Ladder Down Creators

The Issue: Lack of Women Lawyers In Leadership Roles
Their Answer: Create a Program That Gives Women The Tools They Need to Succeed

Our Founders

Alison Christian and Beth Fitch founded Ladder Down
in the Fall of 2012

Ladder Down Founders Alison Christian & Beth FitchAlison Christian and Beth Fitch founded Ladder Down in the fall of 2012. Alison came across an article Beth co-authored for a DRI newsletter in June 2012 entitled “Women Leaders in the Law: An Intergenerational Perspective on Long-Term Legal Careers and the Importance of Mentoring.” The article touched on an issue close to home – women lawyers not becoming equity and managing partners – and Alison knew it was a topic she wanted to explore.

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Alison is responsible for planning monthly CLE luncheons. She invited Beth to present on the topic of the DRI article, and a lunch meeting to discuss the presentation evolved into a conversation about what more could be done to help women attorneys obtain leadership roles within their firms.

The problem had been identified in the legal community, but little had been done to resolve it. Beth and Alison came up with an answer – create a program to empower women in business development, leadership, and mentoring. Their desire to change the course for women lawyers and create a lasting legacy led to the development of the inaugural Ladder Down program, which formally launched in January 2013 with the help of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.

During the program’s first year, the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel was awarded the 2013 DRI Diversity Award. The DRI award recognizes the state and local defense organization that has demonstrated a significant commitment to diversity. It was an honor to receive such prestigious national recognition for our grass-roots program and the DRI award inspired other organizations across the country to introduce Ladder Down programs of their own.

Alison R. Christian

Alison R. Christian

Christian Dichter & Sluga

Alison R. Christian is an equity shareholder at Christian Dichter & Sluga in Phoenix, Arizona. Her practice focuses primarily on insurance bad faith and coverage litigation. She has written on insurance topics for the ABA, DRI, and CLM, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel. She was honored by Southwest Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2012-2014, and has received the Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating. Arizona Business Magazine recognized Alison in the 2014 issue of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business” under the “Generation Next” category. Alison is a Phoenix native and enjoys spending her free time riding horses across the backdrop of the Arizona desert.

Elizabeth S. Fitch

Elizabeth S. Fitch

Righi Fitch Law Group

Elizabeth S. Fitch is the managing member of Righi Fitch Law Group. She is an AV-rated trial lawyer with 27 years of insurance defense experience. Beth has defended multi-million dollar cases ranging from catastrophic injuries to construction defect. She has represented all types of professionals, from lawyers to architects. In 2014 she was recognized as one of Phoenix’s top lawyers, and again honored by Southwest Super Lawyer as a Super Lawyer. She is a past president of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel and has co-authored articles on Mentoring and Rainmaking Essentials. She speaks nationally on empowering female professionals and as recently as October 2014 led a business development boot camp for a national network of trial lawyers.