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MWL's 26th Annual Rosalie Wahl Leadership Lecture
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 Export to Your Calendar 10/27/2020
When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
4:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. plus Post-Program Networking
Where: Remote via Accelevents (All details to be forwarded to registrants 2-3 days prior to event date)
United States

Online registration is available until: 10/20/2020
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The 26th Annual MWL Rosalie Wahl Leadership Lecture


hover textMinnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) is pleased to announce its 26th Annual Rosalie Wahl Leadership Lecture to be held remotely on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.  

Online check-in and remote "lobby" access will be available beginning at 4:15 p.m.  The event program will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Remote discussion circles and networking "lounges" will be available immediately following the program.  


Those attending the keynote presentation are eligible to receive CLE credit. 1.0 Elimination of Bias CLE credit has been approved (Event Code #320381).


Immediately prior to the keynote lecture, the event will begin with a presentation of the MWL Foundation Law Student Scholarships, as well as a live auction to benefit the MWL Foundation and its continuing efforts to "Fund MWL's Future."  A preview of live auction items will be available in the coming weeks.


Information regarding registration is available HERE.  Please register using the link above by Tuesday, October 20, 2020.


Thanks to our event sponsors for their generous support.  MWL extends a special thanks to Medtronic as our lead sponsor.




Sponsorship opportunity details are available HERE.  For more information, please contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa (



The 2020 Wahl Lecture Keynote Presentation:
Left Out and Left Behind: A Critical Conversation About the Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches
of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color and Possible Solutions


Please join Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) at its 26th Annual Rosalie Wahl Leadership Lecture, to be held remotely on the evening of Tuesday, October 27, 2020.  MWL is honored to welcome keynote speakers Paulette Brown and Eileen Letts, co-authors of the new ABA report  Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.”


In this new report released earlier this summer, “Left Out and Left Behind” highlights the experiences and challenges faced by women lawyers of color across the country.  Authored by Ms. Brown and Ms. Letts, in collaboration with social scientist Destiny Peery, the survey research on which the report is based reveals that women lawyers of color were far more likely to want to leave the profession than their white colleagues; were more likely to be subjected to both implicit and explicit bias; and were more likely to report factors that blocked their “access to success,” including access to business development opportunities, being perceived as less committed to career and being denied or overlooked for promotion.


These issues are important for our entire legal community to address, particularly as critical issues of equity and racial justice and the current pandemic further affect and bring these matters to the forefront. In the effort to advocate for critical changes, Ms. Brown and Ms. Letts and their report outline a number of key recommendations for concrete action.  


MWL invites its membership and the entire legal community to join us at the 26th Annual Wahl Lecture for this critical conversation with Ms. Brown and Ms. Letts about their research, about the report’s recommendations to better retain women of color attorneys, and how all of us must be a part of solution.


We hope you will join us at MWL's 26th Annual Wahl Lecture and extend the invitation to colleagues and friends.  A shareable flier is available here to view and download.


About Our Keynote Speakers


Paulette Brown is the first woman of color to lead the American Bar Association (ABA) in its history. As the leader of this 400,000 voluntary member organization, Ms. Brown was responsible for governance, advocacy and serving as the voice and face of the ABA. As a result of her initiatives as president, seven major policies were approved by the ABA’s governing bodies that will have a long lasting impact on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and the justice system. Ms. Brown simultaneously served as Chair of the Labor & Employment Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association becoming the first person of color to hold that position in 140 years.  Ms. Brown also served as president of the National Bar Association. 


Ms. Brown is Senior Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Locke Lord LLP and has been engaged in the practice of law for more than forty (40) years. Prior to her current role, she served in numerous legal capacities including a number of in-house positions and as a Municipal Court Judge.


Ms. Brown is nationally recognized for her dedication and efforts relating to diversity & inclusion, including the impact of implicit bias and is a frequent speaker and educator on both. Brown served on the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession and Co-authored  nationally acclaimed Reports, Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms and Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.


Resulting from her commitment to community service and in recognition for her esteemed career, Ms. Brown has won numerous awards and honors, including being named by the National Law Journal as one of the most 50 Most Influential Minority Attorneys in the United States, by Savoy Magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate Business, recognized by U.S. News & World Report on its list of Best Lawyers in America and a NJ Super Lawyer since its inception.  She is a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American Law Institute.


Ms. Brown has also received the C. Francis Strafford Award, the highest award bestowed by the National Bar Association, The ABA’s Margaret Brent and Spirit of Excellence Awards, The Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Award of Excellence, The Equal Justice and Gertrude Rush Awards from the National Bar Association and the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Garden State Bar Association.


Ms. Brown is proud to have received the Outstanding Graduate of the Year from Howard University, Alumni of the year from Seton Hall University School of Law and three honorary doctorate degrees.


