Women’s Development Initiative (WDI)

The Women’s Development Initiative began as a grassroots effort in 2008 when several women attorneys gathered to discuss their careers.  Their founding mission was simply “Women Supporting Women,” and, with this initial momentum, they burgeoned into a vibrant affinity group.

Today, the WDI strongly advocates for women with its new mission:  To maximize women’s contributions to Saul Ewing by supporting their advancement as lawyers and leaders and increasing their retention and ascension to equity partnership by providing outstanding service in their client’s core industries, cultivating professional networks, developing business opportunities and engaging the communities they serve.

Led by a Steering Committee of 13 women from across the firm’s footprint of 11 offices, the WDI offers a platform from which all women can contribute to shaping an ever more diverse and inclusive firm perspective.

The WDI believes that women attorneys are inherently collaborative leaders. By elevating them into positions of power, the firm aims to position itself to offer a greater variety of creative client solutions and meet the needs of clients whose goals include working with and enjoying creative solutions fashioned by truly diverse organizations.

The WDI understands every organizational change begins with awareness. To build awareness, the WDI sponsors networking and training events and client outreach opportunities designed for women attorneys and for the firm as a whole.

The WDI’s support for women has been recognized by several independent organizations, including Benchmark Litigation, which selected the firm as one of eight nominees nationwide for its 2013 Diversity Firm of the Year Award based in part on the strength of the WDI. Other honors include:

  • The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals in 2013, 2011 and 2009.
  • The 2011 Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification Award. To win the award, the firm had to prove – through statistics – that it had integrated women into its highest leadership positions.

Committee Members

Caitlin P. Strauss, Chair, 215-972-7153, email

Robin D. Leone, Vice Chair, 410-332-8794, email

Dena B. Calo

Dawn Kurtz Crompton

Amanda K. DiChello

Sherry H. Flax

Danielle N. Petaja

Kara P. Scarboro

Carly R. Schimizzi

Sarah A. Sullivan

Meghan Talbot

Honors and Recognitions

Women’s Development Initiative Honored For Third Year By PA Bar Association
Saul Ewing LLP announced today that the firm has been named to the 2013 Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA)...Learn More
Three Saul Ewing women named to 2013 list of Maryland’s Top 100 Women
Saul Ewing is extremely proud to announce that two of its Partners and its Baltimore Office Manager have been named to...Learn More
Amy Kline named A 2012 "Lawyer on the Fast Track"
Saul Ewing LLP is proud to announce that Amy S. Kline, a partner in the Insurance Practice resident in the Philadelphia office... Learn More
Cooperman Named One of the Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys 
Harriet E. Cooperman, co-chair of the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Practice and chair... Learn More
Named one of MultiCultural Law Magazine's "Top 100 Law Firms for Women"
On May 1, 2012, Saul Ewing was named to MultiCultural Law Magazine's "Top 100 Law Firms for Women" list...Learn More
Receipt of WILEF Certification
In July 2011, Saul Ewing was honored with the Women in Law Empowerment Forum's (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification Award...Learn More
Recognition from the Pennsylvania Bar Association
In 2011, for the second time in three years, Saul Ewing was honored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association by being named... Learn More

Recent News

March 16, 2017 – Silvia A. Shin, a partner in the firm’s Public Finance Practice, has been selected as the 2017 Fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).  .... FULL STORY
June 7, 2016 – Saul Ewing is proud to sponsor the Executive Women’s Day at the Constellation Senior Players Championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, presented by Accenture..  .... FULL STORY
May 11, 2016 – Gillian Cooper, an associate in Saul Ewing’s Labor and Employment Practice, leads a presentation for Dress for Success Mercer County on appropriate workplace behavior throughout various stages of the employment process..  .... FULL STORY
April 19, 2016 – Saul Ewing partners discussed their career paths and how they leveraged their talents to create thriving practices during an Ask a Partner Forum sponsored by the firm’s Women’s Development Initiative.  .... FULL STORY
April 17, 2016 – Saul Ewing has been named to the list of top 100 firms for female attorneys for a second consecutive year.  .... FULL STORY
March 24, 2016 – Beth Fenton, a partner in Saul Ewing’s Commercial Litigation Practice, is a panelist for a session on how lawyers can build their professional brand during the Inaugural Penn Law Women’s Summit – Celebrating Women: From Carrie Kilgore to Today.  .... FULL STORY
March 24, 2016 – Saul Ewing LLP is a Gold Sponsor of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA) 9th Annual WILL Platinum Gala at The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. .... FULL STORY
March 8, 2016 – A private reception hosted by the Saul Ewing Women’s Development Initiative (WDI)  at the 187th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show  .... FULL STORY
September 26, 2014 – Michelle N. Lipkowitz, a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice, has been named a 2014 Leadership in Law recipient by The Daily Record. She will be honored .... FULL STORY
March 6, 2014 – A private reception hosted by the Saul Ewing Women’s Development Initiative (WDI)  at the 185th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show brought together more than 120 clients and attorneys from the firm to network and enjoy the elaborate floral creations... FULL STORY
August 20, 2012 – Teresa K. D. "Terri" Currier, partner in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice and Chair...FULL STORY
July 20, 2012 - With people all over the region clamoring for tickets to visit the new Philadelphia campus of the Barnes Foundation...FULL STORY
May 21, 2012 – Saul Ewing LLP is pleased to announce the addition of highly regarded attorney Maria Ellena Chavez-Ruark as a partner...FULL STORY
May 3, 2012 – Saul Ewing is proud to announce that the Firm has been named to MultiCultural Law Magazine's "Top 100 Law Firms for Women" list...FULL STORY
[See more]