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2014 Annual Meeting Sponsors




The Waldorf Astoria New York
301 Park Avenue
New York, NY


2013 Annual Meeting Highlights


Women Belong at the Table: Leading with Courage and Confidence

Law firms, corporations, and governments benefit in myriad ways when women are at the helm.  Nevertheless, women are still the minority at most leadership tables.  This year’s Annual Meeting will examine the reasons behind the leadership gap and what it takes to be a courageous, confident, and effective leader.  Prominent in-house counsel, private practitioners, and government lawyers will offer concrete skills, best practices, and actionable solutions relevant to women lawyers in all legal disciplines who are looking to take and make the most of their seat at the table.  The Awards Luncheon will provide a unique opportunity to celebrate and network with over 800 lawyers from around the country as NAWL recognizes and honors leading lawyers, legal departments, and NAWL members who have made exceptional contributions to improve and diversify the legal profession.

Thursday, July 24, 2014*

(All events at the Waldorf Astoria New York Hotel)

7:00 AM TO 8:00 AM 


8:00 AM TO 8:15 AM 


8:15 AM TO 9:45 AM

Morning Session 1A
Women Worry, Men Don’t – How to Own Your Seat at the Table

Moderator : Lindsay G. Carlson, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP


David A. DunningProfessor of Psychology, Cornell University
Deborah S. Froling, Partner, Arent Fox LLP; NAWL President 2013-2014
Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, The New York Public Library

Confidence is a critical ingredient for success whether you practice at a law firm, in-house, or at a non-profit or governmental agency. Most women hesitate to take a seat - let alone own their seat at the table. This session is designed to address the root cause of why women worry and men don't as well as offer tools to close the confidence gap.

Morning Session 1B
Your Seat at the Table: The Power of Negotiating and the Art of Persuasion

Moderator : Jennifer Mendelsohn, Managing Director, Huron Legal 


Angela Beranek Brandt, Partner, Larson · King, LLP
Joan Stearns Johnsen, Mediator and Arbitrator, JSJ Mediations
Zohra Tejani, Senior Attorney, Microsoft

You don't always get what you want, and studies show that most women don't even try. Whether negotiating a deal for your client, a favorable settlement in court, a raise as well as severance pay, or even buying a car, women hurt themselves by not asking, not negotiating, and not persuading. Empower yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively negotiate what you want and win someone around to your point of view. Learn the difference between negotiating as a principal versus as an agent and master what you need to do before, during, and after negotiating a deal. This program will also pinpoint strengths and weaknesses commonly shared by women, the fine line between negotiating for an advantage and going beyond ethical boundaries to teach you the key skills necessary to achieve success in negotiating your position, and gaining advantage for your clients.

9:45 AM TO 10:00 AM 


10:00 AM TO 11:30 AM

Morning Session 2A
Women In the Boardroom:  Advancing Women Lawyers Into Director Positions

Moderator: Hillary A. Sale, Walter D. Coles Professor of Law, Professor of Management, Washington University School of Law


Roberta D. Liebenberg, Senior Partner, Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.
Mary Ann Hynes,
Senior Counsel, Dentons
Elisse B. Walter, former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

This program will discuss why the achievement of greater gender diversity on corporate boards is essential for good corporate governance and how it contributes to a company's financial performance. The panel will provide concrete steps and strategies that can be taken to increase the number of women and minorities on corporate boards, and will also highlight the work of DirectWomen, the only national organization which focuses on increasing the representation of women attorneys on corporate boards.

Morning Session 2B
It’s Not Magic – Learn the Tricks to Creating, Maintaining, and Growing Your Book of Business

Moderator: Patricia K. Gillette, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP


Erica Berthou, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Beth R. Kramer, Partner, Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Deirdre Stanley,
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary, Thomson Reuters

Business development is a critical element to being a successful lawyer, regardless of where you are in your career (junior, mid-career or senior attorney) or where you are practicing (law firm, in-house, non-profit or government).  But what are the characteristics that make a successful rainmaker?  Research shows that the characteristics of rainmakers are quantifiable and not bound by gender.  This program explores the research and provides practical tools for developing the important traits that will lead to success.  The panel, featuring successful business developers at all levels of practice, from junior to senior partners and general counsel, will help you learn to create and grow your book of business. 

11:30 AM TO 12:00 PM 


12:00 PM TO 2:00 PM  

Annual Awards Luncheon

Presentation of Awards: Join NAWL in honoring this year's 2014 award recipients. These women, men and organizations truly embody the theme of this year's meeting: Leading with Courage and Confidence. We invite you to join us and share the excitement and inspiration that attending our Annual Meeting always infuses in our members and guests. We are truly honored to have these distinguished individuals accept our recognition of their vast contributions to the law and the profession.  Learn more>>

Investiture of 2014-2015 NAWL Executive Board

2:00 PM TO 2:30 PM 


2:30 PM TO 4:00 PM 

Plenary Session
Leadership by Design: Lessons from Law, Social Science, and Life


Anita F. Hill, Senior Advisor to the Provost and Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies,  Brandeis University; Of Counsel, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll
Kalpana Kotagal, Partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll
Joseph M. Sellers, Partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

How can women, with the skills and experiences that make great leaders, get the recognition they deserve? In this plenary session, NAWL Honoree, Professor Anita Hill and her colleagues, Cohen Milstein partners Joe Sellers and Kalpana Kotagal, will explore challenges and opportunities facing women in the workplace, and in particular those seeking to lead. Discussion topics will include the role that existing leaders play in creating a supportive or hostile workplace climate; how the interplay of culture, race, ethnicity, class and gender weighs disproportionately on women; the distinction between sponsorship and mentoring in advancing women into leadership; and a clarification of some of the grey areas and boundaries of appropriate behavior in the workplace. Drawing on scholarship and litigation experiences, the panelists seek a candid dialogue about gender, work and ways to confront the most significant challenges to women's success in positions of leadership.

4:30 PM TO 6:00 PM 

Night of Giving Reception benefiting Legal Momentum

Join NAWL and other Annual Meeting attendees for a Night of Giving reception benefiting Legal Momentum. The reception begins at 4:30 PM in The Waldorf Astoria New York’s Basildon Room and is complimentary with your Annual Meeting registration. Hors d'oeuvres provided; drinks available for purchase.

Legal Momentum 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women across the nation by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence, and equality under the law. Their successful work includes providing judicial education on the realities of sexual assault and domestic violence; successful advocacy for the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act and for expanded protections for survivors of violence in its several reauthorizations; and representing women who have been subjected to workplace pregnancy and gender discrimination with precedent-setting litigation. For more information, visit

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