chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
March 15, 2021

ABA offers racially, ethnically diverse litigators “peek behind the curtain,” keys to success

CHICAGO, March 15, 2021 — The American Bar Association Litigation Section will host its biennial Professional Success Summit virtually, March 29-30. The conference is dedicated to maximizing the potential of litigators from racial and ethnic backgrounds who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession, propelling them to the highest levels of the profession.  

2021 Virtual Professional Success Summit
Sponsored by the ABA Litigation Section 

Monday-Tuesday, March 29-30


Events include a reception featuring civil rights activists Pearl Cleage and Eugene H. Russell, IV discussing the animated feature, SIT-IN, and a conversation with best-selling author Bakari Sellers, who was the youngest African American elected official in the nation when he was elected in 2006 to the South Carolina state legislature at the age of 22.  

Other program highlights include: 


“Lawyers of Color Reflect on Their Obligation to Impact Society” — Debra Sydnor, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Atlanta; Tricia “CK” Hoffler, The CK Hoffler Firm, Atlanta; Mitchell A. Robinson, BakerHostetler, Atlanta; Angela J. Scott, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., will discuss how they have used their platforms to elevate their impact on society as social engineers. 10-11:15 a.m. ET

“Equity Partners of Color: Unicorns Breaking Glass Ceilings” — Panelists will discuss the challenges of navigating the road towards equity partnership and the skills and resources needed to increase equity partnership for attorneys of color at large law firms. Speakers are Tracey Salmon-Smith, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Florham Park, New Jersey; Michael Brown, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Baltimore; Ava E. Lias-Booker, McGuireWoods, Baltimore; Michael Marsh, Akerman LLP, Miami; and Don Prophete, Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete LLP, Kansas City, Missouri. 1:30–2:45 p.m. ET


“Demystifying Judicial Elections and Selection Processes: State and Federal Courts” — 

J. Michelle Childs, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina; Keathan B. Frink, Circuit Court of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida; Ronald Ramsey, DeKalb County Courthouse, DeKalb County, Georgia; Eleanor L. Ross, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta; and Catherine M. Salinas, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, Atlanta, will share their career stories and lessons learned on their paths to the bench. 1:45–3 p.m. ET

“Keys to Success in the Federal Sector: Top Tips from Rock Star Lawyers at the Top of Their Game” — This panel will explore the wealth of opportunities available to diverse attorneys in the federal government. Speakers are Chauntis Jenkins-Floyd, Travelers, Atlanta.; Benes Aldana, National Judicial College, Atlanta; James M. Durant; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Chicago; Tamia N. Gordon, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans; Tremelle I. Howard, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, Atlanta; and James Satterwhite, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta. 3:15-4:15 p.m. ET       

View the brochure here.

Click here to view the agenda. 

This event is open and free to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Julie Brown at 312-988-6133 or [email protected]

The ABA Litigation Section is the premier association for lawyers and judges involved in litigation and trial practice. Legal professionals from all areas of practice turn to the Section for member-only access to the latest news, information, and thinking on legal strategy, bringing all sides of a trial to one place to form a comprehensive view of the profession.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.