In honor of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating the women who have made a difference in the legal field, we’d like to take a closer look at some of the amazing women who have impacted the intellectual property law, real estate law, business law, and entertainment and sports law field.
Intellectual Property Law
Gail Levine is widely regarded as one of the preeminent female voices in intellectual property practice. Levine began her career in 1981 as an Associate with Cowan Liebowitz & Latman PC before becoming partner there in 1985. In addition to her work as an attorney, Levine has served on numerous boards including the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law Executive Council and The Copyright Society of the U.S.A., where she served as President from 2006-2007. She also served on the board of The Copyright Alliance from 2011-2013. Her commitment to IP law has been recognized with several awards throughout her career including her selection as one of Managing Intellectual Property magazine's Top 250 Women in IP (2009-2012).
Christine Valmy-Romanowsky has had an impressive career as a patent attorney. In addition to being the first woman admitted to practice before the United States Patent Office, she was also one of the first women inducted into the International Trademark Association. As a result of her accomplishments, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
Real Estate Law
Sarah Braden Stanley is credited with making major strides in real estate law. She was one of the first female attorneys admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and helped draft several important pieces of state legislation pertaining to real estate law. She worked tirelessly for nearly 40 years advocating for individuals who were facing eviction or discrimination in housing.
Kathryn Conley Wehrmann is a nationally recognized real estate attorney whose work focuses on real estate development and finance projects for large corporations and high net worth individuals alike. Since 2004, Wehrmann has been a partner with K&L Gates LLP where she has represented clients ranging from developers to financial institutions throughout her tenure there. In addition to her role at K&L Gates LLP, Wehrmann serves on numerous boards such as Smart Growth America and The National Real Estate Investment Center. She was also named one of Real Estate Forum's 50 Most Influential Women in Commercial Real Estate for 2017-2018 for her ceaseless contributions to commercial real estate practice via both practical legal advice and thought leadership through participation in various organizations dedicated to furthering industry knowledge and understanding.
Hilary Jastram is an accomplished business lawyer whose practice focuses on private equity transactions including mergers & acquisitions; corporate formation, structuring & restructuring; financings; joint ventures & strategic alliances; corporate governance; succession planning; SBA lending; venture capital financing; among other areas. Jastram currently serves as Of Counsel at Seyfarth Shaw LLP where she has provided counsel since 1997 while also dedicating time to community service initiatives such as establishing a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for underserved youth through basketball clinics and camps across Chicago Public Schools elementary schools (2004 - present). She was recently honored by Crain's Chicago Business' Notable Women Lawyers list 2019 for her success navigating complex business issues for international companies such as Microsoft Corporation, PepsiCo Inc., ExxonMobil Corporation & Allstate Insurance Company during more than two decades at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
Margaret Hennigar is another trailblazer in the legal field; she was one of Canada’s first female lawyers and among its earliest business lawyers. Throughout her career, she encouraged other women to pursue their dreams regardless of gender or social norms. Her work has been instrumental in developing Canada’s business regulations and laws that protect both workers and employers alike.
Entertainment & Sports Law
Nancy Leong is an expert in entertainment & sports law whose experience includes representing talent ranging from actors/actresses to professional athletes across numerous contractual arrangements involving motion pictures/television shows/digital media projects/endorsement deals/video games/sports leagues etc. Leong currently serves as Professor at University of Denver Sturm College of Law where she teaches classes related to entertainment & sports laws but prior to that she worked as Associate Attorney at Ziffren Brittenham LLP (2005 - 2007) representing clients like Will Smith Productions LLC / LeBron James / Ryan Seacrest Enterprises LLC / Relativity Media LLC / Warner Bros Pictures Inc./ Electronic Arts Inc./ Sony Music Entertainment Inc./ Disney Enterprises Inc./ among others. In 2013, Leong received The Burton Award which honors lawyers who have made significant contributions toward improving access to justice or advancing scholarship regarding intellectual property law.
Beverly Hills attorney Irene Coyle stands out for her work in entertainment and sports law. She has represented some of Hollywood's biggest names including Rihanna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Adam Sandler, and many more. In addition to representing these celebrities in contract negotiations and other legal matters related to their careers, Coyle has also become an advocate for gender equality within the entertainment industry by supporting initiatives such as Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.
From intellectual property law to entertainment & sports law there are plenty of inspiring stories about how women have impacted this field throughout history - stories that should be shared as part of our celebration during Women’s History Month. These remarkable women are just a few examples among many who have broken barriers throughout their careers touching on important issues in business law, real estate law, entertainment & sports law as well as intellectual property law. It is because of their dedication and hard work that we can now appreciate how far we have come today.