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2020 Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference

The Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference focuses on global diversity and inclusion, talent optimization, inclusive leadership, and management to bolster the recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys. The program offers practical development tools, best practices, and resources for individual lawyers and organizations.

Once again, we have partnered with In-House Focus to create two immersive days of virtual programming that brings our community together to share ideas and strategies to navigate our new reality. Pathways combines Pitch Session Network, Diversity Career Expo, workshops to improve rainmaking and business development skills, CLEs with live Q&As with legal leaders, virtual networking, and more. For organizations, expert panels address areas for improved execution of a diversity and inclusion strategy. All these programs provide opportunities for networking and advancing the careers of diverse attorneys.

Please click here for instructions to add to your Safe Sender List, Address Book or Contacts to receive future communications regarding the Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference.

Online registration will close October 26, 2020 at 9:00PM EST.

2020 Rainmakers

Bryan Brantley

Partner; Co-Leader, Transportation Industry Team,
McGuireWoods LLP

Meet Bryan

Kobi Brinson

Partner; Member, Executive Committee; Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee,
Winston & Strawn, LLP

Meet Kobi

Phil Cha

Partner, Team Lead, and Board Member,
Duane Morris LLP

Meet Phil

Will Chuchawat

Partner and M&A Team Leader,
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Meet Will

Brendan Gutierrez McDonnell

K&L Gates LLP

Meet Brendan

Shari Klevens


Meet Shari

Ronald Machen

Partner; Co-Chair of White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice; Management Committee Member,

Meet Ronald

Laura Maechtlen

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Meet Laura

Alexandre Rene

Partner, Co-Chair, Litigation & Enforcement Practice Group,
Ropes & Gray LLP

Meet Alexandre

Sherrese Smith

Partner; Vice Chair, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity,
Paul Hastings LLP

Meet Sherrese

Ellisen Turner

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Meet Ellisen

2020 Rising Stars

Micheal Binns

Atlanta Office Development Partner,
Parker Poe

Danielle Coleman

Senior Litigation Counsel,
VMware, Inc.

Alesha Dominique

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Conway Ekpo

Executive Director,
Morgan Stanley

Susan Garcia

Associate General Counsel,
Thomson Reuters

Christine Hardy

Deputy General Counsel & Information Governance Counsel,
Norfolk Southern Corporation

Sonny Haynes

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

M. Janine Jjingo

Partner, Banking Group,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Terry Johnson

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Ely Juarez Pennant

Senior Counsel,
Spotify Inc.

Jesse Nevarez

Goodwin Procter LLP

Smita Rajmohan

Product Counsel,

Maria Salcedo

Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Volha Samasiuk

Senior Privacy Counsel,
Autodesk, Inc.

Cecilia Sanabria

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Tiffany Smith

Wilmer Cutler Picking Hale and Dorr LLP

Casiya Thaniel

Microsoft Corporation

Bernard Williams Jr.

Director, Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering Governance & Compliance Training,

Bonnie Wolf

Associate Vice President, Litigation Employment Department,
Nationwide Insurance

Maya Yamazaki

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Champion Sponsor

Justification Toolkit

You recognize the value of attending the Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference, but how do you convey that message to your manager? With budgetary constraints and increased scrutiny on business travel, gaining approval to attend conferences can sometimes pose a challenge. It is important to demonstrate the benefits of attending in order to justify the expense. Use MCCA’s Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference Justification Toolkit to help you make the ask, prepare for the Pathways Conference, and get the most from our conference and your membership.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

*Please note the agenda times are in EST.

9:00 am –
6:00 pm

Registration and Information Desk

9:00 am –
6:00 pm

Diversity Career Expo

Sponsored by:

2020 Pathways Champion Sponsor

We know that in today’s world, career development and career mobility are closely intertwined, which is why we are offering an opportunity for our members to connect with each other in many different forums.

In 2017, MCCA launched the Diversity Career Expo at our annual Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference with great success. Prospective corporate employers connected with diverse talent from all over the country while promoting their legal department as an employer of choice. It was a fantastic opportunity for prospective candidates to learn about the different corporations, conduct informational interviews and learn why our member organizations may be an employer of choice and the key to their career development.

Join us again as we host the Fourth Annual Diversity Career Expo virtually. Please keep in mind that any meeting does not in any way imply or guarantee an interview or a position. It is a forum for both parties to connect and learn more about each other.



