Networking Events

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*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, October 26

Time (Eastern) Session
4:30–5:30 p.m. First & Second Time Attendee Program

Through a collection of offerings, this Program will highlight the best approaches to enjoying the incredible variety and breadth of events and activities that are unique to the Annual Meeting. And, because we want you to be supported in making important one-on-one connections, we will offer the opportunity for you to partner with seasoned DRI leaders both before and during the event.

Our goal with this Program is to make sure that everyone has easy access to the resources and contacts to get the absolute most out of the Annual Meeting’s enhanced networking and business development events and opportunities.
5:00–7:30 p.m.
Exhibit Showcase and Showcase Theater

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit with exhibitors, colleagues, and friends during the Exhibit Showcase. You will have the opportunity to discover new technologies, products, and services, and participate in DRI Cares activities throughout the week
5:30–6:00 p.m.
First & Second Timers Reception

Being a first and second time attendee at the DRI Annual Meeting can present some challenges in learning to navigate DRI and the meeting itself. Join DRI leadership at a networking reception in the Exhibit Showcase as we welcome you into the DRI community! All DRI members are also encouraged to attend, mingle and share your DRI experiences with our first and second timers.
6:00–7:30 p.m. Welcome Reception (open to all)

There is no better meeting place to reconnect with old friends and colleagues and make new acquaintances. Stop by the Exhibit Showcase and experience the best that Philadelphia has to offer including regional food, beverages, and great conversation.

Thursday, October 27

Time (Eastern) Session
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Exhibit Showcase and Showcase Theater

Visit the Exhibit Showcase and participate in than many networking opportunities available.
7:00–10:00 p.m. An Evening at the National Constitution Center (Sponsored by LawyerGuard) (open to all)

Join colleagues and friends for an evening at DRI’s exclusive networking reception at the National Constitution Center. Experience American history and the Constitution through hands-on interactive exhibits that will be informative and fun. Catch up and reconnect here while enjoying great food and beverages.

Click on "Networking Reception at National Constitution Center" button on top for more details.

Friday, October 28

Time (Eastern) Session
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Exhibit Showcase and Showcase Theater

Visit the Exhibit Showcase and participate in than many networking opportunities available.
12:00–1:30 p.m. Diversity and Inclusion and Women in the Law Networking Luncheon Featuring Professor José F. Anderson, Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at The Wharton School (Ticketed event)

How Diversity in Your Law Office Serves the Needs of Your Clients?
Professor Anderson will offer his unique perspectives on how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can have a powerful impact on fulfilling the needs of the entity you represent. Drawing on his rich experience in both the public and private sector, he will use history, data, and current social trends to support his views as he presents a passionate argument for why all concerned should consider aggressive pursuit of expanded opportunity for minorities and women. He will also offer helpful strategies that will assist in achieving the goal of identifying talented diversity candidates and retaining them on your team.

Tickets to the Diversity and Inclusion and Women in the Law Networking Luncheon are $65. Please purchase tickets by notation on the registration form or online at
6:30–10:30 p.m. Closing Celebration and All-Star Band Bash (Sponsored by Lightfoot & White) (ticketed event)

Closing Celebration and All-Star Band Bash
You are cordially invited to join us Friday night as we celebrate DRI and the end of a successful week, recognize our new leaders, and award DRI’s highest honors. The evening will include a cocktail reception honoring incoming president, Lana Olson, and dinner featuring the best of Philadelphia cuisine. Back by popular demand will be The Defense Never Rests, DRI’s "own" favorite band, featuring all those familiar musicians and vocalists we met last year. The band will again be led by DRI member, Michael D. Carter, Philips Murrah, Oklahoma City, OK. Bring your dancing shoes, the evening will not disappoint. Come and help us celebrate DRI, incoming and outgoing board members, and award winners on their well-deserved achievements. Cocktail attire is appropriate for this event.

Tickets to the President’s Closing Party are $100/individual ticket. Please purchase tickets by notation on the registration form or online at If you would like to secure a table for your group of 10, please contact the DRI Meeting Services Department at

DRI Annual Meeting Programming for State, Local and National Defense Organization Leaders

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The DRI Annual Meeting features programs specifically dedicated to the leaders of today’s state and local defense organizations (SLDOs) and National Defense Organizations (NDOs). All state/national representatives, SLDO/NDO officers, and executive directors are strongly encouraged to attend.

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Thursday, October 27

Time (Eastern) Session
12:00–1:30 p.m. SLDO/NDO Leadership Luncheon (by invitation)

This program will feature Kristi P. Nelson, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for Pomeroy Technologies. Ms. Nelson will share personal insights through her presentation, Mindshift: Finding Your Power Within, into how the most vulnerable moments in life can shake you to the core. She will describe how a Mindshift can empower you to overcome fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt while rediscovering your resilience. New this year, we will also recognize our outgoing State/National Representatives and their achievements.

Friday, October 28

Time (Eastern) Session
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Executive Directors Program and Networking Luncheon (by invitation)

SLDO/NDO Executive Directors are never at a loss for things to discuss, and this year’s session includes a wide variety of topics. We’ll discuss current trends in what’s hot and what’s not in beverage service to the impact of COVID on contract negotiations, meeting attendance, marketing material ideas, and virtual options. We’ll share technology hacks and productivity tools and talk about membership trends we’re seeing in our states. And we’ll discuss the bottom line from reserve funds to funding special projects to dealing with the taxman. Any burning topic not covered in the session’s time allotment will continue during a roundtable wrap-up discussion so that everyone gets a chance to ask their fellow ED’s anything.
1:00–3:00 p.m. SLDO & NDO Conclave: Defining Your Organization’s Value Proposition (by invitation)

The SLDO & NDO Conclave: Defining Your Organizations Value Proposition (Invitation Only) will focus on recruitment, retention, and engagement. State and National Defense Bar Leaders will convene to learn the impact of clearly articulating your value proposition to grow and engage members. Through presentations and leadership workshops, participants will collaborate to identify ways membership in defense bar organizations has a powerful impact on lawyers, both professionally and personally, and how this translates to a stronger, more engaged organization.

Please join us for an Evening at the National Constitution Center
Thursday, October 27, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

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National Constitution Center Front

JOIN COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS on Thursday, October 27, from 7:00–10:00 p.m. for an evening of fun at DRI’s exclusive networking reception at the National Constitution Center (NCC). The NCC serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter to "disseminate information about the United States constitution on a nonpartisan basis in order to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people."

The National Constitution Center is a short 10-to-12-minute walk from the Philadelphia Marriott, so don’t forget to pack your walking shoes. Experience American history at its best, learn a thing or two along the way, and catch up and reconnect with friends while enjoying great food and beverages.

Note: Dress comfortably and casually

Throughout the evening you will have unlimited access to many wonderful interactive exhibits including:

  • American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding
  • Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
  • Constitution Liberty: From the Declaration to The Bill of Rights
  • Freedom Rising: A 17-minute Journey from 1787 to the Present in Kimmel Theater
  • Singers’ Hall – An opportunity to sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers
  • The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote
  • The Story of We the People – A constitutional history through innovative exhibits, films, and photographs, rare artifacts, and hands-on activities.
National Constitution Center Auditorium We the People

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