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PAVING THEIR OWN PATH Trailblazing TWLIL recipients honored for innovative accomplishments through leadership roles.


MEET THE EDITORS Natalie Scruton Federle is Corporate Counsel at Outcome Health and specializes in employment law. Natalie is a co-chair of the Newsletter, Community Outreach, and Legislative Committees, and is a member of the Judicial Evaluation Committee. Natalie has also served on numerous Annual Dinner committees and the Judicial Reception committee. Natalie enjoys running, playing with her rescue dog, reading and spending time with her husband and friends. In law school, Natalie served as a Symposium Editor of the Wake Forest Law Review.

Aurelija Fitzpatrick is an matrimonial attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., where she represents individuals in a wide range of complex domestic relations matters, including divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as “custody”), parenting time, child support, maintenance, orders of protection, analysis of complicated marital estates, division of marital property, and prenuptial agreements. Aurelija also serves as a pro bono child representative though Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, representing children in high-conflict domestic relations matters. Aurelija practices in Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties. Aurelija currently serves as a co-chair on the WBAI Newsletter Committee and WBAI Domestic Relations Committee. Aurelija graduated law school from Loyola University Chicago and graduated from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for her undergraduate studies Hayley Graham Slefo is an associate attorney at Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd., where she represents injured workers in workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims. An active member of the WBAI, Hayley has co-chaired various events and committees, including the Annual Dinner, Young Lawyers/Law Student Outreach and is currently a co-chair of the Newsletter Committee. Hayley completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia College Chicago, where she studied journalism. She worked as an award-winning journalist for several newspapers prior to attending DePaul University College of Law. Hayley has since served as a mentor to DePaul law students. She has also acted as a guest coach for the mock trial team at a local high school. Most recently, she volunteered with Urban Alliance to help CPS seniors develop college admission and scholarship essays. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, pottery, traveling and spending time with her husband. Lauren L. Witkowski is a Trial Attorney for Zurich North America Insurance Company focusing her practice on the defense of Workers’ Compensation claims. Lauren focuses her practice in formulating an appropriate strategy that takes into account the facts, the medical issues, the legal issues, and the particulars of the geographic locale and the arbitrators or judges involved. Lauren is an active member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois serving on the Board of Directors for the 2016-2019 bar years. Lauren currently serves as Co-Chair of the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program, CoChair of the Newsletter Committee and as Recording Secretary.


Lynn Geerdes

Danielle Luisi

Lynn Taylor

Kathryn ‘Kate’ Conway

Elsie Holzwarth

Danielle Pappas

Blaire Theuerkauf

Kara Eisen

Naseem Hosseini

Erin Rogozinski

Christine Walczak





NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS By: Aurelija Fitzpatrick Each January, many of us set resolutions for the new year – to read more books, to lose weight, to get a new job or obtain a promotion, to travel more, make new friends, etc. For many of us, by the time the Spring rolls around, those goals have fallen to the wayside, and unfortunately, it is back to the same routine. The Women’s Bar Association continues its theme this year of Ability to Promote, Opportunity to Advance. In the spirit of this mission, and with the resolve of a new year, the WBAI encourages our members to live that mission in their daily lives. What will you do to take the next big leap in your career? How can you earn the promotion or raise that you deserve? What steps can you take to ensure your law clerks and young associates are gaining valuable experience and learning to become competent attorneys in their own right? Who can help you achieve your professional goals? How can you better achieve a work-life balance (or something resembling one)? What can you do to improve your profession? The Women’s Bar Association has exciting programming this year to help answer these questions for our members. For example, the WBAI will be co-hosting a ‘How to Get Business’ panel discussion to teach the art of rainmaking. Our Legally Moms group continues to provide guidance on matters related to both the office and home, and a dose of sanity to our working mothers. Our Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring program connects new attorneys with more seasoned professionals to assist with networking, job skills, and professional advice. Our dynamic membership events allow our members to mingle with friends and colleagues – old and new – while enjoying workouts, shopping experiences, and beauty treatments. The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois is here to help you reach your professional and personal goals for 2019. We have opportunities for all interests, and have committees for those who want to get more involved. Please visit our website https://wbaillinois.org for more information. Aurelija Fitzpatrick is a matrimonial attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., where she represents individuals in a wide range of complex domestic relations matters. She is an editor of the WBAI newsletter.


EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP Karie J. Valentino President Corinne Heggie First Vice President Kathryn Conway Second Vice President Dina Ninfo Treasurer Elizabeth Winiarski Financial Secretary Jeanine Stathopoulos Corresponding Secretary Lauren Witkowski Recording Secretary DIRECTORS Sarah King Courtney Lindbert Margaret Manetti Meredith Rudolfi Natalie Scruton Federle Whitney Siehl Melissa Tannehill Lauren Tuckey Murray Melanie VanOverloop Bethany Whittles Harris

STAFF Monique Austin Executive Director 321 S. Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604 312.341.8530 wbai@wbaillinois.org




2018 REFLECTIONS AND THE YEAR AHEAD Dear WBAI Members and Friends, Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that the halfway point of my term as WBAI President has now passed. As we enter into the New Year, the WBAI continues full steam ahead promoting new initiatives and opportunities for our members and planning exciting events for 2019. This past Fall the WBAI organized many events for our members. On October 9, 2018, I had the pleasure of representing the WBAI and attended the Bicentennial Gala in Springfield, Illinois to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of our judiciary system. On October 10, our Civil Litigation Committee hosted a CLE with guest speaker Judge Claire McWillams wherein our members had the opportunity to have a private dinner with her and hear her speak on Pretrial Techniques and Ethics. On October 15, the WBAI membership committee hosted a New Member’s Reception, which was a successful night of networking for our members. The WBAI Legally Mom’s committee hosted a luncheon on October 16 to discuss issues facing us as attorneys. On October 25, the WBAI planned our Annual Spa Event at Mojo Spa where attendees were able to pamper themselves and network with others at the event. On November 5, the In-House Counsel Committee organized a CLE catered to our In-House Counsel members. On November 12, the WBAI partnered with Polsinelli and Loyola for a private showing for our members of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg documentary followed by a Q & A with the film’s Director and Producer, Julie Cohen. On November 14, the WBAI held its 5 Annual Top Women Lawyers in Leadership event at the Hotel Allegro, wherein we honored four amazing women. The award recipients included: Debby Nahrstadt, BP; Felicia Frazier, Odelson Sterk; Nancy Paridy, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab; and Catherine Reiter, Hughes Socol Piers Resnick Dym, Ltd. The event was consistent with our theme “The Ability to Promote and the Opportunity to Advance” and the honorees outstanding accomplishments represented our theme. The event was a huge success thanks to our Co-Chairs: Becky Dandy; Sarah King; Melanie VanOverloop; and Gena




