Women in Leadership Program | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



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. 

2020 Women in Leadership Award Recipients

Last year started a new tradition of honoring women and their supporters who demonstrate the best of our profession. There will be three awards presented at the Women in Leadership Dinner.

Women in Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes an individual who has distinguished herself as a pillar of the legal community and whose career, accomplishments and contributions to law and society serve as an inspiration for future lawyers. This year's recipient is Carolyn Smoot. 


Trailblazer Award. This award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the legal community, shown a commitment to women's issues, and is emerging as a leader early in her career. This year's recipient is Renee Snow


Pathways Award recognizes an individual that demonstrated a commitment to creating pathways to success for women attorneys. This year's recipient is Diane Goffinet.

Read more about last year's Award Recipients here.

2020 Women in Leadership Dinner 

Nancy RosenstegelKeynote speaker The Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel is the first female to serve as United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois.

Her previous legal positions include: Clerk of Court, United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois; Law Clerk for the Honorable G. Patrick Murphy, District Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois; Associate, Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard, St. Louis, Missouri; and Law Clerk, Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, Edwardsville, Illinois.

She is a member of several professional organizations including: Federal Court Clerks Association, National Association of Court Managers, National Association of Professional Women, Southwestern Illinois College Paralegal Advisory Group, Madison County Bar Association, St. Clair County Bar Association.

Before attending SIU School of Law, she earned a B.A. in Sociology/Criminology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Celebrating Diversity in Leadership

Friday, January 10, 2020

6:00 P.M.

SIU Student Center Ballroom B

Carbondale, IL

RSVP by Friday, Jan. 3, pay online here

Previous Keynote Speakers

Read about last year's Award Recipients here

To view photographs from past events click here