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Diversity & Inclusion in Law Practice 2012


Speaker(s): Anna L. Brown, Betty Lawrence Lewis, Bruce Jackson, Charles E. Torres, Claudia A. Withers, Deborah Epstein Henry, Juan Cartagena, Lorraine S. McGowen, Marianne Engelman Lado, N. Nate Saint-Victor, Patricia K. Gillette, Professor Theodore M. Shaw, Rhonda Joy McLean, Sandra S. Yamate, Theresa D. Cropper, Werten Bellamy
Recorded on: Mar. 2, 2012
PLI Program #: 35404

Betty Lawrence Lewis has been an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel since 1989.  She is the Borough Chief of the Bronx Tort Division. Ms. Lewis served as Chair of the Law Department's Diversity Recruitment and Retention Committee from 2003 to 2007. Prior to joining the Corporation Counsel's Office, she worked as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, and before that, The Center for Constitutional Rights. As a law graduate, she was a Reginald Haber Smith Fellow at Westchester Legal Services. Ms. Lewis has taught at various colleges since 1987. She is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology. She has also participated in seminars and continuing legal education on numerous topics of interest to the legal community including diversity, trial practice and/or training, settlement negotiations and civil rights issues. Throughout her legal career she has worked on promoting diversity in the legal profession. In the position of Chair of the Law Department's Diversity Committee, Ms. Lewis  made significant contributions to increasing promotional opportunities for all at the Law Department through the senior counsel program. In so doing, she helped to create a more diverse group of senior counsels at the Law Department. Ms. Lewis has received awards for outstanding achievement and outstanding public service from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the New York County Lawyers' Association respectively. In 2007 she received the Jane M. Bolin Diversity Leadership Award. The Jane Bolin Award is conferred at the discretion of the Corporation Counsel in recognition of the outstanding contributions and significant impact by an exceptional member of the Law Department in promoting and advocating the diversity goals of the Law Department. Ms Lewis was the first recipient of the award. Ms Lewis is presently a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and as such, she is involved in its efforts to encourage and promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.


Deborah Epstein Henry is an internationally recognized expert and consultant on workplace restructuring, talent management, work/life balance, and the retention and promotion of lawyers.  She is the author of LAW & REORDER: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance (ABA, 2010), the #1 best selling ABA Flagship book for 2011.  A former practicing litigator, Debbie is President of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, a consulting firm she founded in the late 1990s.  Her firm is well known for running Best Law Firms for Women with Working Mother magazine – a national survey to select the top 50 law firms for women and report on industry trends. Debbie has a national network of about 10,000 lawyers and through this network, she has done recruiting for the last ten years.  She is a co-founder of Bliss Lawyers, a secondment firm placing high caliber lawyers on a temporary basis with in-house legal departments that, at times, convert into permanent employment.  Debbie has garnered visibility for her work from The New York Times, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Law Journal, among numerous others.  She is the Legal Industry Advisor to the Task Force for Talent Innovation, an ABA Commission on Women in the Profession Liaison, and a New York State Bar Association Committee for Lawyers in Transition Consultant.  Debbie received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale and her J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School.  She clerked for the Honorable Jacob Mishler in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  She is married and the mother of three sons, ages 16, 14, and 11.


Marianne Engelman Lado joined Earthjustice in 2010 with more than twenty years of experience on health and other issues in the civil rights context. She served for ten years as General Counsel at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a non-profit civil rights law firm, where she directed a legal and advocacy program focused on racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care, environmental justice, and disability rights. She was previously a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), where she represented clients attempting to break barriers of access to health care and quality education. In this capacity Marianne was responsible for developing a health care docket aimed at addressing the scarcity of health resources in medically underserved communities; discriminatory practices by the health care industry; lack of access to reproductive health services; and related issues of environmental justice. She also organized the legal effort in the late 1990s to save the public hospitals in New York City. Marianne has also played a key role in the development of the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, a nationwide effort to address the rollback of civil rights by the courts. Marianne has lectured widely and has taught graduate and undergraduate level courses in public administration, health policy, family law, and education law at the School of Law at Seton Hall University and at Baruch College. She holds a B.A. in government from Cornell University, a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. in Politics from Princeton University. Her publications include "Unfinished Agenda: The Need for Civil Rights Litigation to Address Continuing Patterns of Race Discrimination and Inequalities in Access to Health Care," "Breaking the Barriers of Access to Health Care: A Discussion of the Role of Civil Rights Litigation and the Relationship Between Burdens of Proof and the Experience of Denial," "Evaluating Systems for Delivering Legal Services to the Poor:  Conceptual and Methodological Considerations" (co-authored with Gregg G. Van Ryzin), and "A Question of Justice: African-American Legal Perspectives on the 1883 Civil Rights Cases," among others


Claudia Withers is the Chief Operating Officer of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As COO, she is responsible for the day to day management of the agency.

