Sheryl Axelrod is the founder of The Axelrod Firm, PC. She provides strategic, results-driven advice and representation to entities (business and governmental bodies) in their general and product liability, employment (including AIR21), commercial, and appellate litigation matters.
She has also been appointed to serve as a Judge Pro Tempore / Settlement Master by the judges in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Commerce Court. In the role, she helps parties resolve complex cases in arbitrations and mediations. There are less than 130 lawyers who have made this distinguished list.
She has also been appointed a receiver, and in these roles is available to assist parties in a host of matters including in Business Torts, Business Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Discovery Disputes, Employment Litigation & Non-Compete Agreements, Multi-Party Litigation, Personal Injury / Bodily Injury Litigation, Professional Liability Matters, and Real Estate & Title Litigation Matters.
Click here review some representative recommendations of Ms. Axelrod’s Judge Pro Tempore | Mediator | Settlement Master Work. The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) hosted a webinar in which Ms. Axelrod served as a panelist on, “Business Continuity During the #COVID19 Pandemic…and How Alternative Dispute Resolution Can Help!”
She has also completed the rigorous training required to join the elite roster of AAA Arbitration panelists for commercial disputes.
Ms. Axelrod is a trial lawyer and her skills are such that she has been accepted into membership in the Litigation Counsel of America, a peer selected honorary society of top trial lawyers. Vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service, less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers are accepted into LCA’s by-invitation-only membership.
Ms. Axelrod is also recognized by her peers as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania Jury Verdict Review & Analysis” catalogs the most significant verdicts in the state. It published the verdict entered in one of her trials, a David versus Goliath commercial defense victory for her client. Ms. Axelrod was also featured in the .
She is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating awarded by this nationally recognized leader in lawyer ratings.
For her employment defense work, she was selected a Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™. She defends companies in their employment matters including in AIR21 matters.
Ms. Axelrod has won many cases on her written submissions without having to go to trial. Her writing is so strong, two of her briefs have been published. Appellate practice is virtually all based on brief writing, and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania’s primary intermediate appellate court, chose her to appear on television to explain Pennsylvania appellate practice to the public prior to televised oral arguments.
Prior to founding The Axelrod Firm, Ms. Axelrod worked at one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country, Blank Rome, handling some of the biggest and most complex cases.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree Cum Laude in Economics from Brandeis University in 1990 after spending her junior year of college studying at la Universidad Compultense de Madrid (in English, the Compultense University of Madrid). She received her law degree from Temple University in 1993 after having won the 1992 Samuel J. Polsky Moot Court Competition. Upon graduation from Temple Law School, she clerked for the distinguished and award winning jurist The Honorable Sandra Mazer Moss before practicing law at Blank Rome.
She is a Past President of the Temple Law Alumni Association, the fourth female to hold the post in the organization’s nearly one hundred year history.
She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, an organization of the most influential women in the Philadelphia region.
She has been appointed by two separate Chancellors of the Philadelphia Bar Association to membership on the Investigative Division of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention. On the Investigative Division, Ms. Axelrod has led numerous teams vetting the individuals seeking to be elected judges in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Axelrod is deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and equality. She is a nationally published author and speaker on unconscious bias and the profitability of diversity. In the past, she served in the American Bar Association (the “ABA”) as a Diversity Fellow and, during its term, on the ABA’s Task Force on Gender Equity (GETF). The year Ms. Axelrod was appointed to the GETF, she was one of only 3 people in the country selected by the President of the ABA to be added to the GETF from the pool of applicants across the country vying for the spots.
Ms. Axelrod also served as a member of the Diversity and Amicus Committees of the National Association of Women Lawyers.
In the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession (PBA WIP), she is a past member of the PBA WIP Executive Council and the PBA Diversity Team and former Co-Chair of the PBA WIP Diversity Committee.
Ms. Axelrod also serves in the Philadelphia Bar Association on the Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms Task Force.
