Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join MWL
Site Search
2019 MWL Conference for Women in the Law: Highlights



REGISTER NOW Registration & Rates 47th Annual Meeting
Conference Highlights Speaker Biographies Download Center
Program Agenda
Scholarships Sponsors & Exhibitors

2019 MWL Conferen
ce Highlights


hover text

MORNING Keynote Presentation: Hilarie Bass


Hilarie Bass is a global evangelist for gender parity and an outspoken advocate for expanding the ranks of women leaders at corporations, nonprofits and other institutions. She is also one of the most recognized attorneys in the United States, having served as co-president of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig from 2013 to 2018 and as president of the American Bar Association (ABA) from September 2017 to August 2018. 

Throughout her law career, Hilarie fought for greater participation for women in the top ranks of law firms. At Greenberg Traurig, in addition to heading the firm’s 600-member litigation department for eight years, she founded and chaired its Women's Initiative. At the ABA, the world’s largest voluntary professional organization with more than 400,000 members, Hilarie traveled the world speaking on behalf of the ABA about the insidious damage of implicit bias in the legal profession and the importance of retaining and promoting female leaders. She also led the creation of a task force at the ABA on implicit bias in the justice system. 

In late 2018, Hilarie left the law profession to launch the Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion, whose mission is to help CEOs worldwide evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their diversity initiatives, and to find new ways to increase diversity in leadership. 

Hilarie brings a unique perspective to the topic of gender parity. She has spearheaded studies and research into why women leave law firms and which initiatives help keep them there. In her keynote presentations, Hilarie examines how implicit, unconscious biases can limit a company’s ability to attract and retain promising future leaders. After addressing the question “Why do women leave?” she provides solutions for improving the effectiveness of corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives. Her mission is to give companies the tools they need to retain the women they have and increase the number of women at the highest levels of leadership. 

During her illustrious 38-year career in litigation, Hilarie worked on landmark legal cases, including widely recognized pro bono work on behalf of two foster children that led to the elimination of the state of Florida’s 20-year-old ban on gay adoption. Hilarie is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization that includes only the top 1% of lawyers. She was also consistently ranked among the top US lawyers by Chambers USA Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon 500, Legal 500 United States, Florida Trend magazine's “Legal Elite,” Super Lawyers and many others. In 2016, The Best Lawyers in America named her “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Securities.


AFTERNOON Keynote Workshop: Dawn Rosemond

Dawn Rosemond serves as the director of diversity, professional development and inclusion at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. Dawn spearheads diversity and inclusion initiatives through deliberate programming and strategic priorities, as well as leads the charge for cultivating and maintaining an environment that boldly promotes the training, sponsorship, empowerment and promotion of all legal talent, regardless of background.

Always positive, boundlessly energetic and refreshingly authentic. Dawn's people skills and innate personal drive to develop the strengths of everyone around her are bolstered by her tireless energy and work ethic.In her role as director of diversity, Dawn spearheads the firm's efforts to make bold, lasting change in an industry needing redirection.

Based out of their Fort Wayne, Indiana office, Dawn  is the first African-American female to make  equity partner at Barnes  & Thornburg and reportedly in the state  of Indiana. She has been with the firm her entire legal career, representing business clients in virtually all stages of litigation,including pre-litigation counseling, ADR, trials and appeals. Dawn adds value most of all by endeavoring at every turn to provide her clients with an unmatched level of care for their business needs and objectives.

She litigates before various federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Initially, Dawn began her career with a focus on federal and state employment Litigation. Today, she focuses on representing, counseling and protecting clients that  range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies in business and commercial litigation.

Dawn advises on compliance issues, restrictive covenant enforcement, trade secret protection and management, intellectual property protection and policing, and vendor and contractual disputes. Moreover, Dawn is skilled in workouts for banking institutions and  special services, and works with clients to safeguard their brands and intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade dress. Dawn also manages a deep  portfolio of worker's compensation defense litigation throughout Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Notably, Dawn chairs the firm's African-American Partners affinity group  and the Black Female Lawyer Resource Group. She also serves  as co-chair of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of the Pro Bono Committee. The published author of Boss Presence, Dawn is a national speaker on leadership and personal development and a deliberate mentor. At her core, Dawn is moved by building people up in order to realize their infinite potential, and believes that  doing so is the best way to elevate individual and  collective consciousness and ultimately change a culture. She strives never to forget that with great influence and power comes great responsibility.


Breakout Sessions

Throughout the 2019 MWL Conference day, Minnesota Women Lawyers is pleased to offer a wide range of programming geared towards the diverse practice areas and experience levels represented by MWL's membership. View the program agenda for a complete listing of plenary and break-out sessions.



CLE Credit
Up to five CLE credits will be available to each attendee. (Including both standard and elimination of bias credit). Final credits received will be based on actual sessions attended.  Visit the 2019 MWL Conference Program Agenda for specific credit available and CLE event codes.



Through all of its events and initiatives, Minnesota Women Lawyers fosters a strong sense of community among its members and leverages its collective voice to advance its mission. Furthermore, MWL is a powerful source of business growth, client development and relationship-building.  MWL Conference attendees will have a particular opportunity to connect with trailblazers and trendsetters from across the Minnesota legal community. With its statewide membership of attorneys, judges, law students & legal employers, the MWL Conference will be a perfect setting to network, learn and practice skills in a collegiate and supportive environment, and foster greater satisfaction within the practice of law.



MWL Conference Benefactor

MWL is pleased to offer its members the opportunity to register as an MWL Conference Benefactor. By paying a slightly higher registration fee, an MWL Conference Benefactor helps fund conference scholarships, and receives recognition on the MWL website, in the Conference program and on an individual's conference nametag. If you are interested in helping to fund conference scholarships, simply register as a Conference Benefactor on the registration form. For more information, contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa (

2019 MWL Conference Benefactors (To Date)
Nicole Keirnes
Amy Taber


Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities

Minnesota Women Lawyers is pleased to offer a select number of sponsor and exhibitor opportunities at its upcoming 2019 MWL Conference for Women in the Law. Being one of a limited number of MWL Conference sponsors  or exhibitors offers a unique opportunity to market your organization or business services and products with women attorney and legal employer decision makers. Opportunities are available on a first-come basis. Complete benefit packages at Sponsors & Exhibitors.



Annual Meeting
NOTE: Registration for the MWL Conference automatically includes registration to the MWL Annual Meeting luncheon. MWL Annual Meeting tickets may also be purchased separately HERE.

MWL is pleased to announce its 47th Annual Meeting, to be held on Friday, April 26th, 2019 from 12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis. This luncheon event will offer an opportunity to review the past year and look forward to the year ahead. We’ll elect our 2019-2020 Board of Directors, and we’ll honor our 2019 Annual Award recipients. Plus, this event is always a fabulous opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends! We hope you’ll join us to celebrate our past accomplishments and plan our future successes.


All MWL Conference and Annual Meeting attendees are invited to socialize and network over dessert, immediately following the Annual Meeting program.


Minnesota Women Lawyers
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal