Fifteenth Annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium
Secure Your Seat at the Table: Becoming a Leader and an Indispensable Lawyer Who Champions Women

Women continue to make great strides in the legal profession but still remain under-represented where it matters.  Only about 20% of law firm partners are women and 30% of judges are women. In 2018, women made historic gains in the U.S. Congress and state-wide elections, but men still outnumber women as lawmakers. The fact remains that there are still far more men leading deals, heading trial and major litigation teams, serving as general counsel to Fortune 500 companies, and serving as lawmakers and more work has to be done to close the gender gap. Significantly, women lawyers still face barriers that result in their earning less than their male counterparts, bringing in less business, owning less equity, and holding only a small portion of leadership roles throughout the legal industry. The Women in Law Section is pleased to present a powerful program addressing how women attorneys can secure their seat at the table to advance their own careers and to advance all women’s rights under the law. 


9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Registration

9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Welcoming Remarks 
Susan L. Harper, Esq., Managing Director NY/NJ, Bates Group LLC and Chair, NYSBA Women in Law Section

9:20 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. Keynote Speech  
Advancing Women: Gender Equality in the Law and Justice for All Women (0.5 Credit in Skills)
Equality matters. Achieving gender equality is everyone's responsibility, and we still haven't achieved it. There are still far more men in leadership roles as attorneys and lawmakers than women. Men still make more money than women in all fields, and men still generate more business. It is shocking that after this country and major businesses have been rocked by sexual assault revelations and harassment leading to the #metoo and TimesUp movements, women still trail their male counterparts. In this dynamic Keynote, Carol Robles-Román, Co-President and CEO of the Equal Rights Coalition, will examine how women attorneys -- like women everywhere -- still do not have constitutional gender equality or equal pay, nor are they given the same opportunities for business development as their male colleagues. She will discuss why men and women need to support gender equality to get more women attorneys into seats at the "table."  She will also address how the ERA -- which has never been enacted -- and other laws and policies aimed at eradicating gender inequality can help break down these barriers to the success of women attorneys and all women. 

Carol Robles-Román, Esq.

Co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality

9:50 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Getting on Equal Footing: Promoting Women’s Equality Through Business Development and Advancement Strategies (1.0 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice, 0.5 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias)
Leading attorneys from law firms, corporations, the public service sector and the judiciary will discuss law firm and institutional strategies to incentivize advancement and business development opportunities for women attorneys, how some clients are using their power to support and catapult women to the table, and how women can effectively utilize women’s initiatives, bar associations, and other networking bodies to support these efforts. The panel will also examine underlying unconscious bias and discrimination that still serve as barriers to securing your seat at the table and how law firms, institutions, and women themselves can help take down these barriers to success.

Honorable Lucy Billings

Justice of the New York State Supreme Court

Brad S. Karp, Esq.
Chairman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Zachary W. Carter, Esq.
Corporation Counsel, City of New York

Laurie N. Robinson Haden, Esq.
Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, CBS Corporation and Founder and CEO of Corporate Counsel Women of Color 

Terri A. Mazur, Esq.  (Panel Co-Chair)

Laura Sulem, Esq., Director, Practical Law Litigation, Thomson Reuters   (Panel Co-Chair)

11:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Break

11:25 a.m. – 1:05 p.m. Advancing Women’s Equality Through Legislative and Policy Initiatives  (2.0 Credits in Skills)
Leaders in public policy and legislation will discuss how women can achieve equality and get a seat at the table from the perspective of important policy and legislative initiatives.  They will examine the role that women can and should play in this political environment to make sure all women are protected under the law.  This panel will address recent efforts to secure passage of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. and New York State Constitution and related changes to New York employment laws, and how other states are advancing women through legislative efforts and policy changes.

Mylan L. Denerstein, Esq.

Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Lisa Friel, Esq.
Senior Vice President and Special Counsel for Investigations, National Football League

Carol Robles-Román, Esq.
Co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality 

Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal
Council Member, District 6, New York City Council

Susan L. Harper, Esq.
Managing Director NY/NJ, Bates Group LLC and Chair, NYSBA Women in Law Section    (Panel Co-Chair)

Sheryl B. Galler, Esq.
Law Office of Sheryl B. Galler (Panel Co-Chair)

1:05 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Break

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Luncheon and Presentation of Kay Crawford Murray Award
Sponsorship Opportunities available to support the Women in Law Section

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. Legal and Ethical? How Far Should You Go? (2.0 Credits in Ethics)
Using legal issues ripped from the headlines, the third panel will present live enactments of ethical issues female and male attorneys may encounter while securing their seat at the table. An ethics expert will discuss whether lawyers’ conduct may be “legal” but not ethical, focusing on how far lawyers can – and should – go to protect their clients and themselves.

Patrick J. Brennan, Esq.

Founding Partner,  Furman, Kornfeld & Brennan LLP

J. David Canton, Esq.
Partner, Aaronson, Rappaport, Feinstein & Deutsch, LLP

Christine Champey, Esq.
Associate, Turken & Heath, LLP

Rose M. J. Charles, Esq.
Sompo International Insurance

Pery D. Krinsky, Esq.
Krinsky PLLC

Kathleen Lyons, Esq.
Vice President, Property & Casualty Business Management, Swiss Reinsurance America Holding Corporation (Panel Co-Chair)

Rosary A. Morelli, Esq.
Partner, Morelli & Lassalle, LLP (Panel Co-Chair)

4:10 p.m. -4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Women’s Networking Reception, Sponsored by Labaton Sucharow LLP

The Women in Law Section thanks the following Sponsors for their generous support:

Emerald Sponsor:
Clifford Chance US LLP

Silver Sponsor:
Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association
Burford Capital
Morrison Cohen LLP

Networking Reception:
Labaton Sucharow LLP

Bronze Sponsors:
A.B. Data
Bates Group LLC
Precision Discovery
Schlissel Ostrow Karabatos PLLC 

Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

For more information about this program, or to become a sponsor, please contact Tiffany Bardwell at [email protected].