Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 100 Women Leaders in Law of 2021. This year’s awardees were nominated and selected for their dedication and commitment to the field of law. Their client bases stretch across the world in areas like technology, commercial real estate, life sciences, regulatory matters, nonprofits, among other areas. Dedication to their clients is exemplified by awardees like Adekunbi Adejumo who has spent her entire career focused on immigration law and devoted time undertaking pro-bono work at the National Immigration Justice Center. Others like Jennifer Deal, the CFO of Densmore & Shohl, are advising a portfolio of Fortune 500 companies, government entities and other large organizations.
Today’s awardees hold senior positions at their firms as CEOs, CFOs, Partners, Directors, and lawyers. In a field that is historically male dominated, the legal profession has made strides in creating a genuinely diverse playing field. The Women We Admire award for law is an opportunity to showcase the accomplishments of the many talented women who represent the profession and to inspire other young women to follow in their footsteps. These women have set a benchmark for excellence and are paving the way for other future leaders. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 100 Women Leaders in Law of 2021.
1. Kate Stonestreet
Kate Stonestreet is the Global Chief Operating Officer of Baker McKenzie. She first joined the firm in 1995 as Director of Business Development for Asia Pacific. Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy through a new type of thinking and a different mindset. Their strength is their ability to solve complex legal problems by collaborating across borders and practice areas, using transformative technology and dealing with people with empathy.
Prior to her role as COO, Stonestreet held several other positions over the years including Regional Operating Officer of EMEA and Director of Global Operations. Stonestreet earned an MBA in Business Administration and Management from Western University and an undergraduate degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northumbria University.
4. Becky Byers Kcehowski
Becky Byers Kcehowski is a Partner-in-Charge for Pittsburgh of Jones Day. Jones Day provides formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions through the seamless collaboration of a true partnership that shares fundamental professional values. Kcehowski has 19 years of experience in law practice. She began her career in 2002.
Before joining Jones Day, Kcehowski was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Beverly B. Martin at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Kcehowski graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law with a JD, from Emory University with an MA and bachelors degree in Political Science and Government.
7. Jami Wintz McKeon
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Jami Wintz McKeon is a Partner and Chairwoman of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Morgan Lewis is recognized for exceptional client service, legal innovation, and commitment to its communities. Their global depth reaches across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East with the collaboration of more than 2,200 lawyers and specialists who provide elite legal services across industry sectors for multinational corporations to startups around the world. McKeon has 40 years of experience in law practice. She began her career in 1981.
McKeon graduated from Villanova University with a JD and from Penn State University with an undergraduate degree.
12. Zascha Blanco Abbott
Zascha Blanco Abbott is a Partner of Lewis Brisbois. Lewis Brisbois is a national, full-service law firm with more than 1,500 attorneys and 53 offices in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Abbott has 19 years of experience in law practice. She began her career in 2002.
Before joining Lewis Brisbois, Abbott was a Counsel at Liebler Gonzalez & Portuondo and before that an Attorney at Sioli Alexander Pino. Earlier in her career she worked with Allen Norton & Blue, P.A. as an Attorney. Abbott graduated from Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad Law Center with a JD and from Florida International University with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations.
17. Erica Andersen
Covington & Burling LLP
Erica Andersen is a Partner of Covington & Burling LLP. She first joined the firm in 2009 as an Associate. Covington & Burling is an international law firm. Their lawyers are recognized nationally and internationally for their legal skills and the depth of their expertise. Many have served in senior government positions. Virtually all of them provide public service through pro bono representation.
Previously, Andersen was a Term Law Clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Andersen earned a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law and an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Princeton University.
23. Sue Abbott
Goodwin Procter LLP
Sue Abbott began her professional career 26 years ago. Today, she is a Partner of Goodwin Procter. Goodwin Procter partners with their clients to practice law with integrity, ingenuity, agility and ambition. Their 1,400 lawyers across 13 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia excel at complex transactions, high-stakes litigation and world-class advisory services in the technology, life sciences, real estate, private equity, and financial industries.
Abbott first got her start in 1995 as an Associate at Williams & Connolly LLP, before eventually rising to a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, her most recent position prior to joining Goodwin Procter. Abbott graduated from Duke University School of Law with a JD and from Williams College with an undergraduate degree in History and Economics.
27. Joyce Ackerbaum Cox
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Joyce Ackerbaum Cox is a Partner and Employment Law Attorney of Baker & Hostetler. She first joined the firm in 2004. Baker & Hostetler is a leading law firm that helps clients around the world address their most complex and critical business and regulatory issues.
