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Diversity & Inclusion in Law Practice 2019


Speaker(s): Christopher B. Wilkinson, Damien Atkins, Dave Cook, Emily J. Martin, Femi Disu-Oakley, Joel Stern, Jon Greenbaum, Kimberley D. Harris, Lia E. Moeser, Lindsey J. Boyle, Lorraine S. McGowen, N. Nate Saint-Victor, Peggy A. Nagae, Professor Stacy Hawkins, Sandra S. Yamate, Sharon E. Jones
Recorded on: Apr. 26, 2019
PLI Program #: 249913

Chris Wilkinson’s practice focuses on policy, regulatory and enforcement matters facing employers in their interactions with the government.  As a former senior executive in the United States Department of Labor, Chris assists employers in labor and employment, Pay Equity, health and safety, government relations and administrative law matters.

Chris most recently served as Associate Solicitor in the Department of Labor. In that role, Chris was a senior legal advisor to the Solicitor of Labor and served as the civil rights and labor management lawyer for the Department of Labor providing advice on regulatory, policy and enforcement matters for seven DOL agencies including the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Civil Rights Center and Office of Labor Management Standards.

Chris counseled the Department on a broad array of regulatory and policy initiatives and advised on a wide range of constitutional and statutory matters in federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to EEO matters, Chris led the Solicitor Office’s union election and reporting enforcement work, counseled on transit labor certification matters and advised on appellate matters related to labor union practices.

Chris also has significant litigation experience having served as trial attorney and then Counsel for Civil Rights Programs in the Department’s San Francisco region. In those roles, he litigated a number of complex class wage-and-hour, class discrimination, health and safety citations, ERISA enforcement and Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower matters.

Chris is an active member of the America Bar Association, having presented on numerous federal contractor compliance, Pay Equity, LBGT and compensation discrimination topics at the ABA Conference on Equal Employment Law.


Damien Atkins is currently Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for The Hershey Company, where he is responsible for leading the corporate secretary, government relations, legal and security functions.

Prior to joining Hershey in August of 2018, he was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for the Panasonic Corporation of North America.  At Panasonic, he managed the company’s full litigation portfolio and led global legal teams in several multi-jurisdictional Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and antitrust investigations, lawsuits and claims.  He also led a global legal team in the $1 billion acquisition of the Hussmann Corporation in 2016. 

Before Panasonic, Damien was Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Corporate and Chief Compliance Officer for AOL, Inc., leading a range of high-profile legal matters for the company, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate and real estate legal matters, including AOL’s spin-off from Time Warner.

In 1998, Damien began his legal career as a corporate associate at Chadbourne & Parke (now known as Norton Rose).

Damien holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University where he was Senior Class President and a Mellon Scholar, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.


Dave Cook is the Chief Executive of Mason & Cook, a specialist consulting and technology business. Dave introduced the very first resource management process into the legal industry in 2012. Dave and his team have led the introduction of global resource management structures for many global law firms, including Hogan Lovells, Reed Smith and Clifford Chance. Mason & Cook, under Dave’s leadership, have continued to be the pioneers and market leaders within the legal sector for resource management best practice.

Prior to establishing Mason & Cook, Dave worked for PwC where he led the resource management function across their UK deal based businesses.

Dave is regularly called upon to speak and provide thought leadership within the legal press on the positive impact of introducing resource management structures. He is a champion for diversity in the UK and international markets and has spoken on the importance of resource management as a diversity tool at numerous events including the 30 percent club and law society conferences.


Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice, oversees the National Women’s Law Center’s advocacy, policy, and education efforts to ensure fair treatment and equal opportunity for women and girls at work and at school and to forward policy frameworks that allow then to achieve and succeed, with a particular focus on the obstacles that confront women and girls of color and women in low-wage jobs. Emily also oversees the operation of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, a more than $22 million fund dedicated to enabling individuals challenging workplace sexual harassment and related retaliation to obtain legal representation and storytelling assistance.  The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund is housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund LLC.

Prior to joining the National Women’s Law Center in 2009, Ms. Martin served as Deputy Director of the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she spearheaded litigation, policy, and public education initiatives to advance the rights of women and girls, with a particular emphasis on the needs of low-income women and women of color. She also served as a law clerk for Senior Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge T.S. Ellis, III, of the Eastern District of Virginia; as Vice President and President of the Fair Housing Justice Center in New York City; and previously worked for the National Women’s Law Center as a recipient of the Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship. Ms. Martin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.