Prior to joining the EEOC, Claudia Withers was Director of Programs for the District of Columbia Bar Foundation, where she managed grants and loan repayment programs to support civil legal services to the poor and underserved in the District of Columbia. Ms. Withers also served in the Clinton Administration as a Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. At Education, she managed attorneys who provided advice on business and administrative law, including employment issues; property and procurement; privacy, Freedom of Information Act, and public information.

As the Executive Director of the Fair Employment Council of Greater Washington, Ms. Withers led an organization committed to the creation and implementation of innovative strategies to address employment discrimination and disadvantage, including litigation based on the results of employment testing. She also served as the Director of Employment Programs for the National Partnership on Women and Families (Formerly Women's Legal Defense Fund), where she monitored agency enforcement of antidiscrimination legislation, provided technical assistance to lawyers and advocates on a range of employment related issues, and represented individuals in employment cases. Ms Withers also co-authored amicus curia briefs in the Supreme Court and other appellate courts, and engaged in advocacy before U.S. Congress and the District of Columbia City Council. Ms. Withers spearheaded coalitions that successfully lobbied for the passage of the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act and the D.C. Pregnancy Antidiscrimination Act.

Ms. Withers has served as a consultant in EEO issues through her firm, Winston Withers Associates. She has been an adjunct professor at the David A. Clarke School of Law of the University of the District of Columbia and the American University School of Law. She practiced law in Durham, NC. She clerked for the Honorable Richard C. Erwin for the Middle District of North Carolina. She is a graduate of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law and Duke University.


Rhonda Joy McLean is Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc. (a Time Warner company) in New York, New York. She was promoted from the position of Associate General Counsel to her current post in January, 2009. She manages one third of the law department and conducts regulatory compliance efforts for consumer marketing materials for the 21 magazines that Time Inc. publishes in the United States and Canada, including Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Real Simple, InStyle and Essence. She provides advice and counsel to more than 300 clients, focusing on digital marketing matrixes and also participates in the shaping of national and international advertising and data privacy protocols for Time Inc.

Prior to joining Time in October 1999, Ms. McLean was the Assistant Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") for nine years. At the FTC, she prosecuted individuals and corporations throughout the United States that engaged in deceptive business practices or conduct that violated federal antitrust laws. While at the FTC she received national awards for her work in educating traditionally underserved consumer communities about their rights under federal, state, and local consumer protection laws.

Ms. McLean received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1983. From November, 2004 to November, 2006, she served as chair of the Yale Law School Alumni Association. In April, 2010 she received the Hon. Jane Matilda Bolin award from the Yale Black Law Students Association for her mentoring hundreds of young lawyers and law students as well as her community service work.  Judge Bolin was the first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law School (1931) and the first Black woman appointed as a judge in the State of New York. In March, 2010 Attorney McLean's first book was published by Random House/One World Press, entitled "The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women."  The book, written with her friends Elaine Meryl Brown and Marsha Haygood, is now in its fourth printing. It has been consistently ranked in the top 3 on Amazon.com's best seller list for leadership and management.  Ms. McLean and her co-authors have participated in more than 60 book events in 14 states thus far, and their book tour continues.

In June, 2010, Ms. McLean received the "Highest Leaf" award from the Women's Venture Fund for her work with young business women, potential lawyers and law students over the past twenty years. She was named by The Network Journal in March, 2007 as one of the "25 Influential Black Women in Business" and featured in the March issue of The Network Journal Black Professionals and Small Business Magazine. She also received the Ruth Whitehead Whaley Public Service Award at the 30th Anniversary Gala of the Association of Black Women Attorneys ("ABWA") in March, 2007. Ruth Whitehead Whaley was the first African-American woman admitted to the practice of law in New York (1925) and North Carolina (1933). Ms. McLean has received numerous other awards, including the "Global Vision Award from the Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy in Brooklyn, New York, which provides artistic vision and community services to more than 1,000 families in Flatbush. Since June of 2004 she has been a member of the Greater New York Chapter of the LINKS, Inc., a 65-year-old international community service organization comprised of African-American professional women. She is Corresponding Secretary of this organization and served as co-chair for its 2011 Luncheon and Gala.

