2022 DRI Women in the Law Seminar

January 26-28, 2022 | Austin, Texas

DRI CEO Dean Martinez Provides an Update on COVID-19 and 2022 In-Person Programming. See the latest message.

DRI Women in the Law (WITL)

Join Fellow Women Lawyers in Austin this January!

Connect with women in law firms and corporate legal departments from across the country at this year’s in-person Women in the Law Seminar, taking place January 26-28 in Austin, TX! Earn up to 6.25 hours of continuing legal education credit while attending sessions that will help you grow both professionally and personally, including fighting gender bias in the courtroom, negotiating your next raise, and serving non-profits while maintaining your private practice. Plus, don’t miss your chance to make new contacts and reconnect with long-standing colleagues at local Dine-Arounds, networking receptions, and more.

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • The importance of embracing your authenticity in the appellate process
  • Virtual ADR, permanent fixture or trend?
  • Navigating adversity through the creation of a constructive mindset
  • The latest trial technologies and trends that benefit your clients
  • How to quantify your value and successfully negotiate your salary or raise

Expand Your Network By:

  • Connecting with women in law firms and corporate legal departments across the country
  • Developing long-lasting relationships with referral sources
  • Promoting your personal brand among like-minded colleagues

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Thank You to DRI's Women in the Law Committee Leadership

Jennifer Nutter
Jennifer Nutter
Program Chair
Stephanie Holcombe
Stephanie Holcombe
Program Vice Chair
Marie E. Chafe
Marie E. Chafe
Committee Chair
Sandra Wunderlich
Sandra Wunderlich
Committee Vice Chair
J. Richard Moore
J. Richard Moore
Law Institute

Join the Women in the Law Committee

Registration Information

EARLY REGISTRATION*
DRI Member Pricing: $995
Non-Member Pricing: $1,295

REGULAR REGISTRATION*
DRI Member Pricing: $1,295
Non-Member Pricing: $1,595

GOVERNMENT MEMBER
Early Bird Pricing: $695
Regular Pricing: $995

Register by January 10, 2022 to receive the early registration rate.

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate. If you would like to join DRI to receive the member pricing and see the benefits of becoming a member, click here to go to the Application page.

Agenda with Speakers

Networking Activities

Sign up for networking opportunities available at the 2022 Women in the Law Seminar. See the list of activities (PDF).

View Wednesday Night's Mystery Activities (PDF)

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
10:30 a.m. DRI Cares Community Service Event (optional)

Join us (and the DRI Construction Law Committee) for an in-person community service event to benefit Caritas of Austin, a nonprofit whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness for people in Greater Austin. Stay tuned for more details!
1:00 p.m. Registration
2:30 p.m. Finding Authentic Boldness

A central challenge for women lawyers over the years is how to chart a path to success with authenticity and confidence. This session focuses on reorienting the conversation about empowerment around being true to yourself and advocating for your own interests, while also powerfully engaging with those around you.

Tasneem Khokha, GrowthPlay, Chicago, IL
5:30 p.m. Jump Start Your Seminar Networking Experience/First Time Attendee Welcome

Whether you’re a new member, non-member, seasoned attendee, or in-house counsel, join committee leaders and your fellow attendees to learn how to make the most of your networking opportunities this week.
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Large Group Activities
10:00 p.m. Evening Acoustics with Pat Byrne! (WITL Exclusive)

Irish singer-songwriter, Pat Byrne, a previous The Voice - Ireland winner, has come a long way. Since his migration to Austin, he’s had breakout performances at the 30A Festival, SXSW, Kerrville Folk Festival, and the Americana Festival. Pat Byrne will join us for the perfect night cap to day 1 of the seminar.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
6:30 a.m. Walk & Talk with Coffee
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. Breakfast - Coffee & Conversations

The early bird gets the most out of this networking session. We’ll meet and eat while getting to know each other through coffee cup conversation starters. Rise, shine, caffeinate, and connect!
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

J. Richard Moore, Bleeke Dillon Crandall, Indianapolis, IN
Jennifer Nutter, The Hood Law Firm, Charleston, SC
8:15 a.m. Embracing Authenticity in the Appellate Process

Hear from two trailblazing female justices about their path from private practice to a life of public service on the Texas Supreme Court, and their insights about why authenticity is important in the appellate process and to the legal profession.

