As the first AmLaw 100 law firm to be headed by a woman, Goodwin has long led by example. Chairman Emeritus Regina Pisa, former chairman and managing partner, has been a beacon for women’s leadership at the firm for more than 18 years, and both she and Goodwin are highly committed to the advancement of women, not only at the firm, but also within the field of law.

The Women’s Initiative

Goodwin’s Women’s Initiative is focused on maximizing networking, business development and career opportunities for women attorneys at the firm, with a particular focus on their retention, advancement and leadership. The Initiative is chaired by partners Laura Hodges Taylor, Deborah Birnbach and Lisa Haddad and includes attorneys – women and men – from every office and department at the firm. The Initiative provides mentorship and sponsorship opportunities, and also delivers workshops and seminars that address relevant topics such as women in leadership, developing sponsor relationships, brand-building, business development skills and work-life integration.

OnRamp Fellowship

Goodwin is a partner with OnRamp Fellowship, a program that provides a path for women lawyers to re-enter the legal field after stepping away from the practice of law for a period of time. The program provides a “re-entry” platform that matches experienced women lawyers returning to the profession with law firms for a one-year paid associate position.  

OnRamp Fellows are provided with career development support through legal training, one-on-one coaching, and business development programming. The goal of the Fellowship is to replenish the pipeline of experienced women lawyers who have the potential and the desire to advance into leadership roles in a law firm environment.

Sponsorships and Accolades

The following is a representative list of our firm memberships and recent sponsorships:

  • National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) 
  • Diversity & Flexibility Alliance 
  • Catalyst, Inc. 
  • Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) 
  • ChIPs Women in IP 
  • Lean In 
  • Working Mother Magazine 
  • American Bar Association Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award 

Goodwin has been recognized by many organizations for the firm’s commitment to advancing women in the legal profession. Recent accolades include:

  • “Best Law Firm for Women” by Working Mother Magazine & Flex-Time Lawyers. 
  • “Gold Standard Certification” from Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) 
  • “Top 10 Family Friendly Law Firms” by Yale Law Women 
  • “Superior Performance in Gender Parity in Partner Promotions” from Yale Law Women 
  • “Top Law Firm for Women” by Multicultural Law Magazine 



Yale Top 10Yale Law Women (YLW) 2016 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List
Yale Law Women (YLW) has named Goodwin to its 2016 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List, which examines trends in family friendliness among law firms, draws attention to gender disparities within the legal profession, highlights progress being made in the industry and identifies areas for improvement. Goodwin was also included in two Category Honors: Part Time & Flex Time and Gender Equity.



WIELFWomen in Law Empowerment Forum
For the fourth year, Goodwin has been named to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification list. WILEF Certification emphasizes the leadership roles achieved by equity women partners, rather than the policies or practices of the firm or the overall number or percentage of women in the partnership.



Boston Women's Workforce CouncilBoston Women’s Workforce Council
Goodwin is a member of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, formed in 2013 to close the gender wage gap and remove the visible and invisible barriers to women’s advancement in today’s working world. The council works with businesses in the Greater Boston area in a public-private endeavor to ensure that 100% of the talent pool is used to make Greater Boston the premier place for working women in America.



Working Mother Flex Time 2016Working Mother Magazine & Flex-Time Lawyers
Goodwin has been named a “Best Law Firm for Women” by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers for the seventh consecutive survey year. The annual report recognizes 50 law firms for leading the industry in creating and implementing best practices around retaining and promoting women lawyers.



Joyful Heart Foundation and End the BacklogJoyful Heart Foundation – ENDTHEBACKLOG

In 2016, a Goodwin team led by Emily Rapalino, Alexandra Valenti and Brigid Morris, assisted Joyful Heart in reversing a dismissal of charges against an alleged serial rapist. After a compelling amicus brief written by a Goodwin team, the Supreme Court of Ohio overruled a decision to dismiss rape and kidnapping charges based on pre-indictment delay. The defendant was indicted one day before the expiration of the 20-year statute of limitations, after a rape kit was tested - one of more than 11,000 currently in state’s backlog.  Read More


Goodwin Chairman David Hashmall Comments on Gender Pay Disparity in Law.com Article

In an article published by Law.com titled “Is Origination to Blame for Women Partners’ Lower Pay?”,  Goodwin Chairman David Hashmall comments on the firm’s initiatives to address the gender pay disparity in law, stating “Internally, pay equity is top of mind among firm leadership and the sole topic at our upcoming meeting of firm leaders and women equity partners. Through these and other significant initiatives, Goodwin is dedicated to eliminating gender pay disparity.”

Deborah Birnbach Named a Top Woman of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Deborah Birnbach, a partner in Goodwin’s Securities Litigation & White Collar Defense Group, has been recognized as a 2016 Top Women of Law honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The award recognizes lawyers who have made significant contributions to the legal profession while also serving as role models for young women entering the law. Birnbach was honored at the annual Top Women of Law reception on October 27 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Laura Rees Acosta

Director, Diversity + Inclusion
Professional Staff
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Deborah S. Birnbach

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Laura C. Hodges Taylor