Leadership. Empowerment. Advancement. Distinction.


UCLA Law Women LEAD is an inter-generational network connecting more than 3,000 students, young alumnae, mid-career and senior professionals.

UCLA Law Women LEAD is a diverse, inclusive, intergenerational community of UCLA Law women who help one another advance professional goals and foster personally fulfilling careers, both linear and non-linear, and at all stages of life and career. We are intersectional on purpose, fostering a space where all members of LEAD are seen and heard as their authentic selves and intentionally addressing the specific challenges that may be imposed due to identity and lived experience. We intend for the term “women” to be fully inclusive, encompassing all who identify as such in ways that are significant to them, regardless of sex assigned at birth.

Save the date for the 2022 LEAD Summit on March 11, 2022. More details to be announced.

Join the LEAD network

Join the more than 3,000 members of UCLA Law Women LEAD.
  • Our Mission

    LEAD’s mission is to create a diverse, inclusive, intergenerational community of UCLA Law women that supports our collective personal and professional growth.

    • By "inclusive," we mean a space where all members of LEAD feel like they belong, and are seen and heard as their authentic selves.
    • By “support our collective personal and professional growth,” we mean to help one another advance professional goals and foster personally fulfilling careers, both linear and non-linear, and at all stages of life and career. We seek to address the specific challenges facing all women students and graduates, including helping overcome career impediments that may be imposed on them due to their identity and lived experience.
    • We intend for the term “women” to be fully inclusive, encompassing all who identify as such in ways that are significant to them, regardless of sex assigned at birth.
  • Intersectional on Purpose

    Traditional diversity action and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statements are not enough.To ensure we are an effective network for all women students and graduates of UCLA Law, LEAD maintains a diverse board and is embedding an intentionally intersectional framework into our operations. We will be evaluating our results on an ongoing basis.

    Our founders brought a strong commitment to diversity, which is reflected in the diversity of our Board and events, among other things. Nonetheless, UCLA Law Women LEAD seeks to be even more intentional in this space. We know that BIPOC women experience overlapping forms of oppression simultaneously and therefore face greater barriers to career development, a larger pay gap, and greater underrepresentation in legal leadership positions. In addition, we recognize the need to explicitly embrace a definition of who is a “woman” that is inclusive and less tied to sexist and transphobic norms. We are taking steps now to incorporate an anti-racist, intentionally intersectional framework, including mechanisms for ongoing evaluation and accountability. To accomplish our mission, we must confront racism, sexism and oppression head-on, and take actions to combat their further entrenchment, particularly as they impact women in the legal profession.

  • How We Do It

    We accomplish our work almost exclusively through volunteers, including a volunteer Board of Directors and volunteer committee members. We also coordinate extensively with the law school -- administration, staff, and student groups -- to accomplish our mission.

    Board. We are a working Board. Each Board member chairs and/or participates on at least one committee and has responsibility for applying our intersectional approach in planning, leading and executing the work. Board members commit to contribute time and other resources at a level that is significant to them.

    LEAD’s founders have worked since inception to maintain a Board that reflects our multifaceted alumnae community. In addition to engagement from alumnae who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ+ and/or were first generation college graduates (first gen), LEAD includes alumnae across multiple legal sectors in different stages of careers - from graduates just starting their careers as well as those at the most senior levels.

    If you believe you have skills, time, or other resources to offer in support of our Mission and are interested in a position on the Board, please contact Chris Brancaccio at brancaccio@law.ucla.edu.

    Committees. Committee membership is open to all LEAD members, and is a great way to get involved - several committees are seeking members.

    If you are interested in a LEAD committee, please contact Chris Brancaccio at brancaccio@law.ucla.edu.

    Student LEADers are current law students who serve at least one-year, and up to three-year, advisory terms. Our student LEADers  help guide our student engagement and programming, and reflect the diversity of our student population.

    If you are interested in a position as a student LEADer, contact Chris Brancaccio at brancaccio@law.ucla.edu.

  • LEAD Summit

    The LEAD Summit brings together UCLA Law's community of alumnae, faculty, and students to share insights on advancing the profession, promoting equity and achieving excellence. The day-long event, held every other year, features dynamic speakers and smaller roundtables on topics ranging from leadership styles to rainmaking to career pathways, all with a focus on expanding impact. Sessions are geared towards students and alumni at every stage of their careers.

    Save the date for the 2022 LEAD Summit on March 11, 2022. More details to be announced.

    View videos of the 2019 LEAD Summit. Read about the 2019 LEAD Summit.

  • Get Involved

    Join. To join LEAD, and learn about other opportunities to connect, request to join our LinkedIn group here.

    Engage. Follow us and engage with LEAD on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @LEAD_UCLA

    Volunteer. LEAD is a volunteer-run organization and benefits from member time and energy. If you are interested in working with one of our committees, please join the (LEAD) LinkedIn Group, then message co-chair Nancy Abell on LinkedIn, or email Chris Brancaccio at brancaccio@law.ucla.edu.

  • Make a Donation

    LEAD largely is self-funded, primarily through individual donations of members and their employers. These funds go toward our bi-annual summit and other events, member programming and resources.

    If you wish to make a donation in support of LEAD, please click here.

  • UCLA Law Women LEAD Board

    UCLA Law Women LEAD was founded to spread best practices and partner with women of UCLA Law, from first-year law students to professionals at the most senior levels.

    Board Co-Chairs

    Nancy L. Abell '79 J.D.*
    Partner, Paul Hastings

    Michelle Banks '85 B.A., '88 J.D.*
    Senior Advisor, BarkerGilmore LLC

    Current Board Members

    Adwoa Ankoma ’20 LL.M
    Legal and Policy Consultant

    Ashley Artmann '17 J.D.
    Associate, Hueston Hennigan

    Kris Cheh Beck '99 J.D.
    Chief Legal Officer, CREXi

    Beth Berke ’79 J.D.
    Management Consulting and Adjunct Professor of Law and Business

    Elaine Chang ’13 J.D.
    Employment and Litigation Counsel, National Veterinary Associates

    Erinn Contreras '06 J.D.
    Partner, Sheppard Mullin

    Anya Goldstein '12 J.D.*
    Founding Partner, Summa LLP

    Tanya Greene '09 J.D.
    Partner, Mcguire Woods

    Margarita Paláu Hernández '85 J.D.*
    Principal, Hernández Ventures, and United States Representative to the United Nations General Assembly 73rd Session with the rank of Ambassador

    Cara Horowitz '01 J.D.
    Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Co-Director, UCLA Environmental Law Clinic

    Sonia Jain '09 J.D.
    Corporate Counsel, Google

    Bety Javidzad '05 J.D.
    Partner, Dentons

    Roberta Kass ’79 J.D.
    Senior Legal Recruiter, Seltzer Fontaine

    Amy Keroes '93 J.D.
    General Counsel, Serena & Lily

    Jessica Kornberg '07 J.D.*
    President and CEO, Skirball Cultural Center

    Margaret Levy '75 J.D.*
    Mediator, ADR Services, Inc.

    Cheryl Lott '04 J.D.*
    Shareholder, Buchalter Nemer

    Heather Morgan '94 J.D.*
    Partner, Grube Brown & Geidt LLP

    Marcy Morris '81 J.D.*
    Partner, Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein

    Tritia Murata '01 B.S., '04 J.D.
    Partner, Morrison & Foerster

    Kavita Jain Patel '96 J.D.*
    KJP Law Group

    Heather Richardson '06 J.D., '06 MPH*
    Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

    Mary Rodriguez '88 J.D.
    General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs, Interpol

    Morvareed Salehpour ’10. J.D.
    Managing Partner, Salehpour Legal Consulting

    Evelyn Shimazaki '84 J.D.*
    Associate General Counsel, Velodyne Lidar, Inc.

    Sandra Stern '79 J.D.*
    President, Lionsgate Television Group

    Emily Gould Sullivan '95 J.D.
    Vice President, Employment Law, Ross Stores Inc.

    Boryana Zamanoff '04 J.D.
    Senior Wealth Strategist and Fiduciary Officer, BNY Mellon Wealth Management

    Founding Board Members

    Valerie B. Ackerman '85 J.D.
    Commissioner, Big East Conference

    Barbara Boyle '60 J.D.
    Associate Dean of Entrepreneurial Activities and Special Initiatives, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

    Melanie Cook '74 B.A., '78 J.D.
    Partner, Ziffren Brittenham

    Janet Dhillon '91 J.D.
    Commissioner for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Emily Given '15 J.D.
    Honors Attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice

    Rachel Moran 
    Dean, UCLA School of Law, 2010-15

    Harriet Pearson '90 J.D.
    Partner, Hogan Lovells

    Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw '76 B.A., '79 J.D.
    Federal Appeals Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

    Debra Alligood White '93 J.D.
    Deputy Secretary, Civil Rights and Workforce, New York State Executive Chamber


    *Founding Board Member

  • Student LEADers

    Allyne Andrade E Silva ‘19

    Benita Yu ‘19

    Adwoa Ankoma ‘20

    Abigail Gardner ‘20

    Hannah Pollack ‘20

    Blanca Trenado ‘20

    Alexandria Moriarty ‘21

    Emme Tyler ‘21

    Kaitlyn Hittelman ‘22

    Robyn Jimenez ‘22

    Hannah Schnell ‘22

    Jessmine Lee ‘23

    Emma Roche ‘23

  • Resources

    Q&A with UCLA Law Women LEAD Board Members Tanya Greene '09 and Adwoa Ankoma '20

    Q&A with UCLA Law Women LEAD Members Hailyn Chen ‘03 and Calimay Pham ‘14


    Suggested Podcasts

    Advice to My Younger Me

    Fit to Practice

    Heels of Justice

    Inspiration Loves Company

    Mom Life and Law

    Notes to My Legal Self

    Sisters in Law

    Intersectionality Matters! with Kimberle Crenshaw

    The Happy Lawyer Project

    Women in Law: On the Record

    Suggested Books

    One Size Never Fits All: Business Development Strategies Tailored for Women (And Most Men)
    Arin N. Reeves
    (Business)

    Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World
    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand '91
    (Politics)

    Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead
    Sheryl Sandberg
    (Business)

    What Works for Women at Work
    Joan C. Williams & Rachel Dempsey
    (Business)

    How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life
    Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston, Geoffrey Lewis
    (Business)

    The Board Game: How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors
    Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire
    (Boards)

    Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500
    Michelle Coleman Mayes and Kara Sophia Baysinger
    (Law)

    Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law
    Gindi Eckel Vincent and Mary B. Cranston
    (Law)

    Law and Reorder: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance
    Deborah Henry
    (Law)

    Finding Bliss: Innovative Legal Models for Happy Clients and Happy Lawyers
    Deborah Epstein Henry, Suzie Scanlon Rabinowitz & Garry A. Berger
    (Law)

    Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation –and Positive Strategies for Change
    Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
    (Business)

    Ladder Down: Success Strategies for Lawyers from Women Who will be Hiring, Reviewing and Promoting You
    Lauren Stiller Rikleen
    (Law)

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