Sections & Committees

Women in Law Section

Women in Law Networking Reception
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Wilson Elser
150 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

$15 Women in Law Section Members  
$20 NYSBA members 
$25 non-members

Meet fellow members and leaders. Network and advance your career. Join one of our 12 committees. Appetizers, wine, and soft drinks will be served. Holiday jazz music will be playing. 

This event is open to members and non-members. Your colleagues and co-workers are welcome to join us! 

Happy Holidays! Welcome to the Women in Law Section’s NYC Kick-off!  

Organized by the Women in Law Section’s Membership Committee - Meredith Palermo, Membership Chair
Thank you to hosts Wilson Elser, and Jacqueline Hattar, Partner, and the Women in Law Section’s Awards Committee Co-Chair.


For more information about the Women in Law Section, please contact Tiffany Bardwell at

Moving the Culture Forward: #MeToo and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Thursday, November 29, 2018
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

New York State Bar Association
1 Elk Street
Albany, NY 12207

1.0 MCLE Credit: 1.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias

Free for NYSBA Members | Non-Member: $125
Can't attend in-person? Click Here to pre-register for the Video Replay on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Sponsored by the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the Women in Law Section and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education.

11:30 a.m. | Registration
12:00 p.m. - 12:05 p.m. | Welcome and Introductions
12:05 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  | Moving the Culture Forward: #MeToo and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace CLE Program
1:00 p.m. | Adjournment

Program Faculty
Moderator: Yasmin Dwedar, Esq. | Senior Supervising Attorney | Consumer Complaint and Driver Protection & Special Projects Units  | NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission
Serena Joyce White-Lake, Esq. | Assistant Counsel | NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Sheryl Galler, Esq. | Law Office of Sheryl B. Galler
Jellisa Joseph, Esq. | Chief Diversity Officer | City of Albany


Secure Your Seat at the Table: Becoming a Leader and an Indispensable Lawyer Who Champions Women

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | New York Hilton Midtown | NYC 
Fifteenth Annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium

Program (6.0 Total MCLE Credits)
9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. 
Beekman Room, 2nd Floor 

Women continue to make great strides in the legal profession but still remain under-represented where it matters.  Only about 20% of law firm partners are women and 30% of judges are women. Women make up approximately 25.5% of all state legislators and 20% of the U.S. Congress in 2018. Women continue to make great strides in the legal profession but still remain under-represented where it matters.  Only about 20% of law firm partners are women and 30% of judges are women. Women make up approximately 25.5% of all state legislators and 20% of the U.S. Congress in 2018. The fact remains that there are still far more men leading deals, heading trial and major litigation teams, serving as general counsel to Fortune 500 companies, and serving as lawmakers. Significantly, women lawyers still face barriers that result in their earning less than their male counterparts, bringing in less business, owning less equity, and holding only a small portion of leadership roles throughout the legal industry. The Women in Law Section is pleased to present a powerful program addressing how women attorneys can secure their seat at the table to advance their own careers and to advance all women’s rights under the law.  

This all-day program will feature three compelling panels. The first – consisting of leading attorneys from law firms, corporations and the judiciary – will discuss law firm and institutional strategies to incentivize advancement and business development opportunities for women attorneys, how some clients are using their power to support and catapult women to the table, and how women can effectively utilize women’s initiatives, bar associations, and other networking bodies to support these efforts. The panel will also examine underlying unconscious bias and discrimination that still serve as barriers to securing your seat at the table and how law firms, institutions, and women themselves can help take down these barriers to success.  The second panel will approach getting a seat at the table from the perspective of important policy and legislative initiatives and will examine the role that women can and should play in this political environment to make sure all women are protected under the law.  This panel will address recent efforts to secure passage of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. and New York State Constitution and related changes to New York employment laws, and how other states and countries are advancing women through legislative efforts and policy changes. Finally, using legal issues ripped from the headlines, a panel of ethics experts will examine issues you may encounter while securing your seat at the table and discuss whether lawyers’ conduct may be “legal,” but not ethical (such as tape recording client conversations), focusing on how far lawyers can – and should – go to “protect” their clients and themselves.

