Sections & Committees

Women in Law Section


A discussion led by:
Lisa Skeete Tatum

Founder and CEO, Landit

February 26, 2020 
6:00 p.m. Registration Fee $25
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Presentation, Q&A and Networking Reception

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
919 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022


Please register with Tiffany Bardwell at [email protected].

Thank you to Debevoise & Plimpton for hosting the event and reception.

Not a member of the Women in Law Section? Dues are only $30 per year with NYSBA membership. Join today! (Join online or call the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452, M-F, 8am-5pm) 

New York State Bar Association’s Women in Law Section presents: 
The 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and the Fight and Achievement of Women’s Voting and Legal Rights 

March 9, 2020 
Standard Charter Bank 
1095 Avenue of the Americas 
New York, NY 10036 

4:30 p.m. Registration 
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Presentation 

1.0 MCLE credits in Areas of Professional Practice  

Download Flyer

Susan L. Harper, Esq., Founding and Past Chair, Women in Law Section (WILS) & Chair, WILS’ Centennial Suffrage Commemoration Initiative 
Terri Mazur, Esq., Chair, Women in Law Section 
Margaret Sowah, Esq., Chair, WILS’ Reports, Surveys and Publications Committee 

The 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, giving women the right to vote nationwide. New York women won the right to vote three years earlier on November 6, 1917. 

he story of how women gained voting rights is compelling. At a meeting over tea, five women organized the New York Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton announced resolutions demanding women’s rights, including the right vote. Decades of intense struggle by women, men, upstate and downstate, associations, and by people of different backgrounds and across the country followed. Nationally, suffragists picketed the White House, were jailed and went on hunger strikes. Similar struggles     occurred in New York. It took 72 years to change the constitution and win the right to vote. 

Join the NYSBA Bar Association’s Women in Law Section’s Centennial Suffrage Initiative presents the story of the landmark fight for women’s suffrage (voting rights) and the diverse leaders, activists, associations, and supporters who made this happen. Learn about the different strategies and tactics used, the trailblazing states granting women suffrage before the 19th Amendment, case law, and the challenges voters faced -- even after the vote was won to disenfranchise citizens. Meet the women on whose shoulders we stand and celebrate the modern day women whose illustrious careers are a true legacy of the suffrage movement. 



A Day in the Life – Personal Perspectives from General Counsel and Partners

Being a high-powered General Counsel or partner at a law firm can be challenging and complicated - especially when you add in family and other interests -- but incredibly rewarding. Join us for an in-depth discussion on the day-to-day experience of female GCs and Partners in the NY area legal community.

Panelists Laurie Bigman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, CardWorks, Inc., Tamala Boyd, General Counsel, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, Emily Johnson, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Lois Liberman, Partner, Blank Rome LLP, will provide their personal perspectives on what it takes to excel in the GC and Partner roles, the paths one can follow and the challenges that may come your way. 

March 11, 2020 
6:00 p.m. Registration
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Presentation, Q&A and Networking Reception

This is a complimentary event. Hors d'oeuvres, Wine and Soda Will Be Served.

Blank Rome LLP
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020


Please RSVP for security entrance to Tiffany Bardwell at [email protected].

Thank you to Blank Rome for hosting the event and reception.

Not a member of the Women in Law Section? Dues are only $30 per year with NYSBA membership. Join today! (Join online or call the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452, M-F, 8am-5pm)

Women in Law Section’s Emerging Lawyers and Partners Committees present
St. Paddy's Day Speed Networking  

March 19, 2020 
6:00 pm 
$25 Registration Fee

Foley & Ladner
90 Park Ave
New York, NY 10016

You're invited to join us for a powerful networking event where you will meet superstars, from those who are just out of the gate to veterans, and through one-to-one conversations, learn how you can best help one another professionally.   

Please bring 30 business cards. 

Register here. 

