2018 Conference Schedule

Friday, May 18, 2018

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

8:15 a.m.

Registration, networking and continental breakfast

8:45 a.m. 


Mielle Marquis | @MielleMarquis
Director of External Relations, Northeastern University School of Law

Stacy Cowan '97
Founder/CEO, SLC Advisory Services (conference co-chair)

Betty Francisco '98@BettyFrancisco
General Counsel, Compass Working Capital; Co-Founder, Latina Circle; CEO of FitNation Ventures (conference co-chair)

Jeremy Paul
| @LawDeanPaul
Dean, Northeastern University School of Law | 

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

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

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.

Jaclyn Kugell '92
Managing Partner, Morgan, Brown & Joy | @MorganBrownJoy

Monica Halas '77
Employment Law Unit Part-time Consultant, Greater Boston Legal Services | @BostonLegalAid
Cynthia Mark
Chief of Fair Labor Division, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey | @MassAGO
Karen Morton '80
Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel - Corporate Litigation, Liberty Mutual Insurance | @LibertyMutual
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 | @BoCoCapital

Sunu Chandy '98@SunuChandy
Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center | @NWLC
Brenna Callahan@brencall
Policy and Communications Manager, Mayor Martin J. Walsh's Office of Women's Advancement | @BostonWomen
Lili Palacios-Baldwin '98
Associate General Counsel for Labor and Employment, Tufts University | @TuftsUniversity
Urvashi Vaid '83@UrvashiVaid
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Vaid Group | @TheVaidGroup

12:25 - 12:55 p.m.

Special Presentation

Karen Holmes Ward@KarenHolmesWard
Director of Public Affairs and Host of "CityLine" WCVB Channel 5 Boston | @CityLine5

Andrea Campbell@CampbellforD4
Boston City Council President, District 4 City Councilor | @BOSCityCouncil

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.”

12:55 - 1:55 p.m.

Lunch and Networking
Location: Dockser Commons

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Social Media Photos
Location: 30-32 Dockser Hall

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!

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 Hall

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 | @MWPC

Robin Kniech '04@KniechAtLarge
Denver City Council Member At-Large
Yvonne Spicer | @Mayor_Spicer
First Mayor of Framingham | @Framingham_MA


B. Unmasking the Impostor
Location: Moot Courtroom, 160 Dockser Hall

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@goforgreatness
Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Valmo Ventures; Treasurer, MassVentures Board of Directors 
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud@TahirahCongress
Attorney at Law; Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women; Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

C. #MeToo: What's Next?
Location: 44 Dockser Hall

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@SunuChandy
Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center | @NWLC 
Sarah David Heydemann '16
Workplace Justice Legal Fellow, National Women's Law Center @NWLC 

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: Moot Courtroom, 160 Dockser Hall

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

B. The Renaissance of Idealism: How Firms and Legal Service Agencies Can Nurture a Pro Bono Culture Wherever You Are
Location: 42 Dockser Hall

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 | @RopesGray
Karen O'Malley '94
Director, Real Estate Group and Co-Chair, Pro Bono Committee, Goulston & Storrs | @GoulstonStorrs
Cindy Palmquist
Legal Director, Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association | @VLP_Boston

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

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:
Kelly Douglas '92
Assistant General Counsel/Employment, Ropes and Gray | @RopesGray
Renay Frankel '06
Associate Director for Public Interest, Center for Co-op and Career Development, Northeastern University School of Law
Mary Kay Leonard '79
Independent Consultant and Board member for nonprofit organizations; former "tri-sector" Executive
Cynthia Tow McPherson '05
Associate Director, Center for Co-op and Career Development, Northeastern University School of Law

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:
Leslie DiTrani '94
Principal, DiTrani Law | @DiTraniLaw
Elaine Epstein '76
Partner, Todd and Weld | @ToddWeldLLP
Kathy Morris '75
Founder, Under Advisement, Ltd. | @LawyerCounselor
Sharon Scott-Chandler '93
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Action for Boston Community Development | @BostonABCD

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.