IILP's Advisory Board is comprised of representatives of many of the types of organizations and entities with which it works: law firms, corporate law departments, government agencies, law schools, bar associations, and the judiciary. It meets bimonthly so as to keep its members apprised of IILP's plans and activities. Advisory Board members are actively involved in IILP's work, often taking the lead on various IILP efforts. The Advisory Board serves as a sounding board for IILP and a pool of prospective future board members.

Willie J. Miller | Ilah Adkins | Nicole Auerbach | Lawrence Baca | Gretchen C. Bellamy | Bonita K. Black
Michael L. Boykins | Gabrielle Lyse Brown | Gabrielle Lyse Brown | Ann H. Chen | Taj Clayton | Simon Des-Etages
Michele Landis Dauber | Alan P. Dorantes | David L. Douglass | Barack Echols | Nora E. Garrote | Martin P. Greene | Jason Hazlewood | Joan Haratani
Carrie J. Hightman | Erika A. James |Sylvia P. James | Jeffrey Jamison | Tara Goff Kamradt | Erica Kelley | Sandra E. Langs | Andrew Lipton
Deborah Lloyd | Barrington Lopez | Sarretta C. McDonough | Nerissa Coyle McGinn | María D. Meléndez | Luisa Menezes
Gillian Emmett Moldowan | DL Morriss | Jennifer Reddien | Leslie Richards-Yellen | Marci Rubin | E. Macey Russell | Mona Mehta Stone
Derrick Thompson | Mark Tratos | Alexander S. Vesselinovitch | Charys S. Williams | James H. Wooten, Jr | Melanie E. Younger | Michael Zeoli

Willie J. Miller, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate (Ret.)
Mondelēz Global LLC

Willie Miller joined Kraft Foods Global, Inc. in 2007 as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate with responsibility for managing Kraft's corporate legal activities. Prior to joining Kraft, Willie was a partner in the Chicago law firm Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kamholz, P.C. as a member of the firm's Financial Institutions and Finance and Transactions Groups. Before joining Vedder Price, Willie was in the legal department of LaSalle National Corporation for 25 years where for the last six years he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. In his capacity as Chief Legal Officer, Willie led and managed the corporation's legal department consisting of 65+ attorneys and over 30 administrative and paralegal staff. He was largely responsible for the transformation and growth of the bank's internal law department. As a member of the senior management team, Willie was involved in the strategic direction of LaSalle's growth throughout the Midwest.

Willie is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Council of Metropolitan Chicago. He is also a former member and past president of the Board of Education for Evanston Township High School. Mr. Miller is an inaugural recipient of the Chicago United Business Leaders of Color Award and is a current member of the Fellowship of African American Men.

Willie earned his B. S. from the University of Illinois in 1975 and his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1979.

Ilah Adkins
Vice President of International Operations and Business Strategy
United Consumer Financial Services

Ilah Adkins is the Vice President of International Operations and Business Strategy for United Consumer Financial Services. Ms. Adkins was a Senior Vice President and Director of Legal Services for Citizens Financial Group. Adkins served as a law lecturer at Cleveland Marshall College of Law from 2007-2010. She also served as HR Director and Legal Consultant for ServiceTime, LLC. Adkins serves as a member of the Board of the Trustees of the Cleveland Rape Society, a member of the 2013 Leadership Cleveland Class, a member of the Cleveland Marshall Visiting Committee, a member of the Growth Opportunity Partners, Inc., Board of Directors and a member of the Institute for Inclusion, Advisory Board. She has two adult children and dabbles in photography with her spare time.

Nicole Auerbach
Founding Member
Valorem Law Group

Nicole Nehama Auerbach is a founding partner of Valorem Law Group, a litigation firm formed by BigLaw refugees in 2008 to provide alternative fee arrangements to clients. Prior to Valorem, she practiced for 15 years at an AmLaw 100 firm in Chicago. Nicole has been named “One of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois” by Illinois Super Lawyers and one of “Forty Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” in 2005.

In addition to litigating cases in federal and state court across the country, Nicole is also a co-founder of ValoremNext, a business designed to help companies prevent problems before they arise. Nicole founded the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, comprised of +70 firms and 40 corporations in Chicago, to facilitate the advancement of women in law. The Coalition recently expanded to New York.

Nicole is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, a Fellow of the trial lawyer honorary society, Litigation Counsel of America, sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession and is a member of WOMP – Women Office Managing Partners, a group currently based in Chicago. Nicole speaks extensively about alternative fee arrangements, the value of prevention and the perils of the billable hour. A self-described “apple-cart upsetter,” Nicole thrives on bringing about productive change.

Lawrence R. Baca

Lawrence Baca, a Pawnee Indian, is President of the Federal Bar Association. Formerly a Deputy Director of the Office of Tribal Justice, United States Department of Justice, during his 32 years with the Department he also served as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division. On the occasion of his retirement, February 1, 2009, he was presented the Attorney General's Medallion, the highest award the Attorney General can present to a retiring employee. The award has only been presented seven times in the past decade. Baca was the leading proponent on behalf of the civil rights of American Indians in the Civil Rights Division for 32 years. His civil rights work on behalf of American Indians in the areas of Credit, Voting Rights and Education was groundbreaking. The Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights has said that Mr. Baca filed more civil rights cases on behalf of American Indian victims than any other attorney in the history of the Civil Rights Division.

A 1976 graduate of Harvard Law School, Baca was one of the first American Indians to graduate from Harvard. He was the first American Indian ever hired through the Department of Justice's Honor Law Program. In 1973, Baca received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in "American Indian History and Culture" from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also taught two courses on Indian issues during his senior year. In 1974, while attending law school, he was a Harvard Teaching Fellow at Harvard University and, in 1976, he taught a course entitled "Perspectives On The Historical Development of American Indian Policy and Law" at the Harvard University Extension School. He was an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer teaching Federal Indian Law at American University Washington College of Law in 2004 and 2005. He initiated the course in Federal Indian Law at Howard University School of Law in 2007.

Gretchen C. Bellamy
Senior Director, Education, Operations and Initiatives
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gretchen C. Bellamy is the Senior Director, Education, Operations and Initiatives in the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the President & Consulting Director for Bellamy Management Consulting. Previously, Ms. Bellamy worked as a Senior Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategist in the Office of Global Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at Walmart Stores, Inc. Through her role, she worked to develop and support global culture, diversity, and inclusion strategies that transform and drive the company’s culture and that embed diversity and inclusion as integral components for supporting the company’s 2.2 million employees and business operations. Working collaboratively with executive leadership, she developed strategies related to measures and analytics, activating company culture evolution, and embedding the culture into the employee lifecycle.

In her previous role with the company, Ms. Bellamy served as an Assistant General Counsel where she counseled regarding global internal and external diversity and inclusion and attorney talent development in the Legal Operations group. In January 2015, she was awarded by the corporation, on behalf of the legal department, the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visionary Award” for an innovative global diversity and inclusion program. In April 2015, she was honored as the 2015 “Outstanding International Corporate Counsel” by the American Bar Association Section of International Law. From 2011 – 2013, she served as the Diversity Officer for the American Bar Association Section of International Law (“ABA-SIL”), planning CLE programming related to diversity in the legal profession and corporate accountability, among other topics. Additionally, she wrote a variety of articles for diversity newsletters and lead ABA-SIL diversity initiatives within the Section, the larger ABA, and external organizations (such as serving as an advisory board member for IILP). She is an editor of Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights Impacts: New Expectations and Paradigms, which was published in April 2014 and is the first book on corporate accountability published by the ABA.

