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2014 Inaugural Women in the Law Event

Best Lawyers Honors Women in the Law

Of the 2,627 NYC-based attorneys selected for inclusion in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America, the nation’s oldest peer-reviewed lawyer publication, 368 are women. Of those esteemed female attorneys, 7 have been named a “Lawyer of the Year” and 16 have been newly named to the list for 2014

Their achievements were celebrated with a luncheon, award ceremony and General Counsel Open Forum on "Women in the Law" on May 1st, 2014 in New York City.

Who Attended?

Lawyers, firm leaders, legal practitioners — all those who celebrate the leading women attorneys in NYC, network with other legal leaders, and benefit from an afternoon of inspiration, information and candid engagement with our impressive roster of guests.

Agenda Overview

  • 11:30am: Arrival, registration, networking & noshing
  • 12:00pm: Welcoming remarks by Phillip Greer, President of Best Lawyers
  • 12:30pm: Keynote presentation by Former Attorney Deputy General Jamie Gorelick followed by luncheon
  • 1:15pm: Awards recognition
  • 1:30pm: Q&A and Open Forum on Women in the Law with selected General Counsel
  • 2:15pm: Closing remarks

Keynote Speaker: Former Attorney Deputy General Jamie Gorelick

Jamie Gorelick’s career has spanned the legal, corporate and public policy landscape. A litigator by training, she is a partner at WilmerHale in Washington, where she counsels organizations and individuals on regulatory and enforcement matters as well as issues at the intersection of law and policy, including congressional inquiries. She is a highly experienced crisis manager, having worked with organizations as diverse as BP plc, Duke University, HSBC and Google.

Ms. Gorelick was one of the longest serving Deputy Attorneys Generals of the United States, and was General Counsel of the Defense Department. Earlier in her career, she was Assistant to the Secretary and Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of Energy. She regularly serves on commissions and boards of inquiry. She was a member of the bi-partisan National Commission on Terrorist Threats Upon the United States and the “9/11 Commission,” whose recommendations produced a major restructuring of the U.S. intelligence community. Ms. Gorelick is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board (and the Defense Legal Policy Board) of the Department of Defense and previously was on the National Security Advisory Panel at the Central Intelligence Agency. She also co-chaired the Advisory Committee of the National Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Ms. Gorelick was President of the District of Columbia Bar and recently completed her tenure as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Legal Ethics 20/20, which assessed the implications of changes in technology and globalization for the regulation of the legal profession. She is a member of the boards of United Technologies Corp and Amazon and also serves on several non-profit boards. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. A former member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers, she has taught at both its Law School and the Kennedy School.

Ms. Gorelick has been recognized as a leader among women in the law, with the Margaret Brent Award from the American Bar Association, the Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Women’s Bar Association’s Lawyer of the Year Award and its Star of the Bar Award, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Aiming High Award, and the Prominent Women in International Law Award. She has received many other awards in the legal profession, the business world and the community. She has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 2005.

Open Forum on Women in the Law: General Counsel Panel

We are pleased to announce the esteemed attorneys who will be leading our panel discussion:

Jeanine Arden-Ornt
Jeanine Arden-Ornt

Jeanine Arden-Ornt is the Head of Legal Counsel at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, an academic medical system leading the nation in patient focused healthcare. From 2003-2010 she served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the Corporation at Case Western Reserve University, in addition to serving as a member of the faculty in its school of law. Prior to joining Case Western Reserve, Ms. Arden-Ornt was First General Counsel to the University of Rochester, also serving on its faculty in their schools of medicine and law. Before moving to in-house counsel, Ms. Arden-Ornt was a Partner at Gresiberger, Zicari, McConville, Cooman, Morin & Welch PC, practicing in corporate law. She was named to the William K. Thomas Inn of Court in 2007 and served on the Advisory Council of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute from 2007-2010. Ms. Arden-Ornt also was the President of the Board of Directors of Transitional Housing Inc., an organization dedicated to providing safe havens to end the cycle of homelessness of women in Cleveland, Ohio until 2010. She has spoken at seminars and symposiums nationwide on a wide range of legal issues, including medicine, academia, and Women in the Law.

Monique Forrest

Monique Forrest is a proud alumna of Spelman College and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Monique joined Beiersdorf as its first U.S.-based attorney in 2011. Beiersdorf, headquartered in Germany, is an international beauty care and cosmetics company with over 20,000 employees worldwide. Beiersdorf’s global brands include Nivea, Eucerin, Aquaphor, and La Prairie, among others.

Monique is responsible for managing the legal affairs and legal strategy for the U.S. affiliate. She manages contracts, intellectual property matters, outside counsel, compliance topics, and various other areas of law. As Nivea is the title sponsor for the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, she also handles all the legal components: celebrity hosts, live performances, television integrations, agency contracts, and sweepstakes for this famed event. Prior to Beiersdorf, Monique worked for a fashion company where she handled licensing deals and numerous corporate law matters. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with local charities. She has combined her love of sports and fashion, and currently chairs Fashion Face-off, a unique couture fashion competition and charity event that is judged by professional athletes and fashion industry titans.

Emily Kim
Emily Kim

Emily A. Kim is the Chief Legal Officer of Success Academy Charter Schools, a non-profit charter management organization that operates 22 public charter schools in New York City, growing to 32 schools in the fall of 2014. Ms. Kim started at Success Academy in 2011 and currently oversees the Legal, Policy, and Special Education departments. Ms. Kim heads a 10-person litigation team that has led the way in defense of all charter schools in New York City, managing and handling dozens of litigation challenges concerning co-location, rent, facilities, audit demands, and school matters. Ms. Kim also leads the policy team in developing and advancing policy positions and papers on potential, proposed, and existing legislation, with an aim toward promoting education reform and making available high-quality educational options to all students. She further oversees a robust school conflict resolution practice and school safety matters.

Before joining Success Academy, Ms. Kim practiced litigation at the law firms of Arnold & Porter LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dora L. Irizarry in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Prior to law school, Ms. Kim was a public high school English teacher.

Ms. Kim graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English literature. She also received a Master of Education from the Teachers College, Columbia University in 1999. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2005.

Laurie Levin

Laurie Levin is Vice President and Regional Chief Legal Officer of Florida Hospital, the flagship hospital of Adventist Health System. Florida Hospital has over 2,200 beds on seven campuses in the greater Orlando area. Prior to taking the helm as Florida Hospital’s chief counsel Laurie spent 14 years as a member of the national health care team at BakerHostetler. She has also served as Associate Counsel to Harvard Community Health Plan (now Harvard Pilgrim) in Boston, a litigation associate at Powers & Hall in Boston, and Associate Counsel at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is Board Certified in Health Law by the Florida Bar and AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Laurie has given numerous talks and is published in a variety of health law topics. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College in Boston. In addition to serving on various community boards, Laurie has served as Chair of the Health Law Section of the Florida Bar and Chair of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA. She and her husband of 30 years have two daughters, one a junior at the University of Florida, and the other a graduate student at Boston University.

2014 Honorees

Women 2014 Lawyers of the Year – New York City

  • Victoria B. Bjorklund, Non-Profit / Charities Law, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

    Victoria B. Bjorklund is At Counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she founded the Firm’s Exempt Organizations Group, which advises nonprofit groups and donors. Among her numerous other achievements and awards, she has served on NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s Leadership Committee on Nonprofit Revitalization; as a director, secretary and a still current pro bono legal counsel for Doctors Without Borders; and is also a director of the Robin Hood Foundation, where she chairs the Robin Hood Sandy Relief Fund.

  • Rachel Geman, Employment Law - Individuals, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

    Rachel Geman is a partner in the New York office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, where her practice is dedicated to class actions and complex plaintiff-side litigation on behalf of employees, whistleblowers/relators, employee organizations, and consumers. Recently, Rachel has served as co-lead class counsel or counsel for the class in representations of female financial advisors who settled class claims of gender discrimination at Merrill Lynch; ERISA-covered plans who settled class ERISA claims against AXA Rosenberg, LLP; and consumers in multiple class settlements involving credit-card add-on products against major banks including Bank of America and HSBC. Rachel has also represented employee whistleblower relators in the pharmaceutical and for-profit educational industries, and is currently working with the ACLU and NCLC on civil rights litigation involving mortgage securitizations. Rachel is a frequent writer and speaker on employment law and class actions.

  • Candice Kersh, Advertising Law, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz

    Candice Kersh is a partner in the Manhattan law firm of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, and a member of the firm’s Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations practice group. In 2008, she became the first lawyer ever named to the prestigious Advertising Age “Women to Watch” list. Ms. Kersh has acted as production counsel on independent feature films, and negotiated agreements for writers, directors, and performers, and currently also counsels advertising and entertainment executives and corporations on compensation packages and other employment matters.

  • Mary L. Kevlin, Trademark Law, Cowan Liebowitz & Latman

    Mary Kevlin is a partner in the New York office of Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, where she practices is the areas of Copyright, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, and Trademark law. She has prior experience as a law clerk on the third circuit of the United States Court of Appeals and is an adjunct professor at the New York University Law School.

  • Lori A. Martin, Mutual Funds Law, WilmerHale

    Lori Martin practices Securities and Litigation/Conflict Law for the firm of WilmerHale. She is a former first vice president and assistant general counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and has authored many publications on security litigation, for which her talent is frequently highly praised.

  • Nancy A. Rose, Entertainment Law - Music, Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams

    Nancy Rose is a founding partner of Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams, which represents writers, producers, directors and actors in film, television and theater. She has been production counsel on many Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and musicals and works with a variety of non-profit organizations. Ms. Rose is the first woman to be awarded the recognition of New York City Entertainment Law – Music Lawyer of the Year.

  • Judith A. Yavitz, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Darger Errante Yavitz & Blau

    Judith Yavitz is a founding partner of Darger Errante Yavitz & Blau LLP. She has been involved in asbestos litigation for more than 25 years as national, regional and local counsel for several Fortune 500 companies and serves as court-appointed defense liaison counsel in the New York City Asbestos Litigation where she is responsible for coordinating and defending thousands of asbestos cases.

Newly Selected for Inclusion in 2014 for the 20th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

  • Martine M. Beamon, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Davis Polk & Wardwell

    Martine Beamon is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department and a former federal prosecutor. She has participated in grand jury and regulatory investigations, representing both companies and individuals in connection with allegations of insider trading and other securities fraud, foreign corrupt practices and pharmaceutical marketing violations among other areas.

  • Lauren K. Boglivi, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Proskauer Rose

    Lauren Boglivi is a partner at Proskauer Rose, where she has spent her entire legal career. Lauren has developed a transactional practice on behalf of strategic companies, private equity sponsors and family offices, which covers a wide range of industry sectors, with a focus in the areas of media, intellectual property, entertainment and health care.

  • Nancy Burner, Elder Law, Nancy Burner & Associates

    Nancy Burner is the founding and managing partner of Nancy Burner & Associates, PC. She is a past president of the Suffolk County Woman’s Bar Association, certified by the National Elder Law Foundation, and recently re-appointed by the New York State Court of Appeals to serve a fourth term as one of only seven Trustees of the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.

  • Pamela Chepiga, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Allen & Overy

    Pamela Chepiga is a partner at Allen & Overy, where she specializes in regulatory, civil and criminal litigation in the financial services area. Prior to joining the firm, Pamela was the founding Director of the Securities Arbitration Clinic at Fordham University School of Law.

  • Kathryn C Ellsworth, Commercial Litigation, Grais & Ellsworth

    Kathryn Ellsworth represents clients in a variety of complex commercial disputes, including securities, franchise, and business tort litigation, as well as insurance and reinsurance litigation and arbitration. She is a partner at Grais & Ellsworth LLP.

  • Deidre Grossman, Employment Law - Management, Littler Mendelson

    Deidre Grossman is Co-chair of the Employee Benefits Litigation Practice Group at Littler Mendelson. She has extensive experience defending plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers in a wide range of ERISA cases across the country, in both single plaintiff and class actions.

  • Gretchen Harders, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Epstein Becker & Green

    Gretchen Harders is a member of Epstein Becker Green in the Employee Benefits practice, where she focuses on all aspects of executive compensation and employee benefits law. She is a frequent speaker on various employee benefit issues and developments and has authored articles on various topics of ERISA and employee benefits law.

  • Cheryl M. Helfer, Family Law, Helfer & Helfer

    Cheryl Helfer is a partner of Helfer & Helfer Progress Credit in Bellmore, New York, a law firm serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Her practice focuses on matrimonial law and divorce-related issues, including child custody, support, property division and claims of neglect, abuse or domestic violence.

  • Beth D. Jacob, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Kelley Drye & Warren

    Beth Jacob is a partner in Kelley, Drye &Warren’s New York office. Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation, trial practice and intellectual property, in particular representing generic pharmaceutical companies in Hatch-Waxman litigation.

  • Eve I. Klein, Employment Law - Individuals, Duane Morris

    Eve Klein is a partner at Duane Morris LLP, where she practices in the area of employment law, labor relations and litigation. She has extensive experience advising clients about their rights and obligations regarding laws and regulations which affect the workplace. Ms. Klein has also acted as editor of practice group seminar materials, newsletters and client alerts regarding employment and labor law developments.

  • Diane E. Lifton, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Hughes Hubbard & Reed

    Diane E. Lifton is a partner at Hughes Hubbard, where she is co-chair of both their Life Sciences Group and Product Liability Group. She also advocates for changes in local and federal laws affecting product manufacturers, and has extensive experience developing medical and scientific experts — and successfully challenging the opponent’s experts — in a broad range of fields.

  • Ellen G. Makofsky, Elder Law, Raskin & Makofsky

    Ellen Makofsky is a founding partner of Raskin & Makofsky, LLP, an Estate Planning and Elder Law firm based in Long Island NY . She is the Co-Chair of the NYSBA Women in the Law Committee, and she serves on the Association’s Membership and continuing Legal Education Committee. Ms Makofsky currently serves as the Chair Elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in their New York chapter.

  • Cora-Ann V. Pestaina, Immigration Law, Cyrus D. Mehta and Associates

    Cora-Ann Pestaina is an Associate at Cyrus D. Mehta and Associates, PLLC (CDMA) where she practices primarily in the area of business immigration law. She represents large global corporate clients, emerging growth companies and individuals in a wide range of industries including Information Technology, Finance, Healthcare, Automobile Manufacturing and Design.

  • Wendy J. Schriber, Real Estate Law, Proskauer Rose

    Wendy J. Schriber joined Proskauer in 1978 and is a Partner in the Real Estate Department. Her practice has involved a broad spectrum of real estate law matters and certain private equity and related corporate law matters. She is one of the leading experts on sale and leaseback transactions and is also very knowledgeable in the taxation of real estate transactions.

  • Irene C. Warshauer, Mediation, Irene C. Warshauer

    Irene Warshauer mediates and arbitrates commercial business disputes, contracts, securities, employment, real estate, partnerships, franchise and product liability matters, privately and as a member of various panels. Her law practice as a civil litigator has included specialization in commercial litigation, insurance, securities, antitrust, contracts and health care

  • Andrea Ziegelman, Family Law, Moses & Ziegelman

    Andrea Ziegelman is a partner at Moses & Ziegelman. She has been practicing law for more than twenty years and handles all aspects of family law, including custody, child support and equitable distribution matters.

When & Where

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

11:30am – 2:30pm

The Piemonte Room at Del Posto

85 Tenth Avenue, NYC

Between 15th and 16th Streets

Contact Information

To learn more about upcoming Best Lawyers events, contact Phillip Greer at 718-509-6082 or pgreer@bestlawyers.com.