Not a member of the Women in Law Section? Dues are only $30 per year with NYSBA membership. Join today! ( Join online  or call the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452, M-F, 8am-5pm)  



Thursday, March 26, 2020
Registration – 5:45 pm
Program -- 6:00 - 8:00 pm 

Murphy & McGonigle
1185 Sixth Avenue, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10016
Between 46th & 47th Streets
New York, New York 

Member Registration $30
Non Member $35

Appetizers, Wine, Whiskey and Sodas will be served.

You want to be a General Counsel or the key outside lawyer, and need to develop a safe and cooperative relationship with senior management.  You want to be someone management trusts and listens to -- someone senior management counts on to tell them the truth and who delivers advice neutrally and with invariably sound judgment 

  • How does this “someone” become a “Foxhole Buddy”? 
  • How does this “someone” present difficult answers differently from their peers? 
  • How does this “someone” earn trust and respect?

    Learn lessons from a distinguished panel of GCs and high-level businesspeople and hear their answers of what they did right and wrong along the way up. 


    Alexandra Fischer, Esq.   
    Citigroup Prime Brokerage; Hunton & Williams; Amherst Pierpont; Cortview Capital; Citigroup Prime Brokerage. 

    Sheldon Goldfarb, Esq.   
    Goldman Sachs; Greenwich Capital – Royal Bank of Scotland; Citizens Financial. 

    Frederic Krieger, Esq.    
    Salomon Brothers; Citibank; Charles Schwab; KGS-Alpha Capital Markets; Chicago Board Options Exchange; New York Stock Exchange; SEC; Murphy & McGonigle 

    Bob McGinnis   Board Member of KGS Alpha, Audit and the Compensation Committees; several senior management titles at Greenwich Capital -- Royal Bank of Scotland.



    Recorded: May 31, 2018
    Total Credits: 1.0 Professional Practice


    Member: $50.00 | Non-Member: $150.00

    The program will objectively address what is sexual harassment and what happens in real time when employees and employers are faced with actual or alleged sexual harassment in the work place. These issues will be addressed from the perspectives of a victim, a human resource professional, an investigator, attorneys for the employees and management, a mediator and a crisis communications consultant. 

    Panelists will cover current standards in employment law, policies and procedures, practice skills, and trends in investigations. Additionally, the panel will address counseling victims and clients when facing sexual harassment issues (even if you are not an employment attorney and get “that” call), including a client’s options. 

    Finally, panelists will address how they would counsel their clients on best practices to prevent and address harassment, negotiate and problem-solve these issues, and avoid retaliation and potential damage to reputations. 

    Ellen S. Davis, Esq. | Sard Verbinnen & Co.
    Cara E. Greene, Esq. | Partner, Outten & Golden LLP | Incoming Chair, NYSBA Labor & Employment Law Section
    Loren Gesinsky, Esq. | Partner, Labor & Employment Law Department, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
    Elizabeth J. Shampnoi Esq. |  Mediator/Director, Office of Mediation and Conflict Resolution, NYC Commission on Human Rights
    Dr. Victoria Berger-Gross | Retired Chief Human Resources Officer, Tiffany & Co.
    Michael Putetti | Labor and Employment Consultant and Expert, Bates Group LLC
    Deborah Kaye, Esq. | Member, NYSBA Committee on Women in the Law  

    The Committee on Women in the Law is now the Women in Law Section! All NYSBA members can join here.

    NEW! Check out the Q &A with Past Section Chair Susan Harper.

    The section has presented educational forums on gender concerns; sexual harassment in the profession; balancing professional and family responsibilities; career development beyond partnerships; women in politics; seeking service on the bench; and breast cancer. Additionally, the section presents forums for women law students on career issues and opportunities.  

    To provide recognition for exemplary achievement by a male or female member of the Association in addressing the concerns of women, an Association award was established in honor of the Committee on Women in the Law's first Chair, Ruth G. Schapiro. The annual award was proposed and is administered by the Women in Law Section. The first recipient of this award in 1992 was The Honorable Judith S. Kaye. For more information about the Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award, click here.

