Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law

Presented by the YLD Women in the Profession Committee and the Commission on Women in the Profession

About the Program

In August 2013, the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession released Gindi Vincent’s book "Learning to Lead: What Works for Women in Law." This book synthesizes the research and anecdotal evidence on leadership techniques that help women in all fields develop in all aspects of their careers and condenses and focuses the information into digestible concepts that women lawyers can use. During this program, theories from the book are discussed and panelists share practical tips and tricks for success. Recording date: October 16, 2013

Moderator: Margaret K. Masunaga, Deputy Corporation Counsel, County of Hawaii, Kealakekua, HI


Lacy Durham, Deloitte Tax, LLP, Dallas, TX

Carrie Hightman, NiSource, Inc, Merrillville, IN

Gindi Eckel Vincent, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, TX

Speaker Bios:

Lacy Durham

Lacy is a Tax Manager at Deloitte Tax, LLP where she focuses primarily on Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, and Tax. Lacy specializes in advising clients on all aspects of employee benefit plans and compensation arrangements, with an emphasis on plan compliance, corrective measures, administration, and mitigation strategies. Prior to joining Deloitte, Lacy worked at the U.S. Department of Labor - Employee Benefits Security Administration. Lacy has worked with accounting firms, legal firms, corporate organizations or all sizes and various governmental entities.

Lacy is known for her vision and foot-to-pavement attitude that yields advocacy and action. She is an ally of women, children and disadvantaged persons who otherwise have no voice. She frequently speaks on issues around abuse/neglect, human trafficking, education reform and youth mentorship.

Lacy is an active member of many bar associations, as well as other professional organizations. Lacy is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the ABA Young Lawyers Division and will ascend to the Chair position in 2015-2016. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of several others bar association and community organizations, including the Dallas County Junior Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Lacy has received numerous honors including the Humanitarian Award (National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division), Outstanding Director of the Year (Texas Young Lawyers Association), Woman of Tomorrow (Altrusa International, Inc.), several 40 Under 40 distinctions (the Dallas Business Journal and IMPACT) and more.

Lacy earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center and an LLM in Taxation from Southern Methodist University School of a Law. Lacy also holds degrees in Accounting and Finance and a MBA. She is admitted to law practice in Louisiana and Texas.

Carrie J. Hightman

Carrie J. Hightman is executive vice president and chief legal officer for NiSource Inc. Headquartered in Merrillville, IN, NiSource is an energy holding company whose subsidiaries provide natural gas, electricity and other products and services to approximately 3.8 million

customers located within a corridor that runs from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England.

Ms. Hightman serves as a member of the company's senior management team and her responsibilities include all legal functions, ethics, compliance, environmental, sustainability and safety. Prior to joining NiSource, Ms. Hightman served as president of AT&T Illinois (formerly SBC). In that position, she was responsible for all regulatory, legislative, governmental and external affairs, and community and industry relations throughout Illinois.

Prior to joining AT&T, Ms. Hightman practiced telecommunications and energy law for more than 17 years. She was a Partner in the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin, where she led its Energy, Telecommunications and Public Utilities practice group. Ms. Hightman began her career in the public sector in 1983, serving as staff counsel at the Florida Public Service Commission and as associate counsel at the Florida Office of Public Counsel, handling a variety of public utility cases on behalf of consumers. Ms. Hightman is vice chair of the Telecommunications Committee of the Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section of the American Bar Association and past chair of the Public Utility Law Section of the Chicago Bar Association. Ms. Hightman serves as chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois State Universities Retirement System. She also serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Urban League and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

Ms. Hightman earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Illinois and her juris doctor degree from Florida State University.

Margaret K. Masunaga

Margaret K. Masunaga is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.  She currently is the Deputy Corporation Counsel for the County of Hawaii in Kona, Hawaii, and previously served as the Deputy Planning Director, and Deputy Attorney General. Ms. Masunaga was also an attorney in the private sector for Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel.

Ms. Masunaga is currently the ABA State Delegate for Hawaii, and a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She has served as the Hawaii Delegate to the White House Forum on Women & the Economy, former Chair of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, and a contributing author of “Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters, Strategies for Success” and “Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Words of Wisdom from Multicultural Women Attorneys Who’ve Been There and Done That.”

She has been a speaker in Japan on Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Education in America, and the recipient of the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award, Gold Recipient.

She lives on a Kona coffee farm with her husband Gail and they have two daughters, Colette and Jana.

Gindi Eckel Vincent

Gindi is Counsel in ExxonMobil Corporation's Law Department. Her responsibilities include providing strategic environmental counsel to all business lines, including refining, chemicals, pipeline, and upstream and development.

Prior to joining ExxonMobil, Gindi served in private practice for 15 years. Most recently, Gindi was Counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman where she worked with energy companies to solve complex environmental challenges. While at Pillsbury, Gindi was awarded both Pillsbury's Working Mother of the Year Award and the Houston Young Lawyers Association's Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
Currently, Gindi is the President Elect of the Women's Energy Network of Houston. The Women's Energy Network is a national organization with over 2,200 members empowering women in the energy industry. Prior to her leadership with the Women's Energy Network, Gindi chaired the non-profit Houston Young Lawyers Foundation and the 23,000 member Texas Young Lawyers Association as well as served as Vice President of the Young Audiences of Houston.

Gindi earned her B.A. from Ouachita Baptist University and her J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School.  

Gindi just released her first book, Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in the Law, for the ABA Commission on Women and blogs daily at www.gindivincent.com. Gindi and her husband Bray are the proud parents of three year old triplets.