Moderator
Stephanie Holcombe, Porter Hedges LLP, Houston, TX

Hon. Debra H. Lehrmann, Texas Supreme Court, Austin, TX
Hon. Rebeca A. Huddle, Texas Supreme Court, Austin, TX
9:15 a.m.

Authentic Communication Through the Colored Looking Glass

Take a deeper dive into the lessons learned during Wednesday’s workshop and explore how to be authentic to your own communication style and also flex your style to communicate effectively with other styles.

Stephanie Holcombe, Porter Hedges LLP, Houston, TX
Jennifer Nutter, Hood Law Firm, Charleston, SC
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions
Zoom: A Permanent Fixture in ADR Proceedings or Just a Passing Trend?

Join our distinguished panel to explore the future of virtual mediations and arbitrations. This discussion will evaluate the pros and cons of dispute resolution utilizing the Zoom platform, hybrid ADR events, live, in-person resolution proceedings.

Amy Taylor, Amy Taylor Mediation, Houston, TX
Winter Wheeler, Winter Wheeler Mediation & Arbitration, Marietta, GA
#2: Band of Sisters: Better Together – Round 2022

"Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back." We are bringing back our interactive session for a close look at the benefits of a developing a strong female tribe.

Laura Emmett, Strigberger Brown Armstrong LLP, London, Ontario
Geneau Thames, Harford Mutual Insurance Group, Bel Air, MD
Nicole Brunson, Arrival, Charlotte, NC
#3: Service on Non-Profit Boards: How to Give Back (Ethics)

How to serve a non-profit while maintaining your private practice and taking steps to avoid conflict of interest.

Rebecca Nickelson, Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska, Saint Louis, MO
Laura Fowler, The Fowler Law Firm PC, Austin, TX
11:45 a.m. Awards Luncheon
1:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Zoom: A Permanent Fixture in ADR Proceedings or Just a Passing Trend?

Join our distinguished panel to explore the future of virtual mediations and arbitrations. This discussion will evaluate the pros and cons of dispute resolution utilizing the Zoom platform, hybrid ADR events, live, in-person resolution proceedings. How Insurers and Insureds can better handle litigation costs with remote mediation.

Amy Taylor, Amy Taylor Mediation, Houston, TX
Winter Wheeler, Winter Wheeler Mediation & Arbitration, Marietta, GA
#2: Band of Sisters: Better Together – Round 2022

"Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back." We are bringing back our interactive session for a close look at the benefits of a developing a strong female tribe.

Laura Emmett, Strigberger Brown Armstrong LLP, London, Ontario
Geneau Thames, Harford Mutual Insurance Group, Bel Air, MD
Nicole Brunson, Arrival, Charlotte, NC
#3: Service on Non-Profit Boards: How to Give Back (Ethics)

How to serve a non-profit while maintaining your private practice and taking steps to avoid conflict of interest.

Rebecca Nickelson, Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska, Saint Louis, MO
Laura Fowler, The Fowler Law Firm PC, Austin, TX
2:00 p.m. Strategies to Fight Gender Bias in the Boardroom and the Courtroom (Bias)

This interactive panel will challenge both panelists and the audience with a variety of situational vignettes involving gender bias in order to evaluate how to authentically – and ethically – respond when those situations arise in the boardroom, the courtroom, or your own client meetings.

Moderator
Kristen Dennison, Littleton Park, Radnor, PA

Laura Gard, ProAssurance, Merrillville, IN
Jessica Sykora, Energy Transfer, Houston, TX
Jane Bockus, Dykema, San Antonio, TX
3:00 p.m. WITL Committee Business Meeting
3:45 p.m. Small Group Networking Opportunities

Sign ups will be made available closer to the seminar for one of these options to start building your connections and developing relationships!

Axe Throwing

Make new friends and release your violent aggression by throwing axes (at targets only). Meet in lobby to head to Urban Axes at 3:45 p.m.

Cost $40/person. Limit is 20 people so sign up today. Venmo to @sydney-goodhand by the time of the event.

