Event Overview

Thursday, January 18, 2024

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM — CLE Program

12:45 PM – 2:35 PM — Kay C. Murray Luncheon

Friday, January 19, 2024

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM — Ruth G. Shapiro Reception

Twentieth Annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium

Each One Reach One – Educating Our Community About the ERA

In November 2024, New Yorkers will vote on whether to amend the State Constitution to specifically codify equal rights as part of the foundational rights of citizens of New York. In addition, passing this amendment would make New York the 28th state to have constitutional equal rights protections for women and other communities on a state level. However, a basic understanding of civics is often lacking. Many New Yorkers are not aware of this potentially monumental change in state rights. The details of the proposed amendment, what communities are impacted, and the technical process for amending the State Constitution are also unknown by many residents of New York. During this Annual Meeting, WILS will bring together professors, legislators and practicing lawyers to educate our legal community on the content and potential impact of the ERA and encourage them to educate others ahead of the November vote.

Key Highlights and Objectives

  • How a Constitutional Amendment is implemented
  • The details of the proposed ERA and its potential impact

General Registration Fee

Required for in-person attendees.

NYSBA Members$220


$160 Program Registration Fee

Thursday, January 18, 2024

5.0 MCLE Credits
4.0 Areas of Professional Practice; 1.0 Diversity Inclusion and Elimination of Bias

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

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Kimberly Wolf Price, Esq. | Chair, NYSBA Women in Law Section Chief Strategy & Diversity Officer Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC Syracuse, NY

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

The ERA and Women’s Equality: A Conversation with Carolyn Maloney

Representative Maloney, a leading advocate for and repeated chief House sponsor of the federal legislation to recognize ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), will lead the conversation about what the ERA means to women’s equality. Having championed women’s rights and equality throughout her 30-year career in Congress, Representative Maloney will discuss the legislation and the need for Constitutional change.


Carolyn Maloney | Former Member of Congress Chair, Board Chair of the Board for the ERA Coalition President, New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Eleanor Distinguished Leader in Residence at Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute New York, NY

Susan L. Harper, Esq. | Treasurer, New York State Bar Association Founding Chair, NYSBA Women in Law Section New York Metropolitan Area

Kimberly Wolf Price, Esq. | Chair, NYSBA Women in Law Section Chief Strategy & Diversity Officer Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC Syracuse, NY

0.5 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Networking Coffee Break

Carol Jenkins | Journalist, Activist, Writer Carol Jenkins Media New York, NY

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

What is the ERA?

This panel discussion will help participants understand:
• The history of the NY ERA.
• How NY State constitutional amendments are affected and the process with the Senate and New York Assembly.
• What are the specific terms (language) of the NY ERA and how was this developed?


Kaelyn E. Gustafson, Esq. | Associate, Litigation Friedman Kaplan Seiler Adelman & Robbins LLP New York, NY

Katharine Bodde, Esq. | Interim Co-Director of Policy New York Civil Liberties Union New York, NY

Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright | Assembly District 76 Albany, NY

Professor Julie Suk | Fordham University School of Law New York, NY

Brad Usher | Former Chief of Staff for New York State Senator Liz Krueger New York, NY

1.5 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

The ERA – Why do we Care?

This panel will explore the potential legal impact of the passage of the ERA, including what laws, policies, and common practices could change (and whether they would be weakened or strengthened) and how the ERA intersects with Federal laws. Panelists will also discuss the ERA’s potential impact on issues of women’s health and reproductive rights, gender violence, and pay equity.


