McGuireWoods held the eighth session of its award-winning Women’s Leadership Development Forum from Oct. 15-16, 2020 — an invitation-only two-day formal training program under the umbrella of the firm’s Women Lawyers Network (WLN). Geared toward senior women associates, the initiative is designed to develop leadership skills that are helpful in the transition to partner and other senior roles inside and outside of the firm.
This session, held via Zoom due to the pandemic, opened with remarks from Richmond partner Joy Fuhr, who leads the program as well as the WLN. She told participants about her own career path and lessons learned along the way, then introduced professional leadership coach Susan Dunlop, who led the training on both days.
Discussion across the two days focused on leadership styles, business development and developing a “go-to” lawyer presence. This year, the program included helpful strategies for success in navigating the challenges and changes to the practice of law that have been accelerated by COVID-19.
The program featured a virtual wine tasting by Hall Vineyards and an “ask anything” session in breakout rooms hosted by Fuhr; Century City partner and Labor & Employment Department chair Sabrina Beldner, who leads the firm’s LGBTQ+ Lawyers Network; Atlanta partner and Financial Services Litigation Department chair Cheryl Haas; Richmond’s Joanne Katsantonis, deputy managing partner for development; Baltimore partner and Diversity & Inclusion Committee chair Ava Lias-Booker; Richmond partner and Regulatory & Compliance Department chair Vishwa Link; Chicago partner and Antitrust, Trade & Commercial Litigation Department chair Amy Manning; Chicago partner and Public Finance Department chair Kay McNab; and Chicago partner and Healthcare Department chair Amber Walsh.
“It takes a village,” Fuhr noted. “The 100 graduates of the program over the past six years have become outstanding leaders. The time and sage advice shared by our senior partners is an essential component to the program’s success.”
The next session of the Women’s Leadership Development Forum is scheduled for fall 2021.