    To honor women in the profession who recognize the value of diversity in the legal profession and have dedicated their time to advancing the professional development of women attorneys, the section has established the Kay Crawford Murray Award. Future recipients will posses the following characteristics: A distinguished legal career or a rising star in the profession; An active member of bar associations for the purpose of advancing the professional and personal development of women attorneys; An active mentor to women attorneys. For more information about the Kay Crawford Murray Award, click here.

    SuffragetteSizedSuffragette Commemoration on Display at the Bar Center
    Check out our "A Centennial Commemoration of Women's Suffrage and the Achievement of Legal Rights" that premiered in November 2017. View the slides  here

    New York State has a rich history of amazing trailblazing women attorneys who broke through many barriers and blatant discrimination to make major contributions in the legal profession.  Their stories are ones of fierce determination, passion for the law, keen intelligence, and inspiring achievement.  

    From the late 19th Century, when the first women gained admission to state bars, through the 1960s, women attorneys faced closed doors and discrimination.  Women have made tremendous strides in the past 40 years - in large part due to the efforts of women attorneys who overcame obstacles and blazed a path for other women attorneys to follow.  

    The Women in Law Section (formerly the Committee on Women in the Law) - whose first chair, Ruth Schapiro, was one of the women trailblazers at New York State Bar Association - is delighted to spotlight the lives and careers of 10 women lawyers who fought discrimination and gained a foothold in a range of legal careers. These women have paved the way for other women attorneys, serving as role models and, often, as mentors.

    We hope that you will draw inspiration from the stories of these 10 remarkable New York attorneys. Read the brochure here.

    bernicecomfedNYSBA House of Delegates Adopts Report of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section 11/4/17 
    The House of Delegates approved the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section's report, " If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR" on November 4, 2017. The Women in Law Section supported this report and continues to promote and advocate for it. Read the press release  here. Watch the video here.

    JSK0829Judge Judith Kaye Portrait Unveiled
    On November 3, 2017, the New York State Bar Association unveiled a new painting of Hon. Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge of the state of New York, on display in our Great Hall. Judge Kaye was the first female appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals in 1983. She was chief judge of the state of New York from 1993 until 2008. She was the inaugural recipient of the Ruth G. Schapiro Award.


    The Women in Law Section (WILS) invites all members to join our Section’s Committees. Please choose up to three committees and send your preferences to Tiffany Bardwell at [email protected]

    Thank you. We appreciate your participation and are looking forward to an exciting year! 


    1)       Champions: Men Advancing Women Committee – engages men as partners to advance women in the profession, the Association, and society-at-large. Activities include Drinks & Dialogues (small get-togethers to discuss gender issues in a “safe environment” for men and women); CLE programming; reports and/or publications; commenting on news and issues; and supporting policies that advance women.  Chairs: Deborah Kaye & Mark Berman

    2)       Communications Committee – promotes the work and activities of the Women in the Law Section, including on social media and the NYSBA Communities site. Chair: Leona Krasner 

    3)      Development and Sponsorship Committee - This Committee is responsible for developing a financial sponsorship plan for the Women in Law Section to support the various programs and events that the Section holds. Committee members also work to engage in relationships with companies, vendors and law firms to provide financial support for the activities and mission of the Women in Law Section and of NYSBA. The Committee works closely with senior leadership on strategic operational strategy and execution of that strategy.  We are ramping up our sponsorship efforts for 2020 for upcoming programs from our General Counsels Committee, Champions Committee, and Emerging Lawyers and Membership Committees, to name a few.  If you have an interest in finance and/or outreach to develop ongoing relationships with companies, vendors to the legal profession and law firms to support the Women in Law Section, this is the Committee for you. Chair: Ellen Makofsky

    4)       Equity in the Legal Profession Committee – works to advance women in the legal profession. Activities may include, but are not limited, programming, reports, scholarship, recognition, networking and engagement with other Sections, outside law firms, and corporations to advance such interests.  Chair:  TBD

