Bridging the Career Gap: Successfully Reentering the Legal Workforce (presented in partnership with MAMAs Austin)

Location: Virtual

Returning to the legal profession after spending time in another field or out of the workforce can be a challenge. The Center for Women in Law was proud to partner with Mother Attorney Mentor Association of Austin (MAMAs) to host a virtual panel of experts to address ways to bridge the career gap. Topics included leveraging your networks, maintaining and updating your skills, mentorship, and overcoming biases.  The panel also addressed how legal employers can recruit, welcome, and retain lawyers reentering the workforce.

Approved for 1.25 CLE Credit 

Below is a link to the video from the June 30th webinar:
Bridging the Career Gap

This video of the webinar can be claimed as 1.25 hour of self-study CLE credit with the State Bar of Texas. Self-study is optional and 3 of your total 15 hours can be completed in the form of self-study activities. Contact your State Bar with any questions.  

This event was generously sponsored by:


Karen Vladeck (Moderator)

Partner, Wittliff Cutter, PLLC

Karen represents corporate, start-up, and non-profit clients in the resolution of disputes pending before the EEOC, state employment agencies, and state and federal court. Karen has extensive practice defending employers against claims involving Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the FLSA, and the False Claims Act. Karen also counsels clients to seamlessly accomplish the on-boarding and termination of employees, reductions in force (RIFs), the development of employee handbooks and policies, resolution of medical and disability leave issues, conducting internal investigations, and compliance with state and federal wage statutes, among other issues. She also represents individual clients seeking advice on employment and severance agreements. Karen has worked with clients across an array of industries, including hospitality, fashion and luxury goods, higher education, real estate, sports, insurance, television, technology startups, trade associations, and non-profits.

Karen began her career as a law clerk for Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. After that, she practiced in the Washington, DC office of Arent Fox LLP before moving to Texas in 2016. Karen has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (Washington, DC – 2014, 2015 and Texas – 2017–2020). Karen and her husband Stephen, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, live in Austin with their two daughters.

Cynthia Dow

Executive Search & Leadership Consultant

Global Practice Leader, Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Practice for Russell Reynolds

Cynthia Dow leads the firm’s Boston office, covering the New England region. She also heads the global Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Officers Practice and is a senior member of the Consumer, Board & CEO and Diversity & Inclusion Practices. Cynthia focuses on General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and other board and corporate governance roles across a broad range of industries, including legal, consumer, industrial, technology, energy, sports and entertainment, healthcare and financial services. Her clients range from Fortune 500 organizations to global mid-cap and small-cap private organizations and portfolio companies of leading private equity firms.

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Cynthia had a successful legal career as a corporate generalist, and labor and employment attorney. She practiced law for more than 15 years, as an attorney with Baker Botts LLP in Dallas, as the General Counsel to a technology company and as Vice President & Assistant General Counsel with Cadbury Schweppes. During her legal career, Cynthia led legal departments and advised across labor and employment, regulatory matters and corporate restructurings. Earlier in her career, she served as Senior Law Clerk to Chief Judge Jerry Buchmeyer of the Northern District of Texas.

Cynthia received her BA in government from Cornell University, with distinction, and her JD from the Columbia School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Journal of Law and Social Problems. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is a retired member of the New York and Texas State Bars, and previously led the Board of Directors at the Dallas Contemporary art museum.

Susanna Gallun

Attorney-at-Law, and a Research Engineer, Scientist Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Transportation Research

Ms. Susanna Gallun is an Attorney-at-Law (Texas), and a Research Engineer, Scientist Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Transportation Research. She has a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and an L.L.M. in International Commercial Law from the Univ. of Nottingham.  As an independent Transportation Consultant, she earned a national award, TRB’s 2019 John C. Vance Award for the NCHRP 20-102, Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies. (The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is a division of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, formerly the National Research Council of the United States, which serves as an independent adviser to the President of the United States, the Congress and federal agencies on scientific and technical questions of national importance.)

Susanna’s primary research focuses on the intersection of transportation law, legislation, policy, land use, megaregions, emerging technology and automated vehicles. She is a friend of the TRB Emerging Technologies Legal Committee and has taught a national CLE for the TRB Legal Workshop on Autonomous Vehicle Regulation.  She has worked on various projects involving government entities. Her research areas include agency efficiency, vehicle safety, automated vehicle regulation, applied transportation law and policy, and legislative process analysis. She has conducted legal analysis of local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations and policies impacting the legislation and regulation of autonomous vehicles (AV’s) and connected vehicles (CV’s) as part of research team and tracked state legislation in real time as part of her policy analysis. She has researched and analyzed impacts of proposed legislation and regulations; prepared official bill analyses for elected officials; and provided debriefings and press communiques on policies, programs, projects and state government initiatives to various stakeholders in the legislative process.  She teaches Continuing Legal Education on Emerging Technology Law & Policy for groups, such as the Traffic Lawyers  of Texas and The Univ. of Texas School of Law’s Journal of Law and Technology Symposium. She also guest lectures upon request at the Univ. of Texas (Autonomous Vehicle Law & Policy) and the Univ. of Houston (International Contracts Law). Susanna has lived in 5 countries and is fluent in 4 languages. She enjoys vital roles in many organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Women’s Transportation Seminar, Heart of Texas Chapter.

Michelle Jackson

Director, Pathway & Recruitment Innovations, Diversity Lab

Michelle is the Director of Pathway & Recruitment Innovations at Diversity Lab, an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. She is part of a team developing groundbreaking DEI initiatives for law firms and corporate legal departments, including the OnRamp Fellowship and the Move the Needle Fund.

Prior to joining Diversity Lab, Michelle was Director of Alumni Advising at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Previously, she served the Director of Diversity Education & Outreach at Northwestern, where she developed and managed programs and activities related to the Law School’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Formerly, she served as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor at Southern University Law Center (SULC). Prior to joining the Chancellor’s executive staff, she spent eight years as the Director of Career Services at SULC.

Michelle received her B.A. in English, with distinction, from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Eileen Lawrence

Attorney/Owner, The Law Office of Eileen Lawrence, PLLC

Eileen Lawrence is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience ranging from private practice to the public sector, litigation to academia to transactional work, big firms to solo practice. Last year, she opened her own estate planning firm to provide estate planning services to low- and middle-income families, couples, and singles. Eileen earned her law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and she earned a degree in music from Southwestern University in Georgetown.

Event series: Co-Sponsored, Perspectives Series