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Making a Difference: How In-House Counsel Can Eliminate Bias and Promote Equity in the Legal Profession

(738 reviews)

Produced on June 29, 2020

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

In May 2019, the International Bar Association released a report on its survey of nearly 7,000 legal professionals worldwide on their experience with bullying and harassment at the workplace. The statistics were alarming. Over one-half of female respondents, one-third of male respondents, and over two-thirds of non-binary respondents reported being subjected to harassment or bullying at work. Additionally, 40% of women and 32% of men reported witnessing bullying at work. Not surprisingly, of those who report misconduct, the vast majority state that the workplace response was negligible or insufficient. 

The American Bar Association, many state and local bar associations, as well as various professional groups report that our profession has difficulty retaining women and diverse lawyers. The legal profession loses so much talent, at least in part, due to feelings of exclusion, inequity, harassment, and bullying. As decision-makers and controllers of the purse strings, in-house counsel are in a unique position to influence the attraction and retention of women and diverse lawyers in their organizations and in the law firms with which they do business. Professional associations that focus on eliminating the revolving door for lawyers in historically marginalized groups, such as Minority Corporate Counsel Association, National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms and Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, provide resources to support in-house counsel to move the needle considerably. We can only make and sustain real change and genuine belongingness if in-house counsel wield their power and lead the profession in combating discrimination and bias that pushes many capable lawyers to leave before reaching their full potential. 

In this program, Fran Griesing, Founder and Managing Member of women-owned and operated law firm Griesing Law, LLC, will discuss issues of bullying, harassment, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and how in-house counsel may leverage their role to combat harassment and invest in inclusion in the legal profession.  



Learning Objectives:
  1. Use the rules of professional conduct effectively to combat discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the profession within your organization, and in dealing with outside counsel and adversaries
  2. Create and enforce policies that attract and retain diverse professionals in your legal department
  3. Influence outside counsel to ensure that your legal providers don’t just talk the talk of diversity and inclusion, but actually create a culture in which all lawyers have the opportunity to achieve the highest levels in the profession 

Credit Information

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Faculty

Francine Griesing

Griesing Law, LLC

Francine Friedman Griesing is the founder and Managing Member of Griesing Law, LLC, a women-owned and operated law firm based in Philadelphia with satellite offices in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, and Cincinnati. Fran is a valued, strategic advisor to top executives and general counsel at the region’s and country’s largest corporations and institutions. Fran has over thirty five years of experience representing clients in complex business transactions, high stakes litigation and alternate dispute resolution matters. Her clients include public and closely-held companies, not-for-profit organizations, government entities and executives.  After practicing at AmLaw 100 firms and as Litigation Chair for the City of Philadelphia, Fran founded Griesing Law so women could reach their potential in the male-dominated legal field.

Fran has been recognized by Chambers and Partners USA, Best Lawyers in America, Client Choice Guide USA, and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for her expertise in commercial litigation and employment law. She has also been acknowledged as one of The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Influencers of Law Lifetime Achievers and Diversity & Inclusion Lifetime Achievers, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Best of the Bar, The Legal Intelligencer’s Women of the Year, Ms. JD’s Sharing Her Passion Honoree,  ABA Women in Litigation Joint CLE Conference Women Who Inspire Us;and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ Top 50 Women Lawyers and is the recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Education Center’s Excellence in Legal Education Award and the American Bar Association’s Excellence in Legal Writing Award.

Fran is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded Bossible, a marketing and business development consultancy that helps entrepreneurs, professionals, small businesses and diverse businesses build and execute marketing plans that amplify them as thought leaders in their industries, and GriesingMazzeo Leadership, a training and human resources advisor for small, middle market, women and diverse owned businesses and professionals.  She is highly regarded as a trailblazing entrepreneur, selected by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Bank of America as the 2018 Woman Business Owner of the Year and by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia as the 2018 Small Business Person of the Year. She also received the Women’s Business Enterprise Center East WBE Leadership Award. She has been included in Women’s Enterprise Magazine’s Top WBE CEOs, Philly Biz’s Executives of the Year,  Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction, Business Philadelphia’s Women to Watch and one of the Governor of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business.

Fran is a highly sought speaker and writer and is also featured in “The Road to Independence, 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Firms”, published by the American Bar Association.  She has taught Business Law, Public Employment Law and Advocacy Skills at Temple University's Beasley School of Law and Fox School of Business & Management and has been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Thomas Kline School of Law at Drexel University.  Fran is an honors graduate of Binghamton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review.



Reviews

DM
David M.

Presenter was excellent as were the materials.

BF
Becky F.

was quite impressed with her knowledge on the subject and how she presented it. I would urge you to consider her for more ethics or other courses....

KR
Kenneth R.

It is most appreciated that the presenter managed to keep her discourse reasonably free of the political baggage that now pervades most discussions on bias and equality, and did not implicitly attempt to coercively impose any political orientation upon members of the audience.

JS
Jane S.

Really like this presenter. She is clear, knowledgeable, and engaging.

TL
Terri L.

Excellent instructor and perspectives. Great course.

LD
LINDA D.

this was an eye opener.

AP
April P.

I really liked the course instructor. I appreciated the real examples given - very relatable.

CG
Carrie G.

I appreciate that this was targeted to in-house counsel.

DK
Daniel K.

Best for in-house counsel. Not always tremendously clear or engaging, but generally well done

RW
Richard W.

Great program.

DA
Donald A.

the best yet

KB
Kathleen B.

Such wonderful information that applies not only to General Counsel, but to all aspects of the legal profession!! I will definitely look up the resources she used.

MK
Mark K.

Good slides. Good examples.

TB
Thomas B.

Great job. Straightforward and informative.

DE
Diane E.

This was one of the best ethics presentations I have seen.

AA
Aparna A.

The tips for improving diversity and inclusion for in house counsel was truly helpful.

ES
Evan S.

did what it was supposed to do

RB
Ryan B.

I think this was a good overview, general topic that didn't touch on any one area in too much detail, but gave a good foundation.

CP
Clara P.

Very good!

JO
Jason O.

awesome

JH
Jennifer H.

Great and informative course.

GS
Glen S.

Well done, clear and actively firm on guiding for improvement.

AB
alan b.

Very informative and easy to digest.

KC
Kelly C.

Our in-house legal dept is currently working on the Mansfield Rule Legal Dept edition 2.0, and I found this seminar to be very helpful! The speaker did an excellent job!

TF
Tonya F.

This course was extremely relevant and timely in today's business climate. I could have listened to this speaker and her depth of knowledge for hours.

BM
Brian M.

Excellent speaker and well organized presentation.

FB
Frank B.

nicely done, very informative but also a little disheartening to realize we have a long way to go

AB
Amy B.

Enjoyed the course and speaker! Very applicable content.

MK
Michelle K.

Outstanding! Oh the tales some of us could tell...

JN
Joy N.

Great presentation.

CD
Catherine D.

Spot On!

NP
Nicole P.

Informative and good delivery

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