State Farm

If you are an interested prospective corporate employer, who may or may not have a current open requisition but, would like to connect with diverse talent for current open opportunities or long term planning please contact Sophia Piliouras at for more details.

*You must be a confirmed registrant of the 2020 Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference to submit a resume and participate in the Diversity Career Expo.

To register, click here and then click on the “Select” option on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, and you will be directed to the Diversity Career Expo Application. Within the Application, you will be required to upload your professional resume.

The deadline for applications is October 16, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.

To learn more about the Diversity Career Expo and view past participants, click here.

9:00 am –
6:00 pm

Amazon Informational Interview Blitz

Amazon has once again partnered with MCCA to host its “Amazon Blitz” and meet with individuals interested in exploring opportunities with Amazon Legal.

*Applicants must register and attend the Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference in order to be considered.

If you are interested in exploring career opportunities with Amazon Legal in locations across the U.S. and globally, please click here to register for the 2020 Pathways Conference. Click on the “Select” option on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, and you will be directed to the Amazon Informational Interview Blitz Submittal Form. Within the Application, you will be required to upload your professional resume.

The deadline for applications is October 16, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.

9:00 am –
6:00 pm

Pitch Session Network

Sponsored by:
2020 Pathways Champion Sponsor

MCCA’s Pitch Session Network (“PSN”) allows in-house counsel to connect with diverse law firm partners at majority law firms, diversify their preferred provider portfolios and hold law firms accountable for their diversity efforts. Member law firms and sponsors will have the ability to meet privately with in-house counsel to pitch the legal services they offer and develop meaningful connections with potential clients.

MCCA created the Pitch Session Network to address the lack of diversity at the equity partner-level in law firms and is in collaboration with:


To learn more about the Pitch Session Network and if you are eligible to participate, click here.

To ensure that your application will be reviewed, it is strongly recommended that PSN applications be submitted as early as possible and no later than September 25, 2020.


St. Jude
State Farm

Summit Materials

1:00 pm –
4:30 pm

MCCA’s Blueprint for Selling & Buying – A Pitch Workshop for Outside Counsel

Through instruction and experiential learning, participants will work together to learn skills and behaviors for building successful business relationships. Outside counsel will have the opportunity to work in teams to develop a formal pitch from a mock RFP for legal services, which will be presented to senior in-house counsel.

This workshop is open to law firm members only and has max capacity of 20 participants. Preference will be given to law firm partners; associates are welcome to apply if their firm is a two tier partner system. In-house members who would like to serve as workshop coaches, assisting law firm participants with their pitches and sharing best practices, are invited to email Sophia Piliouras at

Non-members will be placed on a waiting list as will any other participants once we reach max capacity. Additional information and workshop materials will be provided to participants prior to the conference. If you would like to be added to the workshop waitlist, please email Lauren Hossfeld at

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

*Please note the agenda times are in EST.

10:30 am –
7:00 pm

Registration and Information Desk

10:30 am –
10:45 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Remarks by:
Jean Lee – MCCA’s CEO & President
Stuart Alderoty – MCCA Board Chair, General Counsel at Ripple

10:45 am –
12:05 pm

Leading Through Crisis: MCCA 2020 Inclusion Index Report

Presentation of the Paula L. Ettelbrick Award and the 2020 Rising Stars Award Ceremony

The disruption of 2020 has forced many legal organizations to take a new look at their workplace cultures. Between concerns about health and safety due to COVID, and renewed calls for racial justice across America, it has been nearly impossible to ignore what some might consider soft topics. Leaders in the legal community have responded, but against a challenging backdrop, with many – particularly people of color – experiencing little sense of belonging to their organizations.

In 2018, together with Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA), MCCA developed a proprietary Inclusion Index Survey, to help organizations assess leadership, practices and culture to create a baseline metric of inclusion and measure progress over time.

The panel will discuss this year’s survey results, how legal organizations and their leaders are navigating this challenging year and what it means to be an inclusive leader to effectuate change and develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace during a time of uncertainty.

12:05 pm –
12:20 pm


12:20 pm –
1:15 pm

Inclusive Design and Accessibility in a Remote-Work World

According to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, just over 19% of people with self-identified disabilities are employed. Succeeding in the workplace is not easy for employees with disabilities, who often face discrimination, especially in highly competitive industries such as tech and finance. They currently face even more challenges as we navigate a global pandemic, civil unrest and working remotely in large numbers.

