2017 Summit

Our 2017 Women’s Bar Leadership Summit: Succeeding with Strength and Savvy  was held in the heart of New York City on August 10 and 11.  

Three Times Square

The Welcome Reception included a screening of the documentary Balancing the Scales, a film featuring candid interviews with a wide range of women attorneys and judges who will share their career perspectives–from young lawyers facing challenges as they start their careers, to mid-level associates striving to achieve professional success, to senior attorneys and judges who have become leaders in the profession. Filmmaker and attorney Sharon Rowen, and Aracely Muñoz, formerly Vice President for Strategic Development for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and currently Special Counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, were on hand to answer questions about the film and ways in which we can work to further advance equality in the profession. The discussion was moderated by Charlotte Rushton, Managing Director, Large and Midsize Law Firms, Thomson Reuters.

On Friday, August 11 we held a full day of Summit events, featuring extraordinary speakers and panels, and our annual Awards Luncheon where we presented our Public Service and Outstanding Member Program Awards. Our first program on Friday was Women in the White House – A Conversation with Kathy and Kim. This featured Kathryn Ruemmler, now a partner at Latham & Watkins and former Chief Counsel to President Obama, and Kimberley Harris, former Deputy Counsel to President Obama, who now serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for NBCUniversal. The moderator was  Jessica Brown, Gibson Dunn partner and past president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association.

A panel discussion moderated by Martha E. Gifford, Past President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, entitled Career Tools: Integrating Mentoring, Sponsorship, Coaching, and Networking for Maximum Effect, featured Lauren Stiller Rikleen of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, Joseph K. West, Partner and Chief Diversity Officer of Duane Morris, and Morgan Fraser Mouchette, Senior Litigation Associate at Blank Rome and a Director and Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee for the New York Women’s Bar Association.

Keynoting our Awards Luncheon was Roberta Kaplan, founding partner of Kaplan & Company LLP. A former partner at Paul, Weiss, Robbie is a nationally renowned litigator, who has been described as a “powerhouse corporate litigator” and a “litigation superstar.” In addition to her work on behalf of clients like J.P. Morgan Chase, Fitch Ratings, and Columbia University, Robbie is perhaps best known for successfully representing Edith Windsor in her historic challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which she describes in her book Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA. At the Awards Luncheon, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association received the Outstanding Member Program Award for their Building Resilience Project. The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts received the Public Service Award for their Pay Equity Project, while the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York was recognized in the same category with an Honorable Mention for their Voter Registration Project.

A highlight of the afternoon’s line-up was GOOD Guys 101: Engaging Men in Our Success. “GOOD Guys” stands for “Guys Overcoming Obstacles to Diversity” and is a program designed by the NCWBA to inspire and support men who advocate for increased diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Facilitating the program was Teresa Beck, Lincoln, Gustafson & Cercos partner. Moderating the program is Sheryl Axelrod, president of the Axelrod Firm. Other speakers included Michael J. Cammarota, Managing Director and Senior Director of Legal Services, Global Transactions, Accenture LLP; Richard E. Meade, Vice President & Chief Legal Officer for Prudential Financial’s International Division and Chair of the Law and Compliance Department’s Diversity Steering Committee; and Nate Saint-Victor, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley and former Chair, Legal and Compliance Division Diversity & Inclusion Committee. 

2017 Summit Speakers

Sheryl AxelrodSheryl Axelrod Teresa M. BeckTeresa M. Beck Jessica BrownJessica Brown
Michael J. CammarotaMichael J. Cammarota Martha E. GiffordMartha E. Gifford Kimberley HarrisKimberley Harris
Roberta A. KaplanRoberta A. Kaplan Richard E. MeadeRichard E. Meade Morgan Fraser MouchetteMorgan Fraser Mouchette
Aracely MunozAracely Muñoz Lauren Stiller RikleenLauren Stiller Rikleen Hon. Jenny Rivera
Hon. Jenny Rivera
Sharon RowenSharon Rowen Kathryn RuemmlerKathryn Ruemmler Charlotte RushtonCharlotte Rushton
Nate Saint-VictorNate Saint-Victor Deidre StanleyDeidre Stanley Joseph K. WestJoseph K. West


The complete agenda for Summit activities on Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11, may be downloaded at the following link:

NCWBA 2017 Summit Agenda