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AGENDA: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

07:30 AM
08:25 AM

08:35 AM
The Current Landscape: Gender Diversity, Pay Equity & Creating Change

Time's 2017 person of the year was The Silence Breakers. How can the legal community use this momentum to create more opportunities and diversity? Key metrics such as pay equity and the ratio of women in leadership positions, show that there is inequality both in-house and at law firms. Implicit and explicit sexism is real – what can be done to create change on an individual basis, in organizations and across the country?

This panel will examine:

  • Silence Breakers and utilizing the country’s awareness
  • The current pay equity landscape for female lawyers both in-house and at law firms
  • How can the current momentum be used for change?
  • What does top down change look like?

09:20 AM
Work-Life Integration: Balancing Professional Success and 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 examine:

  • 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…

10:05 AM
Mentor and Sponsorship: Creating Growth in Your Organization

Initiatives such as mentorship and sponsorship create a profoundly positive impact towards facilitating professional growth for women. For example, 70% of female corporate workers believe they are high-potential employees, however only 28% aspire to the C-suite. With mentorship, C-suite aspirations jump to over 40%, and with sponsorship the number increases to 50%. How to utilize these resources to bring more diversity to high level positions?

This panel will examine:

  • What does a good mentorship program look like?
  • The difference between mentorship and sponsorship
  • Making the most of your mentorship
  • Being a good mentor
  • What can you do now?

10:50 AM
11:20 AM
Developing Your Strengths & Most Productive Work Style

Women in upper level in-house and partner positions emphasize the importance of developing an authentic voice and an individualized work style – advice they give to new attorneys. Why is it so essential to develop your strengths and work style? How can you work in a way that is authentically you?                     

This panel will examine:

  • Why is developing your work style important to your success?
  • Best practices in finding your authentic voice & strengths
  • Signs that you may not be developing your authentic skill set
  • What are the resources available to you in your development?

12:05 PM
Self-Advocacy, Career Development & Personal Negation

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

12:50 PM
01:20 PM
Dessert & Coffee Panel: Lessons Learned from Female and Minority Leaders, Litigators & 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 rise in your career today and the future? 

This panel will examine:

  • Will more opportunities be opening up for women and minorities?
  • What were the obstacles and challenges you faced that surprised you?
  • What are the keys to gaining the best mix of work and personal/family life?
  • What do you notice as more females and minorities move into leadership roles?

02:05 PM
Roundtable Discussions

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

Roundtable 1: Developing Your Strengths & Most Productive Work Style
Ellen Van Meir,
Partner, Thompson Coe 

Roundtable 2: Increasing Diversity at Law Firms & In-house: The Role We All Play
Diane Waters,
 Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Tracy Graves Wolf, 
Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP

Roundtable 3: Self-Advocacy, Career Development & Personal Negation
Jennifer Klein Ayers, Partner, Sheppard Mullin

Roundtable 4: Mentor and Sponsorship: Creating Growth in Your Organization
Claudine Jackson, 
Partner, Phelps Dunbar
Andrea Paris, 
Associate, Phelps Dunbar

Roundtable 5: Is There Really a Separate Plan for Success?
Elizabeth Brandon, 
Partner, Reed Smith LLP

Roundtable 6: Avoiding Bias in Internal Investigation
Isabel Crosby,
Partner, DLA Piper

Click here for more info.

04:05 PM
04:20 PM
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?

05:05 PM

05:15 PM