Whitson-Owen. On December 4, our Membership Committee hosted our Annual Holiday Market where attendees enjoyed festive holiday shopping and socializing while benefiting the local nonprofit organization After School Matters. On November 29, the WBAI Community Outreach Committee participated in the Annual WBAI Holiday Gift Bag benefiting The Women’s Treatment Center (TWTC), a substance abuse treatment center providing comprehensive childcare for mothers battling addiction. At the bag party, festive bags were made for the families of TWTC with 100% of donations contributing to the purchase of the gift bag items, including hats, gloves, scarves, toiletries, hosiery and other supplies. The event was a huge success. In addition to committee membership opportunities, charitable events, and networking initiatives, the WBAI is proud to continue to offer the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program to our membership in 2019. The MCLE program initiated by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism pairs new lawyers and experienced WBAI lawyers who act as mentors providing guidance to their mentees. Sponsored by over 80 organizations across Illinois, this mentoring program provides a flexible structure for practical learning within the context of the mentoring relationship. Whether you are a solo practitioner, an attorney at a firm, government agency, a corporate law department or a new attorney seeking your first practice opportunity you will benefit from the mentoring program experience. Please consider participating in this initiative. On January 16, 2019, the WBAI Annual Dinner Committee kick started their planning process for the 2019 Installation Dinner installing Corinne Heggie as our 103rd President. The Annual Dinner will be held on May 30, 2019, at the Hilton Chicago and is one of the best attended Bar Association events in the state. At the dinner, the incoming president, officers, and directors will be sworn in for the next bar year. The WBAI has worked hard in planning our “How To Get The Business” event which entails a panel of “Givers and Getters” to assist our members in learning how to market themselves to obtain


business. Due to the inclement weather in January, the event has been rescheduled for the Spring.

“Together with your participation and commitment, we will continue to be a strong organization affording our members the ability to promote and the opportunity to advance.” The WBAI will be hosting its Annual Judicial Reception on March 7, at the Chicago Cultural Center honoring Judge Russell Hartigan, Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier of the Illinois Supreme Court, Appellate Court Justice Joy Cunningham, and Judge Llana Rovner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Judicial Reception Committee co-chairs are Courtney Lindbert, Whitney Siehl, and Lauren Tuckey Murray. We hope you resolve in this new year to continue attending the many programs and events sponsored by the WBAI. Together with your participation and commitment, we will continue to be a strong organization affording our members the ability to promote and the opportunity to advance. Sincerely,

Karie Jane Valentino 2018-2019 President Women’s Bar Association of Illinois




The WBAI hosted a sold-out Civil Litigation Dinner with the Honorable Judge Clare McWilliams on October 10, 2018. The intimate event, hosted at Hotel Allegro, began with a cocktail hour, allowing civil litigators to network and meet one of the Law Division’s most respected trial judges outside the courtroom. Prior to dinner, Judge McWilliams put on a presentation allowing attendees to hear firsthand about judges’ top pet peeves during court appearances and trial. Judge McWilliams reminded attorneys to never interrupt a judge when they are speaking and direct their argument to the judge, not opposing counsel. She also suggested attorneys avoid using the phrase “with all due respect” because usually what follows is not actually respectful. Finally, she urged the attorneys to refrain from calling female judges “ma’am,” and stated “judge” or “your honor” is best. Judge McWilliams also discussed legal ethics in the modern era and the role the internet and social media play. She reviewed how far reaching our ethical obligations go, and how the designation of “officers of the court” is not only reserved for attorneys who practice in a courtroom. Finally, Judge McWilliams discussed best practices to make a pre-trial conference successful. She advised that providing a judge with examples of similar cases and their reported values can be incredibly beneficial. Thank you to Judge Clare McWilliams for participating in this event and for sharing stories and wisdom with WBAI members and supporters. The event was generously sponsored by Planet Depos and ADR Systems. The event was planned by the Civil Litigation Committee, and chaired by Marla Izbicky, of Lowis & Gellen LLP; Alison Field, of Smith Blake Hill LLC; and Kelly Sabo Gaden, of Malman Law. Marla Izbicky is an associate attorney at Lowis & Gellen LLP where she concentrates her practice on representing hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers in complex medical malpractice litigation.





A MODERN APPROACH FOR WORKING WOMEN By: Stacey McConnell When we launched The A.L.T. Group in May of 2017, we had no idea where the journey would take us. We believed in our mission to keep women active in the legal space, but had no idea whether the business would be well-received or even understood. Of course, we have faced roadblocks and false-starts, but we are thrilled with the legal community’s openness to change, commitment to innovation, and sincere interest in doing what is right for women—and luckily what constitutes doing right for women is also what drives success for all of us. The A.L.T. Group is proud to advocate for women in owning the careers that work for them. The time has passed for women to apologize for having robust, busy lives and for expecting work to mostly work for us. The future is flexible, and we’re thrilled to forward this mission. We like to call our work a win-win-win. It is a win for the law firm who gets top-notch overflow or subject matter assistance from an attorney with a stellar pedigree. It is a win for the client who is benefitting from the experience and dedication of such highly skilled attorneys. It is a win for the network lawyer who has just accessed sophisticated and interesting work on terms that fit her life. Stacey McConnell is the co-founder of The A.L.T. Group, a network of high-achieving attorneys who practice law in a flexible way. Ms. McConnell started her career at Kelley Drye & Warren in New York City, and was later a member of the Department of Justice Tobacco Team, prosecuting the tobacco industry in the civil enforcement action under RICO. She lives with her family on the North Shore of Chicago.


On October 4, 2018, the WBAI joined several other organizations in sponsoring the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) networking and recruitment event held at The Fairmont Chicago. FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution held the networking event as it seeks to expand the depth and diversity of its arbitrator roster. Attendees listened to FINRA representatives and learned how to become a FINRA arbitrator. Attendees also had the opportunity to network with other professionals from the greater Chicago area. FINRA arbitrators are dedicated individuals serving the investing public and the securities industry by resolving securities-related disputes. Their backgrounds range from freelancers to retirees to stay-at-home parents. They are neutral, well-qualified and essential to maintaining a fair, impartial and efficient system of dispute resolution. FINRA arbitrators listen to both sides of a securities-related dispute, weigh the facts and render a final and binding decision. Arbitrators are paid an honorarium for the cases on which they serve. FINRA arbitrators are independent contractors, not FINRA employees. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a FINRA arbitrator, please visit www.finra.org/arbitration-and-mediation/become-finra-arbitrator. Lauren L. Witkowski is a Trial Attorney wiht Zurich American Insurance Company specializing in the defense of Workers’ Compensation litigation in Illinois.





