GALLUP Strengths Coach & founder of BloomRise.

Vanessa Kuljis works with organizations and unconventional professionals seeking clarity about the next steps in their careers and lives so they can work and live with impact, freedom, adventure, and well-being.

Vanessa received her JD from the University of Chicago. Her professional experience includes corporate litigation at two AmLaw 100 firms in Miami, a secondment to the legal department of a multinational bank in London, coaching and project management at a nonprofit diversity organization in New York City, and building programs as a higher education director focusing on professional coaching and leadership development.

As a GALLUP Certified Strengths Coach and founder of BloomRise, Vanessa specializes in strengths coaching which helps people maximize their talents, own their worth, and set and achieve authentic goals.


Founder and CEO of Creating Equity, LLC

Vonne Jacobs is the Founder and CEO of Creating Equity, LLC, a global strategic advisory and consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations design and implement simple, practical solutions to complex problems.

As a transformational coach, she supports and guides black womxn lawyers to find fulfillment in their careers and their lives.

Prior to starting Creating Equity, Vonne served as Associate University Counsel for Duke University and Duke University Health System where she provided advice and counsel to one of the world’s preeminent health systems on a broad range of regulatory, operational and transactional matters.

A lover of bourbon and an advocate for Black womxn everywhere, Vonne loves spending her days getting into good drink, good music and good trouble.

Shantay Watson

Special Appearance by


Shan-Tay Mercedes Watson is an author, speaker, and spoken word artist.  Additionally, she currently works as a Child Support Enforcement Case Manager and is a certified crisis intervention counselor & victim advocate.  Shan-Tay’s empowering autobiographical poetry book, Audacity, is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle.  Shan-Tay is FWBW’s keynote speaker in the morning on the second full day of the program where she shares inspiring spoken word to help start the morning off feeling empowered and ready to practice storytelling skills in opening statements.


Megan F. Chaney

Megan F. Chaney is Professor of Law, Faculty Advisor to the award-winning Nova Southeastern University Law Trial Team Association, trial team and moot court coach at the Nova Southeastern University – Shepard Broad College of Law in South Florida.  she has also co-directed the Criminal Justice Field Placement Clinic.  Professor Chaney’s experience includes serving as an Assistant Public Defender at the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office, co-directing criminal defense and juvenile justice clinics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Yale Law School, and serving as a professor and Director of Experiential Learning at a law school in Southern California.  She has extensive experiential and advocacy teaching training.  Professor Chaney has spoken at numerous academic conferences throughout the United States, including the AALS Clinical Conference, the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, and the Wells Adoption Conference.

Setara Foster

Setara Foster

Setara Foster received her BA in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and her JD from the Samford University-Cumberland School of Law in Alabama. She was a member of Samford’s nationally-ranked mock trial team that earned a first-place finish at the Tournament of Champions in New York City.

Setara started working in insurance defense in 2012. Since then, her practice has encompassed personal injury, wrongful death, consumer and commercial fraud, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury.  Mrs. Foster became the third named partner for Moore, Young, Foster & Hazelton, LLP in 2020. Over the last several years, Setara has focused on commercial transportation and trucking litigation, product liability, and developing the firm’s crisis management practice.  She has tried numerous high-exposure suits to verdict in both state and federal court.

Setara continues to hold posts as a coach for the National Trial Team and as an Adjunct Professor of Basic Skills in Trial Advocacy at Cumberland School of Law.  She was selected as a Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer by the National Black Lawyers. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as well as Claims Litigation Management, Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, Birmingham Bar Association, Magic City Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers of Alabama, and Women Business Leaders.

A self-described foodie, Setara embraces most-things-millennial with a particular affection towards avocado toast and Rosé.


Elizabeth M. Fraley

Elizabeth M. Fraley





Elizabeth M. Fraley is a Professor at Baylor Law School, teaching Practice Court and serving as co-director of the Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management.  She serves as faculty at the Academy of the Advocate in St. Andrews, Scotland.  Liz is an actively practicing attorney with more than 30 years of trial and mediation experience representing health care providers and businesses.  She has been named a Texas Super Lawyer every year starting in 2004 and has been a D Magazine “Best Lawyers in Dallas” annually since 2011.  She is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), is president of the Waco Chapter and a national board member.  She acted as faculty in the ABOTA Masters in Trial series.  She serves as faculty for the Judicial Education Conference, teaching evidence to sitting judges.  She is a member of the Abner McCall Inn of Court, the McLennan County Bar Association and is chair of the State Bar Advanced Medical Torts Course.   She is a co-author of Texas Commercial Causes of Action, author of the updated Powell and Kinkeade’s Practical Guide to Texas Evidence and co-author of Fundamentals of Lawyer Leadership.  Liz is a frequent author and speaker on trial skills, virtual advocacy, leadership civil procedure and evidence.  An avid runner and traveler, she is the mother of three children.

Sara Jacobson


Sara Jacobson is the Executive Director of Training for the Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania.  She was formerly the Director of Trial Advocacy at Temple University Beasley School of law. In addition to her significant teaching experience, Jacobson is a successful attorney. She tried thousands of cases as a Philadelphia public defender and served as the Assistant Chief of the Juvenile Unit at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She also earned an LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple. Jacobson frequently speaks on issues related to juvenile justice and trains lawyers and judges across the country and internationally. 


Elizabeth Lippy

Elizabeth Lippy is the Founder and Director of TACT. In addition to her position at TACT, Ms. Lippy serves as the Director of Trial Advocacy for Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and maintains a private practice as a founding member of the law firm of Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.  For almost a decade, Ms. Lippy received the Super Lawyer designation in Pennsylvania and most recently named one of Pennsylvania’s 10 best female attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. She formerly served as Associate Director of the Trial Advocacy Program at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Ms. Lippy currently teaches an array of different courses at Temple and oversees the Integrated Trial Advocacy Program.