Laura Sulem, Esq. | Senior Director, Litigation Practical Law at Thomson Reuters New York, NY

Sasha Ahuja | Campaign Director New Yorkers for Equal Rights New York, NY

Laura L. Dunn, J.D. | Founding Partner L.L. Dunn Law Firm, PLLC New York, NY

Shira Z. Gelfand, Esq. | Associate Outten & Golden LLP New York, NY

1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Networking Luncheon and Presentation of Kay Crawford Murray Memorial Award

2:30 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Are Equal Rights a Real Issue in 2024

This panel will discuss the utility of the ERA (pros/cons/usefulness/timeliness) in the context of 2024, highlighting the viewpoints of people who have been involved in the ERA for a lifetime, as well as those of rising leaders in the legal profession. Panelists will share their perspectives on the ERA's role in light of issues currently faced by -- or likely to soon be faced by -- women. Examining judicial, political, social, and economic issues/ events. Panelists will discuss the ERA's potential impact on future opportunities for, and choices of, women of all ages, as well as limitations it may have as a vehicle for change in the ongoing struggle for equality.


Laurie Coles, Esq. | Corporate Counsel Paychex, Inc. Rochester, NY

Liz Abzug | Founder and President Bella Abzug Leadership Institute New York, NY

Donna Lieberman | Executive Director New York Civil Liberties Union New York, New York

1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

3:20 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

The Diverse Impact of the ERA

This panel will discuss the impact that the NY ERA will have on the diverse communities within New York. The panel will highlight why examining the broader needs of our community is critical and how the ERA can uniquely help address the need for equality and protection from discrimination for all New Yorkers.


Frettra M. de Silva, Esq. | Head, Legal, Transaction Banking, Americas Standard Chartered Bank New York, New York

Allie Bohm | Senior Policy Counsel       New York Civil Liberties Union New York, New York

Marc Fliedner Esq. | Director, PAIMI and PATBI programs Disability Rights New York Brooklyn, NY

Mirna M. Santiago, Esq. | President & CEO Girls Rule the Law, Inc. Pawling, New York

Zakiya Thomas | President & CEO Era Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality Washington, DC

1.0 Credit in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias

4:20 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Business Meeting and Election of Officers

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks & Networking
Judge Edwina Richardson

2023 Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award Winner

Hon. Edwina G. Richardson

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, New York State Unified Court System

In 2017, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Edwina Richardson was appointed to head the newly expanded New York State Unified Court System’s Office for Justice Initiatives, tasked with ensuring meaningful access to justice for all New Yorkers in civil, criminal, and family courts, regardless of income, background, or ability. In service of this mission, the Office for Justice Initiatives administers Help Centers, self-help services, pro bono attorney and other volunteer programs, and many other resources designed to serve unrepresented court users.

Judge Richardson directs several youth and family justice initiatives, including the Unified Court System’s Child Welfare Court Improvement Project, emerging adult justice, and the ongoing implementation of the seminal law raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York State. Additionally, she is responsible for programmatic oversight of the Judiciary Civil Legal Services grant and administers the state’s more than 300 problem-solving and accountability courts, including groundbreaking opioid courts, drug courts/judicial diversion parts, veterans’ treatment courts, mental health courts, human trafficking intervention courts, domestic violence courts, integrated domestic violence courts, juvenile treatment courts, community courts, and impaired driving courts.

Judge Richardson also leads the court system’s Equal Justice in the Courts Initiative, implementing the recommendations contained in the October 2020 Report from the Special Adviser on Equal Justice examining racial bias in the state court system, as well as the November 2020 recommendations made by the New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts to enhance gender fairness in the state courts. In 2023, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the court system’s longstanding office tasked with promoting opportunities for equal employment and ensuring a diverse workforce, joined the Office for Justice Initiatives.

Judge Richardson was appointed to the Court of Claims in 2017 and remains active on that bench, while also serving in Supreme Court Criminal Term, New York County. Previously, she presided over New York County Supreme Court’s Youth Part, hearing cases of youth charged as adults.

Judge Richardson first joined the court system as a Court Attorney-Referee in Queens County Family Court, after representing clients in New York City Housing Court, Family Court, and Supreme Court. She later became a Family Court Judge in 2003, the Queens County Supervising Family Court Judge in 2008, and a year later, was elevated to Administrative Judge of all New York City Family Courts.

