Women in Law US 2013 Awards

Chambers USA Women in Law Awards 2013


The Chambers USA Women in Law Awards honour leading female in-house and Chambers-ranked private practice lawyers who are also committed to furthering the advancement of women in the law. The awards also celebrate firms that have the most innovative gender diversity initiative and the best mentoring program.

See the full 2013 shortlist here

You can view the 2013 awards video highlights here:


For 2013 we introduced three new award categories.

1) Outstanding contribution to gender diversity and equality;
2) Outstanding contribution to mentoring;
3) Outstanding contribution to public service/social activism.

We also presented awards to law firms for the most innovative gender diversity initiative and the best mentoring program. You can view the list of nominees here: 2013 Nominees

2013 Awards Categories and Winners


Outstanding Contributions to Public Service/Social Activism


In-house Lawyer: Kim Rivera - DaVita Inc.

Kim has been at DaVita for two years. She is currently a member of the Leadership Council of Diversity. She is also a frequent speaker at diversity events and recently spoke about women in the law at an American Bar Association conference

Up-and-coming In-house Lawyer: Kelly Frazier - Energy Future Holdings

Kelly is in-house counsel at Energy Future Holdings. She recently became legal co-team leader for the company’s internal United Way campaign for 2012. She is involved in numerous pro bono schemes.

Kelly Frazier
Louise Parent of American Express, winner Kelly Frazier, Women in Law Editor Dee Sekar

Private Practice Lawyer: Grace E. Speights - Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (DC)

Grace became the first African American female partner at Morgan Lewis. She is managing partner of the firm's DC office, deputy practice group leader of the firmwide labor and employment practice and chair of the systematic employment litigation practice. Grace is also a leader in Morgan Lewis' pro bono efforts. She has represented an inmate on death row and also advised the NAACP, Legal Counsel for the Elderly and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Grace Speights
Louise Parent, Grace Speights and Dee Sekar

Outstanding Contributions to Gender Diversity & Equality


In-house Lawyer: Marcea B. Lloyd - Amylin Pharmaceuticals

Marcea is currently the senior vice president, general counsel and chief administrative officer at Amylin Pharmaceuticals. She is an active member of the Executive Leadership Council which is the nation's premier African American Leadership organization, and she is also a regular speaker at women and diversity events.

Marcea Lloyd
Laura Beth Taylor of DuPont, winner Marcea Lloyd, Mary Jo White of Debevoise and Dee Sekar

Up-and-coming In-house Lawyer: Savalle Sims - Discovery Communications, Inc.

Savalle is senior vice president of litigation and intellectual property at Discovery. She is also a strong advocate of diversity within the law and has held many positions on a range of diversity committees.

Savalle Sims
Laura Beth Taylor, winner Savalle Sims, Mary Jo White and Dee Sekar

Private Practice Lawyer: Roberta D. Liebenberg - Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C. (Pennsylvania)

Alongside a stellar commercial practice, Roberta has promoted the advancement of female lawyers through serving as the chair of numerous commissions on women in the profession. She is currently chair of the ABA's Gender and Equality Commission. She also founded 'Direct Women' - an organization that identifies and trains women attorneys to serve as directors of the board of companies. Roberta also created a fellowship program with Ms JD, an organization for young women lawyers and female law students.

Outstanding Contributions to Mentoring


In-house Lawyer: Jaime Myers – Caterpillar Inc.

Jaime is corporate counsel at Caterpillar. She is a successful litigator and also manages to devote time to her role on Caterpillar's mentoring subcommittee. Jaime assists in pairing mentors with mentees and oversees the development of the mentoring relationships.

Jaime Myers
Louise Parent, winner Jaime Myers and Dee Sekar

Private Practice Lawyer: Roberta Jacobs-Meadway - Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC (Pennsylvania)

Roberta is a member of the board of directors and executive committee, and cochair of the intellectual property group. She currently serves on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union. She is an active mentor at her firm and also through ALI-ABA.

Corporate M&A


Lawyer of the Year: Franci J. Blassberg - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (New York)

Franci is an outstanding corporate M&A and private equity lawyer who is cochair of Debevoise’s private equity group and a member of the M&A group. She has been extremely active in mentoring female attorneys and she has championed diversity in the law for over 30 years.

Up-and-Coming Corporate M&A Lawyer of the Year: Mary Ann Todd - Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (California)

Mary Ann has an active practice and represents a number of major clients such as Berkshire Hathaway. She cochairs the women's initiative subcommittee at Munger, Tolles & Olson and is heavily involved in pro bono and civic activities.

Mary Ann Todd
Laura Beth Taylor, winner Mary Ann Todd and Dee Sekar



Lawyer of the Year: Susan P. Serota - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (New York)

Susan is the practice group leader of executive compensation and benefits. She has been an active mentor to female associates through Pillsbury's women’s attorneys network. She is currently vice chair of the New York Chapter 2020 Women on Boards.

Susan Serota
Winner Susan Serota, Louise Parent and Dee Sekar

Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year: Christine Liu McLaughlin - Godfrey & Kahn, SC (Wisconsin)

Christine is a senior shareholder in the labor, employment and immigration group. She is also chair of the firm's women's leadership forum and diversity committee. She established Godfrey & Kahn’s Attorney Advisory Program, a mentoring program that pairs new attorneys with more experienced attorneys to foster professional development and advancement.