Ms. Axelrod is Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee of NAMWOLF, the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms. The Advocacy Committee is charged with advocating for the nationwide expansion of opportunities for minority and women-owned law firms, and with raising the country’s awareness about the challenges women and minorities face. Sheryl was honored with NAMWOLF’s 2017 Yolanda Coly Advocacy Award. This award, given out no more than once a year, recognizes an individual of influence with wide ranging professional connections who, through stellar advocacy, profoundly advanced NAMWOLF’s mission of promoting diversity.
For her work as the Co-President of the Fearless Women Network, a non-profit she co-founded to shatter glass ceilings and obliterate unequal pay, she was recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a “Woman Worth Watching.”
She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey state and federal courts, and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.
She is fluent in Spanish.
View Ms. Axelrod’s advocacy work in the equality, diversity, and inclusion space here.
Outside of work, Ms. Axelrod loves: spending time with her husband and their two-year-old daughter; catching up on the latest articles and other information in the equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion space; and dancing salsa and Bachata along with some Merengue.
- Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude
TEMPLE LAW SCHOOL
- Juris Doctorate
- Winner, Samuel J. Polsky Moot Court Competition
- Member, Moot Court Honor Society
Community College of Philadelphia | 2015
- Certificate of Entrepreneurship, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program
- New Jersey
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- District Court of New Jersey
- Ms. Axelrod serves as Co-Chair of the NAMWOLF Advocacy Committee which advocates nationwide for the greater inclusion of minority and women owned law firms.
- She is a founder of the Fearless Women Network, a non-profit dedicated to shattering glass ceilings and obliterating unequal pay, and served as Co-Chair of its Philadelphia Symposium.
- In 2014, Ms. Axelrod was appointed by the President of the ABA to the ABA’s Task Force on Gender Equity and served as an American Bar Association Diversity Fellow.
- Ms. Axelrod is a longstanding member of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) Diversity Committee and is a former member of the NAWL Amicus Committee.
- She serves on the Advisory Board of Women Owned Law (WOL) and as Co-Chair of WOL’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. This non-profit’s mission is to provide opportunities for women legal entrepreneurs to come together, support each other and help their businesses prosper.
- She spent years serving on the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP) Executive Council and Diversity Team of Ambassadors. She is also a former Co-Chair of the PBA WIP Diversity Committee and remains a PBA Minority Bar Committee member.
- She is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms Task Force and in 2010, served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Law Practice Management Committee. She also serves on the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms Task Force.
- From 2000 to 2003, while serving on the Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Ms. Axelrod co-chaired the Michael K. Smith Oratorical Contest, organizing and running a moot court competition in which attorneys in the Philadelphia Bar Association volunteer to judge Philadelphia public school students in grades 4-8, who present mock oral appellate arguments. These Bar Reporter pages include articles about two of the contests: here and here.
- When she was President of the Temple Law Alumni Association (TLAA) from 2012-2013, she founded the TLAA Women’s Initiative and the TLAA Diversity Committee and the committees’ annual awards, the TLAA Women’s Leadership Award and the TLAA Diversity Champion Award. She also created the criteria for both awards and presented the first honorees with their awards.
- She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, an organization of locally influential women, in which she serves on the Inclusion, Mentor, and Women in Executive Leadership and Governance Committees, and she serves on DirectWomen, an organization dedicated to advancing women lawyers onto major corporate board positions.
- Ms. Axelrod has taken formal LGBTQ ally training, twice, and served as an ally and expert in the equality, diversity, and inclusion space in the Philadelphia LGBT Exchange.
- Since 2013, Ms. Axelrod has been a member of The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, an organization dedicated to addressing the professional needs and development of Black lawyers in the City of Philadelphia.
- Since 2011, Ms. Axelrod has also been running holiday toy drives benefitting children living without homes in local Salvation Army shelters, on their way to getting more permanent housing.