Attorney McLean also served as co-chair of the board of directors of the New York Women's Foundation, which makes grants of nearly $4 million each year to community-based organizations that enhance the lives of low-income women and girls in New York City. Ms. McLean is currently Vice President of the board of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York ("BBB"), which resolves over 50,000 consumer complaints each year. 

Ms. McLean is a founding co-chair of the Time Warner Women's Network ("TWWN"), which launched in November, 2004 and now has over 1,000 members. She was featured in the February, 2008, March, 2010 and June, 2011 issues of ESSENCE magazine.

A noted public speaker, Ms. McLean will be speaking next at the Seventh Annual General Counsel Institute for the National Association of Women Lawyers conference in New York, New York in November, 2011. Topics of interest to her include FTC and other regulatory agency guidelines, electronic marketing and social media issues, the evolving structures and infrastructures of legal service organizations and leadership for the next millennia, particularly the progress of women in leadership roles.

In addition to her law degree, Ms. McLean received a Master of Science degree in Adult Education and Leadership Development from North Carolina A& T State University. She received her B.A. in Criminology and Social Work from Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.   


Bruce Jackson is an Associate General Counsel for Microsoft where he currently supports the Global Sales, Marketing & Operations (GSMO), U.S. Regulated Industries, Financial Services, Health and Life Sciences and Public Sector, Group.  In this role, he leads the engagement of a $13 billion business and manages a team of (15) Fifteen.  Bruce is a passionate proponent for Diversity and Inclusion.  Mr. Jackson has spoken about the general necessity, corporate responsibility and economic advantages of Diversity and Inclusion. 

Jackson began his career at Microsoft in 2000 as corporate counsel for the Digital Media Division. Determined to play a pioneering role in digital media, Jackson accepted Microsoft’s offer to work for the top technology company while supporting and learning from a regulatory and technical development standpoint. He was one of the first attorneys coming out of the music industry where music was being distributed in a physical format to work with a company that supported a different form of distribution that no one envisioned.

He brought a broad and unique skill set to the division as an established Entertainment attorney. Equipped with a B.B.A. in Public Accounting from Hofstra University, a JD and LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center; Bruce Jackson founded the law firm of Jackson, Brown, Powell and St. George.  The firm concentrated its areas of practice in highly specialized Entertainment law.

Bruce has been a member of Microsoft’s Law and Corporate Affairs (LCA) diversity committee since 2001. He has been recognized for helping to shape Microsoft’s legal department’s diversity efforts, including organizing and executing the first LCA Women and Minority Law student IP Summit in New York.

Bruce’s personal commitment to diversity, inclusion, community and youth is demonstrated through his numerous civic activities.  He is a current board member of the National Association for Women and Minority Owned Law Firms and the African American Chamber of Commerce for Westchester and Rockland County

Bruce Jackson is a 2011 recipient of both Microsoft’s Diversity Award and for his ongoing commitment, accomplishments and sustained high level of contributions across a broad range of organizations and activities.


JUAN CARTAGENA is a constitutional and civil rights attorney who is the President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, one of the nation’s leading civil rights public interest law offices that represents Latinas and Latinos throughout the Eastern seaboard and works to increase their entry into the legal profession.   A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University School of Law, Mr. Cartagena is a former Municipal Court Judge in Hoboken, New Jersey and currently lectures on constitutional and civil rights law at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.  Juan has written articles on constitutional and civil rights issues and the political representation of poor and marginalized communities – especially Puerto Rican and Latino communities – and has recently begun litigating and publishing articles on the effects of mass imprisonment on Latino communities.  Juan is frequently invited to speak about law in our diverse society and the joy of public interest lawyering.


Lorraine S. McGowen is a restructuring partner at Orrick, a leading global law firm focused on serving the financial, and energy & infrastructure and tech sectors.   One of IFLR1000’s Leading Lawyers, she represents clients from the US and internationally seeking to maximize their recoveries or reduce their exposure.

Recent engagements include representing Toyota (one of the largest creditors with more than $7 billion in claims) in the highly complex global restructuring of Takata Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of automotive safety systems, including airbags; representing financial institutions in connection with Puerto Rico’s $72 billion restructuring; and representing several PPA counterparties in the PG&E bankruptcy case.

She is a member of Orrick’s Management Committee and recently completed two terms of service on the firm’s 11-member Board of Directors. She also co-leads Orrick's Automotive Technology & Mobility Group and its global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Initiative.