MUCH ADO ABOUT COMMUTING By: Kathryn Conway For the vast majority of us who commute into the office and/or court on a daily basis, we spend a lot of time and frustration getting place to place while attempting to look presentable. Men, it seems, have more socially acceptable professional attire for cold weather and rainy commutes than their female colleagues. I’ve always said, if someone could engineer galoshes for pumps, they would be a millionaire. Since those do not yet exist, here are some tips for chic and comfortable commuting: 1. Go with monochromatic outerwear. If your coat matches your gloves, scarf and hat, your commuting attire will automatically look more intentional and put-together. If you wear a lot of black, go with that. If earth tones are more you, go with browns and beiges. Olive greens, deep maroons, and navy are also a great choice. 2. Look for belted coats. I love coats with a belted waist, because they automatically look more tailored and fitted than a more shapeless silhouette. As a bonus, they’re usually quick and easy to put on and off, as opposed to numerous snaps or buttons. 3. Invest in a classic trench coat. A trench coat is timeless and the perfect antidote to a rainy day. Consider one in black or tan for maximum mix and match-ability. 4. Equip yourself with a long scarf. Scarfs help transition your commuting attire from fall to winter and when they’re long enough, they can provide cover for your head as well as your neck and chest. I love wrapping a scarf around my head as an alternative to a hat because it prevents hat hair and I can unwrap myself in seconds when entering my office building or the courthouse. And it’s one less piece to keep track of throughout the day. 5. Consider booties instead of gym shoes. Although there are plenty of sleek gym shoes being made these days, if you want something even more versatile and heavy-duty, consider a simple suede bootie. 6. Keep that umbrella bag. When you buy a new umbrella, look for one that comes in a bag. Keep that bag so that after use, you can slide the umbrella back into the bag and put it in your briefcase without dampening the other items you’re carrying.


7. Aim for textured rubber soles. When it gets cold and icy, leather soles are a nightmare. Whatever shoe you choose for your commute, look for one with a rubber sole, preferably with some texture. 8. Lined leather gloves are where it’s at. Leather gloves look so much more polished than large, knit mittens. They’re also more functional – from working with your iProducts to allowing you to easily grab your train ticket or ID pass. Best of all, leather gloves that are lined with wool are just as warm as those chunky mittens. Bonus: a nice pair of lined leather gloves makes a great gift for your colleagues and friends. What are your favorite tricks for commuting? Share with us on social media at www.facebook.com/wbaillinois. We welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions for future columns. Please email me at kconway@prslaw.com to make topic suggestions or to submit an article you have written on a professional fashion topic. Kathryn “Kate” Conway is a trial lawyers with the law firm of Power Rogers & Smith where she represents injured people and their families in cases involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, automobile and trucking collisions. She is also a fashion lover and member of the WBAI Board of Directors.




The Hooton Fund Committee, chaired by WBAI’s First Vice President Corinne C. Heggie, has endeavored to raise awareness about the Hooton Fund within the membership and the legal community. To do so, the Hooton Fund Committee conducted an inaugural social media campaign about Judge Hooton’s 33 year legal career, WBAI service, and contributions to the Chicago legal community. Information and photographs were shared on the WBAI’s weekly member emails, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. The campaign culminated with a cocktail reception hosted by Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC. At the event, Diana Joseph, Chief Investment Officer at Telemus Capital, WBAI member and Hooton Fund advisor, provided information about the fund, how it is managed, and its impact on the organization. Ms. Joseph observed that “the future of the WBAI is the future of the Mary Heftel Hooton Fund.” The WBAI extends its gratitude to WBAI members Diana Joseph, Judge Megan Goldish, Past President Dawn Gonzalez, Jodi Silberman, and Corinne Heggie for their Hooton Fund donations during the fall social media campaign Taking Ms. Josephs’ call to action, the Hooton Fund Committee decided to dedicate a webpage to Judge Hooton and the Hooton


Fund. Corinne Heggie and the WBAI’s marketing consultant, Greg Smith, worked closely to draft the content. On December 18, 2018, the Hooton Fund page went live, including a portal to accept on line donations. Giving, in even the smallest amount, is now possible 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a few key strokes! With Judge Hooton’s bequest, the WBAI bought and furnished its current home located in the Chicago Bar Association Building. Help us ensure the WBAI’s future by reading more about Judge Hooton, the Hooton Fund and to donate at http://wbaillinois.org/hooton. Corinne C. Heggie is an owner of Wochner Law Firm LLC focused on estate and business planning for individuals and businesses. Ms. Heggie also represents individuals in probate and businesses in civil litigation. Ms. Heggie is the First Vice President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and is the Chair of the Hooton Fund Committee. Ms. Heggie is active in her community and parish supporting women and children in crisis with her husband John, an attorney, and three sons.




The WBAI partnered with Bernstein Private Wealth Management to provide an exclusive members-only event focused on retirement for legal professionals on October 9, 2018. This event was one of a kind as it was presented for women by women. Bernstein Private Wealth Management focused the retirement planning presentation on teaching female legal professionals how to take ownership of their future by learning what it takes to secure a comfortable retirement at the conclusion of a legal career. According to its website: “Bernstein was founded 50 years ago to manage money for families and individuals. Our focus has never changed, although our client base has expanded to include institutions, and the services, tools, and resources we offer have evolved with our insights into markets and clients’ needs.



ON A WBAI COMMITTEE WBAI committees are a great way to get involved. As a member, you have an opportunity to:

We’re exclusively focused on investment research and management; we don’t engage in investment banking and proprietary trading, so we don’t face the conflicts of interest such businesses pose for other firms.

Engage with WBAI and really have an impact on industry issues

For many clients, we deliver a uniquely integrated approach to managing all or most of their liquid assets. For others, we deliver more targeted services. But in either case, our clients receive the benefit of our firm’s global scope, deep research resources and planning expertise that few other firms can match.”

Build skills and expand your knowledge to support your professional growth

If you are interested in learning more about the retirement planning process, you can visit Bernstein Private Wealth Management at www.bernstein.com. Lauren L. Witkowski is a Trial Attorney for Zurich North America Insurance Company focusing her practice on the defense of Workers’ Compensation claims. Lauren focuses her practice in formulating an appropriate strategy that takes into account the facts, the medical issues, the legal issues, and the particulars of the geographic locale and the arbitrators or judges involved.


Network with other members

Learn more at www.wbaillinois.org/committees




deadline for ratification has long passed, some lawmakers and activists believe that if the magic number 38 is reached, retroactive ratification can be enacted.

