Center for Women in Law Convenes 2017 Women’s Power Summit™


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Center for Women in Law Convenes 2017 Women’s Power Summit

Valerie Jarrett, Tina Brown, Gloria Steinem, Olympia Snowe, and other leaders highlight the power plays that matter and share their advice for increasing power

Austin, TX, May 4, 2017 – The Center for Women in Law (CWIL) at the University of Texas Law School held the 2017 Women’s Power Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Austin. The fifth biennial event brought more than 340 leaders together from the private and public sectors. “The Women’s Power Summit provides influential female lawyers the opportunity to convene and learn from other leaders how to increase and leverage their power to advance their careers and the careers of other women,” says CWIL Executive Director Linda Bray Chanow.

This year’s speakers included (in alphabetical order by last name) journalist Tina Brown, Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett, ABA President Linda Klein, former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, activist Gloria Steinem, and former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer. For the full list of Summit speakers, please refer to the event schedule:

Summit Co-Chair Sandra Phillips Rogers kicked-off the Summit. “This is a pivotal time for women,” Rogers said. “There is much to be optimistic about, and this is our time to seize opportunities and kick the power quotient to the next level and make power plays that matter.”

Summit highlights included Wednesday’s keynote speaker Gloria Steinem revealing the power of language, how language influences gender equality, and the right to “self-identify” and own who you are. At Thursday’s Leadership Lunch, Tina Brown interviewed Olympia Snowe on the politics of power. Snowe believes we need more women in Congress, and Washington must stop appeasing political parties and start solving problems. Hostage negotiations expert Chris Voss shared his advice on how to negotiate in the workplace and the importance of gaining trust to help you achieve your goals.

At Thursday’s Legacy Dinner held at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Flora Darpino – the first woman to serve as Judge Advocate General, the U.S. Army’s top lawyer – opened up about her experience in the military and the grit and resilience she needed to succeed. Keynote Valerie Jarrett discussed the recent presidential transition and her desire to support the next generation of women.  On Friday, Melanne Verveer shared her belief that in order for women to move forward faster, women must “band together” and use their collective power.

Summit Co-Chair Arleas Upton Kea concluded the gathering and said, “The relationships at the conference are what will help you to take action and engage in power plays that will bring about change.”

“The Center for Women in Law is honored to have convened one of the most significant gatherings of women lawyers in the country and provide them the opportunity to learn from and network with their peers,” says Chanow. “The Women’s Power Summit™ supports these influential women with the tools and connections to continue to feel empowered to positively impact the legal profession and achieve results for all women.”

CWIL will release a paper that examines the themes that emerged from the 2017 Women’s Power Summit™ with the purpose of supporting the advancement of women in law now and in the future. The next Women’s Power Summit™ is scheduled for April 2019.

About CWIL

CWIL is the nation’s premier educational institution devoted to the success of the entire spectrum of women in law, from first-year law students to the most experienced and accomplished attorneys. It combines theory with practice, identifying and addressing the persistent issues facing individual women and the profession as a whole. CWIL, at the University of Texas School of Law, is a national resource to convene leaders, generate ideas, and lead change.

To learn more about CWIL, visit our website ( and contact Abby Hemphill at