June 19, 2017

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Pipeline to Equity Partnership

On May 28th, 2014 the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) and Chicago’s Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law are joining forces to help usher the next generation of women law firm leaders into place with a program entitled Pipeline to Equity Partnership (P2P).  The program will be held at Loyola University Law School from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM, followed by a networking reception.   P2P is aimed at women on the brink of equity partnership, in either a one-tier or two-tier law firm system.  This is the third presentation of NAWL’s P2P program nationwide, and its first time in Chicago.

NAWL has conducted an annual survey of Am Law 200 law firms since 2005 in an effort to measure the progress in the percentage of women equity partners in law firms.  NAWL’S annual Report on the Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms has established the fact that those numbers have stagnated for years between 15% and 17% despite women graduating from law school at equal rates for decades.  The P2P program is an attempt to move the dial on the numbers of women in law firm leadership by offering a forum to identify and discuss challenges women face as they reach for the top.

The P2P program will begin with a luncheon presentation from Andrea (“Andie”) Kramer, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery.  Andie Kramer is well known as a longtime motivating force in the effort to both advance more women to leadership roles and equity partnership in law firms and to ensure that women are fairly compensated along the way.  She is a founding member of McDermott’s Diversity Committee, and chair of the Gender Diversity Sub-committee.   Andie previously served on both the Firm’s Management and Compensation Committees.

The P2P program will continue with facilitated roundtable group discussion of multiple issue-based scenarios that women face in their journey towards equity partnership.  Discussion will focus on real world experiences such as the departure of a young partner’s sponsor, the loss of previous opportunities for business pitches, handling ethical issues that used to be handled by superiors, the reluctance of a new partner’s colleague to address a client conflict, flexibility and perception of work ethic, or perhaps the overloading of a new partner with uncredited firm administration.  

The scenarios will be familiar to attendees and presenters, and will offer an opportunity for both a unique, peer-to-peer discussion and the counsel and perspective of a resource panel of distinguished women law firm leaders, who will offer their counsel and advice.  The panel consisting of law firm leaders, managing partners, and general counsel includes Susie L. Lees, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Allstate Insurance Company, Jennifer A. Kennedy, Managing Partner of Chicago office, Locke Lord LLP, Amy B. Manning, Managing Partner of Chicago office, McGuireWoods LLP, and Angelea Ulum, Co-Chair, Partnership Promotion Committee, Mayer Brown LLP.  The panel will be moderated by Margo O’Donnell, President of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law and Shareholder at Vedder Price, and Maureen M. Reid, President of Maureen M. Reid, LLC and a co-founder of the P2P program.The resource panel will offer advice for handling the scenarios discussed in the roundtables and will answer attendees’ questions about navigating the way to equity partnership.

Program participants will leave the program with a much better sense of what roadblocks may exist on the path to equity partnership and how to overcome them.  Those interested in registering for the P2P Program can get all of the information and register at http://www.nawl.org/p/cm/ld/&fid=168

Copyright ®, 2017 National Association of Women Lawyers

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About this Author

Jennifer Waters, Corporate Attorney, National Association of Women Lawyers
Partner

Jenny Waters helps businesses and business people solve problems, whether defending them in complex commercial disputes or prosecuting their rights against others. She practices before federal and state trial and appellate courts nationwide as well as various arbitral bodies, including panels of the American Arbitration Association and FINRA. She protects the business interests of multi-national Fortune 500 companies, closely-held corporations, and executives operating in a broad spectrum of industries, including computer software, securities, manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications...

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