linkedin-icon.png twitter-icon.png

AGENDA: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

07:30 AM
08:30 AM

08:40 AM
Increasing Diversity at Law Firms & In-House: The Role We All Play

According to McKinsey & Company, the Harvard Business Review and other highly respected institutions, organizations that commit themselves to diverse leadership, are more successful and more profitable. A growing body of evidence is finding that gender parity and racial diversity, particularly in decision-making roles, has a meaningful impact on innovation, productivity, and profitability. This is not breaking news. Why then is the legal field still lagging behind? The answer is that there is no single answer. Change will happen when the issue is pushed by both the law firm and the client.

This panel will explore: 

  • What are the pressures that in-house counsel face when choosing a firm?
  • How can partners and associates engage their firm in D&I initiatives?
  • How can firms show their clients that they are implementing change?
  • How is credit given at law firms?
  • What responsibility do in-house counsel have in helping law firms to become more diverse?
  • What can corporations do to become more diverse?

09:25 AM
Work-Life Integration: Balancing Professional Success & Personal Fulfillment

Creating a balanced professional and personal life can be one of the toughest challenges lawyers face, both for in-house and outside counsel. It’s clear there is not a simple solution, or a one size fits all approach. This panel explores the realities women face as they build a fulfilling career while also financially and emotionally supporting themselves – and potentially their family. How to create some level of balance professionally and personally in a world where the workforce is continually asked to do and be more?

This panel will explore:

  • Work-life balance in 2019 – oxymoron or real possibility?
  • Crafting a game plan that works for your life and goals
  • Flexible work arrangements: career solution or dead end?
  • Managing key relationships: family, clients, boss, colleagues…

10:10 AM
Dealing with Unconscious Bias & Discrimination

Whether discrimination comes from overt prejudice or unconscious bias, minorities and women are not receiving equal opportunities or treatment when it comes to landing in-house counsel positions, earning promotions, or making partner in a law firm. In fact, the impact of unconscious bias can be insidious and underestimated or rationalized too easily. How can lawyers identify their own unconscious biases and overcome discrimination when it affects them directly?

This panel will explore:

  • The types of unconscious bias to look out for:
    • Power of language
    • Institutional bias
    • Ignorance and education
  • How to approach:
    • Managers
    • Peers
    • Direct reports
  • When an official approach is needed – reporting bias

10:55 AM
11:35 AM
Succeeding in a Male-Dominant Legal Field

For many women and minorities in the legal field, tradition and culture often mean that they are the only woman or minority in the room or office. This can create many challenges, including underestimation, intimidation, stereotyping, and even condescension. Their opinion may be overlooked when discussing a case, they may be underpaid compared to equally qualified male/Caucasian lawyers, and their additional responsibilities to their family or community may go unrecognized.

This panel offers a micro-study for female and minority lawyers by offering insight into how to effectively self-advocate and create change in what has traditionally been a white male-dominated environment.

12:20 PM
Sponsors, Influencers & Career Engineering for Legal Counsel

To create a rewarding legal career, one must seek out challenging and visible professional opportunities: getting on the right case, satisfying the important client, winning the big settlement. For women and minorities, however, finding these opportunities often isn’t enough; effective sponsors and influencers are needed to help seize them.

Behind closed doors, who is vouching for you and pushing your name forward for the opportunities you want? What can you do to strategically foster sponsors and influencers?

This panel will explore:

  • The importance of women and minorities in law
  • Differentiating sponsors from influencers
  • Redefining the “old boys' network” in the legal profession
  • Identifying current and potential sponsors

01:05 PM
01:35 PM
Dessert and Coffee Panel - Self-Advocacy & Countering Personal Negation When Advancing a Legal Career

By now it’s fairly common knowledge: Women often do not apply for a job if they don’t check every box, whereas men regularly seek jobs for which they are only partially qualified. This is no less true in the legal profession, and applies to landing an entry-level associate position all the way up to being promoted to general counsel or making partner.

The reality is, as you advance in your legal career, you very rarely have all the skills, experience and capabilities that a new post will require. Instead, pursuing growth opportunities requires the confidence to see your own potential and enlist the right mentor to develop the necessary commercial awareness, analytical skills or litigation experience on the job, rather than waiting until you’re “perfectly prepared.”

This panel will explore:

  • How to position current success and experience
    • Let your cases speak for you
    • Make your manager your advocate
  • Dealing with rejection – every “no” means you are closer to a “yes”
  • Utilizing peer groups to enhance confidence
  • Panelist success stories

02:20 PM
Lessons Learned from Female & Minority Leaders, Litigators and Deal-Makers

Female and minority deal-makers, litigators and leaders have overcome challenges, preconceptions and prejudices that can provide valuable insights and lessons learned. In the current landscape more opportunities for women and minorities could be opening up.  What skills will you need to advance your legal career today and the future?

This panel will explore: 

  • What new opportunities exist for women and minority lawyers, and are there any others on the horizon?
  • As you pursued your legal career, what obstacles and challenges did you face that surprised you?
  • What are the keys to gaining the best mix of work and personal/family life?
  • What do you notice as more women and minorities move into leadership roles at law firms and within corporations?

03:05 PM
03:25 PM
Roundtable Discussions

Five rotating, 20-minute discussions hosted by a topic expert.

Roundtable 1: Stereotypes: Know Them, Use Them, Break Them
Lisa Perrochet,
Partner, Horvitz & Levy LLP
Brenda Pontiff, 
Dir. of BD, Diversity & Inclusion, Horvitz & Levy LLP

Roundtable 2: Dealing with Unconscious Bias & Discrimination
Ann Marie Mortimer, 
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Emily Burkhardt Vicente, 
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Roundtable 3: Pay Equity and Breaking Glass Ceilings
Yesenia Gallegos,
Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Laurie Baddon, 
Associate, McDermott Will & Emery

Roundtable 4: Managing Work/Life Balance
Cynthia Tobisman, Partner, Greines Martin Stein & Richland LLP 
Laurie Hepler,
Partner, Greines Martin Stein & Richland LLP

Roundtable 5Increasing Diversity at Law Firms & In-House: The Role We All Play
Farah Bhatti,
Shareholder, Buchalter P.C.
Damaris Medina,
Shareholder, Buchalter P.C.

Click here for more info.

05:05 PM
KEYNOTE - From Courtroom to Cockpit: Navigating Turbulence in Male-Dominated Fields

Do you have a dream? Something you’ve wanted to do or achieve ever since you were a little girl? But there was never the time, the money, the know-how…

After a successful but largely unsatisfying litigation career, Robin Kardon defied expectations and became a professional pilot…while paying back student loans, working full-time and being at least 10 years older than her peers.

It takes more than knowing what you want, and learning how to get it. Engage in an interactive talk with the author of Flygirl, which fictionalizes Kardon’s own challenges on the way to becoming an airline captain—and beyond.

And remember…only you define your success!

05:35 PM

05:45 PM