Conference Speakers

Monsurat Adebanjo

Monsurat Adebanjo

Monsurat Adebanjo’s personal and professional life has been dedicated to the promotion and protection of the arts, advocating for diversity and empowering underrepresented people. Monsurat is a practicing attorney and the founder of Brown Girl For The Arts Media; The Urban Culturist, a tech startup; and Brown Girl Artists. Brown Girl For The Arts Media is committed to broadening the sluggishly changing narrative of the Diaspora through representation in the media. The Urban Culturist utilizes its digital space to promote diversity, access and exposure within the art world and share new and diverse opportunities to appreciate art and culture.  Brown Girl Artists, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering girls of color to envision their futures as artists, professionals and world changers by connecting them with positive, relatable and accomplished role models of color.

Joanna Visser Adjoian

Joanna Visser Adjoian

Joanna Visser Adjoian, Esq. is co-founder and Co-Director of the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project. Prior to co-founding YSRP, Joanna served as Associate Director and Staff Attorney of the Toll Public Interest Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she oversaw the Center’s 26 student pro bono projects, offered guidance to more than 100 student leaders, and directly supervised students in new and existing pro bono initiatives. Before joining the Toll Center, Joanna clerked for Judge Joel Schneider in the United States District Court of the District of New Jersey, and completed a Penn Law Postgraduate Fellowship at Juvenile Law Center, where she advanced efforts to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without parole, including co-authoring an Amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Miller v. Alabama. 

Joanna is a 2014 Echoing Green Fellow, a 2016 Claneil Emerging Leader Fellow, a 2016 recipient of the Penn Law Young Alumni Award, a 2017 recipient of the Penn Law Alan Lerner Rising Star Award, a NITA presenter, and has appeared on local radio and television news programs. Joanna is a member of The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s American Inns of Court. She serves as co-chair of the Legal Rights of Children Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Public Interest Section, is a member of the Toll Public Interest Center Advisory Board, and sits on the steering committee of the Pennsylvania Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. Before law school, Joanna worked as a paralegal in the Family Law Unit of Philadelphia Legal Assistance and taught English in Ecuador. Joanna received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Senet S. Bischoff

Senet S. Bischoff

Senet S. Bischoff is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Mr. Bischoff is a member of the Corporate Department and his practice focuses on corporate finance and general securities and corporate matters. 

Mr. Bischoff has experience at a broad range of financing transactions, including: High yield bond offerings; Leveraged buy-outs; Recapitalizations; Initial public offerings; Distressed debt exchanges; Block trades; and Tax-free debt exchanges. 

Mr. Bischoff currently serves on the firm’s Ethics Committee, Finance Committee, Women Enriching Business Committee, and Opinions and Confirmations Committee. He previously served on the firm’s Training and Career Enhancement Committee and Associates Committee, and is a former Co-Chair of its Corporate Department in New York.

Mr. Bischoff has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading capital markets attorney from 2014 – 2018 and The Legal 500 US from 2010 – 2018. He was included in the 2011 – 2014 editions of New York Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the area of Corporate Finance and Securities.

Mr. Bischoff represents underwriters, placement agents, initial purchasers, issuers, and other parties in public and private, secured and unsecured, investment grade, high yield, and convertible debt and equity offerings of all kinds in a broad array of industries. He also represents public and private companies in connection with corporate governance, securities law, and financing matters.

Mr. Bischoff also advises investment banks, companies, private equity sponsors, and investors in all manner of other engagements, including SEC, FINRA, NASDAQ, and NYSE filings and compliance; tender offers and consent solicitations; the purchase or sale of distressed debt, restructurings (including exchange offers), and bridge lending, and loan commitments. 

E. J. Borrack

E. J. Borrack

E. J. Borrack graduated in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and she has a B.A. (cum laude) in English also from the University of Pennsylvania.  She then clerked for Judge J. Sydney Hoffman, Superior Court of Pennsylvania and subsequently worked as a litigation associate at Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia, and at a small litigation boutique firm in New York.  After a short stint working on documentaries about criminal trials at what was then CourtTV, she “retired” to be home with her son until he started kindergarten.  After beginning a job at a hedge fund in 2003, E. J. reinvented her career to focus on investment management and hedge fund compliance. Since then, she has been the Chief Compliance Officer of two registered investment advisers.  She was also the General Counsel of Wealthfront, a “robo-adviser” during the company’s start-up phase.  In what has been a happy merger of her litigation background and investment management experience, E. J. has been the General Counsel, since 2013, of The Stilwell Group, a family of private investment partnerships that focus on activist investing in financially-related small-cap companies.  In her free time, E. J. runs the Advisory Committee to the board of the Dessoff Choirs, one of the leading choruses in New York City.  In addition to other activities supporting the performing arts in NYC, E. J. is a member of the Penn Law Alumni Society and the Dean’s Council for Penn Law Women.

Rachel E. Branson

Rachel E. Branson

Rachel E. Branson is Senior Corporate Counsel at FIS, where she negotiates software and technology agreements for the company’s Wealth and Retirement business unit.  FIS is a global leader in financial services technology (FinTech) and services more than 20,000 clients in over 130 countries with over 53,000 employees worldwide. 

Before joining FIS (then, SunGard Data Systems), Rachel was an associate in the Philadelphia office of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, where she worked in the Corporate and Finance and Intellectual Property Practice Groups.  At Schnader, she handled a variety of client issues from software licensing to general corporate matters.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Rachel worked for Accenture LLP as an information technology consultant where she designed, tested, and developed software and business applications.

Since 2011, Rachel has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Turning Points for Children (TP4C), a social service organization that works to strengthen Philadelphia families.  As Chair of TP4C’s Development Committee, she also sits on the Executive Committee.  Rachel also serves on the on the Board of Directors of The Ivy Legacy Foundation and was on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Lincoln University.  In service to the bar and the community, for the last four years she volunteered as a Child Advocate through the Support Center for Child Advocates.  In 2010, she was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to serve as a Commissioner on the Policy Advisory Commission and served on the commission for two years. 

She is a past president of the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, an affiliate of the National Bar Association, and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Rachel has received many awards and recognitions including: Super Lawyers Magazine, “Pennsylvania Rising Star”; The Philadelphia Tribune, “Philadelphia’s Most Influential African American Leaders”; and The Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania “Lawyer on the Fast Track”.

Rachel is a graduate of Villanova Law School.  After earning her Bachelor of Science in Physics, with minors in Mathematics and Japanese from Lincoln University, Rachel taught English at Namegawa Senior High School in Saitama, Japan

Maura L. Burke

Maura L. Burke

Maura L. Burke is a Partner in Fox Rothschild’s Philadelphia and Wilmington offices. Maura’s practice includes all aspects of commercial and business-related litigation, with a particular emphasis on bankruptcy litigation. She has significant experience representing bankruptcy trustees, as well as prosecuting and defending various bankruptcy causes of action. Maura also handles a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including contractual and business disputes, legal malpractice, corporate governance, and directors’ and officers’ liability matters. She is a contributor to the firm's Bankruptcy Litigation Briefing blog, which focuses on trends, developments and analyses of high-stakes litigation that is often triggered by major bankruptcy filings. Maura earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law, and her B.A. from George Washington University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Ingrid Busson-Hall

Ingrid Busson-Hall

Ingrid Busson-Hall is Associate General Counsel, Head of Global Financial Crimes Advisory and Workplace Investigations at PayPal.  She is a recognized expert in financial services regulation, with deep expertise in investment banking, consumer finance, blockchain technology, and payment processing.  At PayPal Ms. Busson-Hall leads internal and government investigations and advises senior management as well as PayPal’s global businesses on U.S. and international regulations related to anti-money laundering, sanctions, anti-bribery, cybersecurity and fraud.  She regularly advises on regulatory due diligence and integration planning related to strategic transactions.  Prior to joining PayPal, Ms. Busson-Hall held similar positions at Morgan Stanley and Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank.  She began her career as an Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, and Meagher & Flom LLP in New York and Washington, DC.

Ms. Busson-Hall earned her J.D., cum laude, and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law, magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School.  She graduated summa cum laude from Clark University with high honors in Government and Geography.  Ms. Busson-Hall is a Trustee of Clark University.

Ms. Busson-Hall is a member of the bars of the State of New York and the District of Columbia.

Carrie H. Cohen

Carrie H. Cohen

Carrie H. Cohen is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Investigations + White Collar Defense Group in New York, where she co-chairs its Workplace Misconduct Task Force and routinely advises and represents corporations, boards, and c-suite executives in sensitive investigative and regulatory matters and bet the company criminal and civil cases.

A former federal and state prosecutor, Carrie investigated and tried public corruption, investment fraud, and securities cases while serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  She also served as Chief of the Public Integrity Unit in the Criminal Division in the New York State Attorney General’s Office and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau, where she received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Memorial Award.  She currently serves on the New York State Bar Association’s Wrongful Convictions Task Force and the New York County Lawyers Association’s Plea Bargaining Task Force as well as being a trustee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Federal-State Judicial Advisory Council.

Carrie has long been a leader in advancing women in the legal profession both in the United States and globally.  She co-chairs Morrison & Foerster’s Women’s Strategy Committee, a group that works closely with firm leaders to ensure the advancement of women remains a strategic priority, and serves as a member of the New York City Bar’s Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, where she spearheads a professional development program for women attorneys in Latin America and South Africa.  Carrie also co-authored the recent and acclaimed New York State Bar Association report adopted by the American Bar Association “If Not Now, When?: Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR.”

Carrie earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she is currently an adjunct professor, and her B.A. from Cornell University.

Gail J. Cummings

Gail J. Cummings

Gail J. Cummings is a business lawyer, psychotherapist, and leadership coach dedicated to helping lawyers find their voice, strategize about business development and career advancement, and take charge of personal and professional opportunities. Gail is known for helping lawyers build and maintain their business, obtain promotions and increased compensation packages, change jobs, negotiate effectively, navigate adversity, think critically on annual self-assessments to accurately reflect accomplishments, and develop a host of other professional skills.

As a speaker, Gail inspires her audiences to step out of their comfort zone and take action. Whether working one-on-one or speaking to hundreds, clients and audiences appreciate Gail’s warmth and relatability.

Gail specialized in business law, focusing on nonprofit corporations and tax-exempt organizations; federal, state and local tax matters; and charitable giving. She spent 12 years practicing in the Philadelphia office of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP where she served on the firm's Hiring Committee and co-chaired the Pro Bono Committee. Before that, Gail was an associate at Baker Hostetler LLP in Washington, D.C.  She is a former Chair of the Program Committee of the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Gail received her J.D., with honors, from the George Washington University Law School, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology. She also received an M.S.S. from the Bryn Mawr College, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and is a Pennsylvania Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Gail is a Founders Circle Member of Women Owned Law, a ground-breaking group created to connect and advance women legal entrepreneurs in the law. She is also a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, for which she is a speaker, and serves on its Women in the Profession Committee.

A native New Yorker living in Philadelphia, Gail enjoys weekends in NYC, walks with her granddog, and working on crossword puzzles.

You can connect with Gail on LinkedIn, via Twitter or Instagram @gailjcummings, and on her website at www.gailcummings.com

Cynthia Laury Dahl

Cynthia Laury Dahl

Cynthia Dahl is the Director of the Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, a “teaching law firm” at Penn Law giving students the chance to help clients set and implement IP strategy. She specializes in the business applications of intellectual property and technology, and writes and speaks extensively around the country about teaching in this area.  Before joining Penn Law, Cynthia was Senior IP Counsel for TruePosition, Inc. a Liberty Media-owned international wireless location company.  While at TruePosition, she grew the company’s extensive patent portfolio and developed the IP portfolio of three related start-up ventures, drafted all manner of intellectual property agreements, and managed litigation and advocated in front of international standards bodies. Prior to working at TruePosition, she was a litigation associate at Holland and Hart LLP and Pennie and Edmonds LLP. Before launching her legal career, she counseled artists at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York, and held several jobs in policy and the press, including working for Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ) and Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio.

As Detkin Clinic director, she works closely with the Penn Center for Innovation and Penn Law’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition.

Gary A. Deutsch

Gary A. Deutsch

Gary A. Deutsch is Managing Chief Counsel – Consumer Finance Litigation for PNC Bank, N.A.  Mr. Deutsch leads the litigation group supporting PNC Retail Lending Services, the bank’s consumer lending division that is one of the nation’s top mortgage and retail lenders and servicers.  Prior to joining PNC, Mr. Deutsch was assistant general counsel and chief litigation counsel for a large regional bank.  In 2017, he was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers.  Mr. Deutsch is also a board member of Steppingstone Scholars, Inc. and Philadelphia Theatre Company

Lissette A. Duran

Lissette A. Duran

Lissette A. Duran is an associate in the litigation department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where she handles complex commercial litigation across a range of industries, including banking, energy and manufacturing. Lissette has represented major firm clients in internal investigations and in regulatory enforcement matters, including anti-money laundering and SEC matters and investigations by state attorneys general. Currently, she is representing clients in patent litigation. Lissette is also deeply committed to pro bono. She has recently been involved in family reunification efforts in Texas and has represented a number of pro bono clients in immigration matters. From 2016-2017, she clerked for Judge Edgardo Ramos of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Lissette earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School, and her B.A., with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania. She was born and raised in New York City.

Etherial Edetan

Etherial Edetan

Etherial Edetan serves as a senior tax attorney for ExxonMobil, where she works in the Tax Law, Appeals, and Litigation group in Houston, Texas.  Etherial graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Public Relations and a business foundations certificate; Howard University School of Law with her J.D.; and also received her LLM in tax from New York University School of Law. 

Etherial formally served as an intern with Ernst & Young’s tax group in Houston Texas, Howard University’s General Counsel in Washington, D.C., and as a judicial intern for the honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  During her law school tenure, Etherial was also awarded the Olender Foundation Earl H. Davis advocacy award for her public service efforts.

Prior to law school, Etherial served as a 2009 Teach for America corps member in Atlanta, Georgia.  Etherial’s past experience as an educator inspired her to first get involved with Ms. JD as a volunteer for the organization’s inaugural Ready to Rise academy for middle school girls in 2017. 

Etherial is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and is an active member of the Mu Kappa Omega chapter in her hometown of Missouri City, Texas.

Major Sarah W. Edmundson

Major Sarah W. Edmundson

Major Sarah W. Edmundson is the Chief, Accessions Branch, Professional Development Directorate (HQ USAF/JAX), Office of The Judge Advocate General.  Her primary responsibility is to manage the accession of attorneys into the Air Force JAG Corps.

Major Edmundson received a direct commission as an Air Force judge advocate in February 2008 and entered active duty in March 2008.  She previously served as an area defense counsel, professor of law at the United States Air Force Academy, and senior special victims’ counsel.  In 2009, she deployed in support of Task Force 134 as a liaison officer to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. She is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Jaliya Faulkner

Jaliya Faulkner

Jaliya Faulkner is the Head of Policy Enablement & Research in Vanguard’s Government Relations department. Her team is responsible for aggregating research and coordinating impact analyses of potential policies and regulatory actions to inform Vanguard’s enterprise policy priorities and positions and coordinating the development of comment letters. Jaliya joined Vanguard in 2015 as an Associate Counsel leading the Vanguard funds’ disclosure function. Most recently, she served as Senior Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel where she provided strategic support to the General Counsel, including implementing key initiatives and leading projects on behalf of the Division.

Prior to joining Vanguard, Jaliya was in private practice in Atlanta representing investment advisers and broker-dealers in securities investigations, enforcement actions, and related litigation. Jaliya clerked for the Hon. Carl E. Stewart on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court. She earned an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from NYU School of Law. She lives in Villanova, PA with her husband and two children.

Joie C. Hand

Joie C. Hand

Joie C. Hand is an associate in the Washington D.C. office of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. Ms. Hand counsels clients facing all stages of litigation proceedings, ranging from researching best strategies in order to advise clients’ business concerns through obtaining summary judgment. She has worked on various matter types, including antitrust investigations, shareholder/executive actions, Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act claims, and white-collar defense engagements. Joie regularly drafts memoranda, motions, interrogatories, and correspondence to address client needs.

As a summer associate with Drinker Biddle & Reath, Joie began to cultivate a pro bono practice, contributing to the team representing a tribe of Native Americans seeking cancellation of the disparaging federal trademark registrations used by the Washington, D.C. professional football team.

Ms. Hand received her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. During law school, Joie served the Student Bar Association as the Chair of the London Programme before studying international and European Union law for a semester in London, England. Upon returning to campus, she served the Student Bar Association as a member of the Career Development Office Committee. Joie also served as a Vice President of the Black Law Student Association and a Senior Article Editor for the Journal of International and Comparative Law. In her final semester at Notre Dame, she interned in the Athletics Compliance Office.

Sharon E. Jones

Sharon E. Jones

Ms. Jones is a diversity consultant who specializes in providing diversity/inclusion consulting and training to law firms, professional services firms, corporations, not for profits and other types of organizations. She is the President of Jones Diversity, Inc.  Her firm’s broad range of services enable the organization to fully utilize, retain and promote diverse employees into leadership roles. We work to build diverse and inclusive workplace cultures and communities. She has served as the Interim Founding Director for the Center for Diversity Innovation at the University at Buffalo which focused on research in diversity and inclusion and bringing those best practices to employers in all sectors.

Ms. Jones has practiced law and been a community leader over a 25-year career, including positions as a federal prosecutor, with major law firms and with Fortune 500 Corporations.  She has been highly successful as a litigator, a counselor, an educator and a problem-solver regarding extremely complex and sensitive matters. From 1985-1989, Ms. Jones served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, based in Chicago, where she conducted federal grand jury investigations and trials in high profile white-collar criminal cases.   In private law practice, she was a partner at Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert & Matz in Los Angeles.  In addition to her litigation practice, she was responsible for all in-house continuing legal education, as well as being an adviser to clients on a variety of employment and workplace harassment issues.  She was Of Counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in Los Angeles, where she created and implemented its litigation training as well as firm-wide orientation training and evaluation programs. 

In the corporate sector, Ms. Jones managed litigation matters worldwide for Abbott Laboratories, as well as advising senior management in matters of crisis management and in fashioning creative solutions to highly complex business issues.  Most recently, Ms. Jones acted as Senior Counsel at SBC Communications.

Ms. Jones was Counsel of Record in the amicus curiae brief filed in the United States Supreme Court in 2003 by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago in Grutter v. Bollinger and the University of Michigan in support of diversity in higher education.

Ms. Jones is a past President of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago.  Previously, she served as the Program Chair and created the innovative monthly BWLA Roundtable luncheon series designed to increase mentoring and networking opportunities for its members.  She was the Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Racial & Ethnic Diversity and was instrumental in the 2006 adoption of the Chicago Bar Association’s Diversity Initiative and Commitments on Racial & Ethnic Diversity.  She is a past President of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association (2010-2012) and responsible for the launch of the HLSA Global Women’s Alliance and the HLSA of Arabia, among others.

She is the author of “Mastering the Game:  Career Strategies for Success” which provides the unwritten rules for career success for women and diverse professionals (May 2018). Ms. Jones is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.

Odia Kagan

Odia Kagan

Odia Kagan is a Partner and Chair of GDPR Compliance and International Privacy at Fox Rothschild's in Philadelphia office. Odia combines in-depth knowledge of privacy and data security regulations and best practices, both domestic and international, with a keen understanding of emerging and information technologies to provide technology companies with practical advice on how to design and implement their products and services, consummate their M&A transactions and engage third-party vendors in the U.S. and abroad. She has assisted more than 80 companies, from U.S.-based multinationals to startups, on their path to compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is assisting companies in preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Odia holds multiple International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) certifications, including the prestigious Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP), which signifies comprehensive knowledge of privacy and data protection laws.

Elizabeth J. Kim

Elizabeth J. Kim

Elizabeth J. Kim is an Associate General Counsel at Sallie Mae Bank, headquartered in Newark, Delaware.  In that role, Liz manages the Bank’s litigation, and provides legal advice on routine and complex matters in support of the Bank’s operations.  She was previously in private practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Reed Smith LLP.  In between her stints in private practice, Liz worked at the NYC Economic Development Corporation under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Liz earned her J.D. in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was both a Public Interest Scholar and a Keedy Cup finalist.  She also earned a Masters in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a B.A., cum laude, from Barnard College. 

Jannie K. Lau

Jannie K. Lau

Jannie K. Lau is the Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of InterDigital, Inc., an S&P 400® multinational technology company (NASDAQ: IDCC). Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Lau manages the company’s legal and government affairs functions, including a worldwide team of over 100 legal professionals, and advises the Board of Directors on legal, governance and compliance matters.

Prior to joining InterDigital, Ms. Lau served as securities and transactional counsel at IKON Office Solutions, Inc., then a Fortune® 500 technology company. Before beginning her in-house career, she was a corporate associate at leading global law firms in New York and Boston, where she represented public and pre-IPO companies, primarily in the high technology sector, with respect to securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions, financings and corporate governance matters and counseled private equity and venture capital fund managers on capital formations, portfolio investments and general governance issues.

Ms. Lau has been honored as one of Pennsylvania’s “Most Powerful & Influential Women” by the National Diversity Council, as a “Best Under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, as a “Top Ten 30-Something” by the Association of Corporate Counsel, as one of “40 Under 40” by the Philadelphia Business Journal and as a “Woman of the Year” and a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer, and her team has been honored as a “Legal Department of the Year” by The Legal Intelligencer. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and on the Comcast NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Advisory Council.

Ms. Lau is an honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as Executive Editor of Volume 150 of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and as an Arthur Littleton and H. Clayton Louderback Legal Writing Instructor and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. She currently serves as President of the Penn Law Alumni Society. Ms. Lau earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia College of Columbia University. She lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Todd C. Longsworth, and their two young children.

Rachel J. Lewis

Rachel J. Lewis

Rachel J. Lewis is an Associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Rachel represents clients in diverse industries and regularly advises on transactions relating to corporate real estate and the acquisition, disposition, leasing, development, and financing of a variety of commercial properties, including multifamily housing, office buildings, industrial complexes, retail centers, and mixed-use projects. She has experience representing clients in complex ground lease development negotiations, including advising the nation’s largest developer of student housing. Rachel also advises institutional investors and investment managers in connection with extensive refinancing transactions, multistate portfolio transactions, and large-scale development negotiations. 

Rachel received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 2012. During law school, Rachel was a note and comment editor for the Journal of Law and Social Policy and completed an externship with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), a public-private economic development corporation. Rachel also holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and prior to attending law school, taught seventh-grade English and social studies in the School District of Philadelphia through Teach for America

Roberta (Bobbi”) Liebenberg

Roberta (Bobbi”) Liebenberg

Roberta (Bobbi") Liebenberg, a  partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black in Philadelphia, focuses her practice on antitrust matters and complex commercial litigation.  She has defended Southwest Airlines and other major companies in antitrust cases, and has also been appointed by courts to represent plaintiff classes in many class actions. Ms. Liebenberg is Co-Chair of the ABA Presidential Initiative on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law. She was Chair of DirectWomen, whose mission is to increase the representation of women attorneys on corporate boards.  She twice served as Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession; was Chair of the ABA Gender Equity Task Force; Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession; Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Women in the Profession Committee; and President of the Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association.  The Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law named her as one of its two inaugural "Leaders in Residence" in 2012, and in 2018 she received its Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award. She was Chair of the Women’s Power Summit on Law & Leadership in 2011. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed her as Co-Chair of the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness.   In 2015, the National Law Journal named her as one of the country's 75 most "Outstanding Women Lawyers" and  in 2007 it  listed her among the "50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America."   In 2017,  she received the Martha Fay Africa Golden Hammer Award from the ABA Law Practice Division. In 2016, she received the ABA’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.  She was named as a "Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania"; received the Florence K. Murray Award from the National Association of Women Judges; the Sandra Day O'Connor Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association; and the Lynette Norton Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.  In 2018, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Corporate Counsel and Inside Counsel magazines.   She also received both the Lifetime Achievement Award  and the Distinguished Leader Award from The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia's daily legal newspaper. Chambers Women in Law presented her its "Outstanding Achievement Award" as well as its Award for "Outstanding Contributions to Gender Diversity and Equality." She also received the "Sharing Her Passion Award" from Ms. JD.  She has twice been named by Best Lawyers as the Philadelphia "Antitrust Lawyer of the Year." She has also been named five times as one of the "Top 10 Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania."

She has spoken extensively around the country and has written on a wide range of issues concerning diversity and inclusiveness in the profession and society at large. She serves on the boards of the ABA Retirement Funds and the American Antitrust Institute, and the YWCA USA national board

Jennifer Gentile Long

Jennifer Gentile Long

Jennifer Gentile Long currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of AEquitas, which she co-founded in April 2009 and serves as an expert on issues related to the prosecution of sexual violence, domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia where she specialized in adult and child physical and sexual abuse and served in the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. After her departure, served as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and child abuse in Bermuda and Philadelphia, respectively. 

Jennifer was a Senior Attorney and then was appointed the Director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women at the American Prosecutors Research Institute at NDAA. She promoted meaningful multidisciplinary collaboration and improved prosecution practices through authorship and contribution to numerous articles, publications, resources and curricula and provided assistance to prosecutors and allied professionals. 

Jennifer’s commitment to the identification, implementation and preservation of innovative, research-informed practices led her to co-found AEquitas, where she continues to work with prosecutors, allied professionals, and policy makers across the United States and internationally. Jennifer serves as an Advisory Committee Member with the American Law Institute, an Editorial Board Member with the Civic Research Institute for the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Reports, and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches Prosecuting Sexual Violence: From Research to Practice.

Jennifer graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and East Asian Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Fels School of Government with a Juris Doctor degree and a Masters in Government Administration. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars. She enjoys running, walking her dogs and making homemade pancakes for her family.

Lisa L.B. Matson

Lisa L.B. Matson

Lisa L.B. Matson is the General Counsel and Senior Partner of Penn Capital Management Company, Inc., an independent, SEC ­registered investment adviser to registered funds, private funds, and separate accounts for equity and fixed income strategies. Ms. Matson oversees the firm's legal and compliance functions both internally and through outsourced solutions. Ms. Matson also serves as the Secretary of the PENN Capital Funds Trust, a series of registered investment companies, and advises the Trust's Board on legal and securities law matters. 

Prior to joining Penn Capital, Ms. Matson worked as in-house counsel for both Lincoln Financial Group and The Vanguard Group, Inc. Ms. Matson began her legal career at Stradley Ronan, a law firm in Philadelphia, PA, where she counseled investment companies, investment advisers, and independent directors on a variety of complex securities laws issues and corporate governance matters.

Ms. Matson graduated from The University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as a Legal Writing Instructor, an editor for the Comparative Labor Law Journal, and a Board Member of the Equal Justice Foundation. She currently is a member of the Dean's Council for Penn Law Women. Ms. Matson holds a B.A. magna cum laude with Distinction from Carleton College in Northfield, MN. She serves as a class agent for Carleton's alumni fundraising. 

Lieutenant Colonel LaJohnne Alexa White Morris

Lieutenant Colonel LaJohnne Alexa White Morris

Lieutenant Colonel LaJohnne Alexa White Morris, was born in Washington, D.C and raised in Oakland, California. She is a 1998 Distinguished Military Graduate of Howard University and was commissioned as a Signal Officer. After selection into the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program, she earned a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and transitioned to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. She later earned a Master of Laws degree in Military Law from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. Lieutenant Colonel Morris’s military education includes the Army Command and General Staff College, the Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course, the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course, and the Signal Corps Officer Basic Course.

Lieutenant Colonel Morris’s previous assignments include: Staff Judge Advocate, National Training Center and Fort Irwin in Fort Irwin, California; Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 8th Theater Sustainment Command in Fort Shafter, Hawaii; Officer-in-Charge, Detachment Reachback, United States Forces-Afghanistan at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar; Deputy Chief, Judge Advocate Recruiting Office and Branch Chief, Government Appellate Division at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Chief, Military Justice and Chief, Client Services at Fort Irwin, California; Base S-6, Combined Task Force 46, Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan; Group S-6, 46th Corps Support Group and Battalion S-1 and Platoon Leader, 327th Signal Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Battalion S-6, 5-5 Air Defense Artillery Battalion at Camp Sears, Republic of Korea.

She is currently assigned as the Chief, Judge Advocate Recruiting Office located at the US Army Legal Services Agency in Fort Belvoir, VA.

Her awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the non-Article 5 North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal. She is also entitled to wear the Parachutist Badge.

Lieutenant Colonel Morris is married to Mr. Seth Morris.

Jess Penkoff

Jess Penkoff

Jess Penkoff is an Access to Justice Advocate, Civil Legal Aid Attorney, and the current Pro Bono & Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at Pro Bono Net. Pro Bono Net is a national non-profit that uses technology solutions and collaborative networking to close the justice gap. Jess spearheads current web-based pro bono initiatives and partnerships in New York, and coordinates project management of new initiatives designed to increase volunteer mobilization. Prior to becoming an aspiring legal-techie, Jess worked as a Senior Staff Attorney providing eviction defense to low-income tenants in Brooklyn (CAMBA Legal Services), as well as a Staff Attorney serving homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy (NYLAG). She is also proud to have volunteered with Sanctuary for Families and the LGBT Bar Association of New York to expand access to justice for homeless/at-risk LGBTQ+ youth through a weekly walk-in legal clinic in the West Village. Jess was born and raised in Southern California, where she earned her B.A. in International Development Studies from U.C.L.A. in 2007. In 2009, she moved to NYC to attend Fordham University School of Law, where she earned her J.D. in 2012. Jess is admitted to practice law in New York and California.

Lieutenant Commander Emma Robertson, JAGC, USN

Lieutenant Commander Emma Robertson, JAGC, USN

Lieutenant Commander Emma Robertson is currently serving as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Headquarters.

Lieutenant Commander Robertson, a Green Bay, Wisconsin native, received her commission from Officer Development School and Naval Justice School in 2010. She is a 2006 graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL with Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and German. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law school in 2010. She received a Fulbright grant to study in Vienna, Austria before beginning law school.

Her previous duty assignments include Naval Legal Service Office Southwest, where she was a defense counsel and legal assistance attorney. During this tour she supported RIMPAC 2012 as a deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Third Fleet. Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic where she served as Staff Judge Advocate for Naval Weapons Station Earle and Naval Support Activity Lakehurst, and Region Legal Service Office Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia Detachment Rota where she served as trial counsel and the primary legal advisor to four destroyers homeported in Rota, Spain.

Personal awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Lieutenant Commander Robertson and her husband David have two children, Ellwood and Jeanette, and reside in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Jennifer Lynn Robinson

Jennifer Lynn Robinson

Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esquire is the CEO of Purposeful Networking. Her services include consulting, keynotes and workshops for individuals, law firms, companies, non-profits, universities and conferences to help build strategic networking skills. Jennifer is also the President of FemCityPhiladelphia, a women's business networking organization with 2000+ women. She has been featured in local and national media includingFOX, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Magazine. Some of the recognition Jennifer has received includes: Top Small Business Influencer of 2018 (Fit Business), one of the 45 Philly Business Influencers to Follow on Twitter 2018 (Philadelphia Magazine),“Best Networker” 2018 (Philly Current Magazine), and “Power Woman” 2017 (Main Line Today).

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College and her law degree from Villanova School of Law. She holds certifications in Event Planning, Non-Profit Management and Conflict Resolution. You can learn more at purposefulnetworking.com and follow Jennifer at @areyounetworked. 

Cheryl Solomon

Cheryl Solomon

Cheryl Solomon founded Row House – rowhouseyarn.com – in 2016, and the website launched on Black Friday 2016.  Knitting has been one of Cheryl’s creative, meditative, and stress-relieving outlets throughout her career.  After leaving TOMS, she decided to start an e-commerce company to spread her love of knitting, so Row House’s mission is to bring the joy of knitting to all, digitally.  Row House curates ethically sourced yarns and modern trend-relevant designs.  In addition, a core mission of Row House is to help more people start knitting, so Row House created KnitSchool – a library of knitting skills videos shot by the videographer for the LA Country Museum of Art.  Row House currently has Instagram followers of more than 44k, and its YouTube videos have been viewed more than 28k times. 

Prior to starting Row House, she was TOMS Shoes’ first Chief Legal Officer from 2013 through 2015.  In that role, she managed the global legal affairs for TOMS and was also responsible for the corporate social responsibility function.  This included matters such as human resources, intellectual property, international business development, advertising, digital and social media, compliance, real estate, and charitable giving.  TOMS is the pioneer of conscious capitalism and developed the One for One business model under which for each pair of shoes sold, a pair is given to a person in need.

Prior to joining TOMS, Ms. Solomon was the global general counsel of the Gucci Group (now the Luxury Division of Kering) from 2004 through 2011.  During her tenure, Gucci Group owned and operated a number of luxury brands, including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Bedat and the YSL Beaute beauty business. In that role, she managed the global legal affairs for the company.  This included matters such as joint ventures, international tax planning, executive compensation, corporate governance, licensing, intellectual property, and compliance.    

After law school, Ms. Solomon clerked for the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (now on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals). After her clerkship, she was a litigation associate at a major Washington DC law firm and then a litigation associate and Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in New York before joining Gucci Group.

She graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  At Penn she was a member of Law Review and involved in the Law School Light Opera Company.  She received a BA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University

Linda Shi

Linda Shi

Linda Shi is an Associate Counsel in The Vanguard Group, Inc.’s Office of the General Counsel.  In this role, she supports Vanguard’s Philadelphia-based Innovation Studio and broader digital and technology-driven initiatives at the organization.  She previously served as the General Counsel and head of compliance at Red Spark, a diversified digital media and technology company, with her practice focusing on intellectual property, privacy, and internet legal issues.  In addition to her legal function, she also held significant operational and management responsibilities.  Prior to joining Red Spark, she served as the assistant general counsel of IP for an international business software and services company, and prior to that, as an intellectual property associate with a premier intellectual property boutique law firm.  She was recently recognized by First Chair Awards as a 2017 Top General Counsel, and is the past recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2016 Women of Distinction Award and 2015 Top Corporate Counsel Award for her advisory work.  She is also a recipient of the Penn Law Women's Summit Rising Star Award.

An engineering as well as a lawyer by training, Linda is the co-founder of Likuma Laboratories, an industrial design and product engineering firm based in Philadelphia.  In 2016, she and other partners launched Kapsul, a consumer HVAC company in the process of bringing an innovative compact window AC to market.  Kapsul has raised over $2M in crowdfunding through its Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, and has been profiled by publications including the Philadelphia Business Journal, Tech Insider, The Verge, and New York Magazine.   

Linda received dual degrees in Mechanical Engineering and English from Rutgers University, and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as an editor of the Law Review.  She is a registered patent attorney with the USPTO, and licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Linda takes an active part in the local startup community and various bar associations, and is a frequent speaker on issues of diversity and inclusiveness.   

Clarissa J. Sparks

Clarissa J. Sparks

Clarissa J. Sparks is a branding and marketing strategist, experienced facilitator, and founder of the She Sparks Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. She is intentional about leveraging her experience across a wide range of industries to help startup and small business owners build stronger brands.
 
Clarissa is passionate about turning ideas into visual and tangible experiences and always brings a fresh perspective to the table - for over 10 years she has inspired her clients to maximize their impact and gain visibility by clearly communicating their vision, mission, values, and brand promises while mentoring them through the Brand Thinking process in private and group workshops.  She is the author of This Little Light of Mine, A Guided Journal of Purpose, Passion and Shine, co-author of Business & Career for the Christian Woman, and host of the Atlanta Business Radio X series Spark Stories

Kerriann Stout

Kerriann Stout

Kerriann Stout is the founder and CEO of Vinco, a bar exam-coaching company that helps law students pass the bar exam with less stress and more confidence. In her 5+ years in legal education, Kerriann has helped hundreds of students successfully navigate the difficulties of surviving law school and the bar exam. Kerriann regularly writes and presents on all things related to law school and the bar exam. You can follow her weekly column at “Above the Law” at https://abovethelaw.com/author/kerriannstout.

A proud Native New York, Kerriann earned her B.A. in Modern Languages, magna cum laude, from Pace University, and her J.D., cum laude, from The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. She continues to live, work, and play in New York.

 

Najee Thornton

Najee Thornton

Najee Thornton is a corporate attorney in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Mr. Thornton earned his J.D., cum laude, from Howard University School of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Howard Law Journal. During law school, he served as a judicial intern for Judge Gretchen Rohr in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Mr. Thornton has committed his time to supporting his community. Prior to attending law school, he managed an after-school and summer reading program for youth at the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools. Currently, he serves on the advisory board of Miracle Messages, a non-profit organization dedicated to reconnecting people experiencing homelessness to their loved ones.

Yvette Valdez

Yvette Valdez

Yvette Valdez is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Ms. Valdez is head of the US Derivatives Regulatory practice and a member of the firm’s Financial Institutions and FinTech Industry Groups and Financial Regulatory and Derivatives Practices.

Ms. Valdez advises emerging companies, financial institutions, and investment managers on complex regulatory challenges in the development of bespoke financial crypto-asset and cryptocurrency technologies including token sales, market infrastructure, trading, clearing, and settlement solutions on distributed ledger technology. She also advises clients on domestic and cross-border cutting edge FinTech initiatives in the derivatives markets.

Ms. Valdez also has significant experience representing dealers, intermediaries, and end-users in connection with derivatives (swaps and futures) legal and regulatory matters under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, as well as related CFTC, SEC, and prudential regulation.

Ms. Valdez’s regulatory practice consists of assisting foreign and domestic investment banks, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, broker-dealers, and commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors with their derivatives regulatory compliance requirements as well as advising buy-side clients in connection with their margining, clearing, and trade execution requirements. Ms. Valdez also counsels clients in market infrastructure, trading, clearing, and settlement in the derivatives markets, including FBOTs, swap execution facilities, and designated contract markets.

Ms. Valdez also has extensive experience representing financial institutions in bespoke derivatives transactions, including interest rate and credit derivatives, foreign exchange transactions, total return swaps, commodity transactions, futures, and options

Anne Weisberg

Anne Weisberg

Anne Weisberg is Director of the Women’s Initiative at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, where she is responsible for designing and implementing a gender strategy that fosters a high performing, inclusive work environment for all.

Anne joined Paul Weiss from the Families and Work Institute, where she served as Senior Vice President. She has worked at BlackRock and Deloitte on women’s leadership and talent management strategies, and at Catalyst, the non-profit research and advisory organization focused on changing workplaces for women, where she advised law firms and directed seminal research on women in the legal profession. Anne, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, has practiced law and written extensively on the topic of women and the workforce, including co-authoring the best-selling Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace With Today’s Nontraditional Workforce. She is an adjunct professor of management at the NYU-Stern School of Business, where she teaches a course on inclusive leadership. She and her husband reside in New York and have five children between them.

COL Warren L. Wells

COL Warren L. Wells

Colonel Wells serves as the Chief of Plans for the US Army’s Office of The Judge Advocate General, overseeing force structure planning and personnel policies for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, an organization of over 9,800 active duty, reserve, and civilian attorneys, paralegals and support staff operating around the world.

Prior to becoming the Chief of Plans, COL Wells served as the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) (i.e., General Counsel) of 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, Kansas. During that time, he deployed to Iraq, where he also served as the SJA for the Combined Joint Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve. In that role, he and his multinational team of attorneys provided advice on international and operational law to commanders of a 23-nation coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) during the campaign to liberate the city of Mosul.

COL Wells grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, and graduated cum laude from the University of Mississippi in 1993. He was commissioned an Army Second Lieutenant through ROTC. He earned his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Brigham Young University in 1996. His military education includes Command and General Staff College, an LL.M. from The Judge Advocate General’s School, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

COL Wells began his career with the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he practiced legal assistance and administrative law. While there he deployed for a year as a Trial Counsel (prosecutor) and Operational Law Attorney to Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Guard. From 1999-2001, he served as the Trial Counsel for 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany, where he prosecuted numerous drug and sexual assault cases. He was then assigned as the Senior Defense Counsel at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, leading a team that defended Soldiers at courts-martial and adverse administrative hearings.

In 2004, COL Wells joined the faculty at the Air Force JAG School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where he taught military criminal law. He eventually became the first Army instructor to become the Chief of the Criminal Law Department at the Air Force JAG School.

From 2008-2010, COL Wells served as the Deputy SJA of 1st Armored Division in Wiesbaden, Germany. He twice deployed to Iraq with the division. The legal team provided a full range of legal support in garrison and in combat, including criminal law, international law, torts, detainee operations, rule of law support, legal assistance, and administrative law. From 2010-2012 COL Wells served as the Career Manager for all Army JAG Captains, and from 2012-2014 he served as the Regional Defense Counsel (RDC), Great Plains Region, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service. As the RDC, COL Wells supervised 20 defense counsel at five field offices who defended active duty Soldiers within a 13-state region who faced criminal prosecution and adverse administrative action.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Parachutist Badge. He is married to Mary-Elizabeth Wells of Wichita, Kansas. They have four children: Marc, Lauren, Eli, and Whitney

Michaele N. Turnage Young

Michaele N. Turnage Young

Michaele N. Turnage Young serves as Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), where she litigates education and voting rights cases.

Ms. Turnage Young co-authored amicus briefs of behalf of 25 Harvard student and alumni organizations in SFFA v. Harvard, arguing that the court should uphold settled law allowing universities to consider race, as one of many factors, in admissions so that universities can assemble diverse student bodies and students can enjoy the educational benefits of diversity.  In addition, she represents Black parents and children in school desegregation cases in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  Ms. Turnage Young also serves as counsel in Terrebonne Parish Branch NAACP v. Jindal, wherein the court held that Louisiana violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act when it intentionally discriminated against Terrebonne’s Black voters by using at-large voting to elect the five judges of the 32nd Judicial District Court, the state court that serves Terrebonne, even though that voting scheme diminishes the voting power of Terrebonne’s Black voters. 

Prior to joining LDF in 2017, Ms. Turnage Young served as a Trial Attorney with the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.  There, she prosecuted 13 school desegregation cases in seven federal court jurisdictions across the country. Her efforts led school districts to desegregate their students and faculties, equalize access to course offerings, equalize their facilities, transform their discipline practices, and dramatically reduce the amount of instructional time students lost to exclusionary discipline. Ms. Turnage Young received the Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award in recognition of her work advancing educational equity.

Ms. Turnage Young clerked for the Honorable Joan B. Gottschall of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she served as a student attorney with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Ms. Turnage Young earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA.

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