Day 1 - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Registration and Continental Breakfast
Co-Chairs’ Opening Remarks
Welcoming Keynote Address from US Senator Mary Landrieu
Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling: Changing the Perception about Women in Leadership Positions in Energy and Environmental Law

  • Challenging the lingering perception that environmental/energy law is a male field: how to highlight your presence in a leadership role
  • Where are we going, and where have we been: examining the upwards trend of the representation of women in environmental and energy law
  • Taking a current look at the statistics of women in executive positions at energy companies and in leadership positions at law firms
  • Exploring the challenges and opportunities for in-house and law firm retention of female talent
  • Discussing which diversity initiatives are working and designing sustainable diversity programs for energy companies and the outside law firms representing them
  • Keeping up morale in the face of a reputed “boys’ club” and gender pay gap
  • Embracing power and getting a seat at the table: why the energy industry, with its rapidly increasing female presence at high levels, is prime battle ground for a cultural shift

Morning Coffee Break
Proving You Are “Tough Enough:” Overcoming Gender Bias in the Fracing Space and Selling Yourself

The domestic oil and gas boom has created a tsunami that will last for the coming decade at least and women practicing in the environmental and energy space are undoubtedly involved in this movement. This session will provide you with guidance on how to sell yourself in an overwhelmingly male dominated sub-sector of the industry. In addition to hearing advice on proving that you are “tough enough” in law and business to accomplish the goals your clients are seeking, leaders will also discuss the leading substantive issues in fracing law right now. Topics will include:

  • Taking charge when you are the only woman at the table: best practices for proving you can be part of the “boys’ club”
  • Seemingly commonplace attitudes or unconsciously biased comments which may have a negative impact on lasting change
  • Twice as good, backwards, and in heels: Understanding and overcoming the perceptions of implicit inequality facing women lawyers in the quest for credibility
  • Understanding the current fracing regulations on both a state and federal level
  • Preparing for the future of fracing law suits by identifying current trends
    • Nuisance cases
    • Water contamination
    • Fear of cancer/medical monitoring
  • Comprehending myriad challenges that arise in the fracing process from usage and shortages, to frac fluid and chemicals, to the debate of recycling waters vs. processing it
  • Update on the power local governments have to limit and regulate fracing
    • Zoning issues
    • Lessons learned in Colorado and New York

Making your Voice Heard: Communication Strategies for Women in the Male Dominated Environmental and Energy World

  • Developing relationships and building trust to assert yourself when you are the only woman at the table
  • Understanding the importance of bringing rational ideas to the conversation to build credibility
  • Channeling and harnessing the “people skills” skills that bring success
    • The ability to collaborate
    • The ability to guide a team
    • Empathy and listening skills
    • Creativity when finding solutions
  • Remaining confident in the face of gender stereotypes or when you are the only woman at the table: breaking through fear, uncertainty, and shattering outmoded gender stereotypes regarding competence and credibility
  • Rainmaking and business development: Owning your femininity and maintaining authenticity while doing business in a “man’s world”
  • The legal sorority: Fostering relationships with similarly situated women and taking an affiliative rather than a competitive approach to relationships with our peers
  • Advocating for yourself and getting credit where credit is due: making sure your contributions and achievements are known and knowing when to push back when you aren’t getting suitable credit

Lunch and Expert Networking Roundtables

Learn informally during lunch as you sit at the table of your choice. Network and discuss the substantive legal issues that are most important to your daily life in a more informal setting. Attendees will have an opportunity to reserve their table at the beginning of the conference.

  1. Litigation
  2. Compliance
  3. Regulatory
  4. Transactional
  5. Energy Trading

Thinking Like a GC: Updates on the Substantive Legal Developments Affecting Energy Companies in 2015 and Beyond

To best position oneself as an industry leader, women in particular need to have the competitive edge by having the most wellrounded and up to date information on the most pressing legal developments facing energy companies. In this session, leading attorneys will give you their insight into the most pressing legal challenges and developments facing energy companies, as well as the big picture macro view necessary in a leader. Topics to be discussed include:

Preparing for EPA’s controversial Carbon Emissions Reduction Regulations

  • What is the financial impact on the industry?
  • Understanding the scope of the regulations
  • What challenges exist to the expansion of EPA’s definition of “source?”
  • Weighing the pros and cons of using a portfolio approach
  • Will cap and trade become a tool used amongst the states?

Updates on Lawsuits

  • Royalty litigation developments
  • Difficult disclosures – are company disclosures about safety programs and reserve valuations creating securities litigation landmines?
  • The evolution of legacy litigation in Louisiana
  • The “new” legacy litigation: oil and gas legacy cases brought under the Coastal Zone Management Act
    • Differences and overlaps in defense strategies
  • Interpreting CERCLA’s effect on toxic torts: CTS Corp. v. Waldburger
  • Lessons learned in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident: how the 5th Circuit defines “source” under the CWA
  • The current state of N.O.R.M. litigation in Louisiana and elsewhere

Energy Trading

  • Risk management
  • Derivatives
  • Dodd-Frank Act compliance

Compliance Risks

  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement
  • Creating a successful compliance program based on FERC’s $3.25M enforcement action against Arizona Public Service Company

Afternoon Refreshment Break
3:30 Creating a Work-Life Balance by Learning How to Prioritize and Choosing which Battles to Take

Women are bombarded with messages that if they work hard enough and smart enough they can “have it all.” What does this really mean, and how do these unrelenting expectations distort the setting of realistic goals and milestones? Hear from a diverse panel of women about how “Having It Balanced” may be a better slogan. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Allocating your time and cultivating a full and healthy life outside the office while balancing the intensive commitment of a legal career and 24/7 availability through technology
  • Putting an effective support system in place to lighten the load and picking the right life partner
  • Owning and respecting our choices: a frank discussion of the politics of motherhood within the legal culture and how career choices impact the decision whether and when to start a family
  • Conquering the feeling of being “out of the loop:” Strategies for jumping back into your area of specialty after a leave of absence
  • Overcoming any hesitation to take advantage of corporate policies promoting work life balance and encouraging flexibility
  • Walking away from professional and personal guilt when something’s got to give
  • Learning to say no when you can’t give 110% on every front: knowing when to put your career to the forefront and when to put your personal life first

Interactive Open Floor Discussion on How to Create, Sustain and Utilize a Robust Network

A discussion on how to create an industry network including how to create an “old girls’ network”, how to develop and sustain mentoring relationships and how to use your network to progress your career. In particular the panel has experience in leveraging networks to promote in-house and law firm upward mobility, board appointments, and judicial and governmental appointments.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by a roomful of strangers? Tongue tied with a more senior leader? Found yourself facing the need for a job change with no network to call on? This session will create a forum to discuss practical solutions for how to build, maintain, and leverage your network in a variety of ways.

Conference Adjourns