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CWBA President Jessica Brown Selected As 2015 Outstanding Woman in Business for Law by Denver Business Journal

August 21, 2015 9:00 AM | Kim Sporrer, APR (Administrator)
Photo by Kathleen Levine

Opting out was never an option for Gibson Dunn partner 
Jessica Brown, who has built a practice that works on some of the highest-profile corporate cases in the world.

She wants to keep other female attorneys from leaving the notoriously stressful profession as well.

Brown became one of the first female partners in the Denver office of Gibson Dunn 13 years ago, and has been advocating for women ever since.

A working mom herself, she wants to eliminate the oft-repeated expression in law that “every new mom is one bad day away from quitting.”

“I really do encourage women to take a longer-range perspective,” she said. “I want to help keep women in the game so they can stay long enough to excel.”Since joining Gibson Dunn in 1995, Brown has not only developed innovative ways to keep working moms in the profession, but also has led the charge to expand the firm’s labor and employment practice in Denver.

She developed an interest in employment law after clerking for the late Jim Carrigan, a former U.S. District Court judge and Colorado Supreme Court justice.

“I didn’t take a single employment law class in college, but 40 percent of the federal docket in Colorado, at least at that time, was employment law cases,” she said.

The Denver office of Gibson Dunn had no employment lawyers when she started, so Brown reached out to partners in other offices to work with them on employment law matters, relocating to Orange County for several months to learn from a senior employment law partner there.

As her career progressed, she went from handling mostly single-plaintiff discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases to working on more complex matters, such as trade secret and class-action lawsuits.

For several years, she worked on the largest employment discrimination class-action lawsuit in history – Dukes v. Wal-Mart, a gender discrimination case that sought billions in damages for 1.5 million current and former female Wal-Mart Stores employees.

Brown represented Wal-Mart in the case, which eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in Wal-Mart’s favor, essentially saying that it was impossible to prove that every current or former female employee of the retail giant was the victim of discrimination.

Read more:  http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/print-edition/2015/08/21/jessica-brown-battles-big-cases-in-high-courts.html

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