Thursday - April 25

National Museum of Women in the Arts


6:00pm - 7:00pm Cocktails


7:00pm - 8:00pm Dinner 


8:00pm - 8:50pm Ms. Linda Hirshman, JD

Sisters In Law: Lessons in Professionalism from Supreme Court Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg - DIVERSITY, PROFESSIONAL SKILLS, LITIGATION, APPELLATE


The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women. Linda Hirshman’s presentation will include revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives. Her presentation combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, her presentation is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship from which attendees can learn and apply to their practice of law.


8:50pm - 10:00pm Book signing and Dancing

Friday - April 26

The Hamilton Hotel, DC


7:00am - 8:30am Breakfast 


8:30am - 9:20am Ms. Sheryl Axelrod, JD


Women Rising: Where we are, what’s holding us back – and what’s not – and how we can rise, together - DIVERSITY


Diversity in the practice of law, this talk will focus on legal practice issues directly affected by the disenfranchisement of women. This talk will show how much work lies ahead of women to achieve equal representation in positions of power. Unconscious bias, to better understand the barriers women face to achieving equality, the profitability of diversity, the incredible resource women represent to companies and our country, and giving tools that companies and each of us can use to become diversity champions and create a coalition of allies, so we can rise together.

9:20am - 10:10am Ms. Tanya Harris, JD


Practicing Law while Growing a Side Gig: How to Grow your business and avoid the Potential Landmines of Conflicts, Employers, Clients and the State Bar - EMPLOYMENT LAW, BUSINESS LAW, ETHICS 


This presentation will focus on the legal and ethical implications one must consider when pursuing a side job/side hustle while working full time as an attorney. The rules referenced will come from the American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct, state statutes, case law from various State jurisdictions, and Federal statutes. The presentation will also focus on other things lawyers should consider when starting a side hustle, such as time management, and realistic expectations.


10:10am - 10:20am Break


10:20am - 11:10am Ms. Nicole Galli, JD and Ms. Fran Griesing. JD


Leadership Matters: Overcoming bias, pushing through fears, and how to do your part to increase the female “footprint” in the legal profession’s leadership - BIAS/DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION, PROFESSIONALISM, PRACTICE SKILLS


According to a recent census study, the number of women lawyers continues to rise dramatically year after year, since the 1960s.  In 1960, women accounted for less than 10% of the lawyers in the United States.  In 2016, women represent nearly 40% of all lawyers.  More interestingly, women lawyers are far more likely to work full time than women generally (82% v 63%) and only slightly less than male attorneys (85%).   Yet, women are universally underrepresented in leadership roles across the profession and those statistics are not budging.  In addition, the recent ABA Commission on Women studies show that the largest group of women leaving large firms are women with 20-25 years of experience – and they are not leaving to stay home and raise families.  At the same time, the #metoo movement has put a spotlight on some of the most reprehensible behaviors in our profession (among others), there are an increase in initiatives to improve diversity and eliminate bias in various sectors of the profession (the recent ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) is one example of that), there is an increased focus on women outside of big law including those starting their own law firms or legal services businesses, and new women’s groups such as Girl Attorney, Mother’s Esquire, and Women Owned Law are springing up and gain tremendous traction across the country.  Join us for a discussion between two leaders in this new movement to connect, support and advance women in the profession, Nicole Galli and Fran Griesing, as they discuss how to lead as a woman attorney in this new age, the ethical and legal underpinnings of combating implicit and legal bias, where they see women’s leadership and advancement heading within the legal profession (including the rise of women-owned and led law firms and legal services businesses), and the power of collective action to drive meaningful change.  


11:10am - 12:00pm Ms. Heather Hubbard, JD


Girl, Take a Seat...At the Table: How to identify and leverage the strengths that your legal and education bring to your law job, identify and overcome the profession’s biases against women, and achieve the best outcomes for you and your clients - BIAS/



When we graduate from law school, we think anything is possible. Before long, the fear sets in. Are we good enough? Do we want to deal with the blatant and unconscious sexism required to succeed? Not to mention, how do we find the time to become leaders when we're so overwhelmed with client obligations? If you want to be a happy, healthy attorney who goes after what she wants, you have to take a seat... at the table! Pull up a chair because you're about to get a motivational yet practical and actionable talk in how to embrace your ambition without selling your soul. 


12:00pm - 1:20pm Lunch


1:20pm - 2:10pm Ms. Lori Andrus, JD

Employment Law and Women: How to Properly Identify, Evaluate, and Litigate Pay Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Claims EMPLOYMENT, EMPLOYEE BENEFITS, LITIGATION


Although women make of 47% of the workforce, we still earn only 80 cents on the dollar and face on-the-job sexual harassment all too frequently. Litigation can be an effective tool to combat these injustices, and to make corporations take a real hard look at their employment practices and policies. In this presentation, Lori Andrus will teach audience members how to identify, evaluate and litigate pay discrimination and sexual harassment cases.


2:10pm - 3:10pm Ms. Okeoma Moronu, JD


Happiness (or the Lack Thereof) in the Law:  Exploring the Ethical Issues of the Mental Health Crisis and Practical Recommendations for Effective Wellness Leadership in the Law COMPETENCE ISSUES/ SUBSTANCE ABUSE/MENTAL HEALTH, PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT, PROFESSIONALISM


The presentation will provide insight into the current state of mental health and attorney wellness and explore the initiatives that are being pursued to tackle the issues. I'll guide attendees through an exercise to assess their own mental health and wellness and provide recommendations for how they can be more effective wellness leaderships. 


