Since its founding, Northeastern University School of Law has championed diversity in the legal profession. Today, more than half of our graduates are women, practicing in every conceivable setting — from private practice to public service, from the bench to business — as well as a host of non-legal fields. Our annual Women in the Law conference provides career guidance and professional development growth to women attorneys and other professionals at all stages of their careers, and brings together powerful decision makers from Boston and beyond. 

Save the Date

The 8th Annual Women in the Law Conference will be held at the law school on Friday, May 20th, 2016. 

Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Dana Fabe '76
Justice Dana Fabe has served three terms as Chief Justice, from 2000-03; 2006-09; and 2012-15, and is the second justice in the court’s history to serve three terms. She was appointed to the Alaska Supreme Court in 1996 and is the first woman to serve on the court and as Chief Justice. She clerked for Justice Edmond W. Burke of the Alaska Supreme Court in 1976-77; served as a staff attorney for the Alaska Public Defender Agency from 1977-81; and served as Chief Public Defender for Alaska from 1981-88 by appointment of the governor. In 1988, she was appointed to the superior court bench in Anchorage where she served as deputy presiding judge and training judge. She co-chairs the Alaska Fairness and Access Commission and is chair of its Fairness, Diversity, and Equality Committee. She serves as co-chair of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Judicial Ethics at the National Center for State Courts. She has served on the board of directors and twice as second vice-president of the Conference of Chief Justices. She is a past President of the National Association of Women Judges and founded Success Inside and Out, an NAWJ reentry program for women prisoners, as well as Mentor Jet, an NAWJ mentoring program for students on careers in law.  

Justice Fabe is the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts, the 2012 Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award from the National Association of Women Judges, and she was named a Woman of Achievement by the YWCA in 2002. She is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Sustaining elected member of the American Law Institute. She received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. She is married to Randall Simpson and they have a daughter.

With thanks to our 2016 Conference Sponsors


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Additional sponors to be announced. 
Learn about sponsorship opportunities here. 

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Visit our Conference Materials page

A curated list of articles on topics related to Women in the Law. 

2016 Conference Co-Chairs

Jocelyn Jones ’98, Deputy Chief & Special Counsel for Fair Labor Policy, Fair Labor Division, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General 
Mytrang Nguyen ’96, Program Counsel, Pro Bono Innovation Fund, Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
Maia Spilman ’96, The Law Office of Maia T. Spilman

2016 Conference Schedule

Friday, May 20, 2016

8:30 a.m.

Registration, Networking and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m.

Dean Jeremy Paul, Northeastern University School of Law
Jocelyn Jones ’98, Mytrang Nguyen ’96 and Maia Spilman ’96 (conference co-chairs)

9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Address
The Honorable Dana Fabe '76, Justice, Supreme Court of Alaska 

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Panel 1: Where Two Trails Converge: Navigating Social Media

Technology can be a powerful tool, moving mountains with mere keystrokes. The ubiquitous nature of social media, however, can quickly turn what is useful into treacherous territory, blurring the line between our public and private lives. In today’s world of things going “viral,” the increased use of Facebook and Twitter for marketing and the ease of capturing images with your smartphone, is anything truly private anymore? This panel will consider the dos and don’ts of social media in the digital age with tips for keeping you—and your practice—safely on the trail.

Speakers include: 

Sofia Lingos '09, Founder and Principal Attorney, Lingos Law 
Maia Spilman '96, Principal, Internet Law, Law Office of Maia T. Spilman 

 11:35 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.

Panel 2: Partnering Your Way to the Summit: Public/Private Partnerships

Working as a team can lighten the load, whether you’re climbing a mountain or tackling tough legal issues. Rather than “going-it-alone,” forward-thinking lawyers are reaching across boundaries to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of colleagues in government, business, non-governmental organizations and private practice. Come to learn about creative partnerships that are leveraging resources to achieve important changes in society and leave inspired to find new networks and collaborations to advance your work.

Speakers include: 

Navjeet Bal '89, Vice President and General Counsel, Social Finance, Inc. 

12:40 - 1:40 p.m. 

Social Media Photos

Location: Dockser Classrooms 

12:45 - 1:45 p.m.

Location: Dockser Commons

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions I

Breakout sessions are forthcoming. 

2:55 - 3:55 p.m.  

Breakout Sessions II 

All Aboard: Moving Mountains by Diversifying Boards 

Research shows that diverse governing boards (both corporate and non-profit) correlate directly to better company performance—yet significant hurdles still exist to increasing female and minority representation in both private and public boardrooms. In this session, we'll look at the data and discuss barriers and opportunities for corporate board service as well as how to better position yourself to be tapped for a board role. 

Moderator: Gina Perini, President and CEO, Somos, Inc. 

Book Talk: Arianna Huffington's Thrive and Redefining Success

Join us for a book club breakout -- a spirited discussion of Arianna Huffington's recent book, Thrive. Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Huffington took a bad fall in 2007 due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. Forced to reconsider her priorities, she rebounded by writing this book about redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom and wonder. Co-moderators will lead us in a thoughtful discussion of work/life balance in light of the media mogul's personal journey. 

Additional Breakout sessions are forthcoming. 

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of our Women in the Law Conference Steering group:

  • Navjeet Bal ’89
  • Kelly Bonnevie ’92
  • Professor Emerita Judy Brown
  • Vanessa Candela ’00
  • Kelly Douglas ’92
  • Sofia Lingos ’09
  • Christina Miller ’98
  • Kathy Morris ’75
  • Gina Perini ’01
  • Cynthia Stewart Reed ’80
  • Rachael Rollins ’97


Visit our conference materials page for a list of selected articles on topics related to Women in the Law.