Judge Richardson is a graduate of CUNY Law School, whose motto is “Law in the Service of Human Needs.” She also holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York Graduate Center and has been an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Hofstra Law School.

She maintains active membership and leadership positions in bar associations and court committees advancing professional development and system improvement in the delivery and quality of justice services, and lectures nationwide to share New York’s access to equal justice practices and protocols with other jurisdictions.

Josie Sheppard Wilson, Esq.

2024 Kay Crawford Murray Memorial Award Winner

Josie Sheppard Wilson, Esq.

Of Counsel, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP

Josie Wilson is Of Counsel in the commercial litigation group at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, with a particular practice focus in construction and surety, toxic tort, products liability, premises liability, and personal injury. Her prior experience includes representing companies, municipalities, and individuals in breach of contract disputes, complex commercial litigation, personal injury matters, discrimination lawsuits, unfair labor practice claims and municipal procurement litigation.  In 2023, Josie Wilson was a recipient of The Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award.  In 2022, Ms. Wilson was listed in the prestigious Power 50 Law List published by Rochester Business Journal and Daily Record. From 2020 to the present, Ms. Wilson has been listed in the annual Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. In, 2015, she received the Daily Record’s Up & Coming Attorney Award. As a result of her dedication to pro bono work, Ms. Wilson was the sole recipient in New York State for the 2015 New York State Bar Association President’s Young Lawyer Award, as well as a recipient of VLSP’s William E. McKnight Award. Ms. Wilson has been consistently named a New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel Honoree.

Ms. Wilson is also very active with the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA), and served as the President of GRAWA from 2022-2023. Ms. Wilson serves as a Board of Director for the Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP) and member of the New York State Bar Association, Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA), and Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA). She previously served as a Board of Director for RBBA, and Trustee Board Member for the MCBA.

Ms. Wilson graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor’s of Science in Real Estate and Land Use Economics. She earned her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Ms. Wilson is admitted to practice in the State of New York, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York.

Bond Schoeneck and King

Diamond Sponsor

With more than 300 lawyers and 11 offices across New York State, as well as offices in Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts and New Jersey, Bond serves individuals, companies, and public-sector entities in a broad range of areas. We strive to deliver comprehensive, practical, high-quality solutions to our clients and maintain the highest professional and ethical standards, while working to provide leadership in community activities, pro-bono work and service to the Bar. For more information, visit bsk.com

Labaton Sucharow

Platinum Sponsor

With more than 60 years of experience, Labaton Sucharow stands as a tenacious advocate for investors and consumers, having secured billions of dollars in landmark recoveries. Renowned as a global leader in complex litigation, the Firm specializes in representing clients in securities, corporate governance and shareholder rights, and consumer protection and data privacy litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution. Labaton Sucharow’s success is not only attributed to its team of more than 70 attorneys but also to its industry-leading in-house investigators, financial analysts, and forensic accountants. Recognized for excellence by both the courts and peers, the Firm is consistently ranked in leading industry publications. Labaton Sucharow’s offices are strategically located in New York, NY, Wilmington, DE, and Washington, D.C.

Labaton Sucharow’s relentless dedication to diversity and women’s initiatives has garnered significant recognition. In 2023, The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers honored the Firm as the Diversity Initiative Firm of the Year, and the Firm received the distinguished title of Gender Diversity North America Firm of the Year at the 12th Annual Women in Business Law Awards.

Barclay Damon LLP

Silver Sponsor

Friedman Kaplan

Silver Sponsor

Family Law Section

Silver Sponsor

Flynn Financial

Friend of Women in Law Section Sponsor

Next Level

Friend of the Women in Law Section Sponsor

McElroy Deutsch

Friend of the Women in Law Section Sponsor

Dispute Resolution Section

Friend of the Women in Law Section Sponsor

Young Lawyers Section

Friend of the Women in Law Section Sponsor