Emily speaks frequently on issue related to women’s workplace rights, is frequently quoted in major print and broadcast media outlets, and is the co-author of The Rights of Women: The Authoritative ACLU Guide to Women’s Rights (4th Edition).


Femi Disu-Oakley began her legal career at The Legal Aid Society as a trial attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice.  During that time she was actively involved in The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys Union and served as the Affirmative Action representative on their Executive Board. In that role, she worked closely with management to help identify and address the organization’s various diversity needs. In June 2017, she was appointed as The Legal Aid Society’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. In her current role, she promotes diversity and inclusion through various retention, recruitment, and professional development initiatives.  She also coordinates and conducts Society-wide diversity and EEO trainings that provide a platform to discuss and enhance awareness around issues of race, gender identity and expression, cultural humility, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. Through her work, she is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and affirming workplace for all staff, empowering them to connect with the diverse communities that they serve more effectively.


Joel Stern is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, Inc. (NAMWOLF). NAMWOLF, founded in 2001, is a nonprofit trade association comprised of over 195 minority and women owned law firms in 44 states. NAMWOLF’S mission is to provide corporations the premier place to go to locate and hire minority and women owned law firms of the very highest caliber.

Prior to this role, Joel was the Global Deputy General Counsel and COO Legal at Accenture.  Joel managed the Americas Legal team and also had primary responsibilities as the Chief Operations Officer of the 420+ member global legal group managing all operations of the Legal team including finance, IT, human resources, communications, facilities and support services. Additionally, he managed all outside counsel relationships across the globe.  During his tenure at Accenture, he was also tasked with revitalizing and then leading the Accenture Contract Management group.

Throughout Joel’s accomplished career, he personally championed key diversity and inclusion initiatives including leading Accenture Legal Group’s award-winning diversity and inclusion programs. He has been a Board Member of NAMWOLF since 2010 and formerly chaired the NAMWOLF In-House Advisory Council. Joel’s published articles and regular speaking engagements reflect his zeal for expanding opportunities in the law.  Among some of his presentations in the last several years: “Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession, A Moral and Business Imperative” (2017);  “Diversity is the Future – A Client’s View” (Marbury Institute, 2009); “Advancing Leadership Goals for Women in the Legal Profession” (ALFA Women’s Initiative Program, 2009); “Women Attorneys and Compensation – The Glass Ceiling” (International Bar Association, 2008); and, “Contemporary Conversations on Diversity – Inclusion, Justice and the Bottom Line” (Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago, 2008).


Jon Greenbaum is the chief counsel and senior deputy director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law where he is responsible for managing the Committee's efforts to seek racial justice.  Greenbaum oversees the Committee's Legal Projects: Criminal Justice; Economic Justice; Educational Opportunities; Fair Housing and Community Development; Special Litigation and Advocacy and Voting Rights.  

Greenbaum has successfully litigated numerous cases in the federal courts.  Notable cases in which he has played a major role include Shelby County v. Holder (defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act), the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, Inc., et al v. Maryland Higher Education Commission et al (desegregation challenge to Maryland's higher education system); Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (challenge to Arizona's documentation of citizenship requirement for voter registration applicants); and League of Women Voters v. Brunner (constitutional challenge to Ohio's administration of elections).  In addition, he has testified before Congress, state legislatures and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  He has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.  In 2017, he received a Trial Lawyer of the Year award from Public Justice.

Prior to joining the Lawyers' Committee in 2003, he served as senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1997-2003.  From 1993-1996, he was a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of Dewey Ballantine LLP.  

Greenbaum received his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1993 and his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989.


Lia E. Moeser is Corporate Counsel at Amazon and works in the Seattle office.  She is responsible for advising the Amazon Fashion business on technology, regulatory, privacy, transactional, and intellectual property matters.  Prior to her role at Amazon, Ms. Moeser was an attorney at Allstate Insurance Company, where she served as counsel to Allstate’s investment subsidiaries.  She advised on a variety of institutional investments including, private equity, joint ventures, and direct investments and counseled Allstate on mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions.  Ms. Moeser also served as legal counsel for The Allstate Foundation.  Prior to joining Allstate, she was an associate at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.  (now Husch Blackwell) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Ms. Moeser graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Economics and received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin.  Prior to attending law school Ms. Moeser played tennis professionally on the Women’s Tennis Association tour. 


Lindsey Boyle has over 10 years of experience in the legal recruiting and professional development field. As a member of the legal recruiting team at Goodwin Procter LLP, Lindsey was responsible for firm-wide relationships with law schools, including strategic outreach, designing attorney/student programming, enhancing law school relationships, and increasing the student recruiting pipeline. She also collaborated with firm leaders on lawyer hiring strategy and helped manage the recruiting, hiring, and integration processes at the firm.

