Akin Gump to Host Women’s Leadership Conference

(Washington, D.C.) – In 1971 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld hired its first female attorney, Clarice Davis, and in 1979 Clarice became the firm’s first female partner. Today, almost 30 years later, one-third of all Akin Gump attorneys are women, and more than 15 percent of the partnership is female. On March 1-2, Clarice and more than 200 of her female colleagues – attorneys at all levels and from all of the firm’s offices, from Los Angeles to Moscow – will gather in Washington, D.C., for Akin Gump’s Women’s Leadership Conference.

The Conference will focus on practice development, leadership and work-life balance. Akin Gump lawyers and outside speakers will address ways to establish visibility at the firm and in the legal and business community; to develop and sustain client relationships; to hone communication skills in the courtroom, the boardroom and in government settings; and to achieve personal and professional success and satisfaction in the office and at home. Campbell Brown – co-anchor of “Today-Weekend Edition” and a primary correspondent for NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams – will speak at Friday’s luncheon to discuss her own experience working in a predominantly male profession and what she has learned along the way, as well as her efforts to encourage others and to give back to the community.

Akin Gump’s chairman, R. Bruce McLean, explained, “In a perfect world, we would not need a women’s initiative. But in the real world, female attorneys face specific challenges, and we know that we must address and offer solutions to these challenges if we are going to continue to successfully recruit, retain and promote our talented female lawyers. Like many firms, Akin Gump recognizes that diverse client teams ultimately provide better service. Clients know this too, and they select outside counsel accordingly. Championing women is therefore not just the right thing to do; it’s good business.”

Kim Koopersmith, a member of the firm’s executive and management committees, agreed. “The practice of law is a demanding profession for men and women alike. But retaining the pool of incredibly talented women can be especially challenging, particularly when they face balancing a demanding work schedule with family and other commitments. Akin Gump wants to ensure that women feel comfortable at the firm, develop at the firm and succeed at the firm. At least half of the most talented young lawyers coming out of law school today are women, and we want to train and keep that talent here.”

Mr. McLean added, “I am extremely pleased that so many of the firm’s female attorneys will attend our Women’s Leadership Conference. I hope that each attendee leaves the event with the conviction that Akin Gump will support her in every way possible.”

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 900 lawyers with offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Taipei and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; appellate; banking and finance; capital markets; communications and information technology; corporate and securities; corporate governance; employee benefits; energy; entertainment and media; environmental; estate planning, wealth transfer and probate; financial restructuring; global security; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international trade; investment funds; labor and employment; land use; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; privatization; project development and finance; public law and policy; real estate development and finance; Russia/CIS; tax; and technology. 

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