TLAW hosted its fourth annual Empowerment Conference, themed Brave New World for Women: Connect and Reinvent! 

in Nashville on March 28 and March 29, 2019. 

TLAW's Empowerment Conferences have received national recognition from the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations. 

TLAW's Empowerment Conference 2019: Brave New World for Women: Connect and Reinvent spanned two days and offered invaluable legal education, career development, and networking opportunities. 

CLE Approval for 7 General hours and 1 Dual hour

The 2019 Conference kicked off on

Thursday, March 28, 2019

  • 3:00 p.m. Registration opens

    3:25 p.m. Introductions and Thank-you's – Holly Renken (TLAW President 2018-2019)

    3:30 p.m. Opening Presentation: Why we need more men involved in diversity and inclusion efforts by Pattye Wise of Legility (Formerly Counsel on Call)

    4:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. Good Guys Panel Discussion: Making the Business Case for DiversityBusinesses become better when they are diverse from the bottom to the top, and we all become better with diversity, because diversity challenges us.  

  •  Moderator: Justice Holly Kirby (Tennessee Supreme Court)
  • Jeffrey B. Jones, Office Managing Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, P.C (Orlando, FL)
  • Charles Bone, Founder and Chariman, Bone McAllester Norton, PLLC (Nashville, TN)
  • David Billions, Managing Director of Litigation FedEx, (Memphis, TN)
5:30 -7:00 Cocktail reception and networking 

Friday, March 29, 2019

  • 8:00 a.m. Registration opens

    8:15 - 8:45 coffee and networking

    8:45 - 8:55 Welcome and introduction of morning keynote speakers (by Holly Renken)

    Friday morning keynote 8:55 – 9:55 a.m.:  Women Designing the Law Firm of the Future: Techonology, Ethics, and Moreby Megan Zavieh, Esq.and Erin Gertsenzang, Esq.

    The law firm of the next 5, 10, or 20 years looks nothing like law firms of the recent past. Today’s inexpensive yet highly effective technology tools enable us to build firms we want to run, which exceed client expectations, and which allow us to live our professional lives on our terms. We can meet countless challenges of the profession ethically and effectively if we know what tools to use and where to find them. Megan Zavieh and Erin Gerstenzang will walk us through a number of those tools, how they meet our ethical and professional obligations, and how we can continue to evolve over the coming years to remain at the forefront of the profession.

    9:55-10:05 Short Break

    10:05 – 11:35 Women Mentoring Women in the Business of Law– Interactive Session – Megan Zavieh, Esq.  and Erin Gerstenzang, Esq.

    A recent study published by Notre Dame University tells us what many women already know - women are great at helping other women succeed. Their research discovered that women who have female-dominated inner circles are more likely to succeed than those with male-dominated inner circles.  Unfortunately, it is not always easy to cultivate these female-driven networks in the legal profession.  For those of us in male-dominated practice areas, these inner circles don't always naturally form.  In this session, our keynote speakers will workshop how to intentionally create these networks, identify strategies that help women accomplish business goals, and share valuable insights that are often missed in male-centric work environments.

    11:35-12:45 Lunch Break and Keynote: Women and the Modern Law Firm: Building, Scaling and Managing for Growth and Balance by Billie Tarascio, Esq., Modern Law, Scottsdale, Arizona

    The latest business, management, and growth theories rely heavily on emotional intelligence and building relationships. In this session you will receive a roadmap to build and scale your firm all while harnessing the power of being a woman.

    12:50 – 2:15 Breakout #1:  Solo Practitioner and Small Firm Panel 

  • Moderator Ramona DeSalvo, DeSalvo Law Firm, PLLC, Nashville, TN
  • Psonya Hackett, Hackett Law Firm, Memphis, TN
  • Amanda Jelks, Jelks Law, Chattanooga, TN
  • Susan Curtiss, Carns Curtiss Law, PLLC and founder of Girl Attorney, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Chasity Grice, Peppel, Grice, & Palazzolo, P.C., Memphis, TN
  • OR Breakout #2:  Trial Skills, Julie Peak, Esq., Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Nashville, TN andWendy Longmire, Esq., Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford, Nashville, TN

    2:20-2:30 Short Break

    2:30 – 3:45 Breakout #3:  Elected and Appointed Panel – Focusing on nuts and bolts how-to’s, the art of raising money and what it takes to build the background for successful electability and how to mount a successful campaign, including the best ethical practices to fundraise.

  • Moderator Kim Looney, Esq., Waller Lansden, Dortch & Davis, Nashville, TN
  • Senator Raumesh Akbari (Tennessee District 29 – Shelby County)
  • Chancellor Patricia Moskal, Davidson County
  • Judge Ana Escobar, General Sessions Court Davidson County

OR Breakout #4:  Family Law Update: Jackie Dixon, Esq., Weatherly, McNally & Dixon, PLC, Nashville, TN


Members of the Ready, Set Let's Go! Gaining Elective and Appointive Positions Panel 2018
(L to R: Holly McCall, Judge Valerie Smith, Maura Sullivan, General Charme Allen, and Chancellor Pam Fleenor)

Thank you to all of our sponsors for 

Empowerment Conference 2019! 

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