Wine Tasting

Join your WITL friends old and new for a wine tasting at Wanderlust Wine Co. Meet in lobby to head.

Beer Tasting

Prefer beer to wine? Join your beer-loving WITL colleagues for beer tasting at a local brewery. Meet in lobby to head to Central District Brewery at 3:45.

Cost depends on choices. Self-pay at venue.

Take a Hike

If you prefer a more active networking event, take on the Ann and Roy Butler trail, an easy walk-in downtown Austin. Meet in lobby at 3:45 p.m. to head together to the trail.

No cost.
6:30 p.m. Networking Reception (in collaboration with DRI’s Construction Law Seminar)
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own).
9:00 p.m. Premier Networking Event: Speakeasy Austin

Join attendees from the Women in the Law and Construction Law Seminars for a premier networking event at Speakeasy Austin, sponsored by Hartline Barger, Porter Hedges and Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Engage in friendly competition games (darts, shuffleboard, pool table and bowling), soak up the roaring 20’s vibe, relax with a cocktail and mingle with friends and colleagues. Could there be a better way to expand your network and build your book of business to start the new year? We don’t think so.

Registration for this event will be on the DRI seminar registration page. You will need to scroll down after the Questions to purchase a ticket.

*The cost is $100 per ticket and ticket is non-refundable. There is a maximum of 2 tickets per person.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. Business for Breakfast

Join our in-house counsel members, speakers and committee leaders for an opportunity to connect and engage in informal roundtable discussions about how business is impacting law and how law is impacting business.
8:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Stephanie Holcombe, Porter Hedges LLP, Houston, TX
8:30 a.m. Owning Your Worth: A Discussion on How to Think About Salary and Negotiating Your Next Raise

Underpaid and Undervalued - the continuing impact on diversity and how to be successful in continuing to advocate for yourself and your clients.

Moderator
Meade Hartfield, Bradley, Birmingham, AL

Winter Wheeler, Winter Wheeler Mediation & Arbitration, Marietta, GA
Melissa Dorman Matthews, Hartline Barger LLP, Dallas, TX
9:30 a.m. Opening Statements: Setting the Stage for a Win

The importance of opening statements is often overlooked, but this is the time to establish the framework for your defenses, and set the stage for success. Learn from experienced trial counsel the basic formula and watch a live demonstration in a Texas-sized litigation, The City of Austin vs. Margaret O’Leary’s Cows.

Missy Atwood, Germer, PLLC, Austin, TX
Allyson Julien, Goldman Ismail, Chicago, IL
Bryana Blessinger, ProAssurance, San Francisco, CA
10:30 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. Pandemic Pioneers: What Did Women Gain That We Need to Maintain and What Did We Lose That We Need to Recover?

The pandemic has changed the practice of law in many ways. Some of these changes were long overdue, while some changes created a risky step back in time for women attorneys. Join us as we evaluate how to maintain the good without losing ground along the way.

Lisa McCraw, Deere & Company, Moline, IL
Alison P. Henderson, Porter Hedges LLP, Houston, TX
Ashley Brathwaite, Ellis Winters, Raleigh, SC
11:30 a.m. The Use of Technology to Simplify Trials (Joint Session with the Construction Law Seminar)

Construction cases often involve extensive document productions and esoteric concepts of law and layers of potential responsibility. Presenting these complex issues to a jury can be challenging. Savvy practitioners can leverage technology to effectively communicate these concepts to any layperson. Learn from a distinguished Judge how this can be done.

Hon. Jessica Mangrum, Civil District Court, Austin, TX
Emilio Carlock, Carlock Design, Houston, TX
12:30 p.m. Litigation Ethics in Federal Court (Joint Session with the Construction Law Seminar - Ethics)

Every lawyer is sworn in as a member of the bar with an oath to abide by a set of ethical rules. Nonetheless, violations of the rules still occur – many times in unexpected ways. Hear a prominent judge discuss the ethical issues attorneys practicing in federal court may encounter, and advice for navigating some of the complex rules.

Hon. Thomas Kleeh, United States District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
1:30 p.m. Adjourn

On Demand

NEW in 2022 – 4 Additional On-Demand Programs Included With Every Seminar!

