Section Program

Friday, January 22, 2021

12:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

Virtual Reception

Friday, January 22, 2021

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 pm

Please note: Separate registration for section program and section virtual reception (complementary) is required



Section Chairs

Joy Echer
Chair 2020
Foot Locker, Inc.

Yamicha Stephenson, Esq.
Chair 2021
Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

Program Chairs

Mitchell Borger, Esq.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP

Tatiana Medina Rodriguez, Esq.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division 1st Department

Jillian Petrera, Esq.
Reed Smith LLP

Yamicha Stephenson, Esq.
Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

Friday, January 22, 2021

2.0 MCLE Credits- 1.0 Credit in Diversity, Inclusion, and the Elimination of Bias; 0.5 Credit in Ethics; 0.5 Credit in Law Practice Management

This program is transitional and is suitable for all attorneys including those newly admitted


12:30 PM – 1:20 PM

Welcome, Introduction, Section Business


Joy Echer, Esq. | Chair, Corporate Counsel Section; Foot Locker, Inc., New York, NY
Yamicha Stephenson, Esq. | Chair-Elect, Corporate Counsel Section; Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics, LLP., New York, NY


1:20 PM – 2:10 PM

Strategies for Landing an In-house Counsel Position (non-CLE panel)

A discussion of critical techniques and strategies for searching and landing an in-house counsel position. Topics will include the use of recruiting and outplacement firms, networking, and special challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Christine L. Miller, Esq. | MSA Security, New York, NY
Lillian S. Kirkman | Lee Hecht Harrison, New York, NY
Robert Graff, Esq. | Major, Lindsey & Africa, Atlanta, GA


Mitchell F. Borger, Esq. | Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, LLP, New York, NY
Informational Non-CLE Panel


2:10 PM – 2:15 PM



2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Maintaining a Healthy and Productive Work Environment During Covid-19

As lawyers grapple with the disruption to routines in the midst of a public health crisis, adjust to a remote work environment, and attempt to balance work and family obligations at home, it is paramount to support attorney’s mental well-being. Please join us for a discussion on understanding mental health issues, fostering a stress-free workplace, and addressing our ethical responsibilities as lawyers.


Julia M. Ansanelli, Esq. | Proskauer Rose, LLP, New York, NY
Daniel T. Lukasik, Esq. | Buffalo, NY
Teri Wilford Wood, Esq. | Jackson Lewis P.C., New York, NY


Tatiana Medina Rodriguez, Esq. | NYS Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, New York, NY
0.5 Credit in Ethics, 0.5 Credit in Law Practice Management


3:15 PM – 3:20 PM



3:20 PM – 4:10 PM

Corporate Responses to Racial and Social Injustices in 2020 and Beyond | Effecting Change and Promoting Inclusion

Historically, most corporations chose not to insert themselves into racial or social justice matters. This historical trend, however, has all but disappeared in 2020, as highlighted by the widespread racial demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others. In response to the killings, corporations not only donated millions of dollars to social justice organizations and causes, but many openly used their platforms to join national conversations about racial inequality and social justice and made firm commitments to create meaningful change. Join us for a virtual panel discussion on racial equity, past experiences and how corporations can respond to racial and social injustice to effect change and promote inclusion.


Adam Colón, Esq. | Labor & Employment Counsel, Hearst, New York, NY
Paula T. Edgar, Esq. | Attorney/CEO of PGE Consulting Group, LLC, Brooklyn, NY
Natalie Lamarque, Esq. | Senior Vice President and General Counsel, New York Life Insurance Company, New York, NY


Geoffrey G. Young, Esq. | Partner/Executive Director of Diverse Recruiting, Reed Smith LLP, New York, NY
1.0 Credit in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias


4:10 PM – 4:20 PM

Closing Remarks


Yamicha Stephenson, Esq. | Chair 2021, Corporate Counsel Section; Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics, LLP, New York, NY


4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Corporate Counsel Section Virtual Reception

With breakout rooms


$119: Section Member | $149: NYSBA Member | $269: Non-NYSBA Member

REGULAR REGISTRATION (1/1/21 and after)

$159: Section Member | $199: NYSBA Member | $359: Non-NYSBA Member

IMPORTANT: For those of you that wish to attend multiple Section or Committee programs, we are extending a discount of 25% off the pricing of 2 or more programs, however you must contact our MRC Department directly and register over the phone.


