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2014 Annual Meeting Sponsors

 

 

Accomodations

The Waldorf Astoria New York
301 Park Avenue
New York, NY
212.355.3000

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2013 Annual Meeting Highlights

 

Congratulations to our 2014 honorees!


Arabella Babb Mansfield Award is given in recognition of professional achievement, positive influence, and valuable contribution to women in the law and in society.  View past awardees.

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This year, NAWL honors Anita Hill, Senior Advisor to the Provost and Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies at Brandeis University. Ms. Hill is also Of Counsel with the Civil Rights & Employment Practice group of the plaintiffs' law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

The youngest of 13 children from a farm in Oklahoma, Ms. Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980. She began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C. There she also worked at the U. S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, where she taught contracts and commercial law. Currently, at Brandeis University, she teaches courses on gender, race, social policy and legal history. Along with Provost Steve A. N. Goldstein, Hill is responsible for implementing Fulfilling the Promise: The Brandeis University Strategic Plan. As counsel to Cohen, Milstein, Sellers and Toll, she advises on class action workplace discrimination cases.

Ms. Hill’s latest book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011). For City Arts & Lecture Series of San Francisco, she has interviewed author Anna Quindlen and filmmaker Spike Lee among others. Time, Inc., Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine have published Professor Hill’s commentary and she has made numerous appearances on national television programs. She is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and honorary degrees. Her professional and civic contributions include chairing the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association, and membership on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Professor Hill is the subject of Freida Lee Mock’s documentary, ANITA, which premiered in January of 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival and is set for theatrical release by Samuel Goldwyn Company in the spring of 2014.


NAWL President’s Award is presented to an organization that has championed policies, programs and procedures to retain, promote and advance women attorneys. View past awardees.

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This year, NAWL honors Honeywell, a $40 billion global, diversified Fortune 100 leader with more than 131,000 employees. Honeywell invents and manufactures technologies to address some of the world's toughest challenges linked to global macro trends such as energy efficiency, clean energy generation, safety and security, globalization, and customer productivity.

Kate Adams, Senior Vice President and General Counsel is accepting the award on behalf of Honeywell. Ms. Adams joined Honeywell in 2003 and was promoted to her current role in 2009. She is responsible for managing all of the company’s legal affairs. In addition, she oversees Government Relations; Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability; and Global Security. Drawing in part from her experience clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Ms. Adams has focused on diversity as a success factor for Honeywell’s business performance. Honeywell’s Women Council drives enterprise approaches to retaining and developing female talent and Honeywell's Diversity Council works to ensure the company meets evolving needs of its customers and communities, while also attracting and retaining the best talent globally. Diversity also is a goal in hiring and internal promotions. NJBIZ recognized Ms. Adams as 2013 General Counsel of the Year for a Public Company with revenues over $1 billion. And Legal 500 selected her as one of the most powerful corporate legal advisers in the United States in 2013. Honeywell’s law department under Ms. Adams’ leadership was named one of the 2013 Most Innovative U.S. Law Firms in the In-house Legal Teams category by the Financial Times. Before joining Honeywell, Ms. Adams was a partner at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP in New York City. Prior to that, she served in a variety of high profile roles, including as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Supreme Court of the United States; a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources division; and as a law clerk for Stephen Breyer, then Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Throughout her career, she has held academic positions as adjunct assistant professor of law for the New York University Law School and as an adjunct assistant professor of environmental law for Columbia University Law School in New York City. Ms. Adams also is a trustee of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. She earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature with French and German concentrations from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in Chicago, Illinois.



NAWL Lead by Example Award is presented to a male lawyer who is a leader in his law firm, company, government unit or public interest entity and supports the advancement of women. View past awardees.

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This year, NAWL honors Robert J. Grey, Jr. Mr. Grey is a Partner with Hunton & Williams LLP and serves as Vice Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Mr. Grey’s practice is focused on representing businesses in administrative, regulatory, and legislative matters. He also serves as a neutral in commercial mediations. In 2010, Mr. Grey was selected to be the Executive Director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). LCLD was created in 2009 to advance diversity in the legal profession, focusing on the recruiting, retaining, and promoting of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. Its members are the general counsels for the leading corporations in America and the managing partners of the nation's most prominent law firms. LCLD works to foster open and free access to opportunity for all individuals, regardless of color, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The hope to see the legal community fielding teams that are made up of the best talent.

Also in 2010, Mr. Grey was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to the Board of the Legal Services Corporation. Mr. Grey was elected as an officer in the American Bar Association, serving as Chair of the ABA House of Delegates in 1998 and later as President of the Association in 2004. During his term as president of the ABA, he worked for better justice through better juries via the America Jury Initiative. He received his B.S. in 1973 from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree in 1976 from Washington and Lee University, where he currently serves on its Board of Trustees.


M. Ashley Dickerson Diversity Award is named after trailblazer Mahala Ashley Dickerson, NAWL’s first African-American President (1984-85) and is presented to a lawyer who has promoted and advanced diversity in the legal profession.  View past awardees.

