Who Are the Most Transformative Women GCs in America?

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on August 23, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Can the corporate law department transform the legal profession? Yes. And it is. In-house law departments are leading the change in legal technological innovation, reimagining how legal services are delivered, and even reshaping the face of the legal industry itself.

To celebrate those efforts, ALM and Inside Counsel have recently named the recipients of the seventh annual Transformative Leadership Awards, recognizing "pioneers in the economic empowerment of women in corporate law."

The Winner Is...

The Transformative Leadership Awards are dedicated to corporate legal leaders who have dedicated themselves to empowering women in the corporate law department. Leslie T. Thornton, the SVP, GC, and Corporate Secretary for WGL & Washington Gas Light Company was named as the recipient of this year's Catalyst for Change Award. That award goes to a woman GC who "indelibly raises the bar for attorneys and corporations" through driving "collaboration, innovation, and achievement."

The Roderick Palmore Pathmaker Award, for GCs who "carved a groundbreaking path and laid a new foundation to accelerate the economic empowerment of attorneys of color or women in law firms" went to Sandra Phillips, GC and CLO for Toyota North America. The Sharing the Power Award went to eBay's Marie Oh Huber, while Michelle Browdy of IBM was named recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Browdy became IBM's first female GC in 2015, putting her at the helm of one of the most innovative legal departments in the country.

And Many More

In addition to the named awards, the Transformative Leadership Awards honor 25 "visionary leaders," who are not yet GCs, in the areas of compliance, governance and securities, intellectual property, litigation, and M&As, transactional law, and general practice. You can see the full list here.

The awards will be handed out at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC, September 21, 2016.

But if you think you know of a transformative leader who has been overlooked, you can start prepping your case for next year's nomination. Inside Counsel accepts nominations from the general public, taking the winners from the names submitted.

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