On October 18, 2018, the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership (“IWIL”) Training Academy honored the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois at its Trailblazer’s Award Reception for the WBAI’s work in support of Illinois’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (“ERA”). The IWIL Training Academy, founded by Loretta Durbin, trains women to run for elected office, seek public appointments, and govern effectively at all levels in Illinois. The WBAI and its members rallied behind this cause and showed strong support for the ERA. During the course of the campaign to secure Illinois’ ratification of the ERA, the WBAI conducted a post-card writing campaign to legislators, showing members’ support for ratification, utilized its social media to educate members about the status of the ERA and encouraged them to get involved by submitting witness slips in support of ratification, and hosted a phone bank, calling across the state, to encourage Illinois residents to contact their representatives, asking them to vote YES on ratification.

Activists and legislators in Virginia and Arizona are currently working towards securing that final, 38th vote. The movement hit a snag on January 22, 2019 when the bill to ratify the Amendment did not get enough votes to get out of a Virginia House subcommittee. The fight continues in Virginia, however, as supporters, many of whom campaigned on a promise to pass the ERA, work to gain support and secure the votes necessary for ratification. Furthermore, supporters of the ERA in Arizona are moving closer to securing its ratification, capitalizing on changes to the legislature from the 2018 election that elected more ERA supporters. Natalie Scruton Federle is Corporate Counsel at Outcome Health and specializes in employment law. Natalie is also on the WBAI Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of several committees and events.

The work of the WBAI and many other organizations and advocacy groups paid off: On May 30, 2018, the Illinois General Assembly voted in support of ratification, making Illinois the 37th state to ratify the ERA. Illinois’s vote was long overdue. In 1972, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved the ERA and set a seven-year deadline for three-quarters of the states – or 38 - to ratify. The deadline was later extended to 1982, but that deadline passed with only 35 states on board. Back then, Illinois’s vote against ratification ended the ERA’s chances; a stain on the state’s history that women’s groups have been fighting ever since. Although the







career? Visit the WBAI Career Central website for practice area information, attorney profiles, and a job search service.



Elizabeth D. Winiarski

Deane B. Brown has been elected to Shareholder at Hughes Socol Piers Resnick Dym, Ltd. She has earned a highly regarded reputation for her legal work in the areas of employment law, commercial litigation and professional responsibility.

Elizabeth D. Winiarski has joined Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP as an Associate in the Labor & Employment division in the Chicago office.

Tiffany D. Gehrke

Lauren L. Witkowski joined Zurich American Insurance Company as a Trial Attorney specializing in the defense of Workers’ Compensation litigation in Illinois.

Tiffany D. Gehrke was elevated to the position of Partner at Marshall Gerstein.


Lauren L. Witkowski




The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois was founded in 1914 with a mission to promote the interests and welfare of women lawyers and to aid in the enactment of legislation for the common good and in the administration of justice. As a WBAI member for over 50 years, Elsie Holzwarth has proven to be the embodiment of this mission, serving as an inspiration to future generations of WBAI members. Elsie was admitted to practice law in 1966. According to studies by the American Bar Association, in 1966 women comprised only 4.3% of all Juris Doctors awarded nationwide. To put that number into perspective, of the 59,236 Juris Doctors awarded in 1966, only 2,520 were awarded to women. Since that time, while climbing uphill, Elsie has proactively fought to ensure the protection and expansion of women’s rights. We are thankful and proud that many of Elsie’s efforts were connected to her WBAI membership. For 13 years, between 1972 and 1985, Elsie, along with Gabrielle Pieper and Past President Charlotte Adelman, ran a lunchtime pro-bono legal clinic for women. This clinic was created to give women, many who were homemakers, a place to acquire advice and referrals in order to better understand their legal rights. This clinic provided information about a number of issues including wills, probate, women’s rights, credit rights, divorce and custody. In 1986, Elsie, Gabrielle and Charlotte received an award at the YWCA’s Annual Dinner honoring their work to increase women’s access to legal services by sustaining this important clinic. In the 1970s, Elsie and other members focused on changing the child support collection laws for the benefit of women. Theses efforts culminated in WBAI members testifying before the legislature on the importance of women being able to more conveniently collect child support payments due and increase the consequences for lack of payments made. Following this testimony, child support collection amendments to the Dissolution of Marriage Act were signed into law on September 12, 1980. In 1985, for the 70th Anniversary of the WBAI, Elsie worked on the committee which created a calendar depicting all of the important events and accomplishments of women attorneys and the WBAI over the previous 70 years. In 1987, Elsie was a co-chair of the MCLE Committee which worked towards providing high quality educational programs to its membership at a low cost. This Committee also worked to encourage the inclusion of more women being able to serve on the Illinois MCLE Board. In the 1980s, Elsie served as the Editor of the WBAI News. Elsie’s heart and soul was poured into the WBAI News featuring all the important issues being tackled by the WBAI including child support collection and enforcement, reproductive rights, the inclusion of women in the judiciary and the ratification of the ERA. On June 11, 1991, under Elsie’s leadership, the WBAI News was awarded first place for a newsletter in


the relevance to women’s issues by Chicago Women in Publishing. To this day, over 30 years later, Elsie continues to invaluably contribute to the content and editing of the WBAI Newsletter. In 2014, at the WBAI’s Centennial Celebration, Elsie received the welldeserved Service Award from outgoing President, Michelle Kohut. An examination of the Elsie’s history is truly a reflection of the WBAI’s history as she has been a dedicated and active member for over half of the organization’s existence. This is just a mere sampling of the considerable efforts Elsie has made to advance the rights of women and increase the significance of the WBAI within the legal community. We offer our sincere gratitude to Elsie for the noteworthy role she has played in our organization. We thank you Elsie for fighting the good fight and helping to pave the way for the rest of us!