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This year, NAWL honors Kim M. Keenan. Ms. Keenan is the ninth General Counsel and Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”). She serves as the chief advocacy and corporate counsel for the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the world. Prior to joining the NAACP, she was the principal of the Keenan Firm in Washington, D.C. where her practice focused on complex civil litigation, medical malpractice, mediation and arbitration, consulting, and public speaking. Prior to that, she served in the litigation practices of two nationally recognized law firms for more than eighteen years. Ms. Keenan is on the Lawyers of Color 2014 Power List of the nation’s most influential minority attorneys. In November 2013, she received the Legacy Builder Award at the National Black Pre-Law Conference. She has been honored as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer and as a Top Lawyer by Washingtonian Magazine. She is the 2012 recipient of the Diana P. Scott Integrity In Action Award presented by the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig. In May 2011, she received the Wiley A. Branton Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for her lifetime commitment to pro bono and civil rights. The ABA Journal designated her as a “Legal Rebel” in 2010 for her efforts to reshape the legal landscape. In May 2007, the Women’s Bar Association named her “Woman Lawyer of the Year” for her contributions to the profession. As the 38th President of the District of Columbia Bar and eighth female president, she created the Standing Committee on Leadership, which led to the creation of the John Payton Leadership Institute to provide leadership training to lawyers. The District of Columbia Bar is the second largest jurisdictional bar in the Nation with more than 100,000 members.

Her career demonstrates a strong commitment to important issues affecting women and people of color, public service, and improving the legal profession. Ms. Keenan served as the sixty-second President of the National Bar Association (NBA), the oldest and largest bar association of lawyers of color in the world, with a network of more than 50,000 lawyers, judges and law students. She was the first woman from the District of Columbia, and only the eighth woman overall, elected to this position. During her tenure as President, the NBA deployed thousands of lawyers throughout the nation to educate voters regarding new voting laws. The Maryland Bar Foundation awarded her their Professional Legal Excellence Award for her national effort to provide nonpartisan voter education. She is also a Past President of the Washington Bar Association, one of the oldest and largest affiliates of the NBA, founded in 1925. She served as a speaker for the Women’s Bar Association’s groundbreaking initiative Creating Pathways to Success, which focused on the advancement and retention of women in the legal profession. In 2006, Ms. Keenan was recognized by Girls Inc. for her work in law, policy, and as a mentor to women. She received the Distinguished Black Woman Award from Black Women in Sisterhood for Action (BISA) for her public service.

Ms. Keenan’s commitment to the community extends beyond the legal profession. She is a member of the Capitol City Chapter of the Links, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the International Women’s Forum of Washington, D.C., and the Barristers. She served as the appointed chair of the American Lung Association’s (ALA) national Diversity Committee and was a member of its National Assembly. She has spoken by invitation to the National ALA board and provided diversity training to its national staff as well as a national law firm. She was the first African-American elected to serve as President of the District of Columbia Rape Crisis Center, one of the nation’s largest resource centers for survivors of sexual assault. Additionally, she served on the advisory board of Posh Communications, a private marketing and communications company where she was the contributing legal editor for Posh’s magazine Odyssey Couleur.

Kim M. Keenan is a native of Buffalo, New York. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia School of Law and a former member of the University of Virginia Law Alumni Council. After law school, she served as the law clerk to the Honorable John Garrett Penn in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Keenan resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Joseph Blackburne, and bonus son, Jordan Blackburne.


Public Service Award is presented to a lawyer who has demonstrated throughout her career a dedication and commitment to exemplary public service and social responsibility  View past awardees.

