Women in the Law 2021 will be held virtually on Friday, May 21, 2021. Our theme this year is All In: Reimagining Inclusive Workplaces. Program highlights include:

Program highlights include:

  • A conversation with Michele Coleman Mayes, vice president, general counsel and secretary of the New York Public Library, and the Honorable Victoria Roberts ’76;
  • A special presentation by Shirley Leung, columnist and associate editor at The Boston Globe;
  • A mindfulness exercise by Brenda Fingold;
  • Three timely and topical panels: Strategies for Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the Legal Workplace; Rewriting the Code: Women, Law and Technology; and "Democracy is not a state. It is an act..." (John Lewis).
  • Three breakout sessions to choose from: Dive Deeper into the "isms"; Out of Time and Out of Mind: Strategies to Make the Most of Every Day; So You Want to Be a General Counsel.
  • And much more... Check out the conference schedule!


An intimate interview with Nina Totenberg, NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent
The conversation with Totenberg will include her close friendship with RBG, her role as a trailblazer in journalism and much more.


Spotify >> Check out our #WIL2021 Spotify Playlist

2021 Speaker Biographies

michele-coleman-mayesMichele Coleman Mayes
Michele Coleman Mayes is vice president, general counsel and secretary for the New York Public Library (2012 – present). She previously held the position of general counsel for Allstate Insurance Company (2007-2012) and Pitney Bowes Inc. (2003-2007). Ms. Mayes served on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration from 2013-2014. She was chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession of the American Bar Association from 2014-2017. In 2015, she became a fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel. In August 2016, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO).  She is a sought after speaker on the topic of diversity and inclusion.  She is co-author of the book Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500. 

Shirley Leung
Shirley LeungShirley Leung is a columnist and associate editor at The Boston Globe. She has written on everything from the intersection of business and politics to gender and diversity issues in the workplace. She has been a three-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Commentary. In 2018, Boston Magazine named her to its list of the “100 Most Influential People in Boston.” Shirley is also a contributor to WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio” and “Greater Boston,” as well as a regular guest on New England Cable News. Previously, Shirley served as The Globe's interim editorial page editor. She also has been The Globe’s business editor, where she oversaw its award-winning coverage of the 2008 financial crisis. Prior to The Globe, Shirley was a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Princeton University, she started her career at her hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun.

Nina Totenberg 
Nina TotenbergNina Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR’s critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition. Her coverage of the US Supreme Court and legal affairs has won her widespread recognition. She is often featured in documentaries — most recently RBG — that deal with issues before the court. As Newsweek put it, “The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the creme de la creme is Nina Totenberg.”

Totenberg has been honored seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting and has received more than two dozen honorary degrees. On a lighter note, Esquire magazine twice named her one of the “Women We Love.” A frequent contributor on TV shows, she has also written for major newspapers and periodicals — among them, The New York Times MagazineThe Harvard Law ReviewThe Christian Science Monitor and New York Magazine, and others.

About the Conference

This conference provides career guidance and professional development growth to women attorneys and other professionals at all stages of their careers and brings together powerful decisionmakers from Massachusetts, Alaska, Canada, California, Illinois, New York, Washington, DC, and beyond.

We emphasize practical, useful information to take away from the full day's programming to further develop your career.

  • Top-notch panels, breakout sessions and speed mentoring with high level practitioners.
  • Learn how to position yourself to take the leap into a power role and be inspired by our expert panelists as they touch on topics such as civil rights, pay equity, economic and social justice, and best practices for advocacy.
  • Network, network, network – whether you want to advance where you are or move to a new opportunity, this is a great space to network for that next step. 


To participate in Twitter conversations around the Women in the Law Conference, please add the hashtag #WIL2021 to your tweets.

Follow us on Twitter @NUSL.

Visit our Conference Materials page
A curated list of articles on topics related to Women in the Law. 


Join the NUSource Network

Get a jumpstart on conference networking by joining the Women in Law group on NUsource!
NUsource is Northeastern University's newest platform for alumni to connect with one another and we've created a special group just for law alumnae. Click here to create a profile and search for the "Women in Law" group in the Groups tab to start building your network before the conference. 

>> Learn more about NUSource
>> Create an NUSource profile
Questions about NUsource? Email nusource@northeastern.edu

2021 CONFERENCE CHAIR: Amy Carlin ’00 

Amy CarlinAmy Carlin ’00
Amy Carlin is a trusted employment advisor to business owners, C-level executives, entrepreneurs, human resources professionals and company managers. As an experienced lawyer, she plays an important role as a daily resource on legal topics relating to all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. Amy is a proactive counselor, adeptly guiding clients through employment issues that affect businesses of all shapes and sizes. Her advice is applicable across all industries, but her clients tend to come from the retail, restaurant and food services, wellness and fitness, and technology industries. She applies a distinctive human touch to her legal advice, helping clients handle any scenario, including how to deliver difficult conversations.

One of Amy's strengths is working with managers and owners to develop the best possible working environments for their employees. This approach naturally results in full legal compliance for her clients and their businesses. Amy's preventative approach extends to employee training. She crafts and delivers training programs on many topics, including the prevention of sexual harassment and discrimination, appropriate leadership practices for managers and a range of other mission-critical employment topics.

In addition to providing her clients with her first-hand legal knowledge, Amy is often invited by external organizations to share insights in educational seminars focusing on employment law topics relevant to local businesses and their owners/managers. In addition to her daily counsel, Amy is an experienced litigator, defending clients in discrimination and retaliation claims, wage and hour act issues, common law employment torts as well as in other state and federal statutory actions. She represents clients before state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. Amy also provides thoughtful risk assessment and benefit analysis for clients choosing to resolve employment matters using mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods. She has a proven track record of achieving positive results for clients who prioritize settlement over litigation.

Amy is often selected by clients for her personal touch and real-life experience. Prior to practicing law, she was employed by Legal Sea Foods, handling a number of different roles interfacing with the company's expansive workforce. Among her many responsibilities, Amy served as the company's corporate training specialist where she oversaw employee training experiences. Following law school, Amy served as a law clerk to the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court, and then was associated with two small Boston firms, where her practice included employment law as well as other civil and criminal litigation. 

Donate Now!

To support NUSL's Women in the Law program, please select the Jim and Judy Brown Fund.

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
Kathy Henry ’00
Sofia Lingos ’09
Christina Miller ’98
 Karen O’Malley ’94
Gina Perini ’01
Mala Rafik ’97 
Cynthia Reed '80
Rachael Rollins '97

Advisory Board

With Thanks to Our 2020-2021 Women in the Law Conference Sponsors:

WIL 2020 Sponsors


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. 

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