Eileen Letts is a premier civil trial attorney, whose practice of over 40 years includes dozens of jury trials and over 100 bench trials, often for Fortune 500 companies and iconic government entities.  Ms. Letts has litigated  in a wide variety of subject matter areas including product liability, complex tort, and commercial disputes. 


Ms. Letts is a Partner and Chairperson of the Litigation Department at Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP. Prior to her current role, she served as Co-Managing Partner of Greene and Letts and in numerous other legal capacities.  Ms. Letts began her career clerking for the Honorable Glenn T. Johnson, Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court from 1978 to 1980.


Ms. Letts possesses deep roots in the Chicago legal and political communities.  She is often called upon to take leadership of various commissions and panels.  Earlier in her career she served on the transition team for Chicago Mayor-Elect Harold Washington.


Ms. Letts is a frequent presenter at continuing legal education seminars and panel discussions of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.


Ms. Letts has a national reputation for her dedication and efforts relating to diversity & inclusion.  She has served as Co-Chair, ABA President’s 360 Commission, 2015-2016 where she was responsible for the implementation of Diversity & Inclusion Goals, including Resolution 113 which a) urges legal service providers to expand and create opportunities for diverse attorneys, and; b) urges the buyers of legal services to direct a greater percentage of legal spend to diverse attorneys.  With Paulette Brown, she co-authored “Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color,” (June 22, 2020). She was a presenter at the CLE: Where Are the Women of Color? Experiences of Women of Color in the Legal Profession.



MWL Wahl Lecture - Individual Registration

MWL is committed to making the Wahl Leadership Lecture as accessible as possible to its membership and the greater legal community.  For information on scholarship opportunities, please email Katie at

Registration Rates:

$20      MWL Member
$10      MWL Member – Under $55,000 Income 
$0        MWL Member Law Student

$20      MN Affinity Bar Member (at the MWL Member Rate) 
$35      Non- Member

$0        FY20-21 Diamond or Sapphire Premier Member
$0        FY20-21 Emerald Premier Member (Using Ticket)
$0        2020 Partner (Using Ticket)

$100    2020 Friend Level Sponsorship

Please register using the link above by Tuesday, October 20, 2020 
Please contact MWL Program and Projects Coordinator Katie Gunaratne with any questions ( or 612/338-3205).




Not an MWL member?


Join MWL today and save on your 2020 Wahl Lecture ticket. Minnesota Women Lawyers brings together over 1,200 lawyers, judges, law students, legal employers and supporters who are dedicated to advancing the success of women in the legal profession and striving for a just society.



THIS YEAR:  MWL is making important changes to our member dues structure for FY20-21, to ensure that MWL continues to be accessible to everyone, new and renewing members alilke, regardless of financial situation.   Find out more HERE.     Get involved.      Join MWL today!


Special Thanks to 26th Annual MWL Wahl Lecture Sponsors

Lead Sponsor




DLA Piper
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Gustafson Gluek PLLC
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Robins Kaplan LLP

Ballard Spahr LLP
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Prime Therapeutics
Stinson LLP
Zelle LLP

Bassford Remele
Fish & Richardson P.C.
Jones Day
Larkin Hoffman
Merchant & Gould P.C.
Moss & Barnett
Mueting Raasch Group
Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
P.S. Companies
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Stoel Rives LLP
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
UnitedHealth Group
U.S. Bancorp

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 26th Annual MWL Rosalie Wahl Leadership Lecture. Details are available HERE.  Feel free to contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa for more information. (



MWL's Cancellation Policy:
For events that require a fee, cancellations must be received at least three working days in advance of any seminar or event in order to receive a full refund, even if you did not attend the event. If payment had not been submitted prior to the event and a cancellation request had not be received at least three working days in advance, you will be invoiced for the fee. All refunds for registration cancellations will be processed after the event.


Attendance List – Opt OUT:

In order to foster a welcoming environment and to facilitate networking among workshop attendees, Minnesota Women Lawyers will create an attendee list from this event, to be shared with all event registrants, along with the post-event evaluation form.  Attendance list content will be limited to a registrant’s name, employer and email address.  NOTE: If you do not wish to be included in this list you MUST OPT-OUT by checking the appropriate box on this registration form.


PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in the attendance list is protected by copyright and is solely intended for the individual and private use of event attendees in a manner that is consistent with the MWL's mission, goals, and activities. All other use is strictly prohibited. Prohibited use includes but is not limited to the copying, renting, leasing, selling, distributing, transmitting or transfer of all or any portions of the material, or use for any other commercial and/or solicitation purposes of any type, or in connection with any action taken that violates the MWL's copyright. The list is not to be used for any mass communications, but rather only for one-to-one member communication. For information concerning appropriate use of the attendance list, contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa ( or 612/338-3205). 





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