Navigating the Field of Law as a Female Attorney


Overcoming Obstacles, Eliminating Bias, Achieving Success

If your practice is not all you want it to be, and you’re not sure why or what to do about it, come have your questions answered by four successful attorneys who have encountered and overcome many of the various issues that can arise for plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Bay Area.

1. How and why to choose a practice area or areas that best suit you
2. What business structure is best for your personality and your personal and
professional goals
3. How to identify and make the most of your strengths and weaknesses
4. How to deal with adversity, stereotypes, and change
5. What works and what doesn’t in marketing and networking


Deborah Rosenthal (Moderator) is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC, a nationwide plaintiff's firm that focuses primarily on asbestos and other toxic tort cases, as well as consumer class actions. Deborah has been representing clients suffering from mesothelioma for 12 years. Her practice has also involved personal injury, sex abuse, and environmental cases. In nearly 20 years of practice, Deborah has helped secure millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured clients.

Simona Farrise, founder of the Farrise Law Firm, has established herself among the top lawyers in the country. Ms. Farrise is a sought after national public speaker on a variety of legal topics concerning trials, jury work, and other matters. For each year from 2004 through 2012, San Francisco Magazine named her one of Northern California’s SuperLawyers™. She has also been recognized as one of the top 50 female lawyers in California.

Kelly Mannion is an associate at Mannion Lowe & Oksenendler, where she handles personal injury, bad faith, and contract dispute cases on behalf of plaintiffs. She has been in practice for six years. Kelly enjoys working in a four-attorney firm, including with her father, in downtown San Francisco. She has taken many through the settlement process and several through trial and arbitration. She became a lawyer so that she could take her lifelong fight for the underdog into the courtroom.

Elizabeth Riles is a founder and the managing shareholder at Bohbot & Riles, a primarily employment law practice based in Oakland. She has successfully represented employees against businesses and government entities. In 2011, she was honored by the City of Lancaster for her work in obtaining a significant verdict in a gender discrimination and hostile work environment case against a nationally known long-haul trucking company, and in 2012, Elizabeth was a finalist for the Consumer Attorneys of California Street Fighter of the Year award. In addition to litigation, she provides human resources counseling and mediation services. She serves on the board of CELA and has been a Super Lawyer since 2013.

Jenny Tiu is a sole practitioner with offices in Solano and Contra Costa Counties. She started her legal career as a deputy public defender in Solano County, where she represented hundreds of misdemeanor and juvenile dependency clients from arraignment through jury verdict. Her passion towards representing the underdog allowed her to transition from representing indigent clients to currently representing victims of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, sexual assault, and catastrophic injuries. She handles a broad range of cases such as dangerous premises, auto accidents, wrongful death, public entity liability, and products liability. Aside from building her private practice, she is busy raising her 8-year-old daughter in the East Bay.

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