers, Employment Litigation: Defense and Employment & Labor (2013 to 2017)
  • Virginia Rising Stars, Employment Litigation: Defense and Employment & Labor (2010 to 2011)
  • Secretary of Labor Exceptional Achievement Awards, Recipient of three awards (2007 to 2008)



  • Columbia University School of Law (J.D., 1995)
    • Notes Editor, Columbia Law Review
    • Director and Student Editor, First-Year Moot Court Program
    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Harvard College (A.B., magna cum laude, 1992)
    • John Harvard Academic Scholar
    • Harvard College Academic Scholar
    • National Merit Scholar
    • President, Quad Sound Studios, a student-run on-campus recording studio

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Employment Law Council
  • Law360 Employment Editorial Advisory Board (2021)
  • Law360 Wage & Hour Advisory Board (2022, 2023)

Congressional Testimony

  • Bad for Business: DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Workforce Protections of the H. Comm. on Education & the Workforce, 118th Cong. (2023)
  • Essential but Undervalued: Examining Workplace Protections for Domestic Workers: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Workforce Protections of the H. Comm. on Education and Labor, 117th Cong. (2022)
  • Farmworkers, Domestic Workers, and Tipped Wage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Workforce Protections of the H. Comm. on Education and Labor, 117th Cong. (2021)
  • Combatting Wage Theft: The Critical Role of Wage and Hour Enforcement: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies of the H. Comm. on Appropriations, 116th Cong. (2019)
  • Improving the Federal Wage and Hour Regulatory Structure: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Workforce Protections of the H. Comm. on Education and the Workforce, 113th Cong. (2014)
  • The Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors: What Policies and Practices Best Protect Workers?: Joint Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions and the Subcomm. on Workforce Protections of the H. Comm. on Education and Labor, 110th Cong. 9-35 (2007)
  • Adequacy of Labor Law Enforcement in New Orleans: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Domestic Policy of the H. Comm. on Oversight and Government Reform, 110th Cong. (2007)





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