Los Angeles County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Conference

Friday, September 27, 2019




8:30-9:30 a.m.


9:30-10:15 a.m.

Welcome and Overview

Keynote Speaker:


Tim McNeal, Vice President, Creative Talent Development and Inclusion, Disney ABC Television



10:15-10:30 a.m.

Transfer Break

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Morning Track Programs


The Business Case for Diversity


  • Vernetta Walker, President & CEO Vernetta Walker & Associates Consulting, Inc. (Moderator) https://www.vernettawalker.com/about-us/
  • Tim McNeal, VP of Talent Development & Diversity, Disney ABC Television https://www.abctalentdevelopment.com/about_staff1.html
  • Susan Chun, Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Legal at Paramount Pictures https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-chun-1984a3148/
  • Marisa Blackshire, Senior General Attorney at BNSF Railway https://www.linkedin.com/in/marisa-blackshire-67853710/
  • Joel Richlin, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, & Chief Litigation Counsel at Prime Healthcare https://www.linkedin.com/in/joel-richlin-37808387/


The Diversity Pipeline – Success in Improving Diversity in the Legal Profession


  • Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director, California LAW Inc. (Moderator) http://californialawinc.com/About-Us/Leadership-and-Staff/Leslie-Cunningham
  • Norma Nava Franklin, Vice President, For People of Color https://forpeopleofcolor.org/about/normanava/
  • Juan Hernandez, Paul Hastings LLP , graduate of LACBA’s High School Mentoring Programhttps://www.paulhastings.com/professionals/details/juanhernandez
  • Nubia Valenzuela, graduate of the California LAW Pathways Program and Loyola Marymount University.
  • Alfredo Fraijo, Jr., Partner, Sheppard Mullin LLP and California LAW Pathways https://www.sheppardmullin.com/search.html?searchtext2=alfred+fraijo&do_site_search=1


Retention and Promotion of Diverse Lawyers in Law Firms


  • Ivy Kagan Bierman, Partner, Loeb & Loeb (Moderator)



  • Sylvia James, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Winston Strawn LLP https://www.winston.com/en/who-we-are/professionals/james-sylvia.html
  • Wesley T.L. Burrell, Co-Leader of Munger Tolles & Olson’s Minority Initiative https://www.mto.com/lawyers/Wesley-T-L-Burrell
  • Mary Ellen Connerty, Leader, Diversity and Engagement, O’Melveny https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-ellen-connerty-9473367/
  • Jay Srinivasan, Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher



12:15-1:45 p.m.

Luncheon (Burns Lounge)

Keynote Speaker:

Nerissa Coyle McGinn, Chief Diversity Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP



1:45-2:00 p.m.

Transfer break


2:00-3:45 p.m.

Afternoon Track Programs



Compensation and Diversity: Why Lawyers of Color and Women Continue to Make Less in Law Firms, and What Can Be Done About It?


  • Steven Velkei (Moderator) https://www.bautelaw.com/attorneys/steven-velkei/
  • Margo Jackson-Bermudez, Major Lindsey & Africa https://www.mlaglobal.com/en/people/margot-jackson?byconsultantorauthor=margot-jackson
  • Swethaa Ballakrishnen,Assistant Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Lawhttps://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/ballakrishnen/ She
  • Maria Rodriguez, Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery https://www.mwe.com/people/rodriguez-maria-c/
  • Felicia Gilbert, San Francisco Managing Attorney, Sanford Heisler & Sharp LLP https://sanfordheisler.com/team/felicia-gilbert/



Summit of Managing Partners and Diversity Partners : What Works and What Doesn’t?


  • Nerissa Coyle McGinn, Chief Diversity Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP (Moderator) https://www.loeb.com/en/people/m/mcginn-nerissa-coyle
  • John S. Gibson, Co-chair of the Diversity Council Steering Committee – Crowell & Moring LLP https://www.crowell.com/Professionals/John-Gibson
  • Keith Ameele, Managing Partner, Foley & Mansfield PLLP https://www.foleymansfield.com/professionals/kameele/
  • Emily Burkhardt Vicente, Partner - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP https://www.huntonak.com/en/people/emily-vicente.html
  • Nick Pujji, Partner– Dentons LLP https://www.dentons.com/en/nick-pujji
  • Michael Nunez, Partner & Charge and Diversity Partner, Murchison & Cumming LLP http://www.murchisonlaw.com/attorneys/michael-nunez
  • Kim McKelvey, Director of Strategic Focus & Director of Inclusiveness & Diversity - Kutak Rock LLP https://www.kutakrock.com/people/m/mckelvey-kimberly-a
  • Amy Quartarolo, Of Counsel, Latham & Watkins, LLP https://www.lw.com/people/amy-quartarolo


Diversity on the Bench:


  • Hon. Rupa Goswami, Los Angeles Superior Court (Moderator)
  • Hon. Kevin Brazile, Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Hon. Carlos Moreno, former Justice of the California Supreme Court, United States District Court Judge, Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, and United States Ambassador to Belize
  • Hon. Andre Birotte Jr., United States District Court, Central District of California
  • Hon. Marguerite Downing, Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Hon. Dean Hansell, Los Angeles Superior Court

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Roundtable Summary: Getting Real on Diversity: Solutions and Next Steps (Burns Lounge)



4:30 -5:30 p.m.

Reception with Keynote Speaker


L. Song Richardson, Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law,

University of California Irvine School of Law