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Year of programming at Penn Law looks at women and the legal profession

March 05, 2018

This academic year, Penn Law’s Center on Professionalism (COP) is offering a slate of programming on “Women and the Profession.” The series explores the challenges women face, the benefits for all lawyers that flow from overcoming these challenges, and the stories of women who have blazed trails and found professional fulfillment in the process.

“We are all well-versed in the many hurdles women lawyers have faced,” said Jennifer Leonard L’04, Director of the Center on Professionalism. “Ironically, lawyers are uniquely well-equipped to advocate for and effect change but have struggled to do so in their own profession.”

“Penn Law is poised to tackle this issue directly to connect developing lawyers with committed alumni allies and to educate all students about this essential problem so that the future is home to a profession that values and benefits from the contribution of all attorneys,” she continued.

Programs so far in the series have included a workshop on women in tech law, a panel presentation on women in mergers & acquisitions, a screening of the documentary “Balancing the Scales,” and a February 12 visit to Penn Law by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who took part in a symposium honoring her 25 years of jurisprudence and also delivered the annual Owen J. Roberts Memorial Lecture, where she discussed historic and current challenges to women in the legal profession, including gender discrimination, and the #MeToo movement.

Upcoming events include an executive presence workshop. Penn Law is also enhancing its women’s mentorship initiatives with an aim of amplifying the opportunities for both students and alumnae. As one example, COP recently partnered with Women Owned Law, a nonprofit founded by alumna Nicole Galli L’92, to bring entrepreneurial women in the law to campus to think critically about better was to impact the profession.

“The Women and the Profession programming that COP has instituted this year is awesome because it has provided current students another way of gaining valuable advice and mentorship in a profession that is still so male-dominated,” said Nicole Pennycooke L’18. “Additionally, the programming offers a fresh perspective on the breadth and diversity of the kind of work that women are currently doing in the legal field.”

COP supports Penn Law students by designing programs that will prepare them to thrive as professionals in an evolving legal landscape. These programs cover executive technology skills, communication, team dynamics, strategic thinking, and relationship building.

Read more about this series and the other programs offered by the Center on Professionalism.