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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

NAWL Challenge Club Event | 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

***Event for In-House attorneys and NAWL Challenge Club members***

Welcome Reception | 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Kick off the Conference with a fun opportunity to catch up with colleagues, make new friends, and create valuable connections and benefiting a local charity.

Committee Dinner | 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

***Invitation only event for host committee & NAWL Board***

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Optional Group Walk | 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM 

When registering, let us know if you're interested in joining a brisk group morning walk led by Heather Stenmark (Mid Year Committee member and Counsel, Insurance Operations Law at Allstate).

Registration & Networking Breakfast | 8:00 AM - 8:45 AM  

Start the conference by caffeinating and creating valuable connections.  

Opening Session - BEST PRACTICES FOR REAL CHANGE | 8:45 AM - 10:00 AM  

For twelve years, NAWL's Annual Survey of the Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms has tracked the professional progress of women in the nation’s 200 largest law firms. While the representation of women has increased, women continue to be underrepresented among equity partners and firm governance and while women work as much as men, their client billings and compensation continue to lag behind that of similarly-situated men. But there are signs of positive change, with firms adopting more women and family-friendly policies, investing more in training and support for women and diverse attorneys, and some recent activity, such as the make-up of new classes of equity partners, showing increasing representation of women.

This session will turn the tables and ask the audience to lead a discussion around best practices that actually help women lawyers succeed professionally. Roll up your sleeves and help us create real change!

Elizabeth Manno Banzhoff, Partner at Perkins Coie LLP and Chair of NAWL’s Annual Survey on the Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms
Leslie Richards-Yellen, Director of Inclusion-Americas, Hogan Lovells

Concurrent Workshops | 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM  


This session will discuss emerging technology in the practice of law to empower women to leverage the best in technology and innovation while managing risk within the evolving global legal and technology landscape. Topics include Artificial Intelligence and implicit bias (i.e. when bias is coded into our technology), BlockChain, business intelligence analytics, contract and data management, case management, and predicting case outcomes using data mining. Join us to discuss how flexible lawyers can leverage legal technology to re-imagine and reinvigorate their practices to meet the needs of their future clients and the profession.

Moderator, Diedre Dunn, Senior Counsel at McDonald's
Melissa A. Anyetei, Intellectual Property Partner at Mayer Brown LLP
Shawnna M. Hoffman-Childress, Lead Account Partner and Global Cognitive Legal Leader, IBM
Barbara Klas, Consultant & Director, Account Management, Casepoint LLC.
Phi-Hang Tran, Director of eDiscovery Services at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite


Pro bono work provides lawyers with opportunities to give back to the community, but there are other, less-recognized career benefits that stem from pro bono work. Newer lawyers can gain experience, confidence, connections, and visibility both inside and outside their firms. More senior attorneys can gain even greater visibility as well as case-management and leadership skills. This session will explore how busy lawyers can and should make time for pro bono work.

Moderator, Aracely Munõz, Director Lawyers Network and Director, Washington D.C. office of the Center for Reproductive Rights
Alexia D. Korberg, Litigation Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Elizabeth P. Lewis, Pro Bono Partner at McDermott, Will, & Emery
Dorri McWhorter
, Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Katherine W. Shank, Deputy Director of Legal Aid Chicago

AWARDS LUNCHEON | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM 

We will recognize and honor leading lawyers and business leaders who have made a significant impact on improving and diversifying the legal profession.

Leadership Award


NAWL is proud to present the 2020 Leadership Award to Judge Patricia Brown Holmes. The Leadership Award is presented annually at NAWL's Mid-Year Meeting to individuals in the community whose personal contributions have helped advance women lawyers and promote diversity in the legal profession. Judge Holmes is now a partner at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP and is the first African-American woman to lead and have her name on the door of a major law firm that is not women- or minority-owned. She is a highly respected and accomplished lawyer who focuses her practice on the areas of high-stakes commercial litigation, white-collar crime, and legal client counseling. As a former state court judge and experienced prosecutor and defense lawyer, she brings a unique variety of capabilities to her practice. Patricia’s comprehensive trial experience, coupled with her deft management abilities, position her as a valuable advocate and trusted advisor to her clients. Prior to serving as an associate judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Patricia was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant State’s Attorney. She is one of only a handful of attorneys in the State of Illinois who has tried cases in the state, city, and federal court as well as state appellate, federal appellate, and state supreme courts. 

Challenge Award


NAWL is proud to present the 2020 Challenge Award to Kraft Heinz The Challenge Award is presented annually at NAWL's Mid-Year Meeting to individuals an in-house legal department that has either met or adopted hiring, retention, promotion, and general employment practices and procedures designed to strive to meet NAWL's One-Third by 2020 Challenge, to increase the representation of women to one-third of leadership positions in the legal profession and to increase by one-third the diverse female attorneys, including women of color and those that identify with LGBTQI+. Kraft Heinz's legal department easily exceeds NAWL's Challenge, with women representing the majority of Global Legal, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Government Affairs department. Kraft Heinz also recognizes the importance of inclusivity, having earned the first-ever perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, which rates corporate policies and practices for LGBTQI+ inclusion.