As a leading D&I advocate, McGowen creates programs for the legal profession and the community.  She has been recognized as an MCCA Rainmaker, Savoy’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2018 and 2015, and Savoy’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America   and received the National Bar Association’s Outstanding Woman at a Majority Firm, NYC Bar Association’s Diversity Champion Award and Legal Outreach’s Pipeline to Diversity Champion Award. 

McGowen received her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

 


Nate Saint Victor is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley where he provides legal advice on the securities laws, with a focus on prime brokerage, securities lending and fund administration.  Previously, Nate provided legal advice to the Wealth Management division on broker-dealer and investment advisory issues with a focus on research, development and distribution of alternative investments.  Nate started his legal career in the Investment Management Group at Davis Polk. Nate has previously served on the SIFMA Alternative Investments Roundtable, Investment Adviser/Broker-Dealer Task Force, and Investment Advisory Committee as well as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board Business Model Working Group.  Nate regularly speaks on issues related to securities laws, diversity and inclusion and professional development.

Nate mobilizes resources for innovation and change within the legal profession through his leadership positions with My Brother’s Keeper My Sister’s Keeper, the Alliance of Securities and Financial Educators (ASAFE), the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP), Legal Outreach, the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), and the NYC Bar Association, where he sits on the Executive Committee. 

Nate is a former Chair of the Morgan Stanley Legal and Compliance Division Diversity & Inclusion Committee, a 2018 Savoy Most Influential Black Attorney, 2017 Metropolitan Black Bar Association “Trailblazer of the Year,” 2015 CUP Catalyst Change Agent in Law, and 2009 CUP Fellow.  Nate also enjoys mentoring through LEAD, and Legal Outreach and was recognized by Legal Outreach as an “Elder of the Village,” the organization’s highest honor.

Nate co-authored the “Power of Partnering” article, summarized here and available at the NAMWOLF website, describing best practices for majority and minority- or women-owned law firms to co-partner on client matters.

Nate graduated from Duke University, where he co-founded the Duke Business and Investment Clubs, and Georgetown Law, where he served on the Journal for Gender and the Law, the award-winning Frederick Douglass Moot Court team and as President of the Black Law Student Association.  

 


Pat Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts and most sought-after speakers on gender diversity and equality.  Rated as a top employment litigator and trial lawyer by Chambers and other organizations for 40 years and as a leader and rainmaker in her firms, Ms. Gillette’s legal career focused on assisting Fortune 500 companies with their most difficult issues and challenges.  At the end of 2015, she resigned from her firm to pursue her passion for empowering women through keynote speaking and writing.  She was also invited to join JAMS in San Francisco and she now spends some of her time mediating employment cases. 

Ms. Gillette’s newly published book, “Rainmakers:  Born or Bred” is filled with practical tactics and strategies that can be easily implemented to enhance business development skills and expand books of business.  In the book, Ms. Gillette highlights the nationally acclaimed Rainmaker Study and includes helpful tips from rainmakers and clients across the country.  Using the research studies Ms. Gillette commissioned, her own experiences, and her charismatic style, Rainmakers: Born or Bred inspires attorneys to think differently about how they can realize their personal and business goals.

Ms. Gillette has been recognized for work to advance women in the profession in many forums and has received several awards including the ABA Golden Hammer Award, the California Women Lawyers Association’s Fay Stender Award, the Transformational Leadership Award as one of the Top Women Rainmakers, and the Barristers Association of San Francisco Award of Merit. 

Ms. Gillette is the co-founder of the Opt-In Project, a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women. Ms. Gillette has been a Commissioner on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, a member of ABA’s Gender Equity Task Force, Co-Chair of the BASF No Glass Ceiling Initiative, and she serves on several non-profit boards dedicated to protecting and promoting women, including Equal Rights Advocates and DirectWomen,

Ms. Gillette is the proud mother of two successful and enlightened sons and lives in Kensington, California with her husband of 40+ years.  She has served as an elected official of her town and is active in political and community organizations and activities.

For more information about Ms. Gillette, you can visit her website at www.patriciagillette.com or contact her at 510.604.6252. 


Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. She spent the preceding ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, Sandra was a litigator in Chicago for ten years.

Sandra was a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she served as the first Central Region Governor. She is a former president of the Japanese American Service Committee, the oldest Asian American social service agency in the Midwest and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois. She is a former member of the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian American Institute, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education. She has written and spoken extensively on diversity in the legal profession and on multicultural children’s literature.

