2019 Conference



Ms. JD Presents its Eleventh Annual Conference on Women in the Law:

"Speak Up"

March 14 - 15, 2019, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School


Ms. JD's 11th Annual Conference on Women in Law: "Speak Up" will be held on March 15, 2019, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. March 15th will be a full day conference featuring numerous panels, discussions, a keynote lunch, break out sessions, and a closing reception. 

The Conference will kick off on March 14, 2019, with the Ms. JD Honors reception, where we will honor the recipients of the Ms. JD Honors awards. The full list of this year's honorees is available HEREThe Ms. JD Honor Awards Ceremony will take place from 5:30-7: 30 pm at Marathon Grill, 1818 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. 

***This program has been approved for 8.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $320.00 ($160.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.***

Get Your Tickets HERE!


Our Ms. JD Honors Reception keynote speaker will be Judge Wendy Beetlestone! Judge Beetlestone is a Judge in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  She was nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama on June 16, 2014, was confirmed by unanimous voice vote by the United States Senate on November 20, 2014, and received her judicial commission on November 21, 2014. 

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Beetlestone was a shareholder at the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller where she was a trial lawyer with a concentration in complex commercial litigation  She also enjoyed a practice advising and litigating on behalf of K-12, tertiary, public and private sector education clients. Prior to joining Hangley, Judge Beetlestone was the General Counsel of the School District of Philadelphia in which capacity she provided legal advice and representation to the School District and to its governing body, the School Reform Commission. Before that she was a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.  Upon graduating from law school she served as a law clerk for the late Judge Robert Gawthrop, III (U.S.D.C. E.D.Pa.).


Find Out More About Our Other Conference Speakers HERE!


Ms. JD "Speak Up" Conference Agenda 

7:30 - 8:05 a.m. Breakfast & Ms. JD Welcome: Join us for a networking breakfast to connect with other annual conference attendees, including law students, outside and in-house counsel, and attorneys from government, military, non-profits, and academia.

8:00 - 8:05 a.m.  Ms. JD and Penn Law Welcome Remarks: A warm welcome from Ms. JD’s Chief Executive Officer, Danielle Allison, and Penn Law Women’s Association

8:05 - 9:05 a.m. Speak Up: Finding your voice and using it: An engaging workshop on taking charge of your career and advocating for yourself with confidence. This session will help you build communication skills that are effective in promoting healthy relationships with clients and colleagues.


Gail J. Cummings, Executive Coach, Founder, Gail J. Cummings Consulting, LLC



9:05 - 9:23 a.m. Ms. JD Lightning Talk: Gender Smart Networking: 5 tips for women to be more strategic and successful: Statistics show that women are less successful than men in their networking efforts. Post "me too" networking in a co-ed environment has become even more challenging. In this short chat, Jennifer will discuss 5 ways women can be more strategic with their networking efforts.


Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Purposeful Networking


9:30 - 10:40 a.m.  Breakout Session #1: 

     Law Firm Life: How to make the most of your billable hour as an advocate for your clients and yourself: A frank discussion about how to effectively promote your reputation and create opportunities for yourself in your career. This panel will explore ways to demonstrate your legal skills as an associate and communicate the positive results you achieve to the audiences that matter.

  • Maura L. Burke, Partner, Fox Rothschild
  • Lissette Duran, Associate, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Joie Hand, Associate, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Rachel Lewis, Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

     The Alternative Career Roadmap: Use your degree in a field that fuels your passion: A practical conversation about making a career leap from a traditional law practice to an alternative legal career. The panelists will discuss their experiences and how they have used their legal skills to create a fulfilling career in other sectors.

  • Cheryl Solomon, Founder, Row House Yarn
  • Kerriann Stout, Owner, Vinco
  • Monsurat Adebanjo, Director, Business & Legal Affairs, Brown Girl For The Arts Media

     The Public Interest Path: Advocating for yourself while working for the common good: An open discussion about how to use your voice to advance your social justice career. The panelists will provide insight into the public interest career path and address the obstacles faced by women in the public interest field at community and national levels.

  • Michaele N. Turnage Young, Senior Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Joanna Visser Adjoian, Co-Director, Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP)
  • Jennifer Gentile Long, Chief Executive Officer, AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women 

10:50 - 11:50 a.m. Making the Invisible Visible: Three Elements for Personal Branding for Accelerating your Professional Success: A constructive workshop on how to gain visibility and maximize the impact of your personal brand. This interactive session will walk you through the process of building and maintaining your brand.