WBAI HOSTS RECEPTION HONORING TOP WOMEN LAWYERS IN LEADERSHIP OF 2018 By: Samantha Israel The WBAI hosted its annual Top Women Lawyers in Leadership reception on November 14, 2018 at Hotel Allegro. TWLIL recognizes and honors women who have achieved greatness in their legal careers by making major contributions through their service in leadership roles. This year’s inductees were leading women lawyers who have gone above and beyond their job title and standards of their field by creating new pathways for future women leaders. The Inductees of the Top Women Lawyers in Leadership 2018 included: Felicia Frazier, Managing Partner at Odelson Sterk, Ltd. Felicia was nominated by her boss who described Felicia as a person filled with laughter and kindness, but a fierce advocate for her clients. She has risen to the top of her firm, from secretary to managing partner, and exhibits all characteristics of a top female leader. For women in the legal community, she said she would like to see more women helping others, leaving no women behind. Debby Nahrstadt, Managing Counsel at BP. Debby was nominated by her husband, who she met during her first year of law school. He described Debby as intelligent, persistent, and caring. Debby described leadership as using your voice to do the right thing in a way that impacts and influences others; you do not have to be a leader to demonstrate leadership. Nancy Paridy, SVP, Chief Administrative Officer of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. Nancy was described by her nominator as essential to the opening of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. Nancy believes that leadership means being passionate and exhibiting the ability to influence others, which includes learning how to communicate. She described life as a learning experience, that failure is really an opportunity to grow, and women must embrace everything that life has to offer. Cathy Reiter, Partner at Hughes Socol Piers Resnick Dym, Ltd. Cathy was nominated by Jill Webb, a respected Chicago female attorney, who described Cathy has smart, classy, and inspirational. Cathy’s advice to become a leader was to help younger people along and to be generous with your time; if your work is interesting and you work hard, it will be a wonderful career. The 2018 Top Women Lawyers in Leadership reception was attended by many inspiring, accomplished, and supportive members of the WBAI including fellow attorneys, judges, clerks, and family members. WBAI is proud to recognize these top female leaders and looks forward to their accomplishments for many years to come. Samantha Israel is the Women Everywhere liaison for the Illinois Women’s Bar Association. She is an attorney practicing nursing home litigation at The Law Offices of Steven J. Malman.














As an attorney, it’s your job to give sound legal advice each day. You have studied the law, are passionate about delivering excellent client service, and work closely to help your clients in all legal matters. Trunk Club stylists similarly help their customers. They are experts in all things style and have studied trends, fabrics, brands, and fit. As a part of Nordstrom, they are dedicated to delivering the best customer service. And they are there for you when you need help – whether you are looking for a new suit for a job interview or are looking for a refresh when returning back to work after having a baby. We know that you feel your best when you look your best, and that is why our stylists are pros at finding outfits to give you that extra jolt of confidence. We have put together a list of ten essential pieces for a professional wardrobe to make getting dressed easier. By starting with the basics, you’ll be able to build versatile outfits that take you from work to weekend with ease.


Great under a blazer or styled solo with accessories, this universally chic piece checks every box, every time. Your Trunk Club stylist can help you look for silhouettes and details that make yours feel special.



If you are lucky, you will find one that fits beautifully right off the rack, but in our experience, that is not always the case. Tailoring is a small expense that makes a major difference, and all Trunk Club Clubhouses offer in-house tailors that make the process quick and easy.


Quality leather lasts for years, and structure ensures a bag never looks untidy. Opt for a tote that is large enough to stash daily essentials, but that will not weigh you down through the day.


The neutral pump complements any outfit, and is the ultimate secret weapon for elongating legs. Take the time to find a pair comfy enough to wear again and again.


There is no shoe more versatile – the endless selection of styles ranges from the ultra feminine to more masculine. Plus, sleek flats are the perfect commuter shoes.






As a Nordstrom company, Trunk Club carries quality brands at price points under $100 through high-end designer. So, let a Trunk Club stylist can help you navigate where to spend and where to splurge when investing in your top 10 wardrobe essentials. They’re always available through phone, email, or the Trunk Club app.

Treat it well, and it will last you a lifetime. The ultimate in wearable luxury, it layers on style, warmth, and elegance in a pretty, practical way.

Easy, breezy, and yes, beautiful. A silk blouse instantly elevates any outfit, whether you pair it with a skirt for work or jeans for fun.


Stripes are hands down the most neutral pattern. They are classic on their own, but also mix well with other prints.


Whether you dress them up or dress them down, dark-wash jeans will always look polished. Many offices have adopted casual Fridays or an all-around casual dress code. Denim at work should always be dark and free of any tears and distressing.

Not just for tough types, the leather jacket is an investment piece that only gets better with age. It is both classic and edgy, making it a go-to statement layer that works from desk to dinner.

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19 VedderPrice


WE NEED EACH OTHER TO DO THIS JOB: TWO OLD ADVERSARIES RECONSIDER By: Hon. Michael Panter (Ret.) With high financial stakes, demanding clients and looming deadlines, it’s easy to let words or actions slip under pressure. Nearly every day, we read stories about lawyers being uncivil and doing uncivil things--most of the time, in high-pressure situations.

in a zealous, aggressive manner — but you don’t cross that line to incivility. Because you know, at the end of the day, you’re just dealing with another lawyer who’s trying to dothe best they can to advocate for clients.

Don’t make the mistake that a terse courtroom comment or a little squabbling is part of zealous advocacy for your client. It might feel like a way of blowing off steam, but it’s making the end result harder to achieve.

Panter: How have you gotten to that point with some of your opponents?

I was thinking about lawyer incivility recently, when I sat down with Bradford S. Purcell, a partner at Purcell & Wardrope, Chtd. He’s been a trial defense lawyer for nearly 30 years, and we go way back as courtroom adversaries. Though we’re now friends, it took a whole process to get there before things clicked. That’s where we’ll start this story off. Panter: The first thing I want to say to you, face-to-face and on the record, is: I was completely uncivil in cases that you and I had as lawyers, and I just want to put that on the table. Purcell: Most likely you were responding to my incivility. Panter: Let’s think about this a second. Why did that happen? Purcell: I think a part of it was youth and what goes along with that. I think that another component of it is that both of us were cut from the same cloth in the sense that we are competitive people. We are aggressive advocates for our clients and, sometimes, youth and the advocacy that we want to project for our client can produce exactly the result that we saw in our depositions and court hearings. Panter: What do you think you and I could have done differently that would have broken that cycle? Purcell: One of the things that I find helps is getting to know the attorney beyond just the court hearings or the deposition. When you have a relationship with somebody, where they’re not just your opponent, you can still be the aggressive advocate. You can still be the lawyer who’s looking out for the interest of your client


Purcell: It can be something as simple as small talk before or after a deposition. … Find a common ground. We’re all in thistogether. The litigation community, I find, the older I get the smaller it gets. For some reason you see the same faces. You’re going to be confronted with the same people. If you get an opportunity to just have some idle chit-chat with them, I think that’s where it starts. Panter: Can you give me a story where you were able to do that? Purcell: The best story that I have is the one that I share with you, to be honest. … What’s interesting about our story is that the amount of time that lapsed from when we were opponents in litigation and when we were able to bridge that gap; of knowing you as somebody other than that opponent. And it came when I was in court and I was waiting for a very heated, contested motion with an opponent and out on the bench strolled you. I had no idea you had been appointed to the bench, and I just remember my jaw dropping. I felt a thin film of sweat form on my forehead, thinking “I now have this contested motion, in front of this judge who as a lawyer I battled with for years.” I have a good idea of how this motion is going to turn out, and when I approached the bench, you looked at me and I looked at you. We were thinking the same thing, but there was a respect that you knew I had for you, and hope that respect was mutual. I think from that point forward, we were able to then break that barrier and really get to know each other as people, beyond lawyers. Panter: I remember us being in chambers, and we just looked at each other and started laughing and thinking, “How stupid were we?” What a waste of time and energy just not accomplishing anything, not helping our clients, driving ourselves crazy. And that moment we were both laughing is one of the really cherished moments of my career.



