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AGENDA: Thursday, March 26, 2020

07:30 AM
BREAKFAST & REGISTRATION
08:30 AM
OPENING COMMENTS

Sponsored by 

08:45 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






09:30 AM
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








10:15 AM
Female Leaders of Color: The Changing Landscape

With less than 20% of female equity partners, law firms are under pressure to become more diverse. Combine that statistic with the fact that 52% of recent graduating classes are female and current associates are demanding change, and it is clear that law firms must transform or suffer consequences. What responsibility do both law firms and their clients have in creating a more diverse 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?




11:00 AM
NETWORKING BREAK
11:40 AM
Fostering Diversity and a Culture of Inclusion within Legal Leadership

There is a clear business case for expanding diversity within the ranks of an organization. Starting at the top: when 25% or more of management and/or board members are women, profit and retention of an organization rises. General counsel and in-house counsel can have a direct impact by not only fostering an inclusive culture within their department, but also by committing to hiring law firms that employ and promote women and minorities.

This panel will explore:

  • How to take advantage of the current landscape to create change
  • What individual counsel can do to affect organizational culture
  • The important role law firms play in improving legal diversity:
    • The impact on corporate diversity
    • More diverse partners & retention








12:45 PM
Work-Life Integration: Balancing Professional Success and Personal Fulfillment

Whether working at a large firm or a corporation, the demands of the workplace can be overwhelming. This holds true even if a firm or company has progressive family friendly policies such as flex time and paid parental leave. In fact, many professionals find that when they do take advantage of something like flex time, they feel they are marginalized onto a “mommy track” and penalized at compensation time. As these choices are becoming more acceptable for men, they too have felt the sting of retribution for taking personal time.

This panel will explore strategies to achieve greater personal & professional balance:

  • Self-representation, generating awareness and setting boundaries at work
  • How can companies and firms create new policies that address the need for more balance? Forward-thinking companies know this helps to attract and retain the best talent
    • Promoting teamwork through a collaborative partner compensation model that still meets the demands of clients while creating more space to have a life outside the office
  • Since life/work balance is different for everyone, how can you identify the right life/work balance for you, and then take the necessary steps to achieve that optimal balance?






01:40 PM
Redefining Success: Knowing What You Want, Why You Deserve It, and How to Get It

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 position all the way up to being promoted to general counsel or making partner. Pursuing growth opportunities and nontraditional paths require the confidence to see your own potential and the necessary personal awareness to get in touch with what is important to you.      

This panel will explore:

  • Getting clear on what you really want
  • The ASK: Asking for what you want and knowing why you deserve it
  • The meritocracy and why it cannot be relied on
  • Dealing with rejection – every “no” means you are closer to a “yes”
  • Differentiating sponsors from influencers and mentors
  • Cultivating potential sponsors
  • How best to advocate for ourselves and others




02:25 PM
From Awareness to Inclusion: Countering the #MeToo Backlash by Enlisting Men to Become Ambassadors for Change

Rarely do we see inclusion strategies that stress the need to include, listen to, and work with the dominant group — the one that is seeing its preeminence questioned. However, that is where leadership is most needed: in helping today’s dominant group embrace tomorrow’s reality. While it goes without question that women and minorities in positions of power must help others to move the needle, a better approach may be to engage everyone in bringing about change. When it comes to women’s advancement, men matter. 

This panel will explore:

  • Identifying Male Allies
  • Developing an engagement strategy
  • How can you self-advocate in order to get buy-in from others?
  • What can law firms and corporations do to help?
  • Tips and success stories from the panelists






03:10 PM
NETWORKING BREAK
03:30 PM
Roundtable Discussions

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

Roundtable 1: Topic & details coming soon
M. Elaine Horn,
Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP
Deneen Howell, 
Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP

Roundtable 2: Topic &  details coming soon
Melissa Lesmes,
Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Deborah Baum, 
Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Roundtable 3: Women of Color in Law: The Changing Landscape

Roundtable 4: Self-Advocacy & Countering Personal Negation When Advancing a Legal Career

Click here for more info.









04:50 PM
CLOSING COMMENTS

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05:05 PM
COCKTAIL RECEPTION