IBA: 25th Anniversary of the Women and the Law Division: A Symposium on Women, Law & Leadership

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By Nicolette Mendenhall and Christina Clark, Co-Vice Chairs of the WLD’s Symposium Planning Committee

clark-christina-mug.jpg Clark
mendenhall-nicolette-mug.jpg Mendenhall

This year marks an exciting milestone for IndyBar’s Women and Law Division. Twenty-five years ago, a number of visionary lawyers in our community founded WLD to create opportunities for professional growth and personal connections among women lawyers. A quarter of a century later, WLD remains a strong presence in the Indianapolis Bar Association. From continuing legal education to philanthropy to networking, WLD offers many ways to get involved, gain substantive and practical legal knowledge, draw on the wisdom of other diverse and experienced lawyers, and make enduring connections with other members of the bar in both private and public practice.

In recognition and celebration of the achievements of our predecessors, WLD has, through the combined efforts of many in the Indianapolis legal community, developed a day-long CLE symposium on leadership taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The event kicks off on October 5th with a networking reception and keynote dinner. The symposium programming continues throughout the day on October 6th.

A plan envisioned in 2009 by then-Chair of WLD, Leona Frank, the symposium has developed into a series of discussions that will gather the Indianapolis legal community’s best and brightest lawyers and judges to speak about the pressing issues that impact women lawyers, as well as hot legal topics of interest to all lawyers. The symposium will feature no fewer than nine past winners of the Antoinette Dakin Leach Award — an award given by WLD to honor trailblazers and mentors — who will impart their wisdom and experience in a series titled “Building Your Success.” WLD will present the 2011 Antoinette Dakin Leach award to Judge Margret Robb at the keynote dinner on October 5th.

WLD is pleased to introduce Martha West and Roberta Liebenberg as keynote dinner and lunch speakers for the event. Martha, Professor of Law Emerita from University of California-Davis and a graduate of Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington will speak on women’s advances in the legal profession, practical realities of non-work commitments, and strategies for continued progress. Roberta, a Senior Partner at Fine Kaplan and Black RPC, is the immediate past chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and will speak on the increasing number of women in positions of power and leadership in all practice settings.

With topics like negotiation and litigation skills, mentoring, marketing and branding, social media, and human trafficking, WLD’s symposium on women, law and leadership has much to offer lawyers of all levels of experience and areas of practice. For more information, including details on how to register, visit Limited scholarships are available (apply by September 2), and early-bird registration rates are available until September 8.

If you would like additional information about the event or how you can contribute, contact Nicolette at or Christina at•


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  1. Lori, you must really love wedding cake stories like this one ... happy enuf ending for you?

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