3:10pm - 3:20pm  Break


3:20pm - 4:10pm Ms. Michelle Coughlin, JD


You Too Can Be Notorious:  Using Wisdom and Inspiration from RBG to Address Gender Bias and the Motherhood Penalty in Today’s Legal Practice - DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION, UNCONSCIOUS BIAS, PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY


Whether practicing in a big firm, small firm, in-house, or academia, women lawyers, especially mothers, face systemic hurdles of unconscious gender bias, with a particularly entrenched form of gender bias called the “motherhood penalty.”  This presentation will draw upon statements made by, and court cases argued by, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg - often referred to as the "Notorious RBG" - and use those statements to introduce facts about gender diversity in the legal profession, including improvements in women's opportunities in the legal profession over her lifetime, and how far we still have yet to go as a profession. We will address the issue of the motherhood penalty in the legal profession directly, with reference to some of Justice Ginsberg’s own comments about motherhood and its impact on her as both a student and across her legal career, as well as how she shaped gender equity in this country by challenging gender caregiving stereotypes in cases like Moritz v. Commissioner.  Specifically, this presentation will discuss the ethics, professional responsibility, and professionalism inherent in addressing unconscious biases (with a particular focus on gender) not only towards litigants and clients, but also towards women lawyers in connection with the ethical practice of law and the successful law firms and corporate law departments and fair judiciaries.  We will discuss the language of ABA Model Rule 8.4 and the challenges faced in the adoption of that rule across the country, as well as other ABA Model Resolutions aimed at improving gender equality for women in the legal profession.  Using RBG’s fight for gender equity in the courts as a launching pad, we will then turn to current gender equity litigation against law firms and systemic changes the legal profession can adopt to help address the continuing challenges of gender inequality in retention, promotion, and compensation or women lawyers.


4:10pm - 5:00pm Ms. Carolina Rubio, JD


Practicing Law while socially engaged: Why to invest your time and expertise in legal issues outside your practice, and how to do it ethically - PROFESSIONAL SKILLS, ETHICS/PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT, PROFESSIONALISM 


As lawyers, we have a legal education and experiences that give us a unique opportunity to invest in making a difference in our communities. This presentation will educate on how and why as attorneys we have an obligation to give back to our communities. This presentation will also educate participants regarding how to ethically engage in an area of law in which an attorney is otherwise not competent to engage in independently. This presentation will provide attorneys with the relevant Federal Rules of Professional responsibility regarding pro bono work and competency, in particular, so that the decisions that each attorney needs to make regarding pro bono work can be navigated by attorneys with confidence and conviction.


Saturday - April 27

The Hamilton Hotel, DC


7:00am - 8:30am Breakfast  


8:30am - 9:20am

Ms. Jamie Santos, JD and Ms. Kendyl Hanks, JD


Social Media & the Law: Effective and ethical use of social media for women lawyers - LEGAL ETHICS, COMMUNICATIONS/TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND LITIGATION, TECHNOLOGY


Social media is now an accepted way for lawyers and firms to market themselves, for practitioners to discuss major developments, and for those in the community to share their experiences in the legal profession. But participating in social media as a lawyer has its pitfalls, such as maintaining client confidentiality, complying with attorney advertising rules, and adhering to employer policies and rules of conduct regarding professionalism. And for women lawyers in particular, the pitfalls of participating in social media platforms often include dealing with harassment and other unprofessional interactions that may violate standards of conduct. Ms. Santos and Ms. Hanks, two co-founders of @LadyLawyerDiary and active participants in #AppellateTwitter, will discuss effective and ethical use of social media and strategies for women lawyers navigating social media platforms.

9:20am - 10:10am Ms. Mary Reding, JD


Overcoming the Barriers to Employment: From Permanent Change of Station to Permanent Change of License - REGULATORY LAW


Faced with the uncertainty and frequency of military moves, in 2011, a group of military spouses got together to change the regulatory environment creating a barrier to employment for licensed professionals. This presentation will focus on the personal story that was the catalyst for the change, the steps to create a grassroots effort to drive regulatory change, review of the case study of the process in Oklahoma, and finally how each participant can learn to identify and eliminate barriers to employment in their communities.


10:10am - 11:00am Break


11:00am - 12:00pm Mr. Bryant Johnson


Supreme Fitness: Personal Trainer to United States Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg tells how he keeps her physically fit, why physical fitness is so important, and how you can stay fit, too


Have you ever wondered what keeps Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the Supreme Court’s favorite octogenarians, so sprightly? She owes it in part to the twice-weekly workouts she does with her personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, a man she's called “the most important person” in her life. Now you too can work out with Justice Ginsburg’s trainer. Mr. Johnson will also participate in a Q & A session, the questions presented will be those collected from registrants in the private Facebook Group for this Conference.

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VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to Artist and Attorney, Ms. Ericka Roberts, for giving us permission to use her beautiful painting in our Conference materials. Check out more wonderful work out of her studio, here


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