If you have questions please contact us at 800.582.2452 | [email protected]

Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Julia M. Ansanelli, Esq.

Proskauer Rose LLP
New York, NY


Julia Ansanelli earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her J.D. from Touro Law Center, where she graduated as valedictorian of her division. During law school, she served as case note editor of the Touro Law Review and vice president of Touro’s Latin American Law School Association. Julia also interned for the Honorable Magistrate Kathleen Tomlinson in the Eastern District of New York.

Mitchell F. Borger, Esq.

Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP
New York, NY


Mitchell F. Borger is of counsel to the midtown Manhattan law firm of Ellenoff Grossman Schole LLP, practicing in their Labor & Employment Group. Mitch was formerly Vice President, Assistant General Counsel for Macy’s, Inc., the iconic department store chain. For more than 30 years, Mitch has practiced in-house, starting with the NY Power Authority, United Merchants & Manufacturers, Inc. and from 1995 until May 2019 with Macy’s. He started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Bronx District Attorney. During his time at Macy’s, Mitch counseled clients in the areas of litigation supervision, store-line operational, loss prevention and employment issues. The key employment issues include defense of discrimination claims, reductions in force, training and alternative dispute resolution – with an emphasis on arbitration programs and mediation. In addition, he spent six years managing Macy’s in-house litigation team and seven plus years as a manager of the Company’s employment legal practice.

Mitch was the Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Section in 2005 and again in 2019. He is a twenty-two year member of its Executive Committee. In 2010-11, he served as a member of NYSBA’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct. The next year, Mitch chaired a Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Working Group which issued the “Report on Faster, Cheaper, and Smarter Litigation Practices”.

Mitch has been a past CLE speaker on topics such as emerging issues in employment law, employment arbitration and mediation, consumer racism, corporate public relations in the electronic age, litigation management and retail loss prevention training.

Mitch is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta and Albany Law School of Union University.


Adam Colón

Counsel, The Hearst Corporation, Office of General Counsel
New York, NY


Adam currently serves as Counsel with the Office of General Counsel for The Hearst Corporation.  He focuses on labor and employment matters for the company.  Prior to joining Hearst, Adam was a senior associate at Littler Mendelson, P.C., where he focused his practice on representing management in both the public and private sectors in matters involving all areas of labor and employment law.  He regularly represented clients in defense of claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, misclassification, whistleblowing and wage and hour laws, as well as disputes involving wrongful discharge, restrictive covenant, breach of contract and other employment related matters. On the labor side, he represented clients running the full gamut of issues from handling grievances to first chairing collective bargaining negotiations.

Adam graduated from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 2004 and Cornell Law School in 2007. Adam currently serves as board member on Cornell Law School’s Alumni Association Executive Board of Directors and for Grace Outreach, a South Bronx nonprofit helping women of all ages get their high school education and beyond, all while helping them find jobs.


Joy Echer, Esq.

Chair, Corporate Counsel Section; Foot Locker, Inc.
New York, NY


Joy Echer is Associate General Counsel for Foot Locker, Inc.  She focuses on negotiating and drafting various agreements for Foot Locker’s ecommerce and logistics.

Prior to joining Foot Locker, she was an attorney with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Joy received her JD from Albany Law School and her Ba from The University of Kansas.

Paula T. Edgar, Esq.

Attorney/CEO of PGE Consulting Group, LLC
Brooklyn, NY

Paula T. Edgar, Esq. is an attorney and CEO of PGE Consulting Group LLC, a strategy firm that provides diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and professional development solutions for organizations.

Paula is a highly sought after speaker and facilitator across industries. She conducts live and virtual workshops, keynote speeches, and provides executive coaching and customized training on topics including unconscious/implicit bias, anti-racism, inclusive leadership, and workplace sexual harassment. Paula’s professional development expertise includes mentor/sponsor best practices, personal branding, networking, and business development.

Paula has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Bloomberg Law, Essence Magazine, and Business Insider.

Paula is active in numerous organizations including her current role as Treasurer and past President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA), New York State’s largest Black bar association, and serving as President of its charitable arm, Friends of the MBBA, Inc.

Paula served as a founding partner of Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC and as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at New York Law School. Additionally, Paula practiced employment and workplace discrimination law for the Law Enforcement Division of the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Paula received her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University (Fullerton) and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

Paula has been recognized by The Network Journal Magazine as a “40 Under Forty” Achievement Awardee, a Ms. JD “Woman of Inspiration”, and a “Rising Star” by A Better Chance.  She has also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Black Law Students Association at CUNY Law School and the Ruth Whitehead Whaley Service Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA).


Robert Graff, Esq.

Major, Lindsey & Africa
Atlanta, GA 


Bob Graff is a Partner in our In-House Counsel Recruiting team and co-Managing Partner of the Atlanta office. Since joining the firm in 1998, Bob has placed more than 250 attorneys in-house ranging from junior counsel to general counsel and covering the full spectrum of practice areas and industries. He provides both candidates and clients with a superior level of service and has helped advance search methodology at Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Bob specializes in GC searches for PE backed portfolio companies – firms such as Roark Capital, Francisco Partners, Ares and Towerbrook – and regularly works in the fintech space for payments and specialty finance clients. In addition Bob has extensive experience and a successful placement history among his retail, consumer goods and healthcare clients.

Bob has been married to his wife Janet since 1983, and they have successfully and joyfully raised three children who are all gainfully employed in their fields of choice. Bob enjoys spending time with his family, running, tennis, yard work and singing in his church choir. While in law school, Bob earned his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.


Lillian S. Kirkman

Lee Hecht Harrison
New York, NY  


Lillian joined Lee Hecht Harrison in 2016, bringing her extensive HR talent acquisition and career development experience to Career Transition Services in LHH’s Northeast Region.  As a Senior Consultant, she expertly advises and guides candidates through all aspects of job search, from finding similar roles to changing careers or starting businesses.  Lillian provides 1-1 counsel and facilitates workshops to help candidates develop job search skills, including exploring career possibilities, effectively communicating one’s personal brand, building networking connections, and ultimately landing new roles.

Prior to LHH, Lillian worked at successfully leading the HR team in building the enterprise from start-up operation to thriving ecommerce website.  As HR lead of this start-up with an aggressive growth plan, Lillian provided talent sourcing, identification and development, strategic vision and planning for manpower efficiencies and talent succession, and on-point HR leadership with excellent senior-level communication and persuasion skills.  In this capacity, she was a key member of the Executive Leadership Committee.

In addition, Lillian held several positions within Bloomingdale’s Inc., a division of Macy’s, with incremental growth and responsibilities, including Talent Acquisition, Organizational Development, Labor Relations, and Compensation.  As an HR Business Partner, Lillian earned trust in managing and negotiating sensitively through ambiguity, constructing fair resolutions while implementing company strategy.

Lillian continues to extend her expertise to the retail and wholesale apparel and home fashion industries, offering consulting and advisory services for end-to-end private label product development, management, strategic growth, branding and talent management.


Natalie Lamarque, Esq.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, New York Life Insurance Company
New York, NY 


Natalie Lamarque is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of New York Life Insurance Company with day-to-day oversight of the Office of the General Counsel.  She is also a member of the company’s Executive Management Committee.

Prior to joining New York Life, Natalie was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she prosecuted an array of federal crimes as a member of the Organized Crime Unit.  Earlier in her career, she was an Associate in the Litigation Department of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Natalie began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Ann Claire Williams, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and to the Honorable Malcolm Howard, United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Natalie serves a Trustee for City Year, Inc. as well as the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for City Year New York.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Society.  Her husband is a public school history teacher in Brooklyn, where they live with their two sons.  Natalie is a native New Yorker whose parents emigrated from Haiti.  Natalie earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Duke University School of and her B.A. cum laude from Duke University.


 Daniel T. Lukasik

Daniel T. Lukasik, Esq.

Judicial Wellness Coordinator, Office of Court Administration
Buffalo, NY  

Dan is a 1988 graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Law and is the Judicial Wellness Coordinator for the New York State Office of Court Administration.

Following his diagnosis of major depression thirteen years ago, Dan created a weekly lawyer support group in his community for those who struggle with depression and a website, the first website of its kind in the nation, to help law students, lawyers, and judges cope with and heal from depression and anxiety. Since its launch, the site has grown to serve not only those in the legal profession but anyone who struggles with these conditions. The website has been voted one of the top depression blogs in the country by Medical News Today and

Dan’s work on mental health has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The National Law Journal, Thrive Global, ABA Journal, Law360, and many other national and international publications and media outlets, including CNN and NPR.