Ms. Bellamy is a community activist, having co-founded a community group called the Bentonville Public Schools Citizens for Equality, the Mission of which is to encourage the local school board to revise its EEO policy to comply with federal law as well as provide equal protections for unprotected groups. For this work, Ms. Bellamy and her co-founder were awarded the Arkansas Advocacy Award for 2015.

Bonita K. Black
K&L Gates LLP

Bonita K. Black is a partner at K&L Gates LLP. She focuses her practice in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions and divestitures, and corporate, structured, and municipal finance law. She has experience in formation and corporate governance compliance issues, municipal securities law, tax exempt financings, securitization transactions, debt and equity offerings, governmental bonds, non-profit financings, telecommunications regulatory issues, and real estate finance.

Bonita received her law degree from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky, where she graduated summa cum laude. She also studied as an ESU Scholar in an international graduate summer program at Exeter College, Oxford University, Oxford, England between college and law school where she studied history. She is recognized as a Kentucky Super Lawyers® and is an AV Rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell.

She was a team leader for former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s transition team for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She also served as a special advisor to that administration.

Bonita is active in the community as a member of the Board of Trustees of Kentucky Country Day School. She also served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Louisville as Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Governance Chair and was named an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Oldham County and general counsel where she previously served as immediate past Vice Chair, Treasurer and Governance Chair of the Board. Bonita is on the Grants and Social Review Committees of the Community Foundation of Louisville, where she was a Board Member for nine years and was its first Board Development Chairman. She is a former Board Development Chairman of the Family and Children’s Place and served as General Counsel for Women Influencing Louisville and the Business Diversity Network for several years. She teaches women’s and children’s classes at her church and has chaired its Benevolence Committee for 20 years.

Michael L. Boykins
McDermott, Will & Emery

Michael L. Boykins focuses his practice on corporate finance, representing corporate and individual lenders, investors and borrowers in connection with secured and unsecured credit facilities, asset-based lending, high-yield financings, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) financings, acquisition financings, over-the-counter derivatives, insurance industry financings, senior subordinated debt, mezzanine and venture capital transactions. Michael also represents debtor committees and secured creditors in debt restructurings and workouts.

Michael advises issuers and underwriters in debt and equity public offerings and other types of secured transactions. On behalf of insurance companies and other institutional investors, he provides counsel in connection with the private placement of debt and related equity investments and exit strategies. Michael draws on his deep experience with the structure and issuance of convertible and nonconvertible debt and equity securities, and secured and unsecured financings, to advise clients on a wide range of US and international equity derivatives transactions, including swaps and over-the-counter derivatives.

Michael is a member of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and was past chair of the Racial and Ethnic Diversity Sub-Committee.

Gabrielle Lyse Brown
Executive Director
Morgan Stanley

Gabrielle Lyse Brown is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, where she advises on diversity and inclusion strategy across the Investment Management, Finance, Technology, Operations, Risk Management, and Legal/Compliance divisions.

Previously, Gabrielle served as the Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the New York City Bar, where she led the Association’s efforts to enhance diversity in the legal profession across a broad range of internal and external constituents, including law firms, corporate legal departments, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. In this capacity, Gabrielle spearheaded the Association’s qualitative and quantitative research and developed individualized strategies to increase the retention and advancement of women and minority attorneys. Additionally, she founded the City Bar’s Pipeline Initiative, where she developed comprehensive programming for inner-city students to address academic support and enrichment, professional and substantive skill development, networking/mentoring opportunities and exposure to the legal profession.

She is a frequent speaker and trains organizations on data-driven initiatives, implicit bias, professional readiness, mentoring, networking, and developing diversity and inclusion “better practices.” She has spoken at the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), Bloomberg Big Law Diversity Summit, and ALM Legal Week and her work has been featured in publications including the New York Times, New York Law Journal, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and Thomson Reuters. She is a recipient of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association George B. Vashon Innovator Award and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association Presidential Impact on Diversity Award.

Gabrielle is the co-chair of the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellows Board and was a 2014 Fellow. She is a member of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) Advisory Board, The National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the Oberlin College Alumni Council and serves on the Executive Board of Directors of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc. (PALS). Additionally, she serves as a special advisor to the Pipeline to Practice Foundation and as a consultant to the New York Financial Services Diversity Group.

Ann H. Chen
Senior Counsel

Taj Clayton
Taj Clayton is a litigation partner in the Dallas office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Taj practices in both federal and state court, focusing on complex business, mass tort, and intellectual property litigation. He has successfully represented clients such as healthcare and financial institutions, automotive manufacturers, consumer products brands and entertainment companies.

He represents corporate clients in a wide range of complex litigation practice areas, from products liability and antitrust to patent and other types of intellectual property matters. Super Lawyers honored him as a "Texas Rising Star" and the Dallas Business Journal named him to its "40 Under 40."

Taj was previously chair of Winston & Strawn's Domestic ADR group, and before that served as principal in the Dallas office of another international firm and as law clerk to Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Prior to practicing law, Taj began his career in sports in the Management Council of the National Football League. Later, he worked as a consultant at ICG Commerce, an e-procurement consulting firm.

Simon Des-Etages
Deputy General Counsel
Global Retail Banking & Wealth Management

Michele Landis Dauber
Professor of Law and Bernard D. Bergreen Faculty Scholar

Stanford Law School

A law professor and a sociologist, Michele Landis Dauber has written highly original historical and sociological studies focusing on the history of social provision and the US welfare state. Her first book, The Sympathetic State (2013 University of Chicago Press) received numerous distinguished book awards and prizes including from the American Historical Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Political Science Association, the American Society for Legal History, and the Law and Society Association.

Professor Dauber has received numerous grants for her research including from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is currently working on a project about the history of resettlement and relocation following catastrophes.

Professor Dauber is the recipient of the 2006 Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford University’s highest teaching honor. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 2001, Professor Dauber was a clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1998-99) and a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation (1999-2001).

From 2011-13, Professor Dauber co-chaired the Board on Judicial Affairs and helped to lead the process that revised Stanford’s policy on sexual assault. She is a nationally-respected advocate for improving college and university policies on sexual assault in order to increase compliance with Title IX.

She is an avid outdoorswoman and skiier, and has backpacked more than 2000 miles in the Sierra Nevada. A mother of five, Dauber lives in Palo Alto with her husband Ken, a Google engineer, their son Elliot, and their five chickens.

Alan P. Dorantes
Chief of Staff/General Counsel
Feeding America

Alan Dorantes currently serves as Chief of Staff/General Counsel for Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. In this newly created role, Alan serves as a critical partner to the CEO and the Executive Office. He works closely with other Executive Team members in the execution of their strategic priorities. He plays a critical connective role with both internal and external stakeholders helping to build strong relationships and ensure effective communication. Alan is also responsible for overseeing Feeding America’s legal affairs as well as board development and governance.

