Women in Leadership Program | School of Law | SIU

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Women in Leadership Program | School of Law | SIU

Women in Leadership Program

The Women in Leadership program seeks to help students build their own leadership skills while learning about the challenges that women face as leaders with the legal profession.

Women in Leadership Workshop (1 credit)

This two-day workshop, held during the January inter-session, explores the key attributes of leadership and the challenges that women face in the legal profession because of gender differences (both real and perceived). The course is team-taught by a well-respected faculty of lawyers, judges, and law professors, who encourage students to actively participate through small group discussions, mock negotiations, simulated interviews, and one or more short writing assignments. Some of the topics discussed during the workshop include:

  • Leadership attributes and skills
  • Gender and communication
  • Gender and negotiation
  • Gender in the workplace
  • Interviewing
  • Networking
  • Developing a personal/professional brand
  • Balancing career and family
  • Seeking election to leadership positions

The program concludes with a networking dinner with practicing attorneys and judges from the southern Illinois region. 


2018 Women in Leadership Dinner 

Lois WoodKeynote Speaker

Lois Wood, retired Executive Director, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., will be the keynote speaker for this year's program.

Executive Director, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., 2004 – 2017.  Managing Attorney of Land of Lincoln’s East St. Louis office 1978 – 2003 and Staff Attorney, 1974-1978.   Harvard Law School, J.D. cum laude, 1974. President Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, 1973-74.

Before becoming Executive Director, she represented low-income clients with housing and consumer issues in state and federal individual cases and class actions and collaborated with community groups on community and civil rights issues.  She also represented financially distressed farmers as part of the Illinois Family Farm Law Project and served as President of the Board of the Farmers’ Legal Action Group, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, from 2005 – 2013.

Some of her awards include the national Kutak-Dodds Prize for “remarkable vision, zealous advocacy and selfless devotion in the quest for equal justice” 2003; Laureate, Academy of Illinois Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association, 2006; NAACP Community Service Award 2015; Esther Rothstein Award, Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, 2016.  

Co-Chair, Federal Judicial Screening Committee, Southern District of Illinois, 2013,  Member, U.S. Magistrate Search Committee, Southern District of Illinois, 2004.  Member, Federal Judicial Selection Commission, Southern District of Illinois, 2000. 

Illinois State Bar Association. Member, Special Task Force on Impact of Law School Debt on the Delivery of Legal Services, 2013.  Member, Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt on the Future of the Profession, 2014-15. 


Celebrating Diversity in Leadership

Friday, January 12, 2018

6:00 P.M.

SIU Student Center Ballroom B

Carbondale, IL

RSVP by Friday, Jan. 5, pay online here


Previous Keynote Speakers

To view photographs from past events click here