Women in Law Hackathon

Location: Stanford Law Palo Alto, CA

The Women in Law Hackathon is a Shark Tank style pitch competition created by the Diversity Lab in collaboration with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law.

It is one of most innovative and solution-orientated events ever launched with the purpose of advancing women in the legal profession.


The goal of the Hackathon is to generate innovative ideas and solutions that will lead to greater retention and advancement of experienced women in law firms.

54 high-level partners from law firms across the U.S. worked together (virtually) in teams of 6 with two expert advisors and a Stanford Law student from January to June 2016 to devise an innovative project or initiative that boosts the advancement and retention of experienced women lawyers in law firms. The teams then presented their ideas in-person to a panel of judges at the pitch event at Stanford Law School June 24, 2016.

The top three winning teams granted the prize money donated by Bloomberg Law (1st place $10,000, 2nd place $7,500, 3rd place $5,000) to their choice of a non-profit organization that is advancing women in the legal profession and beyond.

Challenge to Solve

How can we better recruit, advance, and retain experienced women in mid-sized and large law firms?

(1) What is the specific problem?

(2) What is the idea that will solve that problem?

(3) What are the anticipated outcomes?

(4) Where and how would the idea get implemented? (e.g., Law firms – individually or as a consortium, 3rd party, bar or trade organization, in-house legal departments/clients, new ABA regulations, White House mandate)

(5) What support and resources (e.g., money, staff) are needed to get it off the ground and to sustain it?

Program Dates: January – June 2016, Team Meetings & Idea Preparation; June 23-24, 2016 Pitch Competition

Team Advisors

  • Linda Chanow, Executive Director, Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas
  • Katie Larkin-Wong, President, Ms. JD
  • Sang Lee, CEO, SJL Shannon
  • Ida Abbott, Hastings Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Ellen Ostrow, Leadership Coach
  • Debbie Epstein Henry, CEO, Bliss Lawyers/Law and ReOrder
  • Sandra Yamate, Executive Director, Institute for Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession
  • Karen Hester, Executive Director, Center for Legal Inclusiveness
  • Pat Gillette, Opt-In Founder/Orrick Senior Counsel
  • Carol Frohlinger, Founder, Negotiating Women
  • Manar Morales, CEO, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance
  • Jennifer Zimmerman, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Amanda Packel, Deputy Director, Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University &
    Co-Director, Stanford Directors’ College
  • Lisa Horowitz, Principal, Talent Strategy Group
  • Jennifer Waters, Executive Director, National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
  • Mark Beese, Founder, Leadership for Lawyers
  • Rosalie Chamberlain, Organizational Inclusion Consultant & Executive Coach
  • Avery Blank, Women’s Advocate & Business Strategist

For more information, visit http://www.diversitylab.com/hackathons/

Event series: Look for CWIL