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American Bar Association

  Woman Advocate

The Woman Advocate Committee is open to all members of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. Joining the committee entitles a member to a number of benefits (see list below). The committee’s leadership is made up of experienced women litigators from all over the country working to provide support and useful information to all women who litigate.

To accomplish this goal, the committee provides its members with these benefits:

  • The Woman Advocate, a quarterly publication
  • programs that feature talented, effective women trial lawyers demonstrating trial and advocacy skills and styles
  • programs on rainmaking for women, emphasizing how women can effectively attract and retain clients
  • opportunities to network with other women trial lawyers and exchange information, questions, or ideas on a wide variety of professional and personal issues confronting women lawyers, particularly those in a litigation practice, including alternative work styles, balancing trial work and motherhood, mentoring, and perceptions of women advocates

Whether you want to receive The Woman Advocate, learn from and network with top women litigators, contribute to our programs and publications, or all of the above, join us. Section of Litigation members may join up to three committees at no charge.

To join, you must first be a member of the ABA and also a member of the ABA Section of Litigation.


Dutch Treat Dinner at ABA Annual

The Woman Advocate Committee Dutch Treat Dinner at the ABA Annual Conference will be Thursday, August 4, at Ideale Restaurant at 7:00 p.m. Ristorante Ideale serves home-style Italian food in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach Neighborhood, a 15 minute walk from the Palace Hotel. The cost is $110 per person, which includes a four-course Italian dinner and one glass of wine (and includes tax and tip). RSVP to Annasara Purcell today!


Thursday, August 4, 2016

7:00 p.m.

1309 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133

Payment should be made by mailing checks by July 30:

Annasara Purcell

Fenwick & West LLP

555 California Street, 12th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94104


ABA Annual Meeting—Experts on Experts Roundtable

Presented by the Woman Advocate Committee and co-sponsored by the Products Liability Committee, held on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, at 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Eastern.


Expert testimony is often the key to winning or losing a case.  Join our panelists—including experienced trial lawyers, in-house counsel and experts—for a discussion of crucial aspects of expert testimony. The panelists will address finding and retaining the right expert, investigating experts, and getting the most out of the expert witness.



Kelly Anne Luther, Partner, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP, Miami, FL



Penelope A. Dixon, Associate General Counsel, Walmart Stores, Inc., Fayetteville, AR

Amy E. Keller, Associate, Wexler Wallace, LLP, Chicago, IL

Andrea Tecce, CPA, CFF, Managing Director, Disputes & Investigations, Navigant Inc., Washington, D.C.


Two Successful SAC April 2016 Events

The 2016 Section of Litigation Annual Conference took place between April 13–15 at the Ritz-Carlton & Four Seasons in Chicago, Illinois. The Woman Advocate Committee participated on April 13th in a "Dutch Treat" family-styled dinner and on April 14th in a Dry Styling Event.  Both events were a resounding success.  Thanks to everyone for attending, and we hope to see those we missed next time.


Read Law Practice Today's "Women in Law" Issue

Check out the March 2016 edition of ABA's Law Practice Today. The "Women in Law" issue features articles with tips for navigating the male-dominated IP world, the role of women on corporate boards, and other topics critical to being a female in the legal world.


The Woman Advocate Meeting: "The Woman Advocate Advocates"

Continuing the tradition of the highly successful Women of the Section of Litigation meetings, The Woman Advocate Committee will present its own conference focusing on the issues that matter most to our members and their practices. This exciting conference will be held in Kansas City, MO, on November 10, 2016, at Polsinelli. A Welcome Cocktail Party and Dutch Treat Dinner will be held on November 9.

We are currently accepting program proposals for the Conference and welcome your submissions. All programs will be plenary sessions that are open to a broad array of subjects relating to the theme, The Woman Advocate Advocates. You can propose programs addressing where or how the woman advocate advocates, for whom, to whom, for what reason, etc. In other words, the topics are wide open to your imagination and creativity. We would love to hear your recommendations for programs and speakers, so please submit your proposal to us! This is your chance to reach a wide audience for a plenary program.

Complete program proposal submissions require inclusion of proposed speaker names and diversity information. Proposals not including this information cannot be considered. Do not contact any of your proposed speakers, however, until your program is accepted and the speakers are approved by the ABA.