Rashida La Lande will accept the Challenge Award for Kraft Heinz. Rashida La Lande is the Global General Counsel and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Government Affairs. Rashida La Lande joined Kraft Heinz in January 2018, where she leads the company’s legal function, including corporate governance and securities, transactions, regulatory, intellectual property, litigation, and labor and employment. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz, Rashida La Lande was a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP where she advised corporations and their boards, primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, private equity deals, and joint ventures. Rashida La Lande received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law and her Bachelor's Degree of Arts from Harvard University.

No CLE offered. 

Concurrent Workshops | 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM  


The key to influencing others is not your smarts or message. You must catch attention, keep attention, and make your message stand at attention through memorable content and delivery. The latest research shows that there are key persuasion differences in female attorneys' and leaders' arsenals as compared to our male counterparts. Karen Lisko, Ph.D., Senior Litigation Consultant at Perkins Coie, will speak to us about the latest techniques in effective messaging and delivery that we can use to be our most influential in our professional environments. 

Karen works with attorneys to increase their persuasiveness and effectiveness. A veteran of hundreds of civil cases heard in bench and jury trials and arbitration forums, Karen strategizes to help legal teams construct compelling and prevailing arguments. Karen holds a doctorate in legal communication, a specialized degree attained by only a few consultants in the nation, and is the author of two books, Patently Persuasive and Proven Jury Arguments and Evidence.

Karen O. Lisko, Ph.D., Senior Litigation Consultant at Perkins Coie LLP


Focusing on how women need to be “fixed” to achieve career success draws attention away from the real problem: the different workplace dynamics women and men experience. These different dynamics have far more to do with how women and men feel, act, and aspire than any innate characteristics that differentiate women from men. This panel will discuss the reasons women are not achieving the same overall career success as men, by focusing on the nature of the workplace, not the nature of women themselves. Panelists will discuss the stereotypes, biases, and structural characteristics that lead to women’s systematic disadvantages in relation to men as they pursue career success and how these disadvantages can be dealt with. The panel will also discuss the unique difficulties faced by women with distinctive social identities and just how much tougher career advancement is for women who are not white, straight, able-bodied and under 40. 

Deborah J. Baker, Arbitrator at the Illinois Worker's Compensation Commission, contributor to the book, It's Not You, It's the Workplace:  Women's Conflict at Work and the Bias that Built it.
Alton B.
Harris, Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP; co-author of Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work and It's Not You, It's the Workplace: Women's Conflict at Work and the Bias that Built it
Andrea S. Kramer
, Partner at McDermott Will & Emery; co-author of Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work and It's Not You, It's the Workplace: Women's Conflict at Work and the Bias that Built it

Plenary Session - MINDFULNESS FOR LAWYERS 101 | 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM   

As lawyers, we immerse ourselves in conflict and competition daily and these pressures can take a serious toll - stress, anxiety, and burnout are enormous problems in the profession. Mindfulness offers an alternative to our habits of worry, anxiety, and frustration. Derived from ancient meditation methods and validated by modern science, it is a simple mental practice that introduces a calmer, more satisfying mode of being.

This session is designed to introduce mindful meditation and give lawyers the building blocks for sustainable, tangible methods for managing stress and increasing mental wellness. During this session, attendees will be guided through the fundamental practice of using breath and body awareness as tools to focus attention in the present moment. This session will teach you how mindfulness can produce a positive impact in and out of the office.

           Darrell Jones, Co-Head of Teacher Training and Programming/Meditation Guide, ChillCo.


Join us for a conversation with top legal officers on how to excel in a legal environment through the power of innovation and acceptance of new challenges. Discover how these top attorneys from different cross-sections of the law have leveraged their personal power to create successful careers and foster development of stellar successors in their own legal teams and beyond. Conference attendees will walk away with proven tools and techniques for leadership and success. 

Moderator, Kimberly A. Yuracko, Dean; Judd and Mary Morris Leighton Professor of Law at Northwestern Law School
Susan C. Levy, Executive Vice President & General Counsel for Northern Trust Corporation
Kristin Oliver, Chief Human Resources Officer at Walgreens
Hon. Rebecca Pallmeyer, Chief Judge of the Northern District of Illinois 
Linda Xöchtil Tortolero, Chief Executive Officer of Mujeras Latinas En Acción

Closing Networking Reception | 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM 

Before you depart, join us to unwind, and debrief your favorite sessions.

Offsite Networking Event: Second City Dinner and a Show | 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Add this event on to your Mid-Year registration at any time, or email for assistance. 

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