[7/16/20 Zoom Meeting] Female Founded Law Firms: Confronting Bias in the Legal Industry

Female Founded Law Firms: Confronting Bias in the Legal Industry talk was presented by Lindsey S. Mignano, Amber L. Bissell, and Maria Belyi

Gender bias is an important issue in the practice of law, affecting people of all genders in many different ways. Each of the program panelists have built successful, thriving law firms while dealing with and overcoming gender bias. We will have an inclusive discussion about the full scope of this important issue, as well as how to overcome it.

The presenters will talked about:

  • Recognizing gender bias as an attorney
  • How gender bias and intersectionality affects your practice
  • Tips to overcome gender bias when it affects your practice
  • How to build a thriving practice despite gender (or other) bias


Lindsey S. Mignano
Smith Shapourian Mignano PC

Lindsey counsels national and international startups regarding business formation and expansion into US markets.

Prior to founding her four-woman firm in 2016, Lindsey practiced at an international law firm. She graduated from Stanford University (2007), and University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2010).

She currently sits on the Barristers Board of Directors for the Bar Association of San Francisco, a preeminent Bay Area bar association. She has received the following professional accolades: Outstanding Barristers Award in 2017 from the Bar Association of San Francisco; Women in the Law Committee’s Outstanding New Leader Award in 2015 from DRI, an international legal organization for defense and corporate counsel; and Rising Star from 2016-2020 by Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to only 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40.

Amber L. Bissell
Bain Mazza & Debski LLP

Amber represents individual plaintiffs in labor and employment cases, focusing on harassment, retaliation, and discrimination, with a particular interest in gender-based cases.

She graduated from UCLA in 2010 (B.A.), the London School of Economics in 2011 (M.Sc in Gender and Social Policy; and Loyola Law School in 2014 (J.D.)

Amber is a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) and the Employment Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association as well as the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee and SOSF (Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee). Additionally, over the last decade, Amber has studied and consulted with numerous non-profits and federal agencies on the issues of institutionalized gender discrimination and the prevention of gender-based violence. She has presented and been a panel speaker on these issues throughout her career.

Maria Belyi
Law Office of Maria Belyi

Maria is the lead attorney at the Law Office of Maria Belyi, a boutique criminal defense firm that is part of a community of solo firms at Pier 5 Law Offices. Maria’s practice focuses on clients charged with crimes in California State and Federal courts. Maria also does appellate work, and helps clients get post-conviction relief through expungements and vacating prior convictions.

Maria received her law degree from U.C. Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas, Austin.

Published in 2020, AAC, COVID19, Video Replays, Zoom