Purcell: It was a great moment. I think in the final analysis, with some years under my belt in this highly competitive business that we’re in … it’s a very, very stressful way to earn a living being a litigator in this arena. Enormously stressful. I have asked myself along the way, why add stress by creating unnecessary friction, by creating not only an opponent, but someone with whom you are personally adverse? All that does is create stress. It prevents you from working with your opponent, and we all have to work together — I mean, we’re all confronted with similar stresses. Panter: Do you have any other thoughts or advice for lawyers to break the cycle? To get more cooperative? Purcell: It’s a mindset. You have to make an effort. It’s very easy just to do what you have to do and leave, and not try to get some rapport with your opponent. It’s not anything other than a decision on your part to say, “This is the approach I am going totake.” I think it’s as simple as that. I would like to see, and I think I have seen in the recent past, the lawyers getting along better. I think that’s where it is trending. I think it is a byproduct of how this business has become much more stressful. Over the trajectory of


the almost 30 years I’ve been doing it, I think this job is becoming more stressful by the year. That’s not just me. That’s in talking with other lawyers that are involved in this thing and on both sides. We need each other to do this job in a manner that doesn’t end up grinding us to nothing. Hon. Michael R. Panter (Ret.) is a highly regarded senior mediator and arbitrator with nearly 40 years of legal experience. While on the bench, Judge Panter won acclaim for his settlement abilities, frequently having been requested to settle cases form other judge’s calendars. He taught and still teaches settlement strategies to the Illinois judges at their bi-annual statewide meetings. Judge Panter is an experienced litigator, having tried numerous bench and jury trials and arbitrations before going on the bend,. He brings his experience and enthusiasm for tort and commercial litigation to every case be handles. He writes regular columns on mediation and is an often requested presenter. Judge Panter is known for his patience, persistence, and creative approaches to dispute resolution.and is an often requested presenter. Judge Panter is known for his patience, persistence and creative approaches to dispute resolution.


Congratulations To Our Very Own Felicia Frazier, Recipient Of Women’s Bar Association 2018 Top Women In Leadership Award! Representing: VILLAGES | CITIES | SCHOOLS | PARK DISTRICTS ALL YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS




The WBAI got into the holiday spirit by partnering with the After School Matters program for an evening of socializing, snacking, and holiday shopping on December 4, 2018. Members of the WBAI and many guests gathered at the After School Matters gift shop to do some holiday shopping amongst the many beautiful items that the ASM students created. ASM culinary students were also in attendance showcasing the delicious desserts that they had whipped up for attendees, as well as a DJ who played holiday music. Co-Chairs of the event were Samatha Israel, Danielle Pappas, Hattie Strange, Meredith Rudolfi.

The WBAI In-House Counsel Committee provided members with a complimentary CLE focused on ethical issues facing In-House attorneys. The event was generously sponsored by Schiff Hardin and hosted at its Chicago office on November 5, 2018. The event boasted panelists including Trisha Rich, Partner at Holland & Knight, Lauren Novak, Labor & Employment Partner at Schiff Hardin, Lisa Simmons, General Counsel at American Society for Clinical Pathology and Kathie Henn, Associate General Counsel at TCS Education System. This panel was moderated by Jason Foster, Professional Responsibility Counsel at Schiff Hardin. The panel focused its discussion on the ethical situations faced by inhouse counsel, including how they have navigated those situations and the role played by outside counsel, as well as best practices to avoid ethical pitfalls. Prior to and after the panel discussion, guests enjoyed networking with the panelists and attendees. Lauren L. Witkowski is a Trial Attorney for Zurich North America Insurance Company focusing her practice on the defense of Workers’ Compensation claims. Lauren focuses her practice in formulating an appropriate strategy that takes into account the facts, the medical issues, the legal issues, and the particulars of the geographic locale and the arbitrators or judges involved.


On October 25, 2018, members of the WBAI had the opportunity to mingle, relax, and get pampered at Mojo Spa in Wicker Park. This is the second time that the WBAI has had an event at the Mojo Spa, once again they provided us with a wonderful experience. Mojo Spa is known for their handmade natural beauty products, such as body scrubs, perfume oils, and cupcake bath bombs. Kate Conway, Genevieve Neimann, and Liz Winiarski put together an amazing event with activities such as getting a manicure, a make-up tutorial and having their fortunes read. The calming environment of the event allowed members to unwind from their busy work week and reconnect with old friends, as well as forge new connections. Members left the event feeling refreshed and looking stunning. Blaire Theuerkauf is a DePaul University College of Law 2018 Graduate, who was admitted to the Illinois Bar November 2018 WINTER 2019




On October 15, 2018, the WBAI welcomed new members with a lovely reception at The Marq. Kate Conway, Bethany Harris, and Margaret Manetti did a wonderful job putting on this event, making new members feel welcomed and providing information about all of the benefits the WBAI has to offer. They even encouraged seasoned and new members to sign up for break-out coffee sessions, so they could get a chance to get to better know each other. The event had food, drinks and great conversations, as women networked with new members and reconnected with current members. As a recently admitted member to the Illinois State Bar, I personally appreciated the opportunity to meet so many amazing women at this event. It got me excited to get more involved with the WBAI and to participate in all the programs and events provided by the organization.

WBAI PUTS NEW SPIN ON NETWORKING AT SPYNERGY WICKER PARK On August 23, 2018, WBAI members got their sweat-network on at the Second Annual Sweatworking event held at new spin studio Spynergy Wicker Park. WBAI members participated in a private ride filled with upbeat music and challenging, heart-pumping hills and sprints. In a class filled with experienced and novice cyclers, WBAI members encouraged each other to sweat it out and reach the top of that hill and pick up the pace. Everyone left class feeling stronger and rewarded. Spynergy Wicker Park is a woman-owned business that just opened its doors in Wicker Park at 1632b W. Division, Chicago, IL 60622. Spynergy graciously hosted this event as a free member benefit, and they would love to have you “meet them down the alley� again.

Olivia Schwartz is an associate at Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz where she represents plaintiffs in personal injury claims. She attended Chicago-Kent College of Law and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign.






Members of the association distinguish themselves when becoming sustaining members of the WBAI. Learn more and become a sustaining member today.


The WBAI is accepting articles for its upcoming Newsletter. We are seeking articles reporting on recent legal developments, professional development advice, WBAI events, or noteworthy membership achievements. Spring Edition Submission Deadline: April 19, 2019





THE OTHER SIDE IS NOT SO SCARY By: Danielle R. Luisi I began my career as a criminal prosecutor, so when I started a new job at a civil litigation firm I felt like a “fish out of water.” While excited for the new opportunity, to say I was intimidated would be an understatement. Overall, I had little experience with civil procedure and had no idea what it would be like to prepare a civil case for trial. Heck, I was not even sure what “billable hours” were, except that others assured me it would be a dreaded part of the job. Sound familiar? While the first few days of any new job can be daunting and leave you feeling underqualified, it is important to reframe your approach and focus on your strengths. I am now able to see that there are many skills I had acquired as a criminal prosecutor that translated into civil litigation. Here are three skills to rely on for a successful transition.


If there was one thing I could count on as a criminal prosecutor it was that every day would be full of surprises. Key witness does not show up for trial. Crucial evidence ruled inadmissible by the judge. The defense’s theory of the case revealed for the first time during opening statement. I was faced with each of these scenarios as a criminal prosecutor, often more than once. With each turn of events, I was forced to think on my feet and, if appropriate, change course. In doing so, I learned that successfully navigating these twists and turns was more about preparation and foresight. When preparing for a trial or motion, this meant taking time to anticipate each of my opponent’s potential responses and planning for them. When preparing to examine a witness on the stand, this meant drafting alternative examinations based on where the witness’s testimony could lead and anticipating when you may draw objections. Even more important was considering the judge’s perspective and planning my next steps should I get an adverse ruling. Another plus - I became skilled in keeping my composure, despite whatever obstacles came my way. While as a civil litigator it may be years before you first or second chair a jury trial, these extemporaneous trial abilities are an asset to your trial team. The same preparation relied on as a criminal prosecutor can likewise gain you the composure and wherewithal to quickly navigate the twists and turns of a deposition or oral argument in a civil case. For instance, getting admissions from fact


and expert witnesses at deposition may be all you need to prevail at the summary judgment stage. So do not undervalue this skill. Prepare for each deposition and each motion with the elements of your case and possible defenses in mind. Consider the various outcomes ahead of time and strategize your responses. As a wellrounded litigator, your preparation will allow you to think on your feet, ask better questions of witnesses, effectively argue before the court, and understand the impact of your actions on the outcome of the case.

“While the first few days of any new job can be daunting and leave you feeling underqualified, it is important to reframe your approach and focus on your strengths. ”


Criminal prosecutors play a pivotal role in the administration of justice. A criminal prosecutor’s use of discretion has a great impact on the lives and liberties of those affected. This large responsibility is not defined by how many convictions you get or how many cases you try, it is defined by your ethics. I always took this responsibility very seriously, whether it was seeking lesser charges, accepting a plea bargain, or not bringing the case forward at all. The decision to charge an individual with a crime may serve to protect the community, but there is also a flipside. Criminal cases can have harsh implications on the individuals and families involved. Some may face the loss of their job, housing, or custody of their children. Certainly civil cases do not carry the same consequences as criminal cases do, but just because someone is not facing jail time, does not mean that the stakes are not high. Civil attorneys are called upon


WBAI NEWSLETTER to use their discretion when working up their cases and dealing with opposing counsel. Civil clients are interested in their business and how the case may affect them financially. Civil litigators must decide what claims or defenses are worth pursuing, how to respond to discovery requests, when to file motions to compel, and the appropriate time to engage in settlement discussions. These strategic decisions involve a balance between zealous advocacy and the cost to the client. Regardless of what is at stake, your reputation and ethics should always be more important than “winning” the case. Your assigned cases will come and go, and new files will come across your desk, but what remains is your reputation among your peers, the judiciary, and your adversaries.


Representing the community as a criminal prosecutor meant learning about its people and their life experiences. One of the things that drew me to the profession was the ability to serve and help the community. To do so, I learned about the individuals involved in my cases. I learned about the different aspects of their life – I learned their story. As a result, I was often able to establish a rapport with them and in the end, I was better able to manage their expectations of the case. It was my job to explain to them their legal rights, the facts of the case (good and bad), the nuances of the law, and the potential outcomes. And let me tell you, this was not always easy. So often people who are called to come to court are scared, hurt, angry, or nervous. In these situations, the most effective communication tools include: asking questions, listening, being up-front and honest, and keeping them in the loop. Similarly, in civil litigation, regardless of what side of the “V” your client is on, they have a story to tell and it is important that you, as their lawyer, ask them questions, listen, and allow them to be heard.


Your first instincts may be to feel you are required to be an expert on your client; that you should know everything about them. But in reality, your clients do not expect this. They are looking for you to be inquisitive and to offer your guidance and recommendations on the case. When you are asking intelligent questions about your client’s background or the subject of the case, not only does your client feel important, but they also know that you are working on their file. They know that the case also matters to you. Learn as much about your clients as you can and aim to build a rapport over time. Find ways to not just help your clients when they have a problem, but find ways for them to avoid legal problems. For instance, use your insight into their business to provide them with relevant updates in the law. Be honest, up-front, and reliable with your reporting, and they will likely keep giving you their business. Like me, many women and men each year leave successful careers with the government to join law firms. I urge all of you not to sell yourself short. No matter the area of law you transition from or to, the years of hard work in your last position undoubtedly gave you some of the skills and experience necessary to succeed in your new role. Civil litigation can be challenging and it may take years to become a leader in your new practice area, not to mention developing your own business and clients. But if you concentrate on the similarities of the practice and your strengths, you should feel confident that your skills and experience will allow you to succeed. Danielle R. Luisi is an attorney with the law firm Matushek Nilles LLC, where her practice focuses on defending businesses and premises owners in complex product liability, premises liability, and toxic tort litigation. As a trial attorney, she has successfully defended insurers and companies serving as part of national and local trial counsel teams. She is a member of the WBAI Newsletter Committee.





Women are a powerful economic force, controlling nearly 40% - or $11.2 trillion - of all investable assets in the U.S. as primary decision makers.1 They also represent almost half of the entire U.S. professional workforce. However, women face unique financial challenges and the many roles they play—mother, daughter, sister, wife, business owner, employee—influence the many financial obligations they have for themselves and their families. With so many responsibilities to juggle, how do you set your course for a secure financial future? By exploring the things that really matter to you, you can identify your priorities, develop a strategy for achieving your goals, and keep your balance as life unfolds.