- In college, Ms. Axelrod tutored a local African American high school student through all three years she spent on campus at Brandeis University. (She spent her junior year abroad.) Her mentee, Malik, was one of the few minorities in his school and faced discrimination from both his fellow students and teachers.
- After law school, Ms. Axelrod devoted four (4) years volunteering, after work hours and on weekends, coaching high school mock trial teams. Two of the teams Ms. Axelrod coached were the 1999 and 2000 inner-city, all-minority Overbrook High School Teams, whom Ms. Axelrod co-coached in the John S. Bradway High School National Mock Trial Competition. The 2000 Overbrook High School Mock Trial Team Ms. Axelrod coached beat over 65 public and parochial schools to make it to the Regional Championship of the competition. The 2001 Team she coached made it to the state semi-final round. While on average, one out of every three students do not graduate from Overbrook High School, every student Ms. Axelrod coached did and all but one went on to college. One of the Overbrook students Ms. Axelrod coached went on to graduate from Temple Law School and herself coached an Overbrook High School Mock Trial Team to victory in the Regional Championship of the competition. Ms. Axelrod also coached the Upper Darby and Clearview Regional High School Mock Trial Teams in 2005 and 2008, respectively.
- In 2000, during her time working as an attorney at Blank Rome, Ms. Axelrod spearheaded bringing “Philadelphia Reads” to Blank Rome’s Philadelphia Office. Through the program, overwhelmingly minority, inner-city school children are brought to companies so that adults in them can reach the program’s goal of teaching the students to read well and independently by the end of the third grade.
- “Brief Of Northwest Airlines, Inc. In Opposition To The Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari,” Grimes v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., (Oct. 17, 2000)
- “Response of Defendant, Macrotech Fluid Sealing, Inc., to Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for New Trial Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59 and an Evidentiary Hearing,” Stecyk v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. et al., (Jul. 27, 1999)
“Diverse Companies Out-Deliver on the Bottom Line” American Bar Association Woman Advocate Committee 2021 Summer Newsletter (authored by Jamie L. Augustinsky and Kevinn Souffrant; edited by Sheryl L. Axelrod and Sandy Sakamoto; published on August 3, 2021)
“It’s Been a Long Time Coming, But I Know a Change Gon’ Come” American Bar Association Woman Advocate Committee 2021 Summer Newsletter (authored by Kenneth M. Battle and Jamie L. Augustinsky; edited by Sheryl L. Axelrod and Sandy Sakamoto; published on August 3, 2021)
“Diverse and Inclusive Teams: They Simply Work Better Together” American Bar Association Woman Advocate Committee 2021 Summer Newsletter (authored by Gerardo Alcazar; edited by Sheryl L. Axelrod and Sandy Sakamoto; published on August 3, 2021)
“Diverse Trial Teams: A Competitive Advantage” American Bar Association Woman Advocate Committee 2021 Summer Newsletter (authored and edited by Sheryl L. Axelrod and Sandy Sakamoto; published on August 3, 2021)
“Rethinking Diversity in Legal Teams” American Bar Association Woman Advocate Committee 2021 Summer Newsletter (authored by C. Jeffrey Leung and Roberto Portillo Togno; edited by Sheryl L. Axelrod and Sandy Sakamoto; published on August 3, 2021)
- “Mayday, Mayday! Minimizing air carriers’ exposure by protecting their whistleblowers – lessons gleaned from AIR21,” The American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law, Winter 2020 (co-published with Lisa Savitt in the Spring of 2020)
- Ms. Axelrod’s letter about how she came to have grit (published in GRIT The Secret To Advancement: Stories Of Successful Women Lawyers) (August 7, 2018)
- “What We’re Taught About Women Who Rise,” LinkedIn, August 12, 2016
- “A Case for Increasing Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards,” Forum of Executive Women (authored by Sheryl L. Axelrod and Mary Beth Gray in consultation with Vicki W. Kramer), July 17, 2015