    5)      Emerging Lawyers Committee – for law students, recent graduates, and new attorneys seeking to promote opportunities and relationship-building for women in the legal field. This Committee focuses on the unique challenges that affect women who are new to the legal profession and supports their professional development and success. Programming includes networking events for women lawyers at varying career stages, a panel featuring women leaders in different practice specialties, and the opportunity to learn about the variety of career paths available for women with law degrees (such as private practice, in-house and public service, and non-traditional careers for lawyers). Chairs: Christina Singh-Bedell & S. Monroe Solomon

    6)      Women’s Gender Issues Committee – works to address specific issues and rights that may impact women, children and families. Examples include, but are not limited to, domestic violence, human trafficking, and gender violence. Professionally, the Committee may also work to address women as leaders or on boards, or the development of specific skills, such negotiations. Chair: Pamela Bass

    7)      General Counsels Committee - for current and former in-house counsel in private, public or not-for-profit practice who seek to develop strategies, tactics to help advance women lawyers they work with internally and outside counsel. The Committee also serves to support women in-house counsel to help them advance in their careers through exchange of knowledge, support, and career advancement and opportunities.  Chair: Frettra DeSilva

    8)      Legislative Affairs Committee - responsible for identifying and recommending the Women in Law Section’s legislative agenda to the Section’s EC for adoption. In addition to the activities cited in Section By-Laws Art. VI Section 3, the Committee members also will participate in the identification of new or existing New York State legislation relating to issues of interest to women, draft written evaluations and memo of support of proposed legislation as it may affect women, and present such reports to the Women in Law Section’s Executive Committee for adoption, and when requested by the WILS’ Chair or EC, to the NYSBA’s EC or House of Delegates for their consideration.  Committee members should expect to participate in regular conference calls, to review potential legislation, to conduct research and make recommendations to the Section regarding the legislation, and to draft and edit memos supporting or opposing the legislation.  Committee members may also be asked to participate in a meeting with the State Bar’s lobbyist, hold a program, or develop partnerships with other State Bar sections.  The time commitment is estimated to be between 15-25 hours annually. The peak Committee activities occur between January and June 30th. Chairs: Denise Bricker & Sarah Simpson 

    9)      Membership and Engagement Committee – works to recruit, retain and engage members to the Women in Law Section and seeks to advance and promote the mission. Committee members are the membership ambassadors of the Section. Chairs: Meredith Palermo (downstate) & Kim Wolf Price (up state)

    10)  Partners Committee – (for current and former partners or executive level counsel in private practice). This Committee focuses on the unique challenges that affect women who are partners in law firms.  Among other things, it will explore ways to maximize client development, firm leadership and mentoring.  The members of the Committee will have an opportunity for networking with other women partners and for fostering a strong and supportive community for women partners throughout New York State.  Chair: Danielle Lesser

    11)  Annual Meeting, Program, Awards and CLE Committee – Organizes programs annually for the Section.  Please choose a subcommittee. In addition to working on a team, you may also be asked to participate as a speaker or moderator of a program.  There is extensive interaction with leaders in our profession on all of the subcommittees. Chairs: Sheryl Galler & Laura Sulem.

    • Annual Meeting Subcommittee (meets from late summer through the NYSBA Annual Meeting in January) Organizes our Annual Meeting program, the annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium which is held at the Annual Meeting of the NYSBA.
    • Awards Subcommittee (meets September through November and in January) Chooses recipients for the Ruth G. Schapiro and Kay Crawford Murray Memorial Awards and participates in the awards ceremonies.
    • Women on the Move Subcommittee (meets Spring to late October) Organizes the late October Women on the Move CLE conference.
    • Programming Subcommittee (meets throughout the year) Creates CLE and non-CLE events throughout the year.

    12)  Reports, Surveys and Publications Committee - is responsible for drafting reports in response to Reports submitted to the House of Delegates for consideration; conducting surveys on behalf of the Section; and preparing articles, blogs, publications, Journals, or exhibits to promote the equality and fair treatment of women in the legal profession and all women under the law. Chairs: Margaret Sowah & Kathleen Scott

    13)  Women in the Association Committee – works to advance women in the Bar Association.  Chair:  Morghan Richardson