Previously, Cox was a Partner at Akerman Senterfitt. Cox earned a JD from the University of Miami School of Law and an undergraduate degree in International Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami.
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32. Lia Dorsey
Lia Dorsey is the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer of Ogletree Deakins. She first joined the firm in 2021. Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has a reputation for legal excellence and responsive client service. Ogletree Deakins' labor and employment practice is complemented and supported by related practice groups in the areas of business immigration, litigation, employee benefits, occupational safety and health, and construction law.
Dorsey first got her start in 1994 as a Senior Business Consultant before moving on to Cvent and DLA Piper where she worked in Marketing and Business Development. Later in her career she moved on to Marketing and Development with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney before rising to Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Eversheds Sutherland.
35. Gunjan Agarwal
Fox Rothschild LLP
Gunjan Agarwal began her professional career 21 years ago. Today, she is a
Partner of Fox Rothschild LLP. Fox Rothschild is an AmLaw 100 full-service law firm built to serve businesses of all sizes as well as individuals.
Agarwal first got her start in 2010 as a Law Clerk at Gary D. Aronson Attorney at Law. From there, she went on to Birch Stewart Kolasch & Birch, before eventually rising to Patent Attorney at Gazdzinski and Associates, her most recent position prior to joining Fox Rothschild LLP. Agarwal graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law with a JD in Intellectual Property Law, from UC San Diego with an MS in Bioengineering and from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore with an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology.
39. Catherine Zinn
Catherine Zinn is the Chief Client Officer at Baker Botts. She first joined the firm in 2020. Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 13 offices around the globe. Based on their experience and knowledge of their clients' industries, they are recognized as a leading firm in the technology, energy, and life sciences sectors.
Previously, Zinn was a Chief Client Officer at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and before that a Senior National Relationships Executive at DLA Piper. Earlier in her career she worked with JAMS as a Director. Zinn earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and Public Policy from Hamilton College.
44. Julie Riewe
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Julie Riewe is a Partner of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. She first joined the firm in 2016. Debevoise & Plimpton is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots.
Previously, Riewe was an Associate at Wilmer Culter Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and before that a Law Clerk for The Honorable Diana E. Murphy at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Riewe earned a JD and MPP from Duke University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in Comparative Area Studies and Spanish from Duke University.
49. Jennifer Deal
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Jennifer Deal began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Financial Officer of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. Dinsmore & Shohl has a nationwide team of over 725 attorneys who are trusted advisers to some of the world's leading businesses, including many in the Fortune 500. Clients count on Dinsmore to provide high-quality, commercial advice that makes the best business sense for them.
Prior to her role as CFO, Deal was the Controller, Tax Manager and Senior Tax Accountant for Dinsmore & Shohl. Deal graduated from the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business with an undergraduate degree in Accounting.
52. Colleen Bannon
Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin PC
Colleen Bannon is the Chief Operating Officer of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, PC. Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin is a leading civil defense litigation law firm that represents and advises insurers, self-insured businesses, and professionals in a wide range of professional liability, casualty, health law, employment, and workers' compensation matters. Bannon has 40 years in law practice. She began her career in 1980.
Bannon graduated from Temple University with a JD and from Holy Family University with an undergraduate degree in Humanities.
56. Carol J. Rubin
Jenner & Block
Carol J. Rubin is the Chief Operating Officer of Jenner & Block. She first joined the firm in 2020. Jenner & Block LLP is a law firm with global reach, with offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The firm is known for its prominent and successful litigation practice, global investigations, and experience handling sophisticated and high-profile corporate transactions.
Previously, Rubin was an Associate Director at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and before that a Chief Administrative Officer at Chicago Transit Authority. Rubin earned a graduate degree from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Colgate University.
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62. Heather LaSalle Alexis
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Heather LaSalle Alexis is an Attorney at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. She first joined the firm in 2020. Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices in 13 states and London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry and the professional services sector including representation of law firms and lawyers.
Previously, Alexis was an Attorney at McGlinchey Stafford. Alexis earned a graduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Sociology from Louisiana State University.
66. Amy L. Baird
Jackson Walker LLP
Amy Baird is a Partner of Jackson Walker LLP. Jackson Walker is a Texas-based law firm with a national presence and global reach with more than 400 attorneys. Baird represents clients in the energy industry and does complex commercial litigation for those clients. Baird’s experience includes the representation of natural gas gatherers and oil and gas producers. Baird has 36 years of experience in law practice. She began her career in 1985.
Prior to joining private practice, Baird served as in-house counsel for Southern Natural Gas Company in Birmingham, Alabama. Baird received her JD from the University of Alabama School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama.
71. Helen Maher
Boies Schiller Flexner
Helen Maher is a Partner and Expert in Sports Law and Commercial Litigation for Boies Schiller Flexner. She first joined the firm in 2000. Bois Schiller Flexner is a firm of internationally recognized trial lawyers, crisis managers, and strategic advisors known for their creative, aggressive, and efficient pursuit of success for their clients.
Maher graduated from Pace University School of Law with her JD.
73. Chérie R. Kiser
Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Chérie R. Kiser is the Managing Partner of the DC Office of Cahill Gordon & Reindel. She first joined the firm in 2008. Cahill continues to be widely regarded for its prominent work in finance, litigation, corporate investigations, insurance, First Amendment rights, antitrust, and tax areas.
Previously, Kiser was a DC Managing Partner and Executive Committee Member at Mintz Levin and before that an Associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae. Earlier in her career she worked with Sprint as a Senior Regulatory Attorney. Kiser earned a JD from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and an undergraduate degree in Speech Communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
77. Antonia Birt
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP
Antonia Birt began her professional career 12 years ago. Today, she is a Partner of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle is a leading AmLaw 200 international law firm. Headquartered in New York, Curtis has 17 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Central and East Asia.
Birt first got her start in 2009 as a Senior Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, her most recent position prior to joining Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Birt graduated from University of Cambridge with a graduate degree.
80. Ginger Dodd
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Ginger Dodd began her professional career 24 years ago. Today, she is a Partner of Phelps Dunbar LLP. Phelps is a regional law firm of more than 300 attorneys uniquely equipped to serve clients in the major commercial centers of the burgeoning “Third Coast” of the United States.
Dodd graduated from Louisiana State University Law Center with a JD and from Louisiana State University with an undergraduate degree in Finance.
85. Lynda Zadra-Symes
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP
Lynda Zadra-Symes began her professional career 31 years ago. Today, she is a Partner of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP. Knobbe Martens has close to 275 lawyers and scientists nationwide and dedicates its practice to all aspects of intellectual property and technology law, including litigation.
Zadra-Symes graduated from De Montfort University with an undergraduate degree.
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89. Loryn Arkow
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Loryn Arkow is a Partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. She first joined the firm in 2015. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan is a legal firm that provides services to various financial institutions.
Previously, Arkow was a Partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and before that a Partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP. Earlier in her career she worked with O'Melveny & Myers LLP as an Associate. Arkow earned a graduate degree from Stanford University Law School and an undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard University.
92. Kim Ahlgrim
Chapman and Cutler LLP
Kim Ahlgrim is a Partner of Chapman and Cutler LLP. She first joined the firm in 1997 as an Attorney. Chapman and Cutler develops innovative and practical legal solutions for complex financial transactions.
Previously, Ahlgrim was an Attorney at Smith, Lodge & Schneider. Ahlgrim earned a JD from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an undergraduate degree in International Business and French from Illinois State University.
99. Ashley Lynam
Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads
Ashley Lynam is a Partner of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads. Montgomery McCracken is a full-service law firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. Lynam has 12 years of experience in law practice. She began her career in 2009.
Before joining Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, Lynam was a Partner at Fowler Hirtzel McNulty & Spaulding, and before that a Partner at Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg LLC. Earlier in her career she worked with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas as a Law Clerk. Lynam graduated from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law with a JD and from Villanova University with an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Criminal Justice.
100. Jennifer Cave
Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Jennifer Cave is a Partner of Stites & Harbison, PLLC. Stites & Harbison is a full service Southeastern-based law firm representing clients across the United States and internationally. They are known as a preeminent firm managing sophisticated transactions, challenging litigation, and complex regulatory matters on a daily basis. Cave has over 20 years of experience working as an attorney and environmental consultant across the United States.
Cave works closely with businesses to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations. Cave advises clients on air quality, storm water, wastewater, and solid and hazardous waste permitting and compliance requirements. She defends clients in administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions. She also regularly counsels equipment manufacturers on the importation and sale of mobile sources under the Clean Air Act and guides clients through transactions involving the purchase and sale of contaminated properties. Cave also represents distilleries around the world on environmental compliance and sustainability issues. Cave received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law.
View the complete list of awardees.