Executive Coach of leading GCs and former Global General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Gap Inc.
Michelle Banks is a Senior Advisor at BarkerGilmore specializing in providing executive leadership coaching to women general counsel. She also delivers keynote speeches and leads strategic and professional development workshops. Michelle co-founded UCLA Law Women LEAD, a network of nearly 4,200 women law students and alumnae at her alma mater supporting their leadership, empowerment, advancement and distinction, and Ms. JD’s LaddHer Up retreat, which pairs seasoned women general counsel with early career women law firm associates for inspiring professional development and mentorship.
For ten years, Michelle was Executive Vice President, Global General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer of apparel retailer Gap Inc. (Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta). During her 17-year tenure at Gap Inc., Michelle led the Company’s global equity, foundation, franchise services, governance, government affairs & public policy, integrity, legal, privacy, and sustainability functions. Before joining Gap Inc., Michelle worked as legal counsel for the Golden State Warriors NBA team and in Tokyo as American counsel for Itochu Corporation, one of the largest Japanese trading companies. Her prior law firm practice with Sheppard Mullin and Morrison & Foerster in California and New York focused on corporate finance and international commercial transactions.
Michelle has been recognized as a Legend in Law by the Burton Foundation, a Distinguished General Counsel by the Directors Roundtable, a Top General Counsel to Watch by Corporate Board Member, a Corporate Counsel Innovator by the Financial Times, an Influential Woman in Bay Area Business and a Corporate Counsel Diversity Champion by the San Francisco Business Times, a Most Powerful and Influential Woman by California Diversity Council, and a Woman of Achievement by Legal Momentum. Santa Clara University Law School presented her with their Social Justice and Human Rights award in 2014 and UCLA Law School named her 2016 Alumni of the Year for Professional Achievement. In 2019, Michelle received the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Woman Lawyer of Achievement award for her professional accomplishments and her dedication to enhancing the careers of other women lawyers.
In 2022, Michelle co-authored a best-selling anthology Women in Law Discovering the True Meaning of Success, which is available for purchase from Amazon, bookshop.org, and other book sellers. Women in Law chronicles the career journeys of 23 women lawyers and is intended to inspire and empower people to define their own pathways to success in their lives. Proceeds are donated to nonprofit MS. JD