Prior to joining Feeding America, Alan served as an Assistant Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel of Human Resources at AT&T. In this role, Alan supported AT&T’s Chief Diversity Office and the corporate diversity and inclusion team. He also served as co-chair of the AT&T Legal Department’s Diversity and Inclusion committee and has served as a board member of the committee since its founding. Alan also was a member of AT&T’s Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Business Council. In these roles, he went above and beyond his everyday duties to foster diversity within the legal profession. Throughout his 16-year career with AT&T, in addition to Human Resources, Alan advised clients within several other areas of the company, including Government, Education and Healthcare Solutions, Retail Sales Operations, Network Engineering, and Corporate Real Estate.

Outside AT&T, Alan championed diversity as a member of the board of the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation. He helped organize and raise funds for the annual Amanecer luncheon, which funds scholarships for Hispanic law school students. He actively recruited attorneys with fundraising and advocacy skills to join the organization and develop activities to help stabilize and increase the pipeline for Hispanic attorneys to join the legal profession.

Alan also promoted legal diversity and inclusion programs nationally through organizations such as the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) where he sits on its Advisory Board and has helped bring IILP’s annual legal symposium to AT&T in Dallas and Los Angeles. He also currently serves on the Executive Board of the SMU Dedman School of Law, where law school diversity remains a key issue and objective. Alan received his undergraduate and law degree from SMU. Alan is active with the Anti-Defamation League serving as a co-chair for the annual 2019 Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award Luncheon. Alan served on the board of The Arts Community Alliance (TACA), a Dallas-based non-profit providing financial resources to Dallas’ many arts organizations. In 2019, Alan received the Texas General Counsel Forum’s Magna Stella Award for Diversity. In January 2020, Alan received the Association of Corporate Counsel/Texas Lawbook Senior Counsel of the Year for a Large Legal Department Award.

David L. Douglass
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Mr. David Douglass is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

David is an experienced trial attorney who has won trials as a prosecutor, plaintiff, and defense counsel. David has represented numerous companies and individuals in criminal and civil, investigations and litigation. A large portions of David’s practice consists of representing health care companies, government contractors, and individuals in criminal and civil fraud investigations and litigation including False Claims Act litigation.

David is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province.

A distinguishing feature of David’s practice has been working on behalf of the government, as well as private companies. In 2013, David was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as the deputy federal monitor over the New Orleans Police Department responsible for reviewing, assessing, and reporting publicly on the NOPD's compliance with a far reaching Consent Decree. David has also led two high-profile government investigations. In 1994, he served as executive director of the White House Security Review, which resulted in the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. In 1993 he served as assistant director of the Treasury Department's investigation of the raid on the David Koresh compound in Waco, Texas. David served as a Department of Justice Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section. Prior to that he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

David received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Yale College.

Barack Echols
Kirkland & Ellis

Barack Echols is a partner in Kirkland and Ellis’s Chicago office. Barack concentrates his practice in the areas of antitrust and complex commercial litigation, and has broad experience in class action defense, bankruptcy-related litigation, arbitration and government investigations regarding anticompetitive practices and consumer fraud. Barack has represented corporate clients in arbitration and in federal and state courts throughout the United States in price-fixing class actions, merger litigation, price-discrimination suits, consumer fraud matters and contract disputes. Barack has been recognized as a leading lawyer by 

Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business every year since 2014, with clients noting he is a "terrific lawyer" who is "making a name as a 'sharp' practitioner." He has been selected as an "Illinois Super Lawyer" in Antitrust by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2013. Barack also was named one of Savoy Magazine's 2015 Most Influential Black Lawyers, a list of the "best of the best" of black partners within leading national law firms and counsel from Fortune 1000 corporations. In addition to serving on the IILP Advisory Board, Barack has served in numerous roles promoting diversity and inclusion. He is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Chicago Scholars; he is a 2013 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity; he has served as a Midwest Lead for the American Bar Association’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program; he is a member of the planning board of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation; and, he is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Barack served as an enlisted active-duty soldier in United States Army Intelligence, and also produced a radio talk-show in Chicago.


Nora E. Garrote
Partner in Charge, Diversity and Inclusion

Nora Garrote co-chairs the Intellectual Property Transactions Group. She also serves as Venable's partner in charge of Diversity and Inclusion. Nora's practice focuses on technology and intellectual property transactions and counseling, internet and new media law, technology transfers, and entertainment. She counsels clients in a variety of sourcing engagements, including those involving business process outsourcing and information technology solutions. She has represented clients in the information technology, social media, hospitality, health, energy, direct marketing, financial, and insurance services, and telecommunications sectors. She provides comprehensive counseling to clients with outsourcing, intellectual property exploitation, and e-commerce issues.

Nora offers clients a combination of in-depth business law, technology, intellectual property, and commercial transactions knowledge that leads to practical and creative solutions to the client's needs regarding procurement, use, exploitation, and disposition of technology and other intangible assets. With more than 30 years of experience and deep familiarity with the full range of established and evolving technologies, she assists companies with comprehensive technology, intellectual property, and contracting matters.

Nora's work includes:

  • Advising on and negotiating contracts for licensing, development, procurement, integration, implementation, and support of software, digital platforms, and computing devices 
  • Negotiating software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, hosting and managed services transactions, and data and content licensing agreements
  • Preparing joint venture agreements, intellectual property sale agreements, marketing and advertising affiliation agreements, professional services contracts, website and e-commerce arrangements, and collaboration and partnering agreements
  • Drafting trademark use agreements, patent and copyright licenses, entertainment program agreements, and intellectual property infringement settlement agreements
  • Negotiating mergers and acquisitions and related due diligence involving key technology, data, and intellectual property assets
  • Representing businesses in marketing and sponsorship contracts

As partner in charge of Diversity and Inclusion at Venable, Nora helps develop and implement programs, outreach, and mentoring opportunities that foster equity and inclusion within the firm. She previously chaired Venable's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 


Josie M. Gough
Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
Curt and Linda Rodin Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Justice
Director of Experiential Learning and Professional Development
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Josie M. Gough is the assistant dean for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law, where she leads the school’s on-going efforts to further enhance and cultivate a learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff that promotes inclusion and advances its diversity goals. She is also a Curt and Linda Rodin Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Justice, and director of Experiential Learning and Professional Development, where she has been instrumental in strengthening the connection between diversity and academic excellence. Ms. Gough has practiced law in Illinois on behalf of public and private sector clients for more than 25 years. She is a frequent speaker on topics related to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and represents the School of Law as a member of Chicago’s Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium and Alliance for Experiential Learning.

Ms. Gough has been the recipient of numerous awards for her service to the legal profession, including special recognition from the Constance Morris House Legal Advocacy Program. In 1995, she was listed as one of the 100 Women Making a Difference in Today’s Chicago Women’s magazine. She is the recipient of Loyola’s Donald L. Hollowed Distinguished Service, the National Summit of Black Women Lawyers Exemplary Service Award, and most recently, the United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Award presented by the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Chicago Bar Association.

Ms. Gough is a member of the American Bar Association, Black Women’s Bar Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association and Federal Bar Association. She is also a member of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law Diversity Council, advisory board member to Legal Prep, and a member of the University of Chicago Women’s Board.

Ms. Gough is a 1984 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She also earned her Master in Education, and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Loyola University Chicago.

Martin P. Greene
Zuber Lawler & Del Duca

Martin Greene is a nationally recognized trial lawyer whose expertise and consultation is routinely sought by Fortune 500 corporations, public entities and middle market businesses alike. Clients appreciate his forthright assessment of their state of affairs. He is well known to opponents and the plaintiffs’ bar as a formidable adversary.