Awards Luncheon 
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. 
Murray Hill East, 2nd Floor 

Networking Reception 
4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
Nassau Room, 2nd Floor

Sponsorship Opportunities available - view the varying options and secure your support by December 17

Discounts and Scholarships: New York State Bar Association members and non-members may apply for a discount or scholarship to attend this program, based on financial hardship. This discount applies to the educational portion of the program only. Under this policy, any member of our Association or non-member who has a genuine basis for their hardship, if approved, can receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. Request for discounts or scholarships must be received prior to January 12, 2019. For more details, please contact Tiffany Bardwell in writing at New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or


Recorded: May 31, 2018
Total Credits: 1.0 Professional Practice


Member: $50.00 | Non-Member: $150.00

The program will objectively address what is sexual harassment and what happens in real time when employees and employers are faced with actual or alleged sexual harassment in the work place. These issues will be addressed from the perspectives of a victim, a human resource professional, an investigator, attorneys for the employees and management, a mediator and a crisis communications consultant. 

Panelists will cover current standards in employment law, policies and procedures, practice skills, and trends in investigations. Additionally, the panel will address counseling victims and clients when facing sexual harassment issues (even if you are not an employment attorney and get “that” call), including a client’s options. 

Finally, panelists will address how they would counsel their clients on best practices to prevent and address harassment, negotiate and problem-solve these issues, and avoid retaliation and potential damage to reputations. 

Ellen S. Davis, Esq. | Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Cara E. Greene, Esq. | Partner, Outten & Golden LLP | Incoming Chair, NYSBA Labor & Employment Law Section
Loren Gesinsky, Esq. | Partner, Labor & Employment Law Department, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Elizabeth J. Shampnoi Esq. |  Mediator/Director, Office of Mediation and Conflict Resolution, NYC Commission on Human Rights
Dr. Victoria Berger-Gross | Retired Chief Human Resources Officer, Tiffany & Co.
Michael Putetti | Labor and Employment Consultant and Expert, Bates Group LLC
Deborah Kaye, Esq. | Member, NYSBA Committee on Women in the Law  

The Committee on Women in the Law is now the Women in Law Section! All NYSBA members can join here.

NEW! Check out the Q &A with Section Chair Susan Harper.

The section has presented educational forums on gender concerns; sexual harassment in the profession; balancing professional and family responsibilities; career development beyond partnerships; women in politics; seeking service on the bench; and breast cancer. Additionally, the section presents forums for women law students on career issues and opportunities.  

To provide recognition for exemplary achievement by a male or female member of the Association in addressing the concerns of women, an Association award was established in honor of the Committee on Women in the Law's first Chair, Ruth G. Schapiro. The annual award was proposed and is administered by the Women in Law Section. The first recipient of this award in 1992 was The Honorable Judith S. Kaye. For more information about the Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award, click here.

To honor women in the profession who recognize the value of diversity in the legal profession and have dedicated their time to advancing the professional development of women attorneys, the section has established the Kay Crawford Murray Award. Future recipients will posses the following characteristics: A distinguished legal career or a rising star in the profession; An active member of bar associations for the purpose of advancing the professional and personal development of women attorneys; An active mentor to women attorneys. For more information about the Kay Crawford Murray Award, click here.

New York State has a rich history of amazing trailblazing women attorneys who broke through many barriers and blatant discrimination to make major contributions in the legal profession.  Their stories are ones of fierce determination, passion for the law, keen intelligence, and inspiring achievement.  

From the late 19th Century, when the first women gained admission to state bars, through the 1960s, women attorneys faced closed doors and discrimination.  Women have made tremendous strides in the past 40 years - in large part due to the efforts of women attorneys who overcame obstacles and blazed a path for other women attorneys to follow.  

The Women in Law Section (formerly the Committee on Women in the Law) - whose first chair, Ruth Schapiro, was one of the women trailblazers at New York State Bar Association - is delighted to spotlight the lives and careers of 10 women lawyers who fought discrimination and gained a foothold in a range of legal careers. These women have paved the way for other women attorneys, serving as role models and, often, as mentors.

We hope that you will draw inspiration from the stories of these 10 remarkable New York attorneys. Read the brochure here.

SuffragetteSizedSuffragette Commemoration on Display at the Bar Center
Check out our "A Centennial Commemoration of Women's Suffrage and the Achievement of Legal Rights" that premiered in November 2017. View the slides here

bernicecomfedNYSBA House of Delegates Adopts Report of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section 11/4/17 
The House of Delegates approved the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section's report, "If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR" on November 4, 2017. The Women in Law Section supported this report and continues to promote and advocate for it. Read the press release here. Watch the video here.

JSK0829Judge Judith Kaye Portrait Unveiled
On November 3, 2017, the New York State Bar Association unveiled a new painting of Hon. Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge of the state of New York, on display in our Great Hall. Jugee Kaye was the first female appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals in 1983. She was chief judge of the state of New York from 1993 until 2008. She was the inaugural recipient of the Ruth G. Schapiro Award.