WAC's Call for Proposals:
Program Proposal Guidelines for The Woman Advocate Committee Conference:

  • We are seeking cutting-edge topics that appeal substantively to a broad cross-section of women litigators
  • Try to limit each panel to three or four speakers plus one moderator;
  • To adhere to the ABA’s Goal III policy, the Committee will only select programs that include diverse speakers;
  • Programs need to be informative, entertaining, interactive, and allow for audience participation to the greatest extent possible;
  • Creativity and energetic moderation is strongly encouraged;
  • Identify potential speakers but wait to invite them until you hear whether your program is selected and your speakers are approved.
  • Sponsorship opportunities, including complimentary registrations, to follow.


WAC Members - We Want Your Programming Proposals for the 2016 WAC Meeting!

The Woman Advocate Committee wants to hear from its members - that means YOU! This year's WAC Meeting will be held on November 10 , 2016 in Kansas City, MO. As many of you know, this will be an incredible conference for woman litigators, both new and seasoned. There will be a full day of plenary programming for CLE credit and lots of opportunities for networking, including a Welcome Cocktail Party and Dutch Treat Dinner the night before.

We are asking that you, our members, tell us your ideas. What types of cutting-edge plenary sessions do you want? Do you have a dream panel of speakers you'd like to see? A role play or demonstration you would like to participate in?

Please send us your ideas and thoughts! You are our greatest resource and we want this program to deliver what you want.

The Program Proposal Form will download automatically here. Send your completed form to the Conference Cochairs, Evelyn Storch at EStorch@harwoodlloyd.com or Amy Stewart at astewart@estesokon.com. Again, DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016. If you have questions, please contact Evelyn or Amy.

We look forward to presenting this conference as one of the highlights of the upcoming bar year!


Evelyn Storch and Amy Stewart, Conference Cochairs


WAC Education and Networking Event: Emotional Health Networking Lunch

Chronic busyness, exhaustion, and overwhelm are a new normal, especially for women. At the same time, breast cancer, autoimmune disease, and heart disease are at an all-time high. The latest medical research paints a clear picture: the way we think—our habitual thought patterns and self-talk—has an undeniable impact on our health and well-being. Designed for driven, multi-tasking women everywhere, this unique roundtable presents empowering tools you can use to eliminate negative self talk, release destructive thought patterns, and consider new ways to make your personal power work for you. A career executive and entrepreneur, Heathere Evans-Keenan is a frequent speaker on business, wellness, and women's health. With a background in communications, psychology, and neurobiology, Evans-Keenan provides coaching that empowers executives and teams with tangible tools and techniques to boost their effectiveness, in both their personal and professional lives.

Meetings will be held at the locations listed here and connected by teleconference. Please RSVP by email to the host at our desired location if you would like to join.


WAC's Regional Education & Networking Event a Resounding Success

More than 315 attendees in 25 locations across the country participated in the Woman Advocate Committee's September 22 Regional Education and Networking Event. The special program—"The Grit Project: True Grit and a Growth Mindset"—featured speaker Milana Hogan of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, who provided an overview of the Grit & Growth Mindset research. Local hosts and attendees then discussed how grit and mindset can be applied to scenarios commonly experienced in the practice of law. Thank you to all our hosts around the country, and we hope to see you again for our next program.


Learn More About the Committee

Cochairs Sabrina Beavens, Erica Calderas, Beatty O'Donnell, and Heather White welcome you to the Woman Advocate Committee. Read the new Message from the Chairs to learn more about the noteworthy, and fun, activities that we have planned for the year.


WAC Monthly Conference Calls

The second Tuesday of every month, the Woman Advocate Committee holds an hour-long conference call to discuss committee issues and planning. If you would like to join our calls, please use the following conference information:

Call in # (866) 646-6488 / Passcode: 2611-423-420


Minutes from Committee Meetings






Our active subcommittees include:

  • Newsletter
  • Rainmaking
  • Young Lawyer Outreach
  • Website & Technology
  • Balancing Work & Home
  • Programming


  • Mentoring
  • Membership
  • Corporate Counsel
  • Diversity
  • Regional Meetings

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs: