NWLSO Leadership Academy

On November 22-23, 2019, Ms. JD will host our second NWLSO Leadership Academy at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA!  

Ms. JD's National Women's Law Students Organization (NWLSO) Leadership Academy is Ms. JD's initiative created to further its mission of supporting and improving the experiences of women law students.  The Leadership Academy will build a national network of women's law association leaders empowered to lead their law student organizations, leveraging ideas and inspiration from their new connections with other law student leaders.  Additionally, the leadership academy class will provide participants with tools to develop the professional skills to help them succeed and serve in leadership positions beyond law school. Furthermore, participants will learn from a diverse set of speakers, including in-house counsel at CBS, federal district judge, attorney-entrepreneur, and a policy advocate among others.  

The Leadership Academy will take place on Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, with an opening reception and Harvard WLA programming starting the afternoon of Friday, November 22nd.  This intensive workshop will feature attorneys, thought leaders, and professional development professionals speaking on their personal experiences of women in leadership positions and their advice on developing the professional skills required to become and support women in leadership.  Participation in the Leadership Academy will greatly enhance your national law school network, equip you with tools necessary for professional development, and will generally provide opportunities that would not have existed otherwise. 

Applicants will be chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to elevating the standing of women in the legal profession. Ms. JD will select approximately thirty applicants to join the NWLSO Leadership Academy Class. 

To be eligible, the applicant must: (1) be entering her second or third year of law school; and (2) have served or desires to serve in a leadership role in her law school community.   

Those selected will be responsible for all expenses related to travel and lodging, as well as a $75 Program Tuition.

To apply, please submit this form, and email your resume and a letter of recommendation (from an employer, professor, peer, etc.) to Ms. JD's Programs Chair, Katie Day, at day@ms-jd.org.

Applications are due by October 19, 2019, at 11:59 pm ET.


Academy Speakers

We have a lineup of amazing speakers! 

  • Judge Patti B. SarisChief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Hazel Mayers, Executive Vice President, Chief Business Ethics and Compliance Officer of CBS Corporation;
  • Allison Lukas Turner, Associate in Latham & Watkins' Boston office;
  • Carla Luna, Second-Year Law Student at Harvard Law School;
  • Debbie Epstein Henry, Expert, Consultant, Best-Selling Author and Public Speaker; 
  • Diane Darling, Author and Speaker; 
  • Eliza Sweren-Becker, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program;
  • Jodi Flynn, Executive Leadership Coach, Podcaster, Author, Speaker, and Workshop Facilitator; 
  • Josephine LeeAssociate General Counsel, Converse; 
  • Kelsey Anspach, Second-Year Law Student at Harvard Law School;
  • Kyona McGhee, The McGhee Law Firm; 
  • Lauren Stiller Rikleen, President, Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership; 
  • Lisa D’Annolfo Levey, Founder, GenderWorks; 
  • Micah Buchdahl, Attorney; 
  • Monsurat Adebanjo, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Change Agent, Journalist, Artist and Founder; 
  • Najee Thornton, Associate in Fenwick & West's Santa Monica office;
  • Nicole Williamson, Third-Year Student at Harvard Law School; 
  • Sara DeweyDirector of the Farm & Food Initiative and Staff Attorney at Conservation Law Foundation.

Click here to learn more about our speakers. 


Academy Agenda

8:00-9:00 am

8:30-9:00 am
Hot Breakfast

9:00-9:15 am
Welcome from Ms. JD and WLA 
Danielle Allison and Nicole Williamson

9:15-10:30 am
Striking the Self-Promotion Balance: Demonstrating Your Value Without Being the Obnoxious Person in the Room 
Debbie Epstein Henry, Consultant, Best-Selling Author & Public Speaker

10:30-10:45 am
Coffee/ Snack Break

10:45-12:00 pm
Panel: Life Outside of the Law Firm: Non-Traditional Legal Careers
Sara Dewey, Director of Farm & Food and Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation; Kyona McGhee, Attorney and Founder, Trademark My Stuff; Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Author and Founder, Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership; Eliza Sweren-Becker, Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice; Michele Alexandre, Dean and Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law  

12:00-12:15 pm
Lunch Pickup

12:15-1:30 pm
Lunch & Keynote
Hazel Mayers, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Ethics and Compliance Officer at CBS Corporation

1:30-2:30 pm
Interactive Workshop: Utilizing Your Time to Leverage Leadership Opportunities
Jodi Flynn, Business Coach and Founder, Women Taking The Lead

2:30-2:40 pm
Snack Break

2:40-3:50 pm
Networking Skills for Law Students
Diane Darling, Speaker, Consultant, & Coach

3:50-5:00 pm
Panel: How Men and Women Can Work Together to Bring Diversity to the Legal Profession
Allison Turner, Associate, Latham & Watkins; Micah Buchdahl, Attorney and President, HTMLawyers, Inc.; Monsurat Adebanjo, Founder and CEO, Brown Girl For The Arts Media and Editor-In-Chief, The Urban Culturist; Josephine Lee, Associate General Counsel, Converse; Lisa Levey, Founding Principle, GenderWorks; Najee Thornton, Associate, Fenwick & West

5:00-6:00 pm
Networking Reception


Thank You to Our Academy Sponsors!

Gold Level Sponsors 



Silver Level Sponsors 



Community Sponsors




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