Two Wesleyan alumnae were elected chairs of prestigious law firms in 2021.
Megan Norris ’83, P’17 was named the first woman CEO of Miller Canfield. And Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher elected Barbara Becker ’85 as chair and managing partner.
Norris, an accomplished litigator, is a nationally recognized expert and frequent public speaker on the topics of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Within the Miller Candield, she has served as the leader of the Employment and Labor Group, overseeing the firm’s large and active team of dedicated employment and labor attorneys and staff. She served for eight years on the firm’s Board of Managing Directors, the last six years as chair.
“In many ways, for nearly 170 years, the firm’s focus has never changed: Our primary purpose is always to serve our clients. And we can’t do so without the best attorneys in the business,” Norris said in a press release. “What is always changing is what our clients need. Clients face budgetary restrictions, so we must adapt to provide high-quality legal services in more efficient ways while remaining profitable.”
Norris graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. At Wesleyan, she was chair of the Alumni Association and is an emerita member of the Board of Trustees.
Becker, a corporate partner in Gibson Dunn’s New York office, will start her new role on May 1. She succeeds Ken Doran, who has led the firm since 2002. (View Becker’s Gibson Dunn profile online here.)
“As the first woman to lead the firm, Barbara’s election is a momentous point in our firm’s history,” Doran said in a statement to Bloomberg Law. “She is absolutely the right person to succeed me.”
For more than a decade, Becker has served as co-chair of the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group, which includes 400 lawyers around the world. She has represented Accenture, Kraft Heinz, Merck, News Corp, PepsiCo, and VMware, among others.
Becker received her law degree from New York University School of Law. At Wesleyan, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and also has served on her 25th and 35th class reunion committees and as an active volunteer at the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship.