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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.