Ladder Down Program


The FDCC and the Federation Foundation are proud to announce that it has teamed with the Ladder Down program developed by FDCC members Alison Christian and Beth Fitch to create a nationwide curriculum directly tailored to the particular challenges female lawyers face in today’s business environment. Ladder Down has graduated over 100 students in the four years since its inception and its momentum continues to grow. By teaming with the FDCC and the Foundation, Ladder Down is capable of expanding to additional cities and making this incredible program available to more women lawyers across the country. Ladder Down is a one of a kind program that will be run exclusively by the FDCC and the Foundation. Ladder Down is a full year program devoted solely to the professional development of female lawyers. The first city where the FDCC and Foundation will launch the national Ladder Down program is San Francisco beginning in 2017, and Charleston, South Carolina to follow in 2018.


Ladder Down provides specific training to female lawyers in several areas including (1) improving leadership and empowerment; (2) learning the best practices for business development; (3) enhancing the ability to self-promote; and (4) learning how to pay it forward to other women lawyers. The Ladder Down program includes two sessions on leadership training geared toward increasing emotional intelligence through self-awareness, taught by Lynn Moran, former President of Ethel M Chocolates. The next stage in the Ladder Down program is a four-month business development boot-camp lead by the Women Lawyers’ Coach, Marianne Trost. These core sessions are rounded out with panel discussions like “Judicial Perspectives: Wisdom from the Bench,” “What You Don’t Know: Candid Conversations with Corporate Counsel,” and “What Men Really Think.” While these discussions undoubtedly spark a nerve or two, the objective (i.e. open, honest, productive dialogue) is embraced by all. The monthly small group accountability sessions set Ladder Down apart from other programs and provide a forum through which individual goals can be established and attained. This consistent, guided training has proven to be a demonstrated agent for change.


The FDCC and the Foundation look forward to working with our members to make the Ladder Down program a success for years to come.

For this year's Ladder Down program, please click on the link below.   

2023 Ladder Down Brochure and Application