Once again, our Women in the Law Conference Rocked!

Nancy Prior '94, President of Fixed Income, Fidelity Investments delivered a fantastic keynote speech at the 7th annual Women in the Law conference on May 15, 2015. More than 125 people attended and enjoyed a full day of dynamic presentations and networking with faculty, presenters and alumni/ae.

We would like to extend a special thank you to all of our wonderful speakers and presenters, all of whom shared interesting materials and innovative thoughts with us throughout the day. Additionally, we would like to thank our wonderful Conference Co-chairs (Kathy Henry ’00 and Wendy Zazik ’94) and our Conference Steering Group, whose collective, year-long input and effort helped us bring the conference from conception to fruition: 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.

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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. 

Keynote Speaker: Nancy Prior '94, President of Fixed Income, Fidelity Investments
Nancy Prior ’94 is president of Fidelity’s Fixed Income Division, where she has strategic oversight of the Global Bond and Money Market groups. Combined, these groups manage more than $750 billion in assets on behalf of retail, intermediary and institutional clients across the globe. Ms. Prior previously held other roles at Fidelity, including president of Money Markets and Short Duration Bonds, managing director of Credit Research, and senior vice president and deputy counsel for Fixed Income. Before joining Fidelity, Ms. Prior was a business and finance associate at Mintz Levin and vice president and general counsel at Advantage Schools, Inc. 


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

*All sessions take place in 240 Dockser unless otherwise noted. 

2015 Conference Schedule

Friday, May 15, 2015

8:30 a.m.

Registration, Networking and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m.

Dean Jeremy Paul, Northeastern University School of Law
Kathy Henry ’00 and Wendy Zazik ’94 (Conference Chairs)

9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Address
Nancy Prior ’94, President, Fixed Income Division, Fidelity Investments

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Panel 1: Knowing Your Worth

Whether you're starting a new job or changing career paths, you want to make smart financial decisions. This panel will help you do that, covering practical topics such as what to consider when you negotiate a job offer, when to strategize for a raise or a new position, and the benefits and costs associated with a reduced schedule or taking extended time away from the workforce. Panelists will also offer tips on understanding your organization’s financial environment; knowing how your role adds value within that environment can help you negotiate more effectively.

Moderator: Kathy Henry ’00, Deputy General Counsel, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation 


  • Stacy Cowan ’97, Partner, Morgan, Brown & Joy
  • Geri Haight ’97, Director of Litigation and Intellectual Property, Panera 
  • Mytrang Nguyen '96, Program Counsel, Pro Bono Innovation, Legal Services Corporation 
  • Liza Tran ’00, Assistant Attorney General, Trial Division, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General 
 11:35 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.

Panel 2: Bridging the Gender Pay Gap in Law

The numbers don't lie: on average, across all occupations, women earn 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. How do these numbers stack up in the legal profession? This panel will enlighten you on current pay trends for women lawyers in different practice arenas. What should you do if you learn you’re paid less than a comparably qualified male peer? If you’re a manager or partner, how do you ensure that your organization’s practices are fair? Come to this panel and learn how to take steps toward closing the pay gap for yourself or other women in your organization.

Moderator: The Honorable Evelyn Murphy, President, The WAGE Project, Inc.; Former Lt. Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts 


12:40 - 1:40 p.m. 

Mini Massages

Complimentary 15-minute massages offered for participants who have signed up in advance. (Dockser classrooms)

12:45 - 1:45 p.m.

Location: Dockser Commons

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions I: Invest in Your Future: Whether Managing a Nonprofit or Changing Your Career Trajectory*

Taking risks and managing financial matters require asking the right questions and learning at every stage of your career. Join your colleagues in specific sessions as they share tips on financial matters and what questions to ask.

*Each breakout will last for one full hour (1:45 to 2:45 p.m.), so we advise attending one per session. Attending multiple breakouts is allowed, if necessary, but not suggested. Pre-registration for breakout sessions is not required. 

1. The ABCs of Investing

You’ve seen the ads on TV about investing, and there are countless magazines and books devoted to the topic. Are you interested in DIY investing? If so, this session will give you the know-how to start — and to know when you’re over your head.

  • Kristie Hall, CFA, CFP®, Vice President and Senior Account Executive, Fidelity Investments

2. Where There's a Will

Do you need a will? (The answer is yes.) How about establishing a trust? (Maybe.) Whatever age you are, a comprehensive up-to-date estate plan is essential for you and those you love. This session will walk you through the ins and outs of estate planning basics. 

3. Next Stop … Change

Are you moving from a firm or corporate setting to a nonprofit? Or, are you transitioning or opting to go part time due to a life milestone? If you are — or if you’re thinking about making the leap — you won’t want to miss this session. Colleagues who have made the switch will share financial lessons learned and the value of planning ahead.  

  • Stacy Cowan ’97, Partner, Morgan, Brown & Joy
  • Betty Francisco ’98, Founder, FitNation Ventures; Former General Counsel, Millennium Partners Sports Club Management 

4. Project YOU

Think of your life as its own organization with unique financial needs and challenges. Now think about assembling your own advisory board to help you strategize for that organization. Come to this session to understand why it is important to your success to have your own advisory dream team, how to set one up and how to utilize it. 

  • Kimberly Dougherty ’03, Managing Attorney, Janet, Jenner & Suggs
  • Raquel Webster ’03, Senior Counsel, National Grid

5. Fundraising for your Nonprofit

Your organization is doing great work: now how can you get people to support it with their philanthropic dollars? Come to this session to learn strategies from a seasoned pro who has been there, done that.

  • Kerry-Ann Powell '02, Philanthropy and Fundraising Expert for Nonprofits; Founder/CEO, The Harvest Group
2:55 - 3:55 p.m.  

Breakout Sessions II: Professional Development/Speed Mentoring*

*Each breakout will last for one full hour (2:55 to 3:55 p.m.), so we advise attending one per session. Attending multiple breakouts is allowed, if necessary, but not suggested. Pre-registration for breakout sessions (except Speed Mentoring) is not required. 

1. Let's Talk Retirement

It’s so far away ... it’s too early to plan. Or, maybe it’s within sight, and you feel like it’s too late. Wherever you are on life’s path, TODAY is a good day to begin the conversation about retirement. This session will lead the way with thoughtful insights and sound guidance.

  • Polly Sheedy, CFP®, Vice President, Regional Planning Consultant, Fidelity Investments 

2. Balance Sheet Basics

Did you miss Accounting 101 in college? No problem: come to this session for a primer on organizational balance sheets. You'll learn how to read them and how to use that information strategically in your work.

  • Peni Saccoh '02, Senior Manager, International Tax Services, Ernst & Young 

3. How to Ask for a Raise

You’re worth more money; you know you are. But you’re not quite sure how to ask for that raise. What’s the best strategy? Come to this session for some practice role playing that will help prepare you for potentially high-stakes conversation.

  • Kathy Morris '75, Founder, Under Advisement; Former Chief Training & Professional Development Officer, Sidley Austin
  • Judith Slovin, Former Director of Professional Development, Highfields Capital Management 

4. Taking Control of Debt

Student loans getting you down? Credit card balances creeping up? Maybe your mortgage is higher than you’d like, or you’re afraid you’ll never get a mortgage. This session will help you get a handle on managing debt rather than have it managing you.

5. Speed Mentoring*

Just like it sounds — In 15-minute blocks of time, experienced mentors will evaluate next steps, advise on fearless career decisions and more.

Speed Mentors include: 

*We suggest rejoining a breakout session of your choice after completing your speed mentoring time block(s). 

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

Reception generously sponsored by:
Janet, Jenner and Suggs

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. 

With thanks to our 2015 Conference Sponsors:

SMS | 800

Lingos Law, LLC

Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP