7 transformative leaders in the legal profession

Women of influence discuss how they've mentored and advanced women lawyers.

The path to success is an individual one. No two people take the same route as they make their way through their education and career. But one thing is certain: Much of our achievement—be it personal or professional—is thanks to guidance from important coaches, friends, leaders and bosses we’ve encountered along the way. This is especially true for women in the legal profession, who continue to face obstacles when it comes to career advancement.

In this story, InsideCounsel profiles several women of influence in law who have made a difference by working to advance women in the legal industry. Many of the women are true pioneers and trailblazers, having made a name for themselves in a highly competitive, male-dominated field. These women also were honored at the 2011 Transformative Leadership Awards for their perpetual efforts to promote and champion women lawyers. Read on to learn more about their career paths and the personal mentors who helped them accomplish their goals.

Kelly-Ann Gibbs Cartwright

Kelly-Ann Gibbs Cartwright: Partner, Holland & Knight

Teri Plummer McClure

Teri Plummer McClure: SVP Legal, Compliance & Public Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, UPS

Deirdre StanleyDeirdre Stanley: Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Thomson Reuters

Age: 46

Nadia Dombrowski

Nadia Dombrowski: Senior Vice President, Group Head, and Lead Region Counsel, U.S. Markets, MasterCard Worldwide

Kim Koopersmith

Kim Koopersmith: Managing Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Ellen Bastier

Ellen Bastier, Partner, Reed Smith

Carol Ann Petren

Carol Ann Petren: Executive Vice President and General Counsel, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.

Transforming the web

Given the importance of promoting diversity in what largely has been a staid, male-dominated legal world, InsideCounsel has launched a special microsite devoted exclusively to our Transformative Leadership program. The new website is intended build upon our print coverage and be a central location for readers to learn about issues and news pertaining to women in law.

Stocking the pipeline

Reed Smith lives up to its reputation as being a law firm devoted to cultural diversity and empowerment of women attorneys. With more than 550 female lawyers, Reed Smith recognizes the importance of having the proper programs in place to help promote the long-term growth of its women workers.

Must read

Michele Coleman Mayes’ and Kara Baysinger’s newly released book, “Courageous Counsel,” is a compilation of experiences from current and former women general counsel in the Fortune 500. The book celebrates the achievements of current leading women while also guiding others to follow in their success.

Purposeful project

Anastasia Kelly says something unique happened at InsideCounsel’s Transformative Leadership Awards dinner in May: Attendees eagerly chatted with one another about the empowerment and advancement of women in law, and they weren’t done talking when the celebratory dinner was over.

Danielle Feinstein

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Melissa Maleske

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Ashley Post

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Mary Swanton

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