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This year, NAWL honors Kathryn H. Ruemmler. Ms. Ruemmler recently rejoined Latham & Watkins as a Partner in the Litigation Department and a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group, after serving as Counsel to President Barak H. Obama for three years. As his chief lawyer, Ms. Ruemmler was one of the President’s most senior advisors, providing strategic advice on all legal matters implicating domestic and foreign policy and national security. She advised on all significant litigation matters, including Supreme Court litigation. Ms. Ruemmler also managed the White House’s and the Executive Branch’s defense of congressional and other investigations and was responsible for the selection and nomination process of all federal judges. She led a team of approximately 45 lawyers and staff in the White House Counsel’s office. During her tenure as White House Counsel, Ms. Ruemmler was credited with the President’s historic diversification of the Federal Bench, including his nomination of an unprecedented number of women. Ms. Ruemmler joined the Obama Administration on its first day, serving as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department during the first year of the Administration and then moving to the White House as Principal Deputy Counsel to the President. At the Justice Department, she was the most senior member of the Deputy Attorney General’s staff and served as the Deputy Attorney General’s primary advisor on a broad range of criminal, law enforcement, national security, and civil matters. She also assisted the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in the overall management and oversight of DOJ operations, including the United States Attorney’s offices. Prior to returning to public service in 2009, Ms. Ruemmler was a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins. While at Latham, Ms. Ruemmler represented corporate and individual clients in a variety of enforcement matters, internal investigations, and trial matters. She has significant jury trial experience and has tried over twenty cases to verdict both inside the government and in private practice. Before Latham, Ms. Ruemmler worked for six years as a federal prosecutor, during which time she handled a wide variety of criminal investigations and prosecutions ranging from violent crimes to securities fraud and insider trading. Notably, Ms. Ruemmler was one of the lead prosecutors in the high-profile and successful securities fraud prosecution of former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. She delivered the closing argument in that case and received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department of Justice’s highest award, for her performance. Earlier in her career, Ms. Ruemmler served as Associate Counsel to President William Jefferson Clinton. In that role, she defended the White House in a variety of independent counsel and congressional investigations. Immediately prior to her White House service, she was a litigation associate at a D.C. law firm practicing white collar criminal defense. Ms. Ruemmler received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1996, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Law Journal. She received her B.A. cum laude with distinction in English from the University of Washington in 1993. She clerked for the Honorable Timothy K. Lewis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 2011, Ms. Ruemmler was named Lawyer of the Year by the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. She was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Washington by GQ Magazine (2012) and one of Washington’s Most Influential Women by both the National Law Journal (2010) and Washingtonian Magazine (2011). She has been named one of the Top 50 litigators under the age of Forty-Five by the American Lawyer (2007), one of the top 40 lawyers under 40 years of age by Washingtonian Magazine (2006), and one of the 25 most influential people in business by Fortune Magazine (2006).


Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member Award is presented to NAWL members for exemplary contributions to NAWL.  View past awardees.  This year, NAWL honors:

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Lauri A. Damrell practices with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's Employment Law group, which was named by The Recorder as California Employment Department of the Year for 2013. She has extensive experience in complex employment litigation and counseling, particularly in discrimination and wage-and-hour law. She is a thought leader on diversity in the workforce, she has published extensively in the National Law Journal, the ABA Journal on Labor and Employment Law, Corporate Counsel, Law360 and others. She was also recently invited to speak at the U.S. Capitol regarding the Paycheck Fairness Act. Given her expertise, Governor Jerry Brown recently appointed her to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Ms. Damrell has been involved with NAWL since 2011. She has co-chaired various subcommittees for the 2012, 2013, and 2104 Mid-Year and Annual Meetings and is active on the planning committee for the Pipeline to Equity Partnership (P2P) program. In addition, she spoke on a panel at the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting entitled, 50 Years After the Equal Pay Act and Title VII: Where We Stand. Within her firm, Ms. Damrell serves on the planning committee for the firm's Women in Employment Law Network, which is aimed at connecting women employment lawyers and HR professionals from the nation's most successful companies, educational institutions, and law firms. She also recently ran for Orrick's team in the Golden Gate Relay, a 191-mile relay run from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, California to raise funds for OrgansRUs. Within her community, Ms. Damrell has been featured by the Sacramento Business Journal for co-founding the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Sacramento (MAMAS). Ms. Damrell has also served on the Steering Committee of Operation Protect and Defend, an organization of judges and attorneys supported by the Sacramento Bar Association to bring civic education to local high schools. Ms. Damrell earned her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of California, Davis, and her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Damrell can be reached at (916) 329-7914 or ldamrell@orrick.com.

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Babette V.E. Orenstein is a Senior Attorney with the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, where she provides advice and counsel on matters related to information governance, records management, cybersecurity, data privacy, legal hold, e-discovery, and social media. She co-chairs an internal Law Department Cybersecurity Team, represents the Con Edison Law Department on the Company's Social Media Committee, and is a member of the Edison Electric Institute's working group on cybersecurity law. This year, Ms. Orenstein joined the Board of Advisors to the Cardozo Law School Information Governance Program. Prior to joining Con Edison, she was a Vice President & Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase, where she advised on matters related to the preservation, collection, and production of electronically stored information. A graduate of Brown University and Brooklyn Law School, Ms. Orenstein also has experience in commercial and corporate securities litigation, employment matters, and regulatory investigations. Ms. Orenstein has been active with NAWL since 2006. In 2013 she served as Chair of the 9th Annual General Counsel Institute, and this year she is Sponsorship Chair for GCI 10. She can be reached at orensteinb@coned.com or 212.460.6209.

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Lesley R. Weber (1975-2013) was a dedicated and respected employee of the Allstate Insurance Company. During her ten years with Allstate, Ms. Weber held many positions. She worked in the Insurance Operations Law practice group, serving as the lead attorney supporting Allstate's marketing and product departments. Ms. Weber's final assignment was as the Regional Counsel for New York, where she served as the face and voice of Allstate with state regulators and lawmakers. Ms. Weber was actively involved with NAWL since 2009. Ms. Weber received a B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a J.D. from the Loyola University Chicago, School of Law. Prior to joining Allstate in 2004, Ms. Weber was in private practice where she focused on commercial insurance and professional malpractice issues.