United States: Diversity Speaker Series - Winter 2018
Last Updated: January 31 2018

As part of the firm's Diversity Speaker Series, the firm hosted the following events over the past several months:

In honor of Disability in Employment Awareness Month, Kramer Levin's Diversity Committee hosted Lisa Smith, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Client Relations at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, and Eileen Travis, Director of the NYC Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program. Lisa and Eileen led an interactive discussion on the topic of addiction and recovery including sharing their personal stories, insights on the ABA study's research and resources available to lawyers. Participants received a copy of Lisa's moving story, Girls Walks Out of a Bar.

Lisa Smith is a writer and a lawyer. Clean and sober for more than 10 years, she is passionate about breaking the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction, particularly for professional women. Lisa is a frequent speaker, particularly among high-functioning professionals and women. She often speaks at conferences, private law firms, law schools and bar associations. Prior to beginning her more than 15-year legal marketing career, Lisa practiced corporate finance law at a leading international law firm. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she received a B.A. She received her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law, where she served on the Editorial Board of the Rutgers Law Review.

Eileen Travis is a Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years' experience in the areas of addiction and mental health. She is the Director of the New York City Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program (NYC LAP) which she established 18 years ago. Eileen received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Clinical Social Work from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.

In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month, Kramer Levin hosted a discussion with Gyasi Ross. Mr. Ross provided an overview of laws governing native lands as well as legal aspects of the dispute over the Dakota Access pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes.

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation. His family also comes from the Suquamish Nation of the Port Madison Indian Reservation where he resides. He is a father, author, speaker and lawyer and is a graduate of Columbia Law School. TV and radio as well as print and digital media regularly seek his input on politics, racism and social justice, as well as sports and pop culture and their intersections with Native life. He hosts a weekly podcast, Breakdances with Wolves – Indigenous Pirate Radio.

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