Prior to joining OnRamp, Lindsey served as the Assistant Director for Employer Relations & Outcomes at Boston University School of Law, where she managed the relationship between the law school with employers in all sectors. She also was responsible for the school’s on- and off -campus recruitment programs along with general career-related programming and the annual résumé review and mock interview programs.

In her role with OnRamp, Lindsey supports the relationship between OnRamp’s 30 law firm and 9 In-House Legal Department partners by keeping up to date with job postings, hiring manager expectations, coordinating interviews, and assisting with fellow on-boarding.  Lindsey also develops training content for candidates, fellows, and alumnae of the program. In addition, Lindsey assists the Diversity Lab team with piloting initiatives to come out of the Diversity in Law Hackathon series. 

Lindsey received her B.A. from Hobart & William Smith Colleges and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. She briefly practiced in the field of labor and employment law for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before returning to her pre-law career (and first love), legal recruiting.


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 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 2017 Metropolitan Black Bar Association “Trailblazer of the Year,” a 2015 CUP Catalyst Change Agent in Law, and a 2009 CUP Fellow.  Nate also enjoys mentoring through LEAD, PALS 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.  


Peggy Nagae is the COO and senior consultant of White Men As Full Diversity Partners, a diversity and inclusion consultancy. She has over 30 years expertise in the fields of leadership development, diversity and inclusion, executive coaching, organizational change and strategic planning. Her work is collaborative, values-based and spirit-driven.

She earned an A.B. degree from Vassar College in East Asian Studies, a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School and a master’s degree from the University of Santa Monica. She is also a graduate of Harvard’s Educational Management Program.

Nagae served as the president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian Bar of Washington, is a former board member of the Asian American Justice Center and the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, as well as the co-chair of NAPABA’s Leadership Advisory Council. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the NAPABA Law Foundation.

Peggy represented Minoru Yasui in reopening his World War II Japanese American

curfew case and ensuring his conviction was vacated in 1984. In 2013, as co-founder of the Yasui Tribute Project with Holly Yasui, Nagae spearheaded Yasui’s successful nomination for a Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President Obama awarded posthumously in November of 2015. In 2016, Nagae also worked on the legislative/community effort to create a permanent Minoru Yasui Day in Oregon. In 2017, she was awarded the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award.


Professor Stacy Hawkins is an award-winning teacher and scholar. She teaches courses in Constitutional Law, Employment Law and an original seminar on Diversity and the Law.  Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and diversity and can be found in journals published by the University of Michigan Law School, Fordham Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the University of Maryland School of Law, and Columbia Law School, among others.  She is a recognized expert on employment law and diversity and has been interviewed or quoted in various news outlets, including the Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Courier Post, Law 360 and Philadelphia Magazine. 

Prior to law teaching, Professor Hawkins spent more than a decade in private practice advising clients in both the public and private sector on the development and implementation of legally defensible diversity policies and programs.  She served as Special Diversity Counsel to Holland & Knight, LLP and was the first Diversity Director for Ballard Spahr, LLP.  She has held or holds a number of professional and civic appointments, including as a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, as an Advisory Board Member of the Public Interest Law Center, as an inaugural member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Diversity Team, and as a member of the Board of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group.  Professor Hawkins earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.


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.

 


Sharon 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 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 (now AT &T).      

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.

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.


In this role, Kimberley Harris oversees all international government and regulatory affairs for Comcast, supporting the company’s businesses worldwide. Additionally, as General Counsel of NBCUniversal, Harris provides legal advice to senior management team and oversees the legal function across all NBCUniversal divisions. She reports to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke.

Harris joined NBCUniversal in 2013 from Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she was a partner in the litigation department.

From 2010 to 2012, Harris served in the White House Counsel’s Office, and became the principal Deputy Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President in 2011. At the White House, she advised senior Executive Branch officials on congressional investigations and executive privilege issues. In addition, Harris developed and implemented the White House response to congressional investigations, and managed litigation matters relating to the President.

From 2009 to 2010, she was Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division.

Harris first joined Davis Polk & Wardwell as an associate in 1997 and was named a litigation partner in 2007. From 1996 to 1997, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., U.S. District Court, S.D. New York.

She serves on the boards of directors for Advocates for Children of New York, an organization that provides legal and advocacy services to at-risk students in the New York City school system, and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Harris is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law.  

Harris graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, and holds a law degree from Yale Law School. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and three sons.