Mr. Greene has represented many private and public corporations in a variety of matters including: municipal law, commercial and contract litigation, contract negotiations, election law, Civil Rights, and most facets of employment law, including collective bargaining negotiations and labor arbitrations. Mr. Greene has acted as lead counsel on dozens of federal and state court trials, including jury trials. He provides specialized services to clients in the form of highly sensitive internal investigations where he reports findings to the highest levels of the organizations.

Prior to Zuber Lawler (2016), for 26 years Mr. Greene was a Founder and Co-Managing Partner at Greene and Letts; at Jones Ware & Grenard/Lafontant, Wilkins and Butler for 10 years, and; an associate at Tenney and Bentley for 3 years.

Mr. Greene earned his JD at University of Chicago Law School and BA from University of Illinois at Chicago.

Joan Haratani
Morgan Lewis

Joan Haratani, a Morgan Lewis San Francisco partner and Past President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, represents Fortune 500 companies in commercial and mass tort litigation. Over the past three decades, Joan has honed crisis management and courtroom skills in high-exposure cases. A co-lead counsel on some of the largest mass tort litigations in the United States, Joan defends her clients in class actions, product liability litigation, complex licensing agreements, and trade secret indemnity issues. While her litigation experience spans industries, including retail and finance, she focuses much of her practice on the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Known for her work as a California litigator, Joan has been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in California" and as a "Top 75 Women Litigator" by the Daily Journal. She was selected by the corporate members of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association as a "Female Litigator on the Rise" in Diversity & the Bar. She was also named one of the 500 most influential Asian Americans in America by Avenue Asia Magazine.

Joan plays an active role in the legal community, and has served as a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates. She was the first woman of color to serve as president for the Bar Association of San Francisco. She is also a past president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, as well as past regional governor of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is a past board member of several philanthropic organizations, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Northern California (Team In Training)

Jason Hazlewood
Reed Smith

Jason is a partner in the firm's Global Commercial Disputes Group, and has a practice that focuses on both complex commercial litigation and financial services litigation, including numerous class actions related to both. Jason has handled a wide array of matters involving diverse areas of litigation, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, complex business disputes, securities litigation, and vast array of general commercial litigation. He has advised Fortune 500 companies, global financial institutions, corporate directors, foreign issuers, and various other corporate entities. For two years, Jason served as in-house counsel for a large financial institution, managing and defending a significant portfolio of mortgage related litigation which has given him a unique perspective of the rigors and pressures on in-house counsel that enables him to provide ultra responsive client service. He performed all functions of an in-house counsel, including overseeing more than 300 matters, developing strategy and settlement recommendations, supervising outside counsel, and advising client decision-makers. In addition, Jason managed a team of lawyers at Reed Smith providing similar in-house functions. Upon returning to Reed Smith, Jason managed a large portfolio of those same cases as outside counsel for the same client.

Carrie J. Hightman
Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer

Carrie is the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across 7 states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Her responsibilities include all legal functions, as well as compliance, business continuity, records management and unregulated real estate investments. She serves as a member of the company's senior management team and is the Executive Champion of Inclusion and Diversity.

Prior to joining NiSource, Hightman served as the President of AT&T Illinois. In that position, she was responsible for all regulatory, legislative, governmental, and external affairs activities, as well as community and industry relations.

Prior to joining AT&T, Hightman practiced telecommunications and energy law for more than 17 years. She was a partner at the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin, where she led its Energy, Telecommunications and Public Utilities practice group.

Hightman began her career in the public sector in 1983, serving as Staff Counsel at the Florida Public Service Commission. In 1986, she served as associate counsel at the Florida Office of Public Counsel, handling a variety of public utility cases on behalf of consumers.

Hightman serves on the Board of Directors of Fifth Third Bank Chicago. Active in the community, she also serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation and the Chicago Architectural Foundation.

Hightman was appointed Chairwoman of the Ad Hoc Committee created by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the Gary Airport Authority Board to consider creation of a public/private partnership at the Gary Airport.

Hightman earned her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from Florida State University.

Hightman is based at NiSource's headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana.

Erika A. James
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Erika A. James is an associate in the Litigation Department at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP where she specializes in white collar criminal defense and investigations. Her matters have included grand jury, regulatory and independent investigations, representing companies and individuals in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct, securities fraud, and anti-money laundering violations, among other areas. Erika also has experience in representing corporate directors and officers and companies in complex civil matters, involving antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, whistleblower claims and securities fraud. 

Erika maintains a robust pro bono practice. She recently briefed and argued a criminal resentencing appeal before the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, and co-authored an amicus brief concerning federal gun possession laws before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety, which is the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization. Erika also has worked on a myriad of other pro bono matters, including immigration, contract disputes, criminal, and civil rights cases. In 2019, she received a Davis Polk Pro Bono Award for her outstanding work and dedication to pro bono services. 

Erika also engages in leadership at Davis Polk, including currently serving as a Steering Committee member of Davis Polk’s Black Affinity Group. She is also a 2019-2020 fellow of the New York City Bar’s Associate Leadership Institute (ALI). 

In 2015, Erika served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Susan G. Braden in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Law from Temple University, and a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Howard Law Journal. Prior to law school, Erika worked as a paralegal in the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau at the Office of the District Attorney, Bronx County. 

Outside of work, Erika serves on the Executive Leadership Team of C.O.O.L. Kids, Inc., a New York based not-for-profit organization that is committed to cultivating the next generation of socially conscious leaders in underserved communities by mobilizing young professionals of color. She also is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

Sylvia P. James
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Winston & Strawn LLP

Sylvia F. James is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Winston & Strawn. Previously, Ms. James was the Diversity Counsel for the law firm of Baker Botts L.L.P. As Diversity Counsel, Ms. James works closely with the Recruiting and Development Department, Client Relations Department, Human Resources Department, Knowledge Services Department, Diversity Committee and Firm Leadership to develop and implement the firm’s diversity initiatives; strategizes and advises the firm with respect to diversity and inclusion initiatives; monitors and analyzes the firm’s trends in recruitment, development, retention and promotion of women and minorities; works closely with the firm's affinity groups; serves as liaison with clients and external organizations dedicated to fostering diversity in the legal profession; conducts diversity training; advises on internal and external communications relating to diversity; serves on the Pro Bono and Professional Development Committees; serves as the firm's affirmative action administrator; and manages the Firm's Supplier Diversity Program.

Prior to joining Baker Botts, Ms. James was Senior Counsel at the law firm of Holland & Knight in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate diversity counseling and labor and employment law. In that role, she conducted diversity compliance reviews for numerous government agencies and Fortune 500 companies to determine legal vulnerability to employment discrimination threats and litigation and to assess and ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws. She developed comprehensive diversity action plans for improving clients' diversity programs, performance, and profiles. She also conducted diversity, equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment training, and defended companies in employment discrimination litigation. Ms. James served in various roles on the Board of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP) from 2007-2012 including Secretary, President and President Emeritus. She currently serves as the co-chair of the ALFDP's Training and Development Committee. She is on the Advisory Board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP), Chair of the Communications Working Group of the Duke University School of Law Alumni Board, and Commissioner, American Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission. Ms. James is a frequent speaker on diversity issues at legal conferences. She earned her law degree from Duke University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in political science from Vassar College.

