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American Bar Association
American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession

2010 Women in Law Leadership Academy
Presented by the Commission on Women and the Young Lawyers Division

Program Agenda/Handouts/Video Clips - Download the Brochure

Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Philadelphia, PA
April 29-30, 2010

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors

Previous WILL Academies: 20072006

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Thursday, April 29, 2010
9:00 a.m. Registration Opens
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Video: “We Can Become Shining Lights at the Bar”

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Opening Session: Attributes of a Leader

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A panel of successful women leaders, including prominent judges, corporate counsel, and private practitioners, will discuss the qualities that have helped to shape their careers. Panelists will offer practical tips and share instructive, real world examples so that participants will be able to enhance their client-service by improving their leadership skills, avoiding ethical pitfalls, and developing plans that can weather the changing legal and economic environment.


Moderator: Laurel G. Bellows, Principal, The Bellows Law Group, P.C.

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Break
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Video: "Prove the Stereotypes Wrong"

Keynote Speaker: Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sunoco, Inc.

1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session:
Navigating to Partnership, Rainmaking and Succession Planning

A panel of distinguished women partners and the general counsel of Harley-Davidson, Inc. will provide tips on how to achieve partnership at a law firm, how to make a successful transition from associate to partner, and how to provide better client service. This panel discussion will be packed with insights on what attributes law firms and clients look for in a partner. Topics will include: (1) thinking and working like an owner; (2) building your business development skills and strategies; and 3) how to ensure that you make the best use of your relationship with in-house counsel. The panel will also discuss various aspects of rainmaking, such as how best to address clients' needs, and succession planning, including how to make succession planning as seamless as possible for clients. The goals of this program will be to provide practical advice for associates looking to climb the ladder at their law firms.


Moderator: Charna E. Sherman, Partner, Squire Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P.

1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session:
Alternatives to Law Firm Practice

A panel of experts will discuss strategies for developing the necessary skills to excel in a non-law firm practice environment, including a discussion of practical tips and proven methods for finding a women-friendly employer and learning what it takes to succeed in a non-law firm practice setting. The goal of this program will be for attendees to enhance and gain practical skills to better serve clients, who are often their employers, whether those clients/employers are governmental entities, corporate or non-profit law departments, or educational institutions.


Moderator: Sara Lipscomb, General Counsel, U.S. Small Business Administration

3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Developing Your Personal Strategic Plan

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Advice from the Bench

Order the audio CD for this CLE program

A panel of prominent state and federal court judges will discuss the different communication styles of women and men and include, among other things, a discussion of how women lawyers are perceived in the judicial system. They will provide practical tips and best practices for effective oral argument, opening and closing, examination of witnesses, and communication with the court, opposing counsel, and the jury. The goal of this program will be for attendees to enhance their litigation, negotiation, and appellate advocacy skills.


Moderator: Associate Justice Fernande “Nan” Duffly, Massachusetts Appeals Court

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Reception – An Opportunity to Network with Judges & Corporate Counsel
Friday, April 30, 2010
7:30 a.m. Registration Opens
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Best Practices and Advice from General Counsel
A panel of general counsel and senior in-house counsel will discuss best practices and practical and specific tips on: (1) building rapport, maintaining client trust, and managing and meeting client expectations; and (2) understanding and complying with corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives and goals. This program will help you to better serve your clients and better understand and meet client objectives. In addition, the panel will discuss their companies’ diversity and inclusion policies and goals and how such policies affect their relationships with outside counsel.


Moderator: Catherine Lamboley, Retired Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Shell Oil Company

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Breakout Session: Restructuring Law Firms in a Down Market: Alternative Models & Work/Life Flexibility as Part of the Solution
At this session, we will explore converging factors that will affect the future structure of law firms. With the economy in crisis, layoffs being issued daily, work/life balance programs being threatened, technology changing the way we work, clients demanding more value for less, and Boomers and Millennials redefining workplace expectations, we will debate whether the billable hour model is still viable. We will discuss core competencies versus lockstep compensation and whether dispensing with the billable hour at certain levels or altogether is the answer or whether it can be modified. We will debate reduced hours as a means to save on costs, and we will share innovative firms’ practices, alternative fee structures, and new law firm models. We will analyze how to meet economic demands, law student desires, and lawyer and client needs within the context of the ever-changing demands of the market.


Moderator: Deborah Epstein Henry, Founder and President, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Breakout Session: Negotiation Skills for Lawyers
A panel of experts will discuss effective negotiation styles and include, among other things, a discussion of practical tips and best practices for effective negotiations, how personality and gender affect negotiation behavior, and techniques to better evaluate your negotiation style and performance. Advice will also include effective and ineffective negotiation habits and attitudes, attributes of successful negotiators, how to deal with common problems that arise in negotiations, and ethical issues lawyers face in negotiations. The goal of this program will be for attendees to enhance their negotiation skills in all aspects of the practice of law in order to gain skills to better serve their clients.


Moderator: Laurel G. Bellows, Principal, The Bellows Law Group, P.C.

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Break
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Video: "Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough"

Keynote Speaker: Mary E. Snapp, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation and Chair-Elect, Minority Corporate Counsel Association

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