He has lectured around the country on stress, anxiety, and depression before corporations, law firms, mental health organizations, bar associations, CLE programs, and law schools including, Harvard and Yale.

Dan is the Executive Producer of the original documentary, “A Terrible Melancholy: Depression in the Legal Profession,” which has been viewed by legal industry professionals around the country. He was the recipient of the “Public Service Merit Award” from the New York State Bar Association and “The Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service” from his law school alma mater for his work in addressing mental health in the legal profession.

A member of the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyers’ Assistance Committee and New York State Judicial Wellness Committee, Dan works in concert with committee members across the state to help and assist those who struggle and create policies that promote mental health in the legal profession.

In 2010, Dan was voted by the over 3,000 members of his bar association headquartered in Buffalo, New York to the “Legal Elite’s Top 10: Best of the Best” as one of the most respected lawyers in his community and listed in the publication, “The Best Lawyers in America.”


Christine L. Miller, Esq.

MSA Security
New York, NY

Ms. Miller brings over 20 years of corporate legal experience and leadership to MSA.  Previously, she was the General Counsel at SGS North America Inc., a member of the SGS Group which is the world’s leading testing, inspection, and certification services company. Prior to SGS, Christine was Senior Corporate Counsel at Oracle USA. Ms. Miller holds a JD from New York Law School and a BA from the University of Maryland.



Jillian Petrera, Esq.

Counsel, Reed Smith LLP
New York, NY

Jillian represents brands and media and technology companies, and regularly advises on matters related to advertising, marketing, digital, media and technology. Her practice includes structuring, drafting and negotiating a wide range of agreements, including master services agreements, media buying/planning agreements, ad platform agreements, talent and endorsement agreements, influencer agreements, sponsorship agreements, and contests and sweepstakes rules. It also includes reviewing advertising campaigns for compliance with federal, state and local laws and industry codes of practice; counseling on digital media products and new and emerging technologies; and creating seminars, webinars, checklists, templates and other valuable resources for clients across a wide range of industries. Jillian works closely with clients to achieve business objectives while effectively managing legal risks, by offering practical, responsive and solution-oriented advice.

Prior to joining Reed Smith, Jillian spent six years as in-house counsel at Pernod Ricard USA, where she advised on a full range of alcohol beverage advertising and marketing matters. Her knowledge of the complexities of the industry gives her a unique understanding of the needs of alcohol beverage companies. Prior to law school, Jillian taught elementary special education as a New York City Teaching Fellow. Jillian is active in the New York State Bar Association, where she currently serves on the executive committee of the Corporate Counsel Section.


Tatiana Medina Rodriguez, Esq.

Chair, NYSBA CCS Diversity Internship Committee
Senior Appellate Court Attorney, Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court, First Judicial Department

Tatiana joined the First Department in 2018. In her role, Tatiana researches and analyzes legal issues and questions for the Court and drafts preliminary reports. Prior to joining the First Judicial Department, she was a court attorney at the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department in Albany, NY and a judicial extern for the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam, NYS Court of Appeals. Tatiana earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Touro Law School and her B.A. cum laude from Siena College. During law school, she served as a research editor of the Touro Law Review, was an Honors Program Scholar, and received a CALI Excellence for the Future Awards for Best Brief and Best Oral Advocate. She also competed in the International Commercial Mediation Competition (Paris, France).

Tatiana is active in the New York State Bar Association where she currently serves as the Chair of the Diversity Internship Committee. In her spare time, she coaches the Siena College Mock Trial Team.


Yamicha Stephenson, Esq.

Chair-Elect, NYSBA Corporate Counsel Section
Manager, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP
New York, NY

Yamicha is a Manager in the AML practice. She has 9+ years of AML consulting and legal experience including PMO support, program assessment, mergers and acquisition due diligence, remediation and BAU support, operational design, gap assessment, controls review, transaction monitoring, Know Your Customer, and prosecutorial experience.

She has experience managing teams conducting quality control and quality assurance reviews, reviewing high-risk customer relationship memos, enhancing policies and procedures, and facilitating trainings for client employees.

She also has experience providing interim team lead support for clients. Yamicha previously worked as an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and Paralegal at the New York County District Attorney’s Office.


Teri Wilford Wood, Esq.