Outside the legal profession, Sandra is best known for her interest in multicultural children’s literature. She and her husband are the founders of Polychrome Publishing Corporation, the only company in the country dedicated to producing children’s books by and about Asian Americans. Sandra authored Polychrome’s first two books, Char Siu Bao Boy and Ashok By Any Other Name. Polychrome books have been described as exemplary examples of anti-bias children’s literature by Teaching Tolerance Magazine, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Institute, and are included in the Anti-Defamation League’s World of Difference Program bibliography of recommended children’s books.

Sandra earned her AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her JD from Harvard Law School.

Sandra, her husband, Brian Witkowski, and their dogs, Cashew and Filbert, live in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.


Theodore M. Shaw is the Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill. Professor Shaw teaches Civil Procedure and Advanced Constitutional Law/Fourteenth Amendment. Before joining the faculty of UNC Law School, from 2008-2014 Professor Shaw taught at Columbia University Law School, where he was Professor of Professional Practice. During that time he was also “Of Counsel” to the law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP). His practice involved civil litigation and representation of institutional clients on matters concerning diversity and civil rights.

Professor Shaw was the fifth Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., for which he worked in various capacities over the span of twenty-six years. He has litigated education, employment, voting rights, housing, police misconduct, capital punishment and other civil rights cases in trial and appellate courts, and in the United States Supreme Court. From 1982 until 1987, he litigated education, housing, and capital punishment cases and directed LDF’s education litigation docket. In 1987, under the direction of LDF's third Director-Counsel, Julius Chambers, Mr. Shaw relocated to Los Angeles to establish LDF’s Western Regional Office. In 1990, Mr. Shaw left LDF to join the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School, where he taught Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and Civil Rights. While at Michigan, he played a key role in initiating a review of the law school’s admissions practices and policies, and served on the faculty committee that promulgated the admissions program that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger.

In 1993, Mr. Shaw returned to LDF as Associate Director-Counsel, and in 2004, he became LDF’s fifth Director-Counsel. Mr. Shaw’s legal career began as a Trial Attorney in the Honors Program of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., where he worked from 1979 until 1982.

Mr. Shaw has testified on numerous occasions before Congress and before state and local legislatures. His human rights work has taken him to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. In addition to teaching at Columbia and at Michigan Law School, Professor Shaw held the 1997-1998 Haywood Burns Chair at CUNY School of Law at Queens College and the 2003 Phyllis Beck Chair at Temple Law School. He was a visiting scholar at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia in 2008-2009. He is a member of the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute (PLI).

Mr. Shaw served on the Obama Transition Team after the 2008 presidential election, as team leader for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. 


As Chief Diversity Officer for Perkins Coie LLP, Theresa Cropper is responsible for the firm's diversity policies and initiatives. Theresa works with the firm's Executive Committee, the Strategic Diversity Committee and the Management Committee to develop and support the execution of strategies, programs and timetables related to diversity. In this role, she develops programs for the recruitment, retention, and promotion of lawyers of color, women, gay lesbian bisexual and transgender and those with disabilities. Theresa works with each office to develop and support local diversity initiatives, and she partners with firm management and practice groups to explore ways to promote diversity and inclusion internally and externally. 

Theresa previously served as the National Director of Diversity at DLA Piper US LLP, where she was responsible for implementing all aspects of the firm's national diversity initiative. Before entering the law firm arena, Theresa served as the Dean of Students at Northwestern University School of Law. During her 14-year tenure at Northwestern, she was the first Director of Minority Affairs and led the initiative to increase the diversity of the student body from 9% to over 30%.  She also developed model programs for retention and professional development for diverse students.  After six years in that position, she was promoted to Dean of Students and worked to create an inclusive community through programming that emphasized a team approach to student problem solving. She launched programs designed to provide professional development outside of the classroom with a focus on leadership, team building, mandatory diversity training, problem solving, and networking. These programs became the hallmark of the Office of Student Affairs.

Theresa is President Emeritus and Historian of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professional (ALDFP), a group she founded in 2004. The group is the professional organization of diversity professionals in law firms. She was inducted in the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) Hall of Fame in 2008, with the historical recognition of being the first woman to serve as the national chair of the NBLSA in 1978. 


As of January 2018, Anna L. Brown is the Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Baker McKenzie, a global law firm with 77 offices in 55 countries.  In her new role, Anna will develop and execute holistic and integrated D&I strategies to achieve the Firm’s short and long term D&I objectives. Anna is responsible for leading and promoting the awareness of diversity and inclusion issues both across the Firm and to an external market.

