March 20, 2020

2020 World Forum for Women in the Law

The American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession is holding the first-ever World Forum for Women in the Law in the United States on July 29-31, 2020.  This unique conference will focus on Women, Power, and Disrupting the Status Quo.

The Forum will bring together over 200 invited women leaders in the legal profession, representing a global array of international firms and corporations committed to advancing women into leadership roles.  Sessions will be led by prominent leaders in all areas of practice: private law firms, public and private corporations, the judiciary, government, and NGOs.  The Forum will be highly interactive with opportunities to learn about strategies and initiatives that have been successful across firms and organizations from around the globe and to engage in dialogue with leaders in the field.

If your organization would like to become a sponsor of this exciting and innovative global event, please see the sponsorship opportunities and benefits here.

Please reach out to the Commission staff at with any questions.

Confirmed Speakers

(partial list)

  • Christina Blacklaws, Immediate Past President, Law Society of England & Wales
  • Connie Collingsworth, Chief Operating Officer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Patricia Diaz Dennis, Board Member, U.S. Steel; Entravision Communications; Amalgamated Bank
  • Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO, National Women's Law Center
  • Maria Green, Senior VP & General Counsel, Ingersoll Rand; Director, Tennant Co
  • Brett Hart, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, United Airlines Holdings, Inc.
  • Hon. Letitia James, Attorney General for the State of New York
  • Noelle Lenoir, First Woman Justice, French Constitutional Court, 1992-2001; Member, Conseil d'Etat
  • Ambassador Audrey Marks, Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States
  • Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, New York Public Library
  • Hon. Margaret McKeown, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Nancy Northup, President & CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Tshepo Shabangu, Chair, Spoor & Fisher, Republic of South Africa
  • Hon. Francisca Zapata, President, Association of Chilean Magistrates (MACHI)

Planned Programs (subject to change)

Power Play: Global Women's Leadership and the Exercise of Power
Panelists will be women ambassadors and other lawyers with senior government service.

Cultivating Allies and Building Your Powerbase

Panelists will include leaders of international corporations, law firms, and government.

Global Justice: Changing the Paradigm for Women's Rights

Panelists will include judges, public officials, and leaders of NGOs on the front lines of international issues affecting women's rights.

Are You Board Ready?

Panelists will include women lawyers who are members of public boards to share their insights about the value and process of board membership.

Levers for Transformative Organizational Change:

Panelists will discuss the most up-to-date approaches to organizational and culture change such as gritty teams, bias interrupters, and gender targets.

Formal and Informal Networking Activities, Receptions, and Events

Planned Small Group Sessions

  • The Rule of Law in Systems Vulnerable to Corruption
  • How Global Women Leaders Lead Differently Around the World
  • Media Ready: How to Get the World to Look and Listen
  • Making Decisions: the Role of Reason, Emotion, and Bias - Yours and Others'
  • Well-Being Strategies for Change-Makers


Global ($50,000)

Duane Morris, LLP

Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

Platinum ($25,000)

DLA Piper

Reed Smith, LLP

Gold ($15,000)

The Huntington National Bank

Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius, LLP

Silver ($7,500)

Covington & Burling, LLP

Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, LLP

Haynes and Boone, LLP

Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins, LLP

Locke Lord, LLP

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC

Pepper Hamilton, LLP

Sidley Austin, LLP

Wiley Rein, LLP