August 11, 2019

Video: Margaret Brent Award recipient Michelle Banks

Michelle Banks issued a challenge to the men in the audience. She talked about her time as the first female lawyer in a large Japanese company in Tokyo, and the male mentor who made it happen. .

“I frequently hear and read now, particularly in light of the MeToo movement, that men are avoiding women in the workplace,” she said. “I challenge the men in this room to do the opposite. It is really important – it is absolutely essential – that we have men championing women individually and the rights of women generally.” Banks is senior adviser at BarkerGilmore in San Francisco, an executive search firm that provides executive coaching to general counsels. She is co-founder and co-chair of UCLA Law Women LEAD, a network of almost 2,000 women law students and alumnae at her alma mater. She is also a board member of DirectWomen, a nonprofit that prepares female lawyers to serve on corporate boards of directors. Banks was the first female legal counsel for the Golden State Warriors before becoming general counsel of Gap Inc. She has been recognized as a “Legend in Law” by the Burton Foundation and a “Distinguished General Counsel” by the Directors Roundtable. UCLA Law School named her its Alumna of the Year for Professional Achievement in 2016

Top story: ABA bestows Brent Award on 5 notable California women lawyers