In her previous role as North America Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Anna was responsible for designing and implementing all aspects of the Firm's internal and external diversity and inclusion strategic initiatives in North America. She brings more than 17 years of experience designing, implementing and directing all aspects of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including education, retention, advancement and inclusion strategies. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Anna served as Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion/Special Attorney at Shearman & Sterling.

In 2015, Anna received the Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Champion Award from the New York City Bar Association, recognizing her critical role in initiating and sustaining change within her organization and the overall New York legal community. Anna is the co-author of “Diversity in Action: A Manual for Diversity Professionals in Law,” published by the American Bar Association for individuals holding diversity roles in law firms and corporate legal departments, and is a frequent lecturer and panelist on topics related to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. 

Anna serves on the New York City Bar Association Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, member of the American Bar Association and a past President of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals. 

Prior to her role leading diversity and inclusion efforts, Anna started her law career at Shearman & Sterling in its capital markets group and subsequently served as Associate General Counsel at Continuum Health Partners. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, a non-profit advocacy group for New York City children, and the Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership. Anna earned her J.D. cum laude from Howard University Law School.


Charles Torres is a Member in the Tech Group at Lowenstein Sandler. A corporate attorney with more than a decade of experience in venture capital and private equity, Charles’ practice focuses on counseling buyers and sellers in connection with mergers and acquisitions, minority and control investments and portfolio dispositions, typically with respect to established or emerging technology companies. Charles also regularly represents established and emerging technology companies throughout all phases of their development—formation, financing, general corporate growth and realization events.

Charles received his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. from New York University. Prior to joining Lowenstein Sandler, Charles was a partner in a NYC venture capital boutique, where he participated in more than 150 venture capital transactions and created and moderated VCs on Skis – a networking and skiing event for the venture community. His diverse client base includes industry leaders like LexisNexis, successful social and digital media investors such as Zelkova Ventures, and well-regarded emerging start-ups such as Behance.

A 2010 recipient of the "Attorney of the Year" award, given by The New York Enterprise Report, Charles frequently speaks on a variety of venture-related topics such as "Bridging the Valuation Divide," "M & A Basics: From the Perspective of a Lawyer and a Business Development Officer," "What Your Company Should Expect In A Venture Capital Financing," "How To Prepare Your Portfolio Company For An Exit Event" and "Digital Networking for Attorneys: Using Your Online Networks to Advance Your Career."

Charles is a member of the bar of New York and, as a former litigator with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, is admitted to practice before the Southern, Eastern and Northern District Courts of New York. He is an active member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and its Committee on Minorities in the Profession, as well as the American Bar Association and its Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee.

Charles is a fan of emerging technology and digital networking and is an avid skier and traveler. He can be found on LinkedIn, Martindale-Hubbell Connected, Twitter and Foursquare.


Werten Bellamy is the President of Stakeholders, Inc., a company founded in 2007 that provides training and conference resources directed to the active career management needs of corporations and service firms.

His work is focused on the role in-house counsel, law firm associates and partners must play in driving their career outcomes and is directed to identifying the practical career strategies of top performers. Stakeholders has delivered training and consulting to over seventy-five (75) global law firms and law departments. 

In 2010, Werten was selected by the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) to design and help implement its talent development efforts directed to top performing law firm and law department attorneys. 

Werten is also the author of The Path to Indispensable: The Junior Associate, published by ABA Publishing and due in 2012.

Werten launched Stakeholders following sixteen (16) years of practice in both law firms and law departments.  Werten began his career as an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Kutak Rock. The next twelve (12) years of his career he spent in in-house positions of increasing responsibility, at companies to include Merck & Co., Inc., Genetics Institute, Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Werten completed his in-house career with Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA), the biotechnology company located in Rockville, Maryland and credited with sequencing the human genome.  At Celera, Werten was the General Counsel. Werten is also a retired captain in the United States Army.

Werten has served on the Board of Directors of St. Benedict's Preparatory School, Phillips Exeter Academy General Alumni Association and in 2000 was appointed by the former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Werten has been honored for his civic and professional achievements, to include: The Chairman's Award, National Bar Association, The Excellence In the Practice Award, American Corporate Counsel Association and the Trailblazer Award, CYOC Foundation. 

 Werten is a graduate of Princeton University and the University Of Virginia School Of Law. He resides in Philadelphia.