Christine Liu McLaughlin

Energy & Projects


Lawyer of the Year: Laura Ellen Jones - Hunton & Williams LLP (Virginia)

Laura is a partner in the renewable energy practice. She was one of the founding member of the firm's women's networking forum, which has successfully gone on to be established in six additional offices. Laura is an active mentor in the group and helps younger women attorneys in the firm.

Laura Ellen Jones
Laura Beth Taylor, winner Laura Ellen Jones and Dee Sekar

Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year: Lisa A. Cottle - Winston & Strawn LLP (California)

Lisa's practice focuses on the development, financing, operation, acquisition, and disposition of energy projects, and the sale and purchase of electricity. She is an active member of the firm's diversity committee. She has been instrumental in the implementation of a number of initiatives such as the mentoring program, childcare and family leave policies and reduced hours work guidelines. Lisa is currently the childcare leave coordinator for the San Francisco office. She is also a member of both the ABA Women Rainmakers group and women in energy networking group.

Lisa Cottle
Laura Beth Taylor, winner Lisa Cottle and Dee Sekar



Lawyer of the Year: Marissa C. Wesely - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (New York)

Marissa is a successful banking and finance lawyer at Simpson Thacher and has also spearheaded a number of diversity initiatives at the firm. She helped form Simpson Thacher's women's committee in 2006 and is cochair of the firm's diversity task force.

Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year: Katherine Mooney Carroll - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (DC)

Katherine is a financial services regulation lawyer based in the DC office. She is leader of the women lawyers group, vice chair of the diversity committee and mentor of women associates on part-time schedules. She is also involved with raising the profile of gender equality in Africa by drafting and presenting a memorandum to African jurisdictions that female genital mutilation violates national and international law.

Katherine Mooney Carroll
Louise Parent, winner Katherine Mooney Carroll and Dee Sekar

Intellectual Property


Lawyer of the Year: Rachel Krevans - Morrison & Foerster (California)

Rachel is co-chair of the firm's 300-lawyer IP practice group. She helped establish the firm's diversity strategy committee in 2003 and currently serves on the firm's women's initiative subcommittee. Rachel created and led MoFo's first annual summit for women in-house counsel and MoFo's Odyssey program, which provides mentors for female and ethnic minority lawyers.

Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year: Janet P. Peyton - McGuireWoods LLP (Virginia)

Janet is chair of the transactional intellectual property practice group. She has a certificate in Women's Studies from Duke University and mentors female associates at her firm as well as female law students from the University of Richmond.

Janet Peyton
Louise Parent, winner Janet Peyton and Dee Sekar



Lawyer of the Year: Sylvia H. Walbolt - Carlton Fields, P.A. (Florida)

Sylvia is an outstanding litigator and trailblazer in the advancement of women in the law. She pioneered alternative work schedules in the 1960s and was allowed to work part-time after the birth of her first child. She has mentored many female associates and strongly advocates gender-friendly work environments.

Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year: Mei Lin Kwan-Gett - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (New York)

Mei Lin is co-head of the firm's white-collar criminal defense practice group. She is an active mentor to female associates and serves on the firm's diversity and professional personnel/legal recruiting committees. She recently launched two new mentorship programs - a senior associate advisory network and a career adviser program. She has also been a speaker at the NYC Bar Women of Color Workshop Series and Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Mei Lin Kwan-Gett
Laura Beth Taylor, winner Mei Lin Kwan-Gett and Dee Sekar

Real Estate


Lawyer of the Year: Pamela S. Duffy - Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP (California)

Pamela's main focus is in the areas of commercial real estate, land use and development. She has championed gender and diversity in the law through the firm's hiring policy and mentoring programs. Pamela is also a mentor to women lawyers in the real estate industry and is actively involved in numerous pro bono and community programs.

Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year: Susan J. Booth - Holland & Knight LLP (California)

Susan serves on the firm's directors' committee and is also leader of the West Coast real estate group. She is a dedicated mentor to young male and female associates and she is also on the selection committee for Rising Stars, which is a firm mentorship program for outstanding female lawyers.

Susan Booth
Louise Parent, winner Susan Booth and Dee Sekar

Best Mentoring Program:


Best Mentoring Program: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick has established a successful range of mentoring programs which are focused upon each individual lawyer's development needs. The Professional Development Committee Diversity Liaison is responsible for monitoring the career progress of practice groups’ diverse associates and providing the support needed for their retention and advancement. The firm also offers a number of specific mentoring packages for associates up to partner level. Orrick also has unique mentoring programs in place such as a minority mentoring program and women's mentoring circles.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Laura Beth Taylor, Young Lee from Orrick and Dee Sekar

Most Innovative Gender Diversity Initiative:


Most Innovative Gender Diversity Initiative: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Women@Weil aims to address issues arising from both the professional and personal lives of female attorneys. Within Women@Weil, the firm offers a Mothers@Weil forum for associate mothers, a mentoring circle and office mini-retreat which enables associates and partners to network in an informal setting. The firm also offers a rising women partners initiative (RWP), which has been in place since 2005 and aims to promote business development and leadership skills in newly appointed partners. Weil has also recently created a flex-time partner role for both male and female attorneys who wish to work on a permanent flexible schedule.

Weil, Gotshap & Manges LLP
Weil representative, Laura Beth Taylor and Dee Sekar

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