Follow Us On


Wine, Women and Chocolate Welcome Reception

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Join other Mid-Year Meeting attendees as we meet and network over a wine and chocolate tasting. Learn about wine tasting, chocolate tasting, and wine and chocolate pairings as you also get to know other NAWL members!

Chicago lawyer Valerie Beck left Big Law to pursue her passion for chocolate. She created the original citywide chocolate tours and now, through Chocolate Uplift, is a recognized expert on everything chocolate. Learn more at

Theodora Lee, a practicing trial lawyer in San Francisco, decided that she wanted to own a vineyard and produce wine – so that’s just what she does. Theopolis wines are developing a following across the US. This is your chance to taste what everyone else is talking about!  Learn more at


Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Opening Plenary

8:45 AM - 9:45 AM

Shaping the Future: Women In Politics and Government
This panel will discuss how women are leading in the political arena, as elected officials, candidates, and  policymakers, as well as how to get more women active in politics and government.

Moderator: Lindsay G. Carlson, Senior Counsel, Bowman and Brooke LLP
Judith L. Lichtman
, Senior Advisor, National Partnership for Women & Families
Jess McIntosh
, former Director of Communications Outreach, Hillary for America
Leslie Geissler Munger
, Deputy Governor, Illinois

Networking Break

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

Concurrent Workshops

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Using Alternative Billing Models to Support Women in Law Firms
For those lawyers juggling numerous competing demands upon their limited time, the billable hour, which rewards inefficiency with little reward for outcomes and results, can prove a detriment to their careers. How are alternative billing models working for law firm lawyers and for their clients? How can women lawyers institute these new models in their firms? What do clients want from alternative billing models?

Julie Z. Devine, Of Counsel, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Katherine G. Minarik, Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
Audrey Rubin, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Law and Compliance Department, Aon Corporation
Eleanor P. Williams, Assistant Vice President and Counsel, MassMutual

From Brief to Tweet: Communicating in the World of Social Media
This panel will discuss ethical and effective ways lawyers, law firms, and corporations can use social media as well as pitfalls to avoid. We will also discuss ways businesses can successfully handle negative twitter campaigns.

Lynne M. Matuszak, Counsel, Commercial and Transactions, Ford Motor Company
Kathryn Montgomery Moran, Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C.
Jayne Reardon
, Executive Director, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Pro Bono: Partnering for the Personal, the Professional, and the Public
Busy lawyers often overlook the reasons for and the benefits of pro bono publico. Other lawyers believe that they do not have the substantive experience or knowledge to perform pro bono. In addition to providing lawyers with personal satisfaction and benefiting the public good, pro bono offers many potential career benefits through pro bono partnerships with colleagues and clients. This session will explore how pro bono can benefit you as an individual and in your career, as well as explore the significant impact you can have on your community.

Jennifer A. Coyne, Associate General Counsel, United Airlines
Sam Finkelstein, CEO and Co-founder, Legal Prep Charter Academies
Kathryn McCabe, Executive Director, Lawyers Lend-A-Hand
Danielle Anne Phillip, Shareholder, Brinks Gilson Lione

Networking Break

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM


11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Welcome Remarks

Awards Presentation
We will recognize and honor leading lawyers who have made a significant impact on improving and diversifying the legal profession.  The awards to be presented are:

The Challenge Award is presented annually to an in-house legal department that has either met or adopted policies designed to meet NAWL's One-Third By 2020 Challenge.  This year's recipients is:


The Leadership Award is presented annually to an individual whose personal contributions have helped advance women lawyers and promote diversity in the legal profession.  This year's recipients are:

Madeleine M. McDonough
Chair and Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Terrence M. Murphy
Executive Director, Chicago Bar Association

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

Hon. Mazie K. Hirono
U.S. Senator, Hawaii

Stephanie 2_RT.jpg
Stephanie A. Scharf
Founding Partner, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC

Hot Topic Networking
Who are you? What do you think? Why? Do others agree or disagree? Make some new friends while engaging in in-depth discussions on Hot Topics for Women Lawyers!

Networking Break

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Concurrent Workshops

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Data and the Law
Data and analytics play a rapidly increasing role in many industries and across the public and private sectors. The big data revolution opens new opportunities for companies pursuing their business goals, policy objectives, and other innovative opportunities involving data analystics. At the same time, these opportunities raise a wide range of legal hurdles governing data use, data sharing, data management, security and privacy, and reporting, among other areas. This panel will discuss the key legal considerations and potential pitfalls related to data usage and anayltics, as well as the types of projects that can benefit greatly from the integration of data and analytics with legal work.

Moderator: Ariana Voigt, Executive Director, Senior Counsel, Catalina Marketing
Laura Braslow
, Director - Manatt Health, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Lisl J. Dunlop
, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Liam A. Ferguson, Managing Director, The Claro Group, LLC
Jennifer M. Mikulina
, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

Community and Police Conflicts: Leadership Challenges and Opportunities for Women
Increasingly, the media is littered with accounts of civil unrest arising from clashes between community members and law enforcement. And while men seem to be in the forefront of the news cameras, Black Lives Matter was started by a group comprised primarily of women. And in Chicago, a woman lawyer leads the Independent Police Review Authority, another heads the Chicago Police Board, and yet another serves as the State's Attorney. Join us for the discussion about the roles women lawyers can and are playing in these volatile situations and what more can be done.

Colleen K. Connell, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
Takeia Johnson, Chicago lawyer; Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University of Illinois Chicago
Lori Lightfoot, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP; Chair, Police Accountability Task Force (Chicago)
Dartesia A. Pitts, President Elect, Cook County Bar Association; Chicago lawyer 

Networking Break

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Plenary Session

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Women Lawyers Leading: Reaching One Hand Forward While Extending the Other Hand Back
For decades women lawyers have been striving for leadership roles within the profession: as leaders in corporate law departments, law firms, government agencies, law schools, and bar associations. But leadership is more than just filling a position or keeping a seat warm. Hear from a panel of women lawyer leaders who have not only achieved the titles, but who are leveraging their leadership roles to have a positive impact on the careers of other women and other lawyers from underrepresented groups.

Moderator: Leslie Goldman, Managing Director, Major, Lindsey & Africa
DeAnna Allen, Partner, Cooley LLP
Denise Cade
, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, IDEX
Anne I. Shaw, Founding Partner, Shaw Legal Services
Monica M. Weed, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Navigant Consulting, Inc.

Closing Plenary

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Meet the Challenge: What's Next for Women Lawyers?
NAWL and other women's groups are currently addressing a host of issues that are impacting or are of concern to women lawyers. What are the hot-button, cutting-edge issues that women's affinity groups, local women's bar organizations, women's committees in mainstream bars, and women lawyers can expect to be facing in the next decade? Hear from a panel of representatives from some of the leading organizations that focus on women in the law about what they are working on, what they anticipate will be the next issues around which women lawyers need to rally, and what things women lawyers need to be thinking about in order to be prepared for the ever-evolving legal profession.

Moderator Sharon E. Jones, Founder and President of Jones Diversity, Inc.
Linda Bray Chanow, Executive Director, University of Texas Center for Women in Law
Caren Ulrich Stacy, Founder & CEO, Diversity Lab
Raychelle Tasher, President, Ms. JD and Law Clerk to Chief Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of Missouri

Closing Networking Reception

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

5:30 PM - 6:45 PM

Optional Dine Around

7:00 PM

For those intending to remain in Chicago on Friday night, this optional, self-treat dinner opportunity will allow you to join a small group for a relaxed and informal dinner. Attendees can indicate their desire to attend when registering.