CLE Credit will be sought from every state requiring CLE hours in elimination of bias/diversity and inclusion, ethics, substance abuse/mental health and law practice management. The CLE grid will provide updated information concerning which courses have been approved by which states and for which credits. For states not requiring these special credits, general education credits will be sought.

Diversity/Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny were meant to eliminate bias in jury selection. But has that happened? This program will address that question and discuss issues of bias in the courtroom more broadly and will challenge viewers to recognize their own biases and to learn how those biases could affect their assessment of potential jurors, witnesses, judges, and adversaries. The program also will provide viewers with skills on how to identify the biases of potential jurors and how those biases could come into play during deliberations.

Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, CA
Gary Howard, Bradley, Birmingham, AL

Ethics

Investigating claims and lawsuits often requires interviews with employees. Corporate in-house attorneys and their outside counsel need to be able to identify potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality issues with employees who may leave their employment and become opposing counsel’s best witness.

Kristie S. Crawford, Brown & James, Springfield, MO
Lauren Buford, Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Illinois 60015.

Mental Health & Attorney Wellness

Study after study suggests that lawyers aren’t happy. Continued unhappiness impacts performance, relationships, and physical health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that research proven interventions exist that increase happiness without requiring a radical change in circumstances. Even a slight increase in happiness has a lasting impact on both your current performance and resilience, not to mention, happier just feels better. This program will quickly, efficiently, and practically explain why happiness matters and offer tools you can use today to work, lead, and live happier.

Rebecca Morrison, Aldie VA

Law Practice Management

Law firms must operate more efficiently to ensure they can deliver high quality services, handle more volume and maintain a profit margin in today’s climate of rate pressure and rising costs. Understanding Key Performance Indicators and law firm analytics concerning financial, operational and client service data are key to mastering law firm performance management. This presentation will address methods to collect information necessary for evaluating key areas of performance, identify tools and techniques to analyze data and generate action items and more.

Brian Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Jan Sander, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Sean Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA

Hotel and Travel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Austin Marriott Downtown, 304 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701. Take advantage of the group rate of $299.00 Single/Double in one of two ways:

The hotel block is limited and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by January 7, 2022 to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after that date are subject to room and rate availability. A small portion of your room rate offsets the costs of the seminar.

Travel Discounts: DRI is pleased to announce that discounted air fares are available on various major air carriers for DRI seminar attendees. To receive these discounts, please contact Direct Travel Ltd., DRI’s official travel provider, at 800.840.0908. If you would like to have access to the DRI online travel booking tool, you must complete a Business Travel Profile form at www.dt.com. Within 24 business hours, you will receive information on accessing the system.

CLE Information

Earn up to 6.25 hours of continuing legal education hours, including 2 hours of ethics credit from this seminar.

WITL CLE Information (PDF)

Sponsors

DRI's Women in the Law is proudly sponsored by:

Campbell Trial Lawyers
Drew Eckl Farnham
Ellis Winters
ESi
Exponent logo
Hartline Barger LLP
Lightfoot
WOGO Nelson Mullins (Women on the Go)
Porter | Hedges
S-E-A Know.
Seyfarth
Shook Hardy & Bacon
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska

If you would like to contact DRI about seminar sponsorship opportunities, including pricing, or to reserve a spot, please go to Advertising and Sponsorship.

DRI Cares

Caritas of Austin

Join DRI’s Women in the Law Committee (and the DRI Construction Law Committee) in our DRI Cares event. This year, members of our Committee with be assembling care kits to be delivered to Caritas of Austin, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness for people in the Greater Austin area. Thanks to the generosity of our members, our Committee will be purchasing items such as socks, hand sanitizer, bottled water, and toiletries, which we will be assembling on site for delivery. Please join us in this worthwhile effort and meet some of our Committee members in the process! Donations to this event are not necessary to participate, but if you do wish to donate to help defray the costs of these items, please contact Carolyn Husmann.

Event Terms

Read the Event Terms including DRI’s Cancellation and Refund Policy

In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives

Read the In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives for DRI Seminars

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI programs, please contact DRI Customer Service at 312.795.1101 or custservice@dri.org.