Jeffrey Jamison
Senior Counsel & Vice President
BMO Financial Group

Jeffrey Jamison is Associate General Counsel-Litigation and Senior Vice President at BMO Financial Group in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Jamison counseled and represented a diverse group of clients in a broad range of litigation, regulatory, and compliance matters, including complex class actions, statutory consumer lending violations, securities and commodities, bankruptcy, appeals, white-collar criminal, and internal investigations. Mr. Jamison also provided regulatory and compliance services to clients, including conducting compliance reviews and internal audits, developing policies and procedures, and creating auditing and monitoring programs.

Mr. Jamison has authored several articles on governmental regulations and compliance, consumer financial services, and corporate governance. In 2018, Mr. Jamison was named one of the top in house litigation attorneys in world by the Association for Corporate Counsel. In 2018 and 2019, Mr. Jamison was recognized as top in-house litigation counsel by First Chair. In 2012 and 2013, Mr. Jamison was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star. At Harvard Law School, Mr. Jamison served on the editorial board of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, was awarded the David Westfall Memorial Dean’s Award for Community Leadership, and was a student attorney/Public Interest Law Initiative Fellow with the Wilmer Hale Legal Services Center. Prior to law school, Mr. Jamison served as the Litigation Assistant to Laurence Tribe.

Erica Kelley

VP, Deputy General Counsel

Palo Alto Networks

Erica oversees a broad range of legal advice and programs within the business. It includes legal advisor to the people team providing global labor and employment advice in over 60 countries, including, inclusion and diversity initiatives, pay equity, compensation, reorganizations and terminations. Creating and now overseeing the global ethics and compliance program. Work with business partners across the organization to assess legal risk as it relates to third parties, conflicts of interest, anti-bribery and corruption and all HR compliance-related matters. Oversight for all internal investigations. Create and conduct training on all aspects of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, e.g. anti-bribery, gifts and entertainment, conflicts of interest, insider trading, among others. Oversight of the intellectual property strategy and portfolio team who ensures IP is identified and protected and our corporate IP portfolio has maximum impact and value to the company. As claims arise, she also oversees global litigation, including IP, Employment, Commercial, Torts. Finally, she oversees the legal operations team within the legal department and is responsible for strategy to optimize the legal function for maximum impact to the business and efficiency within the team.

Erica not only advises the company on important inclusion and diversity legal issues, but she’s a part of the cross-functional I&D team an ally and member of our Employee Networking Groups and a champion of creating the most inclusive environment for everyone to bring their best and most authentic self to work everyday.

Before Palo Alto Networks, Erica worked in private practice for ten years. She started at a medium-sized insurance defense firm, then transitioned to Littler Mendelson for seven years representing employers in advice and litigation, leaving the firm to go in-house just after making partner!

Erica grew up in Michigan and went to University of Michigan for undergraduate studies and ventured to California for law school at Santa Clara University School of Law. The sunny days were alluring, but the work and community of friends and professionals are what keeps her here….along with the sun!

Tara Goff Kamradt
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff

Tara Kamradt is a partner in the Corporate and Healthcare+ Practice Groups at Benesch. She has more than 25 years of experience counseling closely held businesses in a variety of industries including healthcare, entertainment, packaging, manufacturing, professional services and food and beverage in matters related to their formation, operation, strategic growth, succession planning, and change in control transactions. She has significant experience in the dialysis industry and represents nephrology practices with respect to joint venture arrangements, medical director agreements, strategic partnerships and relationships with other healthcare providers. Tara currently serves as outside general counsel to one of the largest single specialty nephrology practices in the country.

Tara is also active in community initiatives and has served on the Board of Directors and in other capacities for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. She is an avid supporter of diversity and the advancement of women in the legal profession and participates in numerous formal and informal mentoring networks and leadership programs. She has received the Chicago Coalition of Women in Law Leadership Award, been listed as a Crain’s Chicago Notable Woman Lawyer and consistently been recognized by her peers in Best Lawyers in America.

Sandra E. Langs
Human Resources and Professional Development Director
Phillips Lytle LLP

Sandra Langs is Human Resources and Professional Development Director at Phillips Lytle LLP. Ms. Langs is responsible for the firm's training programs, both practice-specific and firm-wide. She works closely with associates and their mentors to establish and achieve individual development goals. Ms. Langs coordinates recruiting on behalf of the firm and is responsible for overseeing the summer program. She is chair of the firm's Diversity Committee.

Ms. Langs brings to the firm over 20 years of legal and management experience with New York City law firms as a commercial litigator and employment law specialist.

She received her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law where she was a member of the Law Review.

Andrew Lipton
Executive Director
Morgan Stanley – Legal and Compliance

Andrew H. Lipton is an Executive Director and Head of Americas Market/ Conduct Regulatory Relations Group at Morgan Stanley. Previously, Mr. Lipton worked in the Client Litigation Division of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management focusing primarily on securities customer arbitrations and regulatory investigations. Mr. Lipton is an active member of the Morgan Stanley Legal and Compliance Division Diversity and Inclusion Network. Mr. Lipton is on the Board of Directors for PALS (Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program), a group that provides career and skills development for diverse lawyers and law school students). Mr. Lipton is also on the Advisory Board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”). Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Mr. Lipton was an associate at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. At Skadden, Mr. Lipton was a general litigator whose practice focused primarily on securities class actions. Mr. Lipton received a B.A. from Binghamton University and graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School.

Deborah Lloyd
Senior Vice President
SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions

Deborah Lloyd is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for SUEZ Water Technologies and Solutions reporting directly to the CEO. The Water Technologies and Solutions business comprises a broad portfolio that includes water and wastewater treatment, reuse and outsourcing, chemical treatment solutions for multiple industrial businesses, hydrocarbon processing technology, and services.

In her role, Deborah is responsible for overseeing and providing legal, ethics, compliance, insurance and risk mitigation advice that includes litigation, commercial and contract management, international trade controls, corporate affairs and governance, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and regulatory matters. She has been responsible for implementing a global compliance and enterprise risk management program in over 130 counties with over 11,000 people. She is a member of the parent company’s Performance Management Committee helping to define and implement Group orientations and guide leadership and employees on strategy, culture and overall business direction.

Deborah's most recent role was as General Counsel for GE's Water & Process Technologies business where she led the global legal and compliance department and advised on a wide range of legal and business issues. She joined General Electric in 2004 and held roles of increasing responsibility throughout her time with GE, including Associate General Counsel for GE, as well as leading the Diversity & Inclusion Council for the Legal organization. Deborah remains an active affinity group member within SUEZ being the Executive Sponsor for the LGBTQA alliance. She is also on the advisory board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

Barrington Lopez

Barrington Lopez is an entrepreneur, private investor and advisor to companies and individuals in early stage mobile software development. He formerly held roles at Verizon as Vice President and General Counsel of the 16-state Midwest Area for Verizon Wireless and Assistant General Counsel for Business and Strategic Alliances.

In his recent prior role, Barrington was executive legal advisor to the division senior management team and responsible for strategic policy and legal matters for technology related commercial transactions, state regulatory and enforcement agency investigations, commercial litigation, commercial real estate transactions and local distribution and marketing matters. In addition to his legal department functions, Barrington led the crises management team for the Midwest area supporting operational responsiveness to large scale crises matters impacting customers, employees and state emergency management teams.