This year we also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA paved the way for decades of incremental changes to the way buildings, businesses and laws accommodate people with a wide variety of disabilities. The law’s effect has been profound, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

This panel will focus on the current remote work reality and the increased need to incorporate inclusive design and accessibility into the workplace. Accessibility is about creating products that are usable by everyone. Inclusive design is a mindset that involves understanding user diversity. Neither is optional and must be part of your business ecosystem and managed/measured. It starts with people and is imperative as your organization builds an equitable and inclusive culture, and diverse pipeline of talent.

How to Measure Up: D&I Data Transparency and How to Effectively Manage the Legal Risk

Businesses – and their employees, prospective employees, clients, and investors – are increasingly focused on the importance of having a workforce that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. What risks, if any, do businesses need to consider in the collection, disclosure, and use of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) information? After describing the legal framework for assessing potential discrimination-related risks associated with DEI data, this panel will discuss best practices and pitfalls in navigating how to balance these risks with DEI strategic goals and other business considerations. The panel will also discuss whether businesses can and should protect against disclosure of DEI data, as a “trade secret” or otherwise.

1:15 pm –
2:00 pm

Virtual Networking Reception

2:00 pm –
3:00 pm

MCCA/ Paul Hastings Case Studies Series: Strategies on How to Build a Diverse & Inclusive Work Culture

Collaboration and creating a diverse and inclusive workplace are key to talent retention, innovation and risk mitigation. In recent years, there were many noteworthy employee challenges in corporate America and around the world. Those events suggest that the world is changing and although there is growing division, many were finding strength in numbers and we saw employees standing united in protest demanding changes in their work culture and/or policies to reflect their collective values.

Thanks to the vision and leadership of Paul Hastings, MCCA partnered with Paul Hastings, its clients and our corporate members, to closely examine how corporations and its leaders are changing culture in their organizations. We examined three different industries across the country: pharmaceuticals (Boehringer Ingelheim), technology (Intel) and finance (Barclays), and will discuss the case studies’ findings and what it takes to create a diverse and inclusive work culture.

Show Me the Money: Origination Credit and Outside Counsel Engagement

Join us for a panel discussing on the important and rarely discussed component needed for the advancement of lawyers of color at law firms – Origination Credit. We will discuss the credit allocation process and some of the challenges that exist and how that specifically affects lawyers of color. Discussion will also focus on the meaning of origination credit, why it matters, and how corporate counsel can navigate and challenge compensation systems that are not aligned with the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

3:00 pm –
3:15 pm


3:15 pm –
4:15 pm

Rise and Shine: Corporate America Wakes Up to Systemic Racism

After the recent high-profile deaths of Black Americans due to police use of force, discussions of systemic racism are now front and center in all organizations. CEOs worldwide and across industries have spoken out, expressing their horror and outrage, as well as their resolve to do more. Companies have announced significant financial commitments; others have referred to actions to be taken, and early movers have begun to announce or amplify business-related initiatives. Institutional investors, asset owners, asset managers, private equity fund limited partners and investor groups have also begun speaking out and considering action with respect to companies in their portfolios.

Many people found some of the statements released by companies in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a police officer merely symbolic, empty and an attempt to appear “woke” without any real weight behind them.

The question for all is how to follow through on the sentiments expressed and drive positive change: what tools are available to address systemic racism and injustice and the threats they pose, and how can those tools be used?

Opportunity for Change: MCCA’S Annual General Counsel Survey Report

Since 1999, MCCA began tracking information about Fortune 500 general counsel and more broadly Fortune 1000 since 2004. This year’s report found that there is a slow but positive progression towards achieving more representation in the top general counsel roles. The number of female GCs and minority GCs increased in 2019 but they do not tell the complete story.

There is still a long way to go before Fortune 1000 GCs are representative of the US population. When, reviewing the data holistically, “Opportunity for Change” was quite low, meaning that when opportunities arose to increase representation, male GCs and white GCs were more likely to be chosen over women and minority candidates. The rate of change will increase only if female and minority GCs are promoted more often at the highest levels. This means that representation must also increase within the active attorney population. As previous survey editions have shown, once a female or minority candidate is awarded a GC position, the pool from which their successor is drawn becomes more diverse as well.

