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Why are we putting on this event?

According to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), "Equity partners in multi-tier law firms continue to be disproportionately white men". In 2015, "only 17.4% of equity partners were women." In this same vein, the American Bar Association (ABA) reports that as of 2016 "the typical female equity partner in the 200 largest firms earns 80% of the compensation earned by the typical male partner." However, the ABA also reports that an average of 52.7% percent of law school graduates in 2015 self-identified as women and this statistic tells us that women are attempting to enter the profession at a greater rate than their male counterparts, but not being likewise recognized with regard to positions of leadership or pay.  The entertainment industry is no different and is arguably more male-dominated than the legal world as a whole.  According to a new Hollywood Diversity Report, "men are hired to direct movies 90 percent of the time." Even more staggering, the report also confirms that "those holding executive positions at TV studios are...71 percent male, and the executives at film studios are...100 percent male." In light of the overwhelming statistics demonstrating the challenges that women professionals face on a daily basis, our Executive Board is presenting this event to recognize and celebrate extraordinary achievement and contributions by women in all areas of the entertainment industry. BESLS believes that women have been largely under-served and under-recognized and our organization plans to make this our capstone event at Brooklyn Law School each fall.

When, where, and how will the event take place?

After a brief welcome reception, awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • In-House Counsel of the Year: Kelly Wick, Esq., Barbara Pereda, Esq., Polina Katsnelson - Film & Television (Viacom Media Networks)
  • Innovator of the Year: Meredith Wolff, Esq. - Sports (Formerly NHL; Seek To Be LLC)
  • Mentor of the Year: Bea Koramblyum - Music (Downtown Music Publishing)
  • Law Student of the Year: Courtney Hargrove - Music (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • Law Professor of the Year: Jodi Balsam, Esq. - Sports (Formerly NFL, NYLS; BLS)
  • Rising Star Award: Catherine Addo - Music (Reservoir Media)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award: Nneka Norville - Film & Television (BET Networks)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award: Faith Newman - Music (Reservoir Media)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award: Barbara Kolsun - Fashion (Professor of Law, Cardozo; Formerly Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, 7 for All Mankind, & Stuart Weitzman)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Janine Small, Esq. - (Former partner Carroll, Guido and Groffman; ABA's Chair for the Forum on Entertainment and Sports; principal, Janine Small PLLC)

The award ceremony will be followed by a round-table meet and greet with each of our honorees. Refreshments and light fare will be served in the Subotnick Center, 10th Floor of Brooklyn Law School at 7:00PM on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.


We are currently at capacity for this event. Thanks for your interest!

Meet Our 2016 Honorees!