2018 Conference Schedule

Friday, May 18, 2018

*All sessions take place in 240 Dockser unless otherwise noted

8:15 a.m.

Registration, networking and continental breakfast

8:45 a.m. 


Mielle Marquis, Director of External Relations, Northeastern University School of Law
Stacy Cowan ’97, Founder/CEO of SLC Advisory Services (conference co-chair)
Betty Francisco ’98, Founder, FitNation Ventures; Former General Counsel, Millennium Partners Sports Club Management (conference co-chair)
Dean Jeremy Paul, Northeastern University School of Law

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Victoria KennedyKeynote Address
Victoria Reggie “Vicki” Kennedy
Senior Counsel, Greenberg Traurig
Board President and Co-Founder, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

10:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Coffee and Networking with Vicki Kennedy

10:15 - 11:15 a.m. 

Panel 1
Closing the Gender Leadership Gap is Everyone’s Business: This is Our Time

For the first time, women make up a majority of students and graduates in colleges and in law schools in the United States. Yet, women fill only 18% of law firm partnership ranks, 20% of US Congressional seats and only 14% of Fortune 500 board positions. A large gender gap still exists, despite the compelling economic case for greater gender equality in business, politics and government. Now is the time to close the gap—and the good news is that more than ever women are positioned to take on significant leadership positions in companies, non-profits, government and even political offices. In this panel, we will explore the general imperative of advancing women leaders and the specifics of how you can position yourself to take the leap into a power role.

Moderator to be announced

Panelists include:
Monica Halas ’77-‘78, Employment Law Unit Lead Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services
Cynthia Mark ‘94
, Chief of Fair Labor Division, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
Commander Bowen Spievack ’01, Executive Officer, United States Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown

11:15 - 11:25 a.m.

Short, mid-morning break with coffee and new breakfast items

11:25 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Panel 2
With Equal Justice for All!

The last 18 months have seen a significant uptick in political action, with more ordinary citizens organizing to protest and make their voices heard. Now, we need to harness that energy to fight for the most vulnerable among us. Will you be a change agent? Come be inspired by our expert panelists as they touch on topics such as immigration, pay equity, economic and social justice, and best practices for advocacy.

Elyse Cherry ’83, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Community Capital

Sunu Chandy ’98, Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center
Megan Costello, Executive Director for Women’s Advancement, Mayor Martin J. Walsh
Lili Palacios-Baldwin ’98, Associate General Counsel for Labor and Employment, Tufts University
Urvashi Vaid ’83, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Vaid Group

12:25 - 12:55 p.m.

Special Presentation
Karen Holmes Ward, Director of Public Affairs and Host of "CityLine," WCVB Channel 5 Boston will conduct an interactive discussion with Andrea Campbell, Boston City Council President, District 4 City Councilor.

This January, Andrea Campbell, a Boston City Councilor representing primarily Dorchester and Mattapan, was unanimously elected City Council President by her colleagues. A lawyer by training, she is also the first African-American woman to serve in this role. What was Campbell’s path to leadership? How does she feel about being a change agent? What advice does she have for women interested in running for office? Learn all of this and more in a conversation between Campbell and Karen Holmes Ward, director of public affairs at WCVB Channel 5 in Boston and host of “CityLine.”

12:50 - 3:00 p.m.

Social Media Photos
Location: Moot Courtroom and 32 Dockser

Two professional photographers will take headshots for attendees who have signed up in advance. Use these photos for your LinkedIn profiles, business websites, and more!

12:55 - 1:55 p.m.

Lunch and networking
Location: Dockser Commons

1:55 - 2:55 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 1

These sessions will last for one hour. We advise attending only one breakout during this time. Attending multiple breakouts is allowed, but not encouraged. Pre-registration is required.

A. So You Want to Run for Office...
Location: 42 Dockser

The 2017 Women’s March on Washington was a rallying cry for political action to advance human rights, women’s rights, and immigration reform among other causes. One positive result is that more newcomers are choosing to step up and enter the political arena. But it’s a long way between “I think I’d like to run for office” and developing a well-thought-out, strategic ground game that fuels an effective campaign. Bridging the distance is manageable, however. Learn the how-tos (along with the dos and don’ts) of running for elected office from our panelists, who can offer tales from the trenches along with practical advice.

Gail Jackson-Blount, President, Jackson Communications; President, Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Board of Directors

Robin Kniech ’04, Denver City Council Member At-Large
Dr. Yvonne SpicerFirst Mayor of Framingham

B. Unmasking the Impostor
Location: 44 Dockser

In response to personal or professional success, what’s your reaction? It’s A. just luck, B. a matter of timing, C. a talent for fooling others, or D. none of the above? If you answered A, B, or C, chances are you’ve grappled with the impostor experience, the feeling that you don’t deserve the accolades you’ve earned. You’re not alone. Research estimates that 70 percent of high-achieving women have struggled with the impostor experience at least once in their careers. While it’s not necessarily bad, if left unchecked, it can stunt growth and stymie risk taking. This session will explore how you can reframe the experience and unmask the impostor.