- “Guide to Promoting the In-House Legal Department Utilization of NAMWOLF Law Firms,” National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, May 14, 2015 (authored by Alan Bryan, Gilda Spencer, Donna Johnson, Shanin Fuller, and Nancy Peterson, with input and oversight by John Murdock and Sheryl L. Axelrod)
- “Challenging the Myths About Women and Minority Lawyers,” The American Bar Association, March 13, 2015
- “Oh, The Times of Inequality, They Are A-Changin’,” The American Bar Association, March 13, 2015
- “Countering diversity fatigue: The audacity of hope backed up by data — seeing the paradigm shifting,” Women Lawyers Journal Vol. 99, No. 4, January 2015 (cover story)
- “A Firm Of Their Own” – My interview by Diana Konate, Ms. JD Blog, December 30, 2014
- “Uninvited: Preferred Counsel Lists and How They Limit Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms’ Access to Legal Work,” American Bar Association, December 1, 2014
- “Banking on Diversity: Diversity and Inclusion as Profit Drivers-The Business Case for Diversity,” The American Bar Association, June 12, 2014 (Listed among the ABA’s Top Resources)
- “Six Steps to Minimizing Gender and Minority Bias,” The American Bar Association, May 26, 2014
- “A Primer on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality: From the Profitability of Diversity to Unconscious Bias to its Impact on Our Country,” Take the Lead (the website of the “Take the Lead Challenge” featuring Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg), February 7, 2014
- “Disregard Diversity at Your Financial Peril: Diversity as a Competitive Financial Advantage,” Diversity & the Bar, May / June 2013
- Republished by The American Bar Association as the Featured Article, November 2013
- Republished by The National Association of Women Lawyers, November 4, 2013
- “Diversity is Good for Business: What You Need to Know to Comply with Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act,” September 5, 2012
- “The Dollars And Sense Of Diversity,” The Pennsylvania Lawyer, July / August 2012 (cover story)
- “Seven Steps to Starting a Law Firm,” The Philadelphia Bar Association Women in the Profession Newsletter, Winter 2011 / 2012
- “Committee’s Goal is Helping Solos Succeed,” The Philadelphia Bar Reporter, September 2010
- “Assessing Your Company’s Exposure in an Employment Discrimination Case,” May 27, 2009
Philadelphia Bar Association Women in the Profession Committee
How to Reach Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: Sheryl Axelrod’s NAMWOLF Podcast
In the first of a series of podcasts focused on NAMWOLF, Sharon Sayles Belton, Thomson Reuters’ Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Relations, interviewed Firm President Sheryl Axelrod about women and minority inclusion and participation.
Sheryl’s spotlight podcast is part of an initiative developed by Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute dedicated to “Transforming Womens Leadership.” We hope you’ll take a listen: https://www.legalexecutiveinstitute.com/womens-leadership-podcast-axelrod-namwolf/#
To read the full transcript of Sheryl’s podcast, visit: http://legalexecutiveinstitute.com/womens-leadership-podcast-transcript-namwolf-axelrod/.
- Pushing for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry – Thomson Reuters featured Ms. Axelrod in its Fearless Persona Campaign, a national campaign featuring fearless attorneys – General Counsels at the forefront of the largest companies in the country, partners in Am Law 200 and other large law firms, and partners of midsize and small law firms — who are changing the landscape of the legal industry. Ms. Axelrod was featured for her work moving the needle in favor of greater equality, diversity, and inclusion. Her Fearless Persona profile includes a discussion of concrete tools she created to help everyone become diversity champions, tools you can use and share with others who you can turn into diversity champions.
- Woman Worth Watching – Profiles in Diversity Journal profiled Ms. Axelrod in its “Women Worth Watching” series
- Women to Watch™ – Radio interview by Susan Rocco
- Law Firm Diversity Professionals Roundtable, INSIGHT into Diversity by Alexandra Vollman (June 24, 2015)
Overbrook to State Finals After Upset in Legal Clash Quoting Ms. Axelrod, who co-coached the team