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May/June, 2015                                                               Coalition Newsletter


Upcoming Events


Managing Partner

General Counsel Forum

June 16, 2015


Judges Panel on  

Women in Law

June 25, 2015 

Welcome to Our Newest Members
Angela Harkless Byrd
Illinois Education Association

Fisher & Phillips LLP

Jennifer Gust
Resolute Management

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP 
Congratulations to
Megan Lopp Mathias,
Coalition member and Secretary of the Board,
on receiving the  
2015 Alta May Hulett Award. 

The award, named for the first woman layer in Illinois, is presented annually to a recipient who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession, and whose career exemplifies the highest level of professional achievement, ethics and excellence.  Mathias was honored at the Chicago Bar Association's Alliance for Women Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 22nd at The Standard Club.

Career Development

Informal Mentoring Program

Are you interested in some easy mentoring as either a mentor or a mentee? Can you spare one hour?  

If so, the Career Development Committee would like you to be part of our informal summer mentoring program.


We are looking for junior to mid-level Coalition attorneys who think they could benefit from a one-hour candid conversation with a more senior Coalition attorneys. And we are looking for mid-level to senior attorneys who are willing to give guidance and perspective to more junior attorneys in a one-hour meeting.


If you're interested in being a mentee or mentor, please click here

and send your responses to Chicago@thewomenscoalition.com


We will pair off mentor/mentee pairs and ask mentees to reach out to their mentors to schedule a one-hour lunch no later than July 31.  All mentors and mentees will be invited to a networking happy hour in late summer/early fall.    


Join over 800 leading lawyers from across the United States at the National Association of Women Lawyers' 2015 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon on July 16 at the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central in New York City.  


NAWL will recognize and honor leaders in the profession who have made significant impacts to improve and diversify the legal profession, as well as NAWL members who, through their time and effort have made exceptional contributions to fulfilling NAWL's mission.  


In addition, you will have the opportunity to participate in interesting and timely substantive programming, along with plentiful networking opportunities.

Coalition Members receive a 10% discount on registration for the program. Please use discount code AMCWIL2015.

To learn more and register, visit www.nawl.org/2015annualmeeting

Coalition PR/Social Media Sub-Committee Needs Your Help!


The Coalition's PR/Social Media Sub-Committee needs your help with raising awareness of the Coalition through social media. Please: join, follow and "like" the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and ask your firms to do the same


Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law   




Coalition of Women's Initiatives

in Law 


If you would like to join the sub-committee or provide  information to be shared with the entire Coalition contact Rue Toland rtoland@mayerbrown.com or Kelly Glynn keglynn@deloitte.com

Coalition Job Board
 If you have an in-house attorney position or non-attorney firm position that you would like to post, please email the information to the Coalition Admin and we will post it to the Coalition's website job board. 


After-School Mentoring:

Mentor teens at Step Up's after-school programs. Mentor once a year or once a week - whatever time you can give is impactful! Email tatiana@suwn.org for details. 

Dear Members, Delegates and Friends:


I hope you will join us on the evening of June 16 at our annual Managing Partner/General Counsel Forum at the East Bank Club.  This is traditionally one of my favorite programs, as it is designed to bring together our most senior attorneys for a thought provoking discussion on how to initiate change from the top.  Please invite your managing partner, general counsel or another executive or management level attorney to join you, so you can continue the conversations in your own organization.


Our 2015 membership drive is almost at an end.  If you have not yet renewed, please do so soon.  With attendance being capped at some of our signature events, we want to make sure that you do not miss out!




Marcia Owens

Coalition Board President 

June 16, 2015

Coalition member delegates, managing partners, executive level attorneys and in-house counsel are invited to attend our annual General Counsel/Managing Partner Forum.
Please join our guest panelists for an interactive program designed to promote dialogue and workable solutions to improve gender diversity in leadership in the legal profession.  Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible.

Guest Panelists

Lucy Lee Helm 
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Starbucks Corporation

Kim Ebert
Managing Shareholder
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

East Bank Club  

River View Room 

500 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago   


5:00 - 5:30 p.m. Check-in  

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Seated Dinner, Discussion and Interactive Program

7:00 -8:30 p.m. Cocktails and Conversation on the Terrace 

Parking Available   

Illinois CLE credit to be applied for.  
  3D white web button with blue sign register and reflection
Third Annual Judge's Panel On Women in Law

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Noon - 1:30 p.m.

 Please join the Associates Committee of the Coalition
for a conversation with four of the most distinguished judges
in the Chicago legal community. 


Justice Mary Jane Theis 
Illinois Supreme Court
Judge Amy St. Eve 
United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois
Judge Eileen Brewer 
Circuit Court of Cook County
Judge Andrea Wood 
United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois

Drawing on their varied backgrounds, the panelists will share stories about their own paths to success, as well as opinions on effective advocacy, the challenges faced by women and diverse attorneys, and gender bias in the legal field.

Sponsored by: 

Space is limited.  Register early!
Illinois Professionalism CLE pending.

Jones Day 
77 West Wacker, Ste. 3500, Chicago 
Ask the Career Coach
Coach's Corner is authored by Coalition member Jennifer Rakstad.  Jennifer is the Career Development Advisor (US) at Mayer Brown LLP and a certified coach (ACC; Hudson Institute). Jennifer coaches attorneys at all levels on issues including career planning, business development and leadership. Jennifer has been a Coalition delegate since the inception of the Coalition and was most recently Treasurer (2012-14) and on the Executive Committee.

Dear Coach Jen--

My firm sends out numerous emails during the day regarding firm dinners, diversity events, in-house speakers and other opportunities.  Is there any rule of thumb about how and when to respond to these or should I just ignore them, stay at my desk and keep billing my hours?  I don't want anyone to think that I need more hours and am trying to keep a low profile to avoid working weekends, but some of these events sound interesting to me.  If I do attend, how do I handle the time out of the office?


Overworked and Overwhelmed


Dear Overworked and Overwhelmed -

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling overworked and overwhelmed by the many invitations that are flooding your inbox. But I'm also encouraged that you're interested in attending some of the programs available to you. My guess is that if you attended some of these events and felt more engaged at work (in something other than just client billable hours), you might feel more energized. And you might reap some additional benefits for your own career and professional development.


There is no "rule of thumb" about what opportunities to take advantage of, but there are some guiding principles you may want to consider.  Continue Reading

For Ticket Information, Contact Nancy Withbroe at nwithbroe@nwlc.org