Valerie Mosley, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Valmo Ventures; Treasurer, MassVentures Board of Directors
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Attorney; Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission on Status of Women

C. #MeToo: What's Next?

Sexual harassment has been making headlines this year as more and more individuals come forward to disclose their experiences. As women in the law, we understand that exposing sexual harassment is only the first step: policy change, advocacy, organizing, and litigation are all needed to create a culture shift. Last fall, the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) launched an effort to connect individuals seeking legal assistance with resources they need to combat sex discrimination. In January, NWLC partnered with Hollywood's TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund to help even more individuals, regardless of industry, rank, or role. This session will discuss how lawyers can use all our tools, including state and federal policy efforts, advocacy, organizing, and litigation to catalyze necessary changes to prevent and fight back against harassment in the workplace.

Sunu Chandy ’98, Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center
Sarah David Heydemann '16, Workplace Justice Legal Fellow, National Women's Law Center

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

Breakout Sessions 2

These sessions will last for one hour. We advise attending only one breakout during this time. If you are participating in Speed Mentoring or Career Coaching and wish to re-join another breakout after your time slot is complete, please feel free to do so. Pre-registration is required for all sessions.

A. Nourishing Your Legal Mind, Body, and Soul
Location: 42 Dockser

A car needs gas to run. Your personal and professional self is no different: practicing good self-care is a way to feed your body, mind and soul so you can fire on all pistons. This session will offer practical tips on changing and reframing your inner thoughts (So long, negative self-talk!) so you can reduce the impact of unhealthy stress on your body. Learn how doing this can calm your soul, enhance your brain power and help you practice law more effectively and efficiently.

Cheryl Conner, Principal, Cheryl Conner Meditation and Law
Yael Shy '07, Senior Director, New York University Global Spiritual Life; Meditation Teacher and Writer

B. The Renaissance of Idealism: How Firms and Legal Service Agencies Can Nurture a Pro Bono Culture Wherever You Are
Location: Moot Courtroom, 160 Dockser

A recent ABA study examined obstacles to lawyers at private firms undertaking more pro bono work. Notably, these include lack of time and lack of employer support. To overcome these obstacles and pave the way to helping more people, many firms are replacing ad hoc, informal efforts with structured, proactive programs managed by full-time, experienced public interest attorneys. This session will explore the distinct benefits of these programs, such as stronger training and professional development opportunities, improved employee morale, and enhanced firm reputation.

On the other side of the equation, the number of individuals in poverty who need legal help is growing and the need for volunteers to help them has never been greater. Pro bono work can be a wonderful way for new lawyers, transitioning lawyers, solo practitioners and retired lawyers to reinvigorate their legal skills while doing good at the same time.  Pro bono clearinghouse agencies screen clients for eligibility and provide training and mentoring to support lawyers  at any stage of their career who want to roll up their sleeves and help. Our breakout leaders will give tips about how you can plug in to the pro bono world.

Rosalyn Garbose Nasdor '93, Director of Pro Bono Legal Services, Ropes and Gray
Karen O'Malley '94, Director, Real Estate group, Goulston & Storrs
Cindy Palmquist, Legal Director, Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

C. Speed Mentoring and Urgent Career Coaching Care
Location: 46 Dockser

Speed Mentoring: Designed for young professionals
Just as it sounds! In 15-minute time blocks, make a contact for following up with at a later time and have a brief, direct conversation about your career path. We strongly encourage attendees to research their speed mentors of choice prior to the conference.

Speed mentors:
Nima Eshghi '96, Assistant Dean, Center for Co-op and Career Development, Northeastern University School of Law
Mary Kay Leonard '79, Independent Consultant and Former Director of Advisory Services, the Center for Effective Philanthropy
Cynthia Tow McPherson '05, Associate Director, Center for Co-op and Career Development, Northeastern University School of Law
P. Miyoko Sato '97, Member, Mintz Levin

Urgent Career Coaching Care: Designed for mid-range to experienced practitioners 

Triage for your career! Bring your burning career questions and meet with experts for a brief coaching session to help you navigate the next steps on your professional journey.

Career coaches:
Sunu Chandy ’98, Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center
Leslie DiTrani '94, Principal, DiTrani Law
Elaine Epstein '76, Partner, Todd and Weld
Kathy Morris '75, Founder, Under Advisement, Ltd.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Networking Reception
Location: Dockser Commons

Closing remarks by: Stacy Cowan ’97 and Betty Francisco ’98
Join us in celebrating the conclusion of the conference.