Clarissa Sparks, Founder & Brand Straegist, The She Sparks Agency 


11:50 - 11:55 a.m. Ms. JD Inspiration Break 

  • Carrie Cohen, Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP

12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Lunchtime Fireside Chat: A candid conversation between women in-house and outside counsel. Roberta Liebenberg will facilitate discourse on the panelists’ unique paths to becoming the top lawyers in their organizations, their personal and professional experiences of gender bias, and their recommendations for what we can do to improve the status of women in the legal profession.

  • E. J. Borrack, General Counsel, The Stilwell Group
  • Jannie Lau, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Interdigital Inc.
  • Lisa Matson, Partner and General Counsel, Penn Capital Management 
  • Roberta Liebenberg, Senior Partner, Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.


1:15 - 1:20 p.m. Ms. JD Inspiration Break

  • Etherial Edetan, Ms. JD Board of Directors, Senior Tax Attorney, ExxonMobil

1:30 - 2:40 p.m. Breakout Session #2: 

     Express Mentoring - Tech: An hour of advice and inspiration from women working in tech: An honest discussion about the current barriers facing women in the legal technology industry. This panel will explore the experiences of women in legal technology and what the legal technology sector can do to encourage and enable greater gender diversity. 

  • Linda X. Shi, Associate Counsel, Digital/Technology, Vanguard
  • Cynthia Dahl, Director, Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Odia Kagan, Partner, Chair of GDPR Compliance and International Privacy, Fox Rothschild
  • Yvette Valdez, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Jess Penkoff, Pro Bono & Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Pro Bono Net

     Express Mentoring- In-House Counsel: An hour of advice and inspiration from women in-house counsel: An empowering discussion on finding success at all levels in a company’s legal department. Panelists will share their experiences and insight on what can be done to increase diversity on in-house legal teams.

  • Elizabeth J. Kim, Associate General Counsel, Sallie Mae
  • Jaliya Faulkner, Senior Counsel, Vanguard
  • Rachel Branson, Corporate Counsel, Senior, FIS Legal
  • Ingrid Busson-Hall, Senior Director, Head of Financial Regulation, PayPal

     Express Mentoring - Military: An hour of advice and inspiration from women with legal careers in the military: An encouraging conversation about how to best position yourself for a legal career in the military and for continuing advancement. The panelists will speak about the unique challenges faced by women military lawyers and their paths to overcoming those obstacles.

  • Emma Robertson, Navy JAG
  • Maj Sarah Edmundson, Air Force JAG
  • Lieutenant Colonel LaJohnne Morris, Army JAG

2:50 - 4:00 p.m. The Art of the Ask: Negotiating for Career Success: A strategic coaching session on how best to strengthen and leverage your negotiating position. This workshop will provide you with the skills to develop master effective self-advocacy and claim your voice around the negotiation tables.


Anne Weisberg, Women's Initiative Director at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP




4:00 - 4:20 p.m. Ms. JD Lightning Talk: Mastering the Game: Strategies for Career Success: A fast-paced chat on navigating the unwritten “rules of the game” and using those rules to your advantage. Attendees will leave this session with strategies to rise to and thrive within the highest levels of a law firm, corporation, tech company, or not-for-profit organization.


Sharon E. Jones, CEO, Jones Diversity, Inc.



4:20 - 5:30 p.m. Male Allies Panel: An honest exchange about what men can and should do to make our profession more inclusive (Sponsored by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP): An informative discussion with male allies on their efforts to advance women lawyers. This session will provide a fresh perspective on the role men can play in women’s advancement and what we can do together to promote gender equity in the legal profession.

  • Senet S. Bischoff, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Gary Deutsch, Managing Chief Counsel, Consumer Finance Litigation, PNC Bank
  • Colonel Warren Wells, Chief of Plans for the United States Army Office of The Judge Advocate General
  • Najee Thornton, Associate, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP


5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Closing Reception (Sponsored by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP): Before you depart for the day, enjoy wine and dessert while networking with other annual conference attendees, Ms. JD Board Members, speakers, and leading women lawyers.


***Ms. JD is recommending the Sheraton Philadelphia University City for conference guests. Ms. J.D. has a room block in effect for March 14-15, 2019. In order to reserve rooms, please use THIS LINK. (Please note that rooms fill quickly and Ms. J.D. cannot guarantee a room or rate).*** 



Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:


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Bronze Sponsors:

U.S. Navy JAG

Panel Sponsor: 

Closing Reception Sponsor: 

Additional Sponsor:

Community Sponsors: 


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National Bar Association Women Lawyers Association

National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter

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