Kaelyn Romey


In 2017, Professor Romey joined academia as the Director of the Litigation Center at Golden Gate University School of Law. Prior to her Director role, she was Senior Counsel for 11 years at the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel specializing in federal tax controversy litigation handling high-dollar complex cases. Ms. Romey also counseled special enforcement agents regarding cross-border, foreign reporting penalties, off-shore compliance issues, and abusive transaction case development. She successfully settled hundreds of cases and litigated over 23 cases as lead trial counsel before the United States Tax Court. Prior to her career with the federal government, she worked in private practice in civil litigation. 

Ms. Romey conducted nationwide trainings for IRS, Chief Counsel, and for NITA in effective cross examination, deposition, and trial skills. Throughout her academic and professional careers, she actively led committees and volunteer efforts in both state and local bar associations including an executive committee leadership role with the California State Bar Taxation Section. She was the Speaker Chair for the Taxation Section Annual Meeting, chaired the 2016 DC Delegation, chaired the San Francisco Barristers Bar Association Taxation Committee, and served on the BASF executive board.


Laura Rose

Laura Rose is the Assistant Professor in Trial Advocacy at the University of South Dakota and the coach of USD Law’s National Trial Team. A member of the Florida Bar, Professor Rose previously worked as the Advocacy Fellow at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, where her responsibilities included the instruction and coaching of members of UMKC’s National Trial Team. Prior to that, she worked for the Florida Office of the Attorney General as an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor in Tampa, Florida, with the majority of her practice focused on the prosecution of White Collar Crimes. In addition to her “day job,” Professor Rose also coached for Stetson University College of Law’s Mock Trial Team. 

Erika Storm

Erika Storm 

Erika Storm is a trial team coach for Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law.  She was a former Assistant State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit in the State of Florida.  Prior to becoming a prosecutor, she was the Assistant Director of the Center of Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law.   As a student member of Stetson’s top-ranked national trial team, Storm advocated in numerous state, regional, and national competitions. For her accomplishments at Stetson, she won The International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award, which goes to the advocate who demonstrated overall ability in trial advocacy by achievements in Trial Practice, Evidence, and Pleading and Procedure courses. She also won the Victor O. Wehle Award, awarded each semester to the most outstanding advocate in each section of Trial Advocacy.


Judge Christine Weems

Judge Christine Weems

Christine Weems is currently Judge of the 281st Judicial District Court in Houston, Harris County, Texas. She is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.  Judge Weems is the Director of the Interscholastic Mock Trial at the University of Houston Law Center.  She was also an extra in Office Space.

Megan Whiteside


Megan Whiteside is Of Counsel at Shiffman & Shiffman, P.C. in Washington, DC and a Trial Advocacy Adjunct Professor at American University Washington College of Law. Professor Whiteside’s practice focuses on representing injured people in litigation, from pre-suit negotiations through trial. Prior to joining Shiffman & Shiffman, Professor Whiteside served as a law clerk at the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland and as an associate for a medical malpractice defense firm. She uses that prior experience and perspective to advise and zealously represent injured people. Professor Whiteside teaches Scientific Evidence and Expert Testimony and coaches mock trial competition teams.


"I just finished a two day CLE Advocacy Training event by Trial Advocacy Consulting & Training LLC (TACT) and Mom Life and Law. It was a tremendous event I would recommend to any female litigator. The event had noted keynote speakers Judge Rosemary Aqualina and litigator Courtney Rowley of "Trial by Woman". The program had content for litigators both new to the profession and seasoned litigators that just want to hone their litigation skills since the courthouses have been covid closed, or maybe just want a little more practice with new techniques. Do yourself a favor, if you practice in litigation, take this course.


"For Women By Women Virtual Trial Advocacy Training was an amazing experience. It gave us a safe space to learn, practice, discuss issues and concerns, and remind us that we are not alone. Regardless of all of the challenges COVID-19 has brought on everyone, this training brought women from all over the world together, and we took advantage of this space. I not only practiced my trial advocacy skills, and improved, but I also grew as a future female litigator, and I know that this is where I belong. Thank you for all the efforts, love, and hard work that TACT, Mom Life, and everyone involved put into this. It truly made a huge impact on me."


"What a phenomenal training! Each speaker and trainer was engaging, energized and an expert in her area of the law. I am taking with me so many tips and techniques, and cannot wait to incorporate them into my practice. I highly recommend For Women By Women Advocacy Training."


"With For Women by Women, I got reminded what I knew all along: that my difference is my strength. For this diverse body of trainers, with different personalities and perspectives on the world, I gained even more than legal skills. I gained what lies behind every lawyer: the why. I'll add that I was the only foreign lawyer of the training and yet felt that I belong to a community."


"Most inspiring informative CLE I’ve attended in over 30 years. Women Attorneys supporting each other is phenomenal and a great bonus to the continued legal education aspect."


"Even though I have been a lawyer for forty years, I learned from every aspect of this course and highly recommend it to all. The caliber of trainers and attendees is unsurpassed in any other course. Also it was thoroughly enjoyable and a delight to learn and network and practice actual skills and trial techniques taught by the best in the field. The fact that it is by women for women is so empowering and it was all-inclusive as well that speaks to the excellence of the sponsors. This has been the best CLE I have ever taken in my forty years of practice since I learned far more than in any others. In every minute of the program, invaluable skills and knowledge were imparted that could not be learned anywhere else."


"This was a unique, special opportunity for female litigators to learn, build community, network, and empower one another. Trainings like this are sorely needed in a profession that doesn't value women enough."