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Blank Rome’s Dan Rhynhart and Team Compete in Diversity Lab’s Women in Law Hackathon

Friday, June 24, 2016, marked the last day of Diversity Lab’s first-ever Women in Law Hackathon, a new Shark Tank-style pitch competition aimed at generating innovative ideas to close the gender gap in law firms. Blank Rome LLP was one of fifty-four top law firms, along with talent and diversity thought leaders and Stanford law students, who worked collaboratively in virtual teams from January through June 2016 to devise initiatives designed to help retain and advance experienced women in law firms. The teams pitched their ideas to a panel of nine high-profile judges at Stanford Law School on the final day; the top three teams selected by the judges received prize money from Bloomberg Law to donate to nonprofit organizations helping to advance women in the legal profession and beyond.

Blank Rome is proud to be an inaugural participating firm in this important initiative to advance women in the legal profession, with Dan Rhynhart, Chair of Blank Rome’s Commercial Litigation group, representing the Firm. Mr. Rhynhart was joined by team members from other Am Law 100 firms, a Stanford law student, and a diversity leader serving as the team’s coach, at last week’s competition, and Blank Rome Associate Kathy Herman, who initially joined the Firm through its participation in the OnRamp Fellowship, also attended as a key team member.

The Women in Law Hackathon is the brainchild of Caren Ulrich Stacy, Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Lab. Due to the overwhelming interest from legal organizations and other companies inquiring about the endeavor, Diversity Lab is launching a second Hackathon in late 2016 that will include cross-industry teams working together to advance women in law. To learn more, please visit

Caren Ulrich Stacy and Diversity Lab also created the OnRamp Fellowship, a re-entry platform for female lawyers and financial services executives returning to the workforce after an extended career break. Blank Rome is proud to have been an early, and continuing, participant in this program, which is designed to enhance the talent pipeline in prominent organizations with high-performing women who have the potential and the desire to advance into leadership roles in the future.

Blank Rome’s Dan Rhynhart (far right) with his 2016 Women in Law Hackathon team members (from L to R): Karen Hester (Executive Director, Center for Legal Inclusiveness); Courtney Cronin (Student, Stanford Law School); Rise Norman (Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett); Ian Peck (Haynes and Boone); Gina Kastel (Faegre Baker Daniels); and Maureen Jeffreys (Arnold & Porter).