top of page

NCWBA Summit 2023: Empowering Trailblazers

The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations (NCWBA) is set to host its Summit on August 3-4, 2023, in the heart of Denver, Colorado. The two-day event is dedicated to providing women in law with the skills, knowledge, and inspiration to become empowered trailblazers of tomorrow.

The Summit kicks off on Thursday evening with the NCWBA Welcome Gala & Awards Presentation at Polsinelli. The event will run from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attendees will meet fellow lawyers and celebrate engaging programs of bar associations across the country. The evening will conclude with a special appearance from comedian Deb Scheer.

After the gala, guests will participate in the Dine Around event, where they can meet other Summit attendees and board members of the NCWBA at various restaurants at walkable Larimer Square. Designate your restaurant of choice during registration.

Begin the next day with an early morning Yoga session from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. at the hotel, The Westin Denver and the NCWBA Summit Program will be starting at 8:00 a.m. at Faegre, Drinker, Biddle, and Reath. The Summit will certainly empower trailblazers of tomorrow by providing training for today, lessons from the past, and guidance for the future.

The first session, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., is titled "Continuum of Change" with Lisa Glover, Founder and CEO of Center for Grounded Leadership, as the speaker. Glover will teach attendees how to facilitate and inspire change using practical tools that are immediately actionable.

The second session, "Making Way for Diversity: An Introduction to Equity-Focused Leadership Competencies," will be held in two parts presented by Yolánda L Chase, SHRM-SCP, CPM, CM, Founder and President of Diversity Way-Maker, and Maileen Hamto, MBA, MS, Doctoral Candidate, Senior Consultant, and Practice Partner of Diversity Way-Maker. Participants will learn about a leadership competencies framework, which emphasizes developing and applying an inclusive mindset in workplace decision-making.

Our keynote luncheon speaker from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. is Molly Kocialski, Regional Director of the US Patent & Trademark Office. Kocialski will discuss how she sees the future and changing landscape of our industry empowering our trailblazers of tomorrow to look ahead and adapt to technology and industry changes.

The third session is the NCWBA’s well known mentoring circles from 1:00-2:15pm engaging participants in interactive mentoring circles in Leadership, Organizational mentors, Effective Administration and Membership Development.

Our afternoon session from 2:30-3:45pm is a panel moderated by author Lauren Stiller Rikleen, esteemed author of Her Honor- Stories of Challenge and Triumph from women Judges which consists of shared stories of challenge and perseverance. The panel consists of story authors from the book and include the following women:

  1. Marci Hamilton (Justice O’Connor’s clerk);

  2. Ellen Rosenblum (Attorney General of Oregon);

  3. Linda Murnane (Chief Circuit Military Judge);

  4. Justice Fernande Duffly, (retired Justice of MA Supreme Judicial Court);

  5. Dru Ramey, (who wrote about former CA Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein).

We will hear from the 2023-2024 incoming NCWBA President, Sheila Willis in closing as we move into our final session of the day.

Summit concludes with the NCWBA signature program, The GOOD Guys from 4:00-5:30pm followed by a happy hour reception given by Lady Justice Brewing at the Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath location. The GOOD Guys program will consist of a presentation by Professor Sarah E. Redfield and Judge Bernice B. Donald, two well respected teachers and thought leaders in anti-bias and DEI education and practice. They will explore the stories of their book, Extending Justice: Strategies to Increase Inclusion and Reduce Bias, and discuss the hot topics with an esteemed panel of “GOOD Guys” Guys Overcoming Obstacles to Diversity who are making efforts to practice and promote diversity and reduce bias.

We hope you will come spend time with the powerful Women of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations and empower yourself with leadership skills needed to trailblaze our industry.


Jessie Pellant, a Colorado native, is the founder and managing partner of StudioIP. StudioIP is both a creative agency and law firm. Jessie believes in a humanistic and team-oriented approach to counsel, making herself and her team an asset to any business. Authenticity and transparency have made her successful in the courtroom, boardroom and in negotiations. Her practice focuses on advising clients in high level business strategy identifying and securing the most valuable assets of the business, the intellectual property. She assists with acquiring, and protecting, or enforcing trademarks, copyrights, and patents working alongside our creative team at StudioIP. She conducts search and clearance so companies can cultivate a legally sound brand with strong legs and teeth if necessary.

In the transactional world, Jessie negotiates and drafts technology transactions, agreements affecting intellectual property ownership including development agreements and licenses in several industries including media, software, consumer products, automotive, construction and entertainment. She initiates takedowns for DMCA violations and product infringement to counteract bad actors and counterfeit products. For the start-up community looking to retain funding or be attractive to purchasers, she also performs due diligence, and finally, but not least represents clients in litigious matters involving intellectual property.

In recognition of Jessie’s ability to serve her clients as a trusted advisor, Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine recognized Jessie as a Super Lawyer for 9 years in a row, she was recognized as a 5280 Top Lawyer for the past 2 years and was awarded Denver’s 40 Under 40 in 2022. Jessie is an advocate for change in the legal industry and furthering women in the industry, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations. When not advocating or volunteering Jessie enjoys time with her husband and 3 daughters in the great outdoors.

55 views0 comments


bottom of page