Jackson Lewis P.C.
New York, NY 

Teri Wilford Wood is Of Counsel in the New York, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in global workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

At Jackson Lewis, Ms. Wood focuses primarily on international employment issues, corporate governance and investigations, workplace training and restrictive covenants worldwide.

Previously, Ms. Wood was chief global labor and employment counsel advising Fortune 100 technology and financial services corporations worldwide. In this role, Ms. Wood served as Associate General Counsel of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) for most of her two-plus decade IBM career. In this position and previously as Managing Counsel of American Express Company, she had responsibility for employment, labor, immigration, pension, benefits and executive compensation law.

Ms. Wood has also served as a member of IBM’s retirement plans Investment Committee, served as legal counsel to the plans fiduciary committee and was Co-Chair of the Law Department Education Committee. While at American Express Company, Ms. Wood served on the Supervisory Committee of the Federal Credit Union and acted as its General Counsel.

Prior to her time as in-house counsel, Ms. Wood was an Administrative Judge for the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, earlier was an associate at a national law firm, both based in New York City.

Ms. Wood has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater New York Chapter, and is a past President of the Association’s New York Chapter and Chair of its Employment Law Committee. She has also served as a member of the Board of Governors of Washburn University School of Law and is currently a member of the law school’s Transactional Law Center. In addition to membership in the Association of Corporate Counsel, Ms. Wood co-founded the Westchester-Fairfield Counsel Roundtable and has served as Co-Chair of the ACC Westchester-Fairfield Employment Law Committee.

Ms. Wood is a frequent speaker for both domestic and international programs including, Practicing Law Institute, Chief Litigation Officers Summit, Center for International Studies (Salzburg, Austria), NYU, Fordham Law School, ALI-ABA Wage and Hour Seminars, HR Conference Board, Association of Corporate Counsel.


Geoffrey G. Young, Esq.

Partner/Executive Director of Diverse Recruiting, Reed Smith LLP
New York, NY 

Geoff is a partner in the Global Commercial Disputes Group. His practice comprises counseling and litigating in the areas of complex commercial disputes, products liability, financial services matters, energy and natural resources matters, advertising/trademark matters, and international arbitration. Geoff also represents high net-worth individuals and public figures, including in the entertainment field, related to in-court and out-of-court disputes.

As a seasoned litigator, Geoff has significant experience handling disputes through all phases, including from the pre-litigation stage through trial verdict. He also has commenced and defended a number of actions seeking injunctive and other emergency relief. He has litigated in numerous courts throughout the country, and most frequently in New York state and federal court. He also has substantial experience with domestic and international arbitration proceedings under the rules of various organizations, such as JAMS, AAA, ICDR, and WIPO.

Geoff holds a number of leadership roles within the firm. Most significantly, he is the Executive Director of Diverse Recruiting (EDDR), where he leads the firm’s strategy for identifying and hiring diverse attorneys in accordance with the firm’s Racial Equity Action Plan. In this regard, he works closely with the Senior Management Team, along with other leaders at the firm, to develop a pipeline of diverse talent at all levels, from summer associate to partner.

Prior to serving as the EDDR, Geoff was the U.S. Deputy for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and previously held leadership positions with the firm’s Black/African-American Affinity Group and the New York Office Diversity Committee. He is also a member of the New York Office’s Hiring Committee and Community Service Committee. Additionally, Geoff devotes significant time to pro bono matters, especially the firm’s capital punishment matters.

Geoff served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sandra L. Townes in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

We’re pleased to announce an additional 25% discount on all Books, eBooks, Online Forms and Pamphlets currently available in our online store during Annual Meeting.

Use discount code: PUBAM21 during the checkout process.


  • The discount code (PUBAM21) expires on January 29 on the final day of Annual Meeting
  • The 25% discount will be taken off of your qualifying process based on your NYSBA Membership status
  • On-Demand CLE programs available in the online store do not qualify for the 25% discount.




A Guide To Diversity & Inclusion In The 21st Century Workplace, Second Edition

A Guide To Diversity & Inclusion In The 21st Century Workplace, Second Edition

Regular Member Price: $22.00




Arbitration And Mediation, 2020-21

Arbitration And Mediation, 2020-21

Regular Member Price: $125.00




Virtual Lawyering: A Practical Guide (eBook)

Virtual Lawyering: A Practical Guide (eBook)

Regular Member Price: $45.00








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