He was a past chair of the diversity advisory committee of Verizon’s legal department with a focus on diversity efforts within the department, law school pipeline and with external counsel. Barrington believes in our obligation as mentors and change agents to ensure future generations of leaders both fully realize their potential and reflect the diversity of our country

Sarretta C. McDonough

Sarretta McDonough is Associate General Counsel, Antitrust and Litigation, at Intel Corporation. Sarretta joined Intel in 2018 after practicing at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she represented multinational clients in litigation and regulatory competition matters around the globe. Global Competition Review recognized Sarretta in 2018 as one of the leading practitioners in competition and named her a "Future Leader" in 2017. Sarretta served as President of the National Association of Women Lawyers for 2018-2019 and continues to serve on its Advisory Committee and as NAWL’s representative to the ABA’s House of Delegates. She currently serves as an officer for the Antitrust Section of the International Bar Association, is a member of the ABA’s International Task Force, and is an advisor to the Antitrust Section of the California Lawyers Association. She is a member of the California Bar and a solicitor of England and Wales.

Nerissa Coyle McGinn

Nerissa Coyle McGinn’s practice focuses on matters involving the convergence of advertising and promotions, emerging media, technology, privacy and intellectual property law. She has particular experience advising on matters involving the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). Nerissa works with many of the best-known brands in the country, including H&R Block and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and its confection brands. Embracing a business-minded approach, she helps clients develop new brand assets and assists them in promoting and advertising their brands and products.

Clients — including Turner Broadcasting and its programming properties, for which she handles trademark clearances for new shows, web properties, interstitials and sweepstakes — regularly turn to Nerissa for trademark counseling services.

I try to anticipate issues and provide innovative, effective solutions expeditiously for my clients.

In the advertising and promotions facet of her practice, she works with clients on sweepstakes review, copy review, and promotion design and fulfillment, with an emphasis on internet and interactive advertising and promotions.

Her diverse roster of clients includes advertising agencies, large corporations, and professional sports teams including the New York Giants, the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Red Wings.

Nerissa also provides legal services for digital companies and app developers, handling a variety of IP matters and privacy policies and practices relating to websites and mobile applications.

As a thought leader in her industry, Nerissa frequently speaks at events and conferences. She also serves as the firm’s first chief diversity partner and co-chair of the Diversity Committee, overseeing and revamping diversity policies and initiatives.

Maria D. Meléndez
Chief Diversity Officer
Sidley Austin LLP

María D. Meléndez, Chief Diversity Officer, leads Sidley’s efforts to further advance and increase diversity and inclusion across the firm’s global offices and within the legal profession as a whole. Her role is committed to the principle that having lawyers of all backgrounds greatly enriches Sidley’s perspective of the legal landscape and enhances its ability to serve clients. It also furthers the firm’s ability to develop, support and encourage new generations of lawyers to carry on its commitment to excellence, integrity, diversity and inclusion, and collegiality. As Chief Diversity Officer, María works closely with firm management to administer and support the firm’s efforts to recruit, hire, develop and promote exceptionally talented lawyers around the globe.

Working in partnership with Sidley’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee — of which she was New York chair from 2002 to 2016 — and Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women, together with Sidley colleagues, clients and other key stakeholders, María facilitates the high-level development and integration of diversity-related recruitment, retention and advancement initiatives for lawyers at all levels. Such efforts incorporate client collaborations, mentorship and pipeline programs and community-outreach strategies that promote diversity and inclusion in the profession. A frequent speaker on issues surrounding equity and fairness, María is dedicated to bolstering the framework of policy and practices that have advanced Sidley’s recognition as a top law firm for women and lawyers of diverse backgrounds.

Peers and business leaders have recognized María throughout her legal career as a steadfast champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. María was appointed to serve on the Multicultural Advancement Advisory Council of Syracuse University in 2019. A year earlier, she was honored with the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s Flor de Maga award, given to trailblazing women who demonstrate leadership in their fields, who are role models to other women and girls and who advocate for equity in society. María is a recipient of the Council of Urban Professionals Cup Catalyst: Change Agent-LAW award, which recognizes outstanding leaders in the legal sector who have had a significant impact on their community through nonprofit or public-sector service, mentorship and philanthropy. She has also received the Albany Law School Kate Stoneman Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to ensuring equity and fairness for women in the legal profession, as well as the Women’s City Club of New York Civic Spirit Award.

A former partner in Sidley’s Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice, María has more than 25 years of experience in the litigation and arbitration of high-stakes commercial disputes, representing global clients in state and federal courts throughout the United States and before arbitral tribunals. Her experience includes matters involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and other business torts, securities litigation, RICO and product-liability matters. Over the years, strong leadership and success in representing clients have earned her acknowledgement from various industry groups, including being named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation from 2017 through 2019. She was also elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2019.

Luisa Menezes
VP & Associate General Counsel Regulatory Policy & Strategy
PMI Global Services, Inc.

Luisa Menezes serves as VP & Associate General Counsel Regulatory Policy & Strategy. She has previously served as the Vice-President and Associate General Counsel, Latin America & Canada, for Philip Morris International, Inc. since July 2010. Luisa joined Philip Morris International in December 1996 as Counsel for Tabaqueira S.A. in Portugal, when this company was acquired by Philip Morris International. Luisa was appointed Counsel for Philip Morris Europe in Switzerland in 1998 and, in 2001, returned to Portugal for three years as Senior Counsel for Tabaqueira S.A.. In 2005 Luisa was appointed Assistant General Counsel for Latin America & Canada and moved to New York, United States, and held this position through June 2010.

Luisa’s in-house counsel experience spans a wide variety of legal matters, including among others, consumer protection, marketing and advertising, merger & acquisitions, employment and collective bargaining, data protection and privacy, and competition law. She is responsible for giving legal support to the Latin America & Canada Region, for the continued development of the people in her team, and for the organization and management of the LA&C Law function. Part of her role is to actively collaborate with her Regional Management Team peers, sharing her opinions beyond legal advice.

Luisa holds a graduation degree in Law and a Post-Graduation in European Law from Universidade Católica, Lisbon. She has also attended several management and leadership courses, including the Management Program for Lawyers at Yale School of Management.

Luisa is a member of the Advisory Board of The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

Luisa is Vice-Chair of the International Corporate Counsel Committee (ABA Section of International Law).

Gillian Emmett Moldowan
Shearman & Sterling LLP

Gillian Emmett Moldowan is a partner in the Compensation, Governance & ERISA practice.

She advises companies, boards of directors, executives and investors on compensation and benefit matters, including equity-based incentives, deferred compensation programs and employment, retention and severance arrangements. Her practice focuses in particular on issues that arise at the intersection of human capital management and corporate governance and in securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions transactions. She regularly counsels clients on disclosure, trading rules (including Section 16) and the negotiation of executive employment arrangements. Gillian also advises on the applicability of federal securities law, tax law and general employment-related legal issues.

Daniel L. "DL" Morriss
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

DL Morriss is a civic-minded commercial litigation Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. DL's practice consists of representing companies in internal management and governance disputes as well as lender financial work out litigation. He also has significant experience litigating commercial landlord and tenant disputes. DL has worked at Hinshaw since 2008 and enjoys training and mentoring associates who work on his matters.

In 2017, DL was appointed Diversity & Inclusion Partner where he oversees management of Hinshaw’s five affinity groups, mentoring programs and Attorney Life Committee all focused on improving culture firm wide. As part of this role, DL facilitates strategic planning initiatives that lead to recommendations and implementation of efforts to increase the firm's commitment to attorney development, relationship building and community engagement.