The panel will discuss missed opportunities for change, equalizing the active attorney population and strategies on how to increase representation at the top in the legal profession.

4:15 pm –
4:30 pm


4:30 pm –
6:00 pm

Inclusive Leaders Take the Wheel: Driving Systemic Change

Presentation of the George B. Vashon Innovator Award and the 2020 Rainmaker Award Ceremony

Leaders are under extraordinary pressure right now. They are expected to make decisions quickly with incomplete and rapidly evolving information. Culture changes when leaders take action to change it, and all leaders have an increasing responsibility to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. No matter your racial, political, or other identity, the issues surrounding racial injustice in this country are impossible to escape. And these issues are not ones that organizations or their leaders — from the C-Suite at the top of the hierarchy to employees on the frontline — can ignore. Now is a time for leaders to think about what type of leader they need to be for all their workers, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.

This panel will discuss what business leaders at all levels can say and do to tackle these issues that impact on their organizations. We’ll discuss the impact of recent events on employees of color. What we can do to be authentic allies and drive change. And what actions leaders are taking to address systemic racism (internal and external) and build diverse, equitable and inclusive organizations for all.

6:00 pm –
7:00 pm

Virtual Networking Reception

* Please note that additional details in the agenda are currently being finalized.
** Please note that the schedule in the agenda is subject to change.

Registration and Fees

Online registration will close October 26, 2020 at 9:00 PM EST.

Registration DateIn-House Law Firms Government/
In-House Law FirmsVendors
Regular (before October 16)$425
$500$425$550$1,000 $1,000
Late Registration (October 17 - 26)$500$650$500$600$1,200$1,200

Payment Message

Visa, Mastercard and American Express accepted.

MCCA Law Firm Members and Corporate Members: Please note as part of your company’s/firm’s membership benefits you may be entitled to a complimentary registration or a member discount rate for the conference registration.

For member complimentary registrations, members must obtain their complimentary codes from their “Company/Firm” and use them during registration. The complimentary codes should be entered in the discount code field at the Payment Page and members must click “Apply Now” to zero their balance.

For member discount rates to apply, members must select their “Company/Firm” from a drop down labeled “MCCA Law Firm/Corporate Members” during the registration process. The member discount rate will automatically be applied at the Payment page.

For any questions or inquires, please contact

Cancellations & Substitutions

  • All cancellations MUST be received in writing.
  • Cancellations received no later than 72 hours prior to the first date of an MCCA conference may, at MCCA’s discretion made on a case-by-case basis, apply a credit in the amount paid for the 2020 Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference towards attendance to MCCA’s 2021 Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference.
  • There will be NO refunds or credits for cancellations received less than 72 hours prior to the first date of the MCCA conference.
  • Any approved credits will be processed after the MCCA conference.
  • An organization may substitute one paid participant for another participant from the same organization.
  • Cancellations and requests for substitutions must be submitted to

Financial Hardship Policy

MCCA is no longer accepting financial hardship applications for the 2020 Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference.

This financial hardship policy applies to attorneys from MCCA member organizations, non-member organizations, or attorneys in public service. Attorneys who are unable to afford event registration fees due to financial hardship may petition for registration fee waivers or discounted registration fees. Full scholarships and discounts to attend MCCA’s conference are given priority to pro bono attorneys, judges, law professors, lawyers who work for nonprofit organizations, legal services organizations or government agencies, and unemployed attorneys with financial hardships. MCCA may waive or reduce the registration fee for MCCA conference at their discretion.

Additional Information:

  • MCCA will review applications on a rolling basis.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Full scholarship or reduced registration fees will not be granted retroactively.
  • Full scholarship or reduced registration fees are non-transferable from event to event or person to person.
  • MCCA will not review applications that are not submitted via the official application form.

Special Requirements

Any special needs for facilities, visual aids or dietary requirements must be sent to

Terms and Conditions

Click here to review the MCCA Conference Registration General Terms and Conditions.

Previous Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conferences


2019 Pathways Conference

Learn More


2016 Pathways Conference

View Gallery


2018 Pathways Conference

Learn More


2015 Pathways Conference

View Gallery


2017 Pathways Conference

Learn More

 Strategic Members 2020

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