Roberta D. Liebenberg

Roberta D. Liebenberg

Roberta (“Bobbi”) Liebenberg is one of the nation’s leading authorities for advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She has designed workable policies and best practices for both law firms and corporations seeking to hire and advance women and minority lawyers for meaningful roles at all levels of the organization. Her research and policy reports have provided innovative approaches for understanding the careers for women in the legal profession.  Bobbi currently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA Presidential Initiative on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law and previously served as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession from 2008-2011 and 2013-2014.  Bobbi also served as the first Chair of the American Bar Association’s Gender Equity Task Force from 2012-2013.

From 2013-2018, Bobbi served as Chair of DirectWomen, the only organization dedicated to increasing the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards.  Bobbi is a member of the National Board of the YWCA USA.

In her law practice, Bobbi is a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C., in Philadelphia. She has repeatedly been listed in the highest band-level as one of the leading antitrust lawyers in the country by the Chambers USA Guide: America’s Leading Business Lawyers.  Bobbi received a J.D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1975, J.D., magna cum laude and Notes Editor, Catholic University Law Review, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan with Honors. She is a member of the Board of the American Antitrust Institute.

Bobbi’s recent publications include:

  • “Law Firm Talent Must Reflect Shifting US Demographics,” Stephanie Scharf and Roberta Liebenberg, Law360, June 16, 2021.
  • “Practicing Law in the Pandemic and Moving Forward,” Stephanie Scharf and Roberta Liebenberg, American Bar Association, April 2021.
  • “Working Mothers Need a ‘New Deal’ to Survive the ‘New Normal,” Roberta Liebenberg and Stephanie Scharf,, April 26, 2021.
  • “Five Ways Firms Can Avoid Female Attorney Exodus During the Pandemic,” Roberta Liebenberg and Stephanie Scharf, Law360, October 18, 2020.
  • “The Pandemic’s Outsize Impact on Women: Keeping Your Career On Track During Unprecedented Times,” Roberta D. Liebenberg and Stephanie A. Scharf, Law360, July 2020.
  • “Walking Out the Door – The Facts, Figures and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private Practice,” November 2019.  Co-authored with Stephanie Scharf.
  • “Too Many Senior Women Are Leaving the Profession,” ABA Law Practice Today, November 2018.
  • “Moving the Needle on Corporate Boards: More Women Lawyers Needed,” Forum Magazine, May 2017.
  • Best Lawyers in America, “Wanted:  More Women on Corporate Boards: Legal Experience Desired,” February 21, 2017.
  • “Women Lawyers – The Effect of Implicit Biases,” The Young Lawyers Magazine, American Bar Association, Winter 2017.
  • “First Chairs at Trial – More Women Need Seats at the Table.” June 2015.  Co‑authored with Stephanie Scharf.
  • “The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of The Legal Profession” (2015) (Chapter Author, “Women Lawyers: Big Firm Attrition – Small Firm Gains”).
  • “Views on Women in the Fortune 500:  Why Companies Need Board Diversity,” Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law & Accountability Report, October 24, 2014.
  • Eighth Annual NAWL National Survey on the Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms. February 2014. Co-authored with Stephanie Scharf.
  • “The Retention and Advancement of Women at Law Firms – Strategies for Success,” US News and World Report, November 2013.
  • “Board Composition – The Work of DirectWomen Is More Important Than Ever,” Directors & Boards, Third Quarter 2013.
  • “The Retention and Advancement of Women at Law Firms – Strategies for Success,” US News and World Report, November 2013.

Bobbi’s recent speeches and seminars incude:

  • “Hybrid Work Models Are Key To Gender Parity in Law Firms,” Roberta D. Liebenberg and Stephanie A. Scharf, Law360, July 2021.
  • “Beyond the Numbers: Sidebar on the 2019 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession,” ABA Annual Meeting, August 10, 2019, San Francisco
  • “Where Have All the Senior Women Gone?”, Pennsylvania Bar Association Annual Meeting, Lancaster, PA, May 15, 2019
  • 2019 Women’s Power Summit on Law & Leadership, “Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law,” Austin, Texas, April 10, 2019
  • JD Annual Conference on Women in the Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA, March 15, 2019
  • “Leaders in the Courtroom: From the Trial Courts to the United States Supreme Court,” Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, Philadelphia, PA, March 7, 2019
  • “Long-Term Careers for Women in Law: What’s Pushing Women Out and What Can We Do To Keep Them In The Profession,” ABA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL., Aug. 3, 2018
  • “Women in Law: On the Front Lines of Change,” Philadelphia, PA, June 14, 2018,
  • “Driving Diversity in the Legal Profession,” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, May 9, 2018,
  • ABA National Summits on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, November 8, 2017 and Northwestern Law School, Chicago, IL, June 28, 2018
  • Northeastern University School of Law’s “Women in the Law Conference,” “Unlocking the Mysteries of the ‘New Girl’ Network,” Boston, MA, May 19, 2017
  • Gender Pay Equity, PBI Annual Employment Law Institute, Philadelphia, PA, April 27, 2017
  • “Grit and Growth Mindset:  Two Traits of Successful Women Lawyers,” The Maryland Association for Justice, Baltimore, MD, March 17, 2017
  • “The Wage Gap, Women & Negotiation,” Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, May 25, 2016
  • Keynote Address, Third Annual Leadership Summit, Miami Dade Women’s Bar Association, Miami, FL, May 19, 2016
  • Symposium, “Women Lawyers in the Courtroom,” U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, IL, April 21, 2016
  • “First Chair: How to Get the Prime Seat at Counsel Table,” Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA, March 29, 2016
  • “Women as Lead Counsel at Trial: What You Can Do to Take the Lead,” ABA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, August 1, 2015
  • Ark Group, “Women Legal 2015 Conference,” “Breaking into the Boardroom: It’s Time,” New York, NY, May 19, 2015
  • Northeastern University School of Law’s “Women in the Law Conference,” “Bridging the Gender Pay Gap in Law,” Boston, MA, May 15, 2015
  • Bar Ass’n. “Grit, Resilience and Taking Charge: Building Blocks for Success,” Philadelphia, PA, May 7, 2015
  • 2015 Women’s Power Summit on Law & Leadership, “Increasing Diversity in Court Appointments,” Austin, TX, April 16, 2015
  • “Opportunities for Women in Education and Law,” Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC, February 23, 2015
  • Corporate Counsel and Inside Counsel’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
  • The Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award by the Center for Women in Law at the University of  Texas School of Law
  • The Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.
  • Inaugural Chambers Women in Law Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Gender Diversity and Equality.”
  • Martha Fay Africa Golden Hammer Award
  • National Law Journal List of  “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America”
  • The Florence K. Murray Award from the National Association of Women Judges.
  • Inductee to the American Antitrust Institute Private Enforcement Hall of Fame.
  • Chambers USA Guide: America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Highest band-level for antitrust lawyers.
  • Multiple other awards from bar and community organizations.
  • American Bar Association.  Multiple leadership roles including Co-Chair, ABA Presidential Initiative on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law (2017-present); Co-Chair, Commission on Governance (2013- 2016); Chair, Commission on Women in the Profession (2008-2011, 2013-2014); Chair, ABA Gender Equity Task Force (2012-2013); Chair, Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2006-2007); Standing Committee on Judicial Independence (2007-2008); Member, Board of Governors (2003-2005).
  • YWCA USA:  National Board of Directors, June 2018-Present.
  • American Antitrust Institute:  Board of Directors, 2016-Present.
  • DirectWomen:  Chair, 2013-2018; Vice-Chair, 2011-2013; Co-Founder, 2007; Advisory Board Member, October 2018-Present.
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System: Co-Chair, Gender Bias Committee, 2000-2003.
  • Center for Women in Law, University of Texas School of Law: Leader-in-Residence, May 2012-May 2016.
  • National Association of Women Lawyers Foundation: Board Member, 2010-2014.
  • Forum of Executive Women, Board Member 2010-2016.
  • Anti–Defamation League, Chair, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Region, 2007–2009.
  • Women’s Way, Board Member 2001–2008.