DL has a strong commitment to civic engagement. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Joffrey Ballet and serves on its Executive Committee, Development Committee and is a regular participant of its Community Engagement Committee that works to expand access to dance across Chicago. DL is a 2016 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and served on its Leadership Fellows Association that facilitates engagement across nonprofit, private and government sectors to improve Chicago’s economic and cultural vibrancy. DL also has served on the boards of Breakthrough and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boys and Girl Club, nonprofits in Chicago's East Garfield Park neighborhood that provide services to homeless families and offers youth development programs. DL lives in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood with his wife and three children. DL is a 2008 graduate of DePaul University College of Law where he earned a Juris Doctor and a 2005 graduate of Wheaton College where he earned a B.A. in Psychology.

Jennifer Reddien
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Venable LLP

Jennifer Reddien has spent much of her career pursing diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition to her background and personal experiences, Jennifer’s passion for equity makes her an effective and invaluable leader as Venable’s inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Jennifer’s charge is to build upon Venable’s award-winning  diversity initiatives by strategizing, elevating, implementing, and executing the firm’s diversity plan. She will closely monitor progress and hold the firm accountable for results. Jenn will also focus on education by training the firm’s attorneys on implicit bias and similar topics, as well as by speaking and serving on panels outside of the firm.

Prior to joining Venable, Jennifer served as the director of diversity and inclusion at Haynes and Boone, a global law firm and one of the largest in the United States. Before that she served as the executive director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, a nonprofit organization that promotes racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. Jennifer also spent many years as a litigation lawyer and served as co-chair of the Diversity Task Force at her previous law firm.

Jennifer was recently appointed to serve on the advisory board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. She was recognized in D CEO’s 2021 Dallas 500 Directory for her achievements as Haynes and Boones’ director of diversity and inclusion. And, in 2019, Jennifer was listed among Profiles in Diversity Journal’s list of Women Worth Watching. She is a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals, Inc. and many other minority organizations.

Following the racial protests that erupted in 2020, Jennifer was invited along with other thought leaders to take part in D CEO’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact Symposium. During her legal career, Jennifer was named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, from 2009 to 2014.

Jennifer received a bachelor of arts from Duke University, a juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, and a master of business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Leslie Richards-Yellen
Director of Global Diversity
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Leslie Richards-Yellen is the Director of Inclusion - Americas at Hogan Lovells and is a public finance attorney with over 30 years of experience as in-house counsel and in private practice. Ms. Richards-Yellen frequently serves as borrower’s, underwriter’s, issuer’s and work out counsel. Previously she worked in public finance at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Ms. Richards-Yellen was a member of the firm's Executive Committee and served as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and as Chair of the Diversity Committee. Prior to working at Hinshaw, Ms. Richards-Yellen was associate general counsel with The Vanguard Group, where she provided legal services and analysis for the Fixed Income Group. Ms. Richards-Yellen was a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers’ Steering Committee. She is the President of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL). In 2014, she was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (ISCCP) and serves as the Chair of the ISCCP’s Diversity Committee. Ms. Richards-Yellen sits on the Boards of NAWL, the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, as well as the Advisory Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

Marci Rubin
Board Member & Officer
California ChangeLawyers

Marci Rubin has a long history of diversity advocacy within and outside the legal profession.

From December 2009 through July 2015, she served as Executive Director of the California Minority Counsel Program.  During that period, Marci significantly increased CMCP’s stature and influence as a national in the legal diversity community.  In 2013, Marci was named one of the National Diversity Council’s Most Powerful & Influential Women in California.

Prior to joining CMCP, Marci was Deputy General Counsel at Wells Fargo where she practiced law for 29 years, managed a large team of attorneys and developed new attorney teams through three major bank mergers.  While at Wells Fargo, Marci served on the CMCP Steering Committee from 1998-2005.  She also served two terms on the California State Bar, Business Law Section UCC Committee.  She has been an active speaker for a wide variety of organizations, including California Bankers Association, PLI, California State Bar Women in Law Conference, National Conference for Women Corporate Counsel, CMCP, ABA and MCCA, on topics ranging from commercial credit to diversity & women's issues in the legal profession.

Marci received her BA in political theory from UC Berkeley, and her JD from UC Berkeley's School of Law.

Marci is a current member of the Board of Directors of the California Bar Foundation, the Advisory Committee for The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, and the Advisory Board of Beyond Law.

Marci is a past Board member & Board Chair, and current Emeritus Director, of Equal Rights Advocates, Inc. - a non-profit legal organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunity for women and girls, and a past Board member & Board Chair, and current Emeritus Board member, of Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley - a non-profit traditional music education and performing arts venue.

E. Macey Russell
Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Macey, a partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart, represents financial institutions, banks, businesses, and corporations in disputes involving contracts, securities, investments, and lending arrangements, as well as in class action matters in state court, federal court, and in arbitrations. In 2007, the governor of Massachusetts appointed Macey to the Judicial Nominating Commission, which recommends judicial appointments at all levels throughout the Commonwealth. After Macey served as Vice Chairman in 2010, the Governor appointed him to Chairman of the Commission beginning in 2011.

In 2009, Massachusetts Laywers Weekly named Macey a “Diversity Hero,” and the Litigation Counsel of America named him to its Trial Lawyer Honorary Society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. In 2011, the American  Bar Foundation named him fellow, which is reserved for one-third of one percent of attorneys in his juridisdiction. Also in 2011, the Boston Bar Association appointed Macey as co-chair of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Additionally, the Burton Foundation and Library of Congress have honored him with a Burton Award for excellence in legal writing for his co-authored article Developing Great Minority Lawyers for the Next Generation. He is also listed in Best Lawyers in America

Since 1989, Macey has been a frequent advisor and contributor to Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. He co-chairs Choate’s Diversity Committee and is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee. Macey received his J.D. from Suffolk University of Law in 1983 and his B.A. from Trinity College in 1980.

Mona Mehta Stone
Sr. VP, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona

Mona Mehta Stone serves as Vice President and General Counsel for Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, where she oversees all aspects of Goodwill’s legal affairs and compliance operations.  In this role, Mona leads Goodwill of Central Arizona’s legal team, providing legal support to all business units, including HR, Finance, Marketing and Workforce Development. She is responsible for providing legal advice on risk management, corporate governance, contracts, personnel, budgetary and real estate matters. Mona contributes to Goodwill’s strategic and tactical legal initiatives as it continues its expansion and diversification of businesses.

Prior to joining Goodwill of Central Arizona, Mona was in private practice at Greenberg Traurig and at Locke Lord, and as a passionate mentor, was awarded the first annual “Firm Career Development Liaison of the Year” honor by Greenberg Traurig in 2014. She has extensive experience in managing complex litigation and administrative proceedings and was recently named one of the “2016 Top 25 Women Lawyers” by Southwest Super Lawyers, as well as being named one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in 2008.

Mona has authored several books and countless articles regarding best practices, compliance issues, and advancement for minorities in the legal profession.  She is a frequent speaker before senior executives, business clients, and industry stakeholders regarding commercial litigation, employment law, and workplace diversity. Mona has been active in non-profit boards and is a member of the State Bars of Arizona and Illinois.  She earned her juris doctor degree from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana and a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Derrick Thompson
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Derrick Thompson is partner and trial lawyer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Chicago who focuses his practice on complex business disputes. He has significant experience as lead trial counsel in a range of litigation matters, including partnership disputes, real estate litigation, employment litigation, intellectual property disputes, wealth transfer litigation, injunctive relief, and sports and entertainment-related disputes. In addition, Derrick has been retained as appellate counsel in cases involving business and contract disputes.

Derrick has an extensive background in sports. His experience includes playing college football for Northwestern University in the late '90s and representing professional athletes as a National Football League contract advisor. Derrick’s experience gives him a unique perspective in helping sports and entertainment-related companies resolve their legal disputes. He has represented individuals and businesses in contract negotiations and counsels corporations, not-for-profit entities, religious organizations, and sports and entertainment-related companies.

Mark Tratos
Greenberg Traurig LLP

Mark Tratos is the founding and former managing shareholder of the Las Vegas office of Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm with more than 2100 lawyers in 40 offices across the U.S. and overseas. Mark focuses his practice on entertainment and intellectual property litigation matters including copyright, rights of publicity and privacy, trademark and brand management, art law and cyber law. Mr. Tratos focuses his practice on protecting artists, inventors, athletes, entertainers and business proprietors who innovate and develop international brands.

Mark is the Past Chair of the Board of Trustees for the National Judicial College, where he is now Trustee Emeritus. Mark is Past Chair of the Nevada Entertainment Development Corporation, (the CineVegas Film Festival). Mark currently serves as Secretary and outside counsel to the Smith Center for Performing Arts in Las Vegas. Mark was both the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board for the Discovery Children’s Museum and is Secretary and outside counsel for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Chair of the Board of Lewis & Clark Law School and Trustee of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Mark has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America 17 years and has received 8 Lawyer of the Year designations in the areas of copyright, trademark, and intellectual property litigation.

Mark is the author of the Nevada Chapter of the International Trademark Association’s State Law Handbook chapter on Nevada; he is also the author of the New York Bar Association’s Siegel on Entertainment chapters on “Entertainment on the Internet: The Evolution of Entertainment Production, Distribution, Ownership and Control in the Digital Age”; and “Exhibitions: Art and Artifacts Exhibits as an Expansion of the Entertainment Industry”; and has taught extensively at law schools such as Arizona State, Lewis & Clark, and the Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

Alexander S. Vesselinovitch
Freeborn & Peters

Alex Vesselinovitch is a partner in the litigation practice group of Freeborn & Peters LLP in Chicago. Alex focuses his practice on complex dispute resolution in the courts or in arbitration proceedings. He handles a wide variety of cases involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, antitrust and intellectual property disputes. He is also very experienced in conducting internal corporate investigations involving allegations of misconduct or fraud and he provides counsel in civil RICO cases.

As a former deputy supervisor in the criminal division of the US Attorney’s office, Alex was lead counsel in investigations and jury trials involving healthcare, banking, fraud and public corruption. He has tried over 40 cases to verdict in the federal and state courts. He received the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award. Alex served as a law clerk to US District Court Judge Charles B. Kocoras.

Alex actively represents individuals in pro bono cases, and he has brought several civil cases for plaintiffs under the Illinois Hate Crime statute. In his spare time, Alex is an amateur musician who plays bass guitar and cello.

Charys S. Williams
Director & Counsel - Global Governance Strategy & Operations
Walmart Inc.

James H. Wooten, Jr.

James H. Wooten, Jr. recently retired as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Illinois Tool Works Inc., a Fortune 200 company with 16.2 billion dollars in revenues. James began his career with ITW in 1988 as a Senior Attorney providing legal counsel to the Company's decentralized business units around the world. He was elected to his current position in 2005 and is responsible for legal, environmental and safety, risk management and governmental affairs.

James was born in Chicago, Illinois, May 31, 1948. He earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois (Chicago Circle), 1978 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago, 1982. He is admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1982. Previously he practiced with Gardner, Carton & Douglas: Associate, 1982-1987

James is a Member, American and Chicago Bar Associations, Executive Leadership Council, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Junior Achievement. He is a Board member, Children Memorial Hospital, Goodwill Industries of Metropolitan Chicago, Congo Square Theatre Company, Window to the World Communications, Inc. (WWCI), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Melanie E. Younger

Melanie E. Younger is a senior counsel at TransUnion LLC, a fast-paced financial services company. She has experience in marketing law, product development, compliance, procurement, and privacy. She has provided marketing counsel as well as legal counsel on products and features from concept to launch, ensuring that the products being developed are not only ushered into the marketplace expeditiously, but are legally compliant.

Melanie received her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and received a Health Law certificate and was recognized as a Beazley Health Law Fellow. During her time before, during, and after her Juris Doctor candidacy, she participated in various programs (CLEO, JIOP, MSK/MBK and others) and sought mentors who helped orient, guide, and expose her to the legal profession as well as the many professional angles one could explore after completing her degree and passing the bar.

After receiving and benefiting the love and labor of so many throughout my professional journey, I now see it as my duty to support and lead inclusion and diversity efforts for those in the pipeline. At my company I have joined the newly created Legal and Compliance Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging group where my intent is to expand access to more diverse outside counsel as well as improve my company’s processes with respect to attracting and retaining diverse talent.

Michael Zeoli
Assistant Vice President, Litigation & Vendor Management
IAT Insurance Group, Inc.

Michael is Assistant Vice President, Litigation & Vendor Management at IAT Insurance Group, Inc., joining IAT in 2019.  Michael is responsible for the Litigation & Vendor Management team which includes management of panel counsel, nonpanel counsel utilization, audit services and processes and all claim vendor relationships and utilization.

Responsibilities include oversight and management of:

-       Legal (panel and non-panel counsel)

-       Nonlegal relationships

-       Audit and ebilling processes

-       Utilization and supply chain management; provide strategic oversight of supply chain of service providers

-       Advancement of diversity and inclusiveness in litigation services supply chain 

-       Engagement as advisor in dispute resolution and practices; overall strategy and on case-by-case basis

-       Financial and quality review and analysis

-       Advancement of operational efficiency and effectiveness in all aspects of the litigation and vendor management processes and resolution initiatives

Prior to joining IAT, Michael held various roles at Chubb, including:

-       Vice President, Head of North America Legal Vendor Manager

-       Assistant Vice President, Home Office Litigation Management Specialist

-       Assistant Vice President and Manager of the Litigation Cost Management Group. 

From 2001 to 2010, Michael held various roles at The Hartford including:

-       Regional Manager of Panel Counsel

-       Counsel

-       Trial Attorney

He also held positions with Sentry Insurance as Trial Attorney and The Public Consulting Group, Inc. as a Case Director and Counsel.
Michael earned his JD from Suffolk University Law School where in his 3rd year he participated in the prosecutor’s clinical program representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in criminal proceedings.  Michael earned his MBA from Southern Connecticut State University and his BA in Economics from Albertus Magnus College, where he later served as an Adjunct Professor teaching Business Ethics, Business Law and Sports Law.

Michael has been a speaker and faculty member on litigation management and claim topics.  Michael is a Certified Litigation Management Professional (LMI – CLM designation), Certified Claims Professional in Casualty Claims (CLM designation) and a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC).  Michael is also a member of NAMWOLF’s Advisory Council (National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms).
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