When you think about your wealth, it is more than just your money. True wealth is also about your life and the things you value most, as well as the relationships, interests, and goals that bring you joy. Incorporating these vital elements into your overall wealth plan helps ensure you achieve the future you envision.



As you begin to put a wealth management strategy in place, consider what you will need to plan for and how much you will need to achieve your goals: PAYING FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUR CHILD OR GRANDCHILD According to the College Board, the average cost for a year of tuition at a private four-year college was $34,740 for the 2017-2018 school year. While the long-term average inflation rate is about 3%, college costs are rising at 5-8% per year. Assuming a 5% inflation rate, in 2028, that same year of tuition will be $56,588.2 TAKING CARE OF YOUR PARENTS OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS AS THEY GET OLDER The Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that 53-68% of family caregivers are women. Being able to care for an ill, disabled or elderly family member can be rewarding work, but it can also have emotional and financial implications on your life. According to the Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, the national median cost for one year in a private room in a nursing facility is now $97,455. This figure represents a nearly 50% increase since 2004.3


WBAI NEWSLETTER TRANSITIONING YOUR BUSINESS According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned businesses account for 39% of privately-held firms.4 If you are one of these women, creating a business success plan could be a critical component of your overall wealth plan. ENJOYING A COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT Although women make up nearly half of the workforce, women are still saving less for retirement than their male counterpart. Consider whether your savings and income stream in retirement will be enough to support your lifestyle. The average lifespan is increasing, so you will need to anticipate supporting a retirement that could last 20-30 years, or even longer.

“By exploring the things that really matter to you, you can identify your priorities, develop a strategy for achieving your goals, and keep your balance as life unfolds.”


1 Center for Talent Innovation. Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth. Available at http://www. talentinnovation.org/assets/HarnessingThePowerOfThePurse_ExecSummCTI-CONFIDENTIAL.pdf. Accessed June 28, 2018. 2 College Board. Average Published Undergraduate Charges by Sector and by Carnegie Classification, 2017-18. Available at https://trends.collegeboard. org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-published-undergraduate-chargessector-2017-18. 3 Genworth. Compare Long Term Care Costs Across the United States. Available at https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care. html. 4 National Association of Women Business Owners. Women Business Owner Statistics. Available at https://www.nawbo.org/resources/women-businessowner-statistics.


Article by Morgan Stanley and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor. Felicia Di Silvestro is a Financial Advisor in Chicago, IL at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). She can be reached by email at felicia.g.disilvestro@morganstanley.com or by telephone at 312-648-3441. Her website is fa.morganstanley.com/chicagocornerstonegroup

CREATING AN ESTATE PLAN Proper estate planning can have a long-lasting impact on your loved ones. In addition to putting you in control of how your wealth is passed on, estate planning can help minimize the tax burden for your heirs and prevent unnecessary family turmoil.

This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information and data in the article has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. It does not provide individually tailored investment advice and has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this article may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.


Insurance products are offered in conjunction with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC’s licensed insurance agency affiliates.

Life is always changing, whether by choice or circumstance. The financial strategies and decisions you make need to be flexible enough to accommodate the unexpected. If this sounds overwhelming, you do not have to do it on your own. An experienced Financial Advisor can be a reliable source of objective information and ideas as you begin to assess how to best manage your wealth. Felicia Di Silvestro is a Financial Advisor and Sr. Investment Management Consultant, NMLS #1274456, with Morgan Stanley – Branch 628. She has been a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley since 1998. She graduated from Miami University with a B.S. in finance and received a law degree from DePaul University College of Law. She is a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois; University of Chicago Women’s Board and was a founding member of the state of Illinois Treasurer’s Advisory Board for Women’s Issues.


Since long-term care insurance is medically underwritten, you should not cancel your current policy until your new policy is in force. A change to your current policy may incur charges, fees and costs. A new policy may require a medical exam. Actual premiums may vary from any initial quotation. Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise provided in writing by Morgan Stanley and/or as described at www.morganstanley.com/disclosures/dol. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account. Felicia Di Silvestro may only transact business, follow-up with individualized responses, or render personalized investment advice for compensation, in states where she is registered or excluded or exempted from registration. http:// fa.morganstanley.com/chicagocornerstonegroup © 2018 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 2165665 07/2018




Over 150 people turned out for a screening of “RBG,” a documentary focusing on the life and career of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law on November 12, 2018. The event also featured a discussion with the co-director and producer of film, Julie Cohen. The film chronicles Justice Ginsburg’s extraordinary journey through law school as one of only nine women admitted to Harvard Law School in 1956, eventually becoming the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

Despite graduating at the top of her class from Columbia Law School, Justice Ginsburg struggled to find gainful employment

upon graduation because no private firms wanted to hire women. Never to be deterred, Justice Ginsburg began her career in

academia, later becoming the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she successfully argued five of six cases before the United States

Supreme Court. In those cases, she advocated for both men and

women facing sex-based discrimination. These arguments took place in the 1960s and 1970s when gender discrimination was not a recognized phenomenon.

Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The film then takes

an in-depth look at the Supreme Court’s changing composition during Justice Ginsburg’s service and her evolving role as a liberal

voice among an increasingly conservative high Court. The film

also highlights Justice Ginsburg’s status as a pop culture icon, including a tour of her “dissent collar” closet.

Director Julie Cohen took questions from the audience and

discussed her reasons for creating the film and provided insight into Ginsburg herself, having spent numerous hours

interviewing and filming her. The film is exceptional and provides the viewer with a unique education of the fight for

gender equality in the United States through the lens of one of the most compelling subjects.

Thank you to Polsinelli for organizing and sponsoring the event and to Loyola University Chicago School of Law for hosting the event. Kathryn “Kate” Conway is a trial lawyers with the law firm of Power Rogers & Smith where she represents injured people and their families in cases involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, premises

liability, product liability, automobile and trucking collisions. She is also a fashion lover and member of the WBAI Board of Directors.





Justice Joy V. Cunningham

Judge Russell E. Hartigan (Ret)

Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier

Please join the WBAI in congratulating this years Mary Heftel Hooton award honorees for their efforts in advancing the causes of women lawyers. They were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions during the 2019 Judicial Reception, an evening of networking with state and federal judges where we honor members of our judiciary. Learn more at www.wbaillinois.org/judicialreception

Thursday, March 7, 2019 5:00 p.m - 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Cultural Center // 78 E. Washington Street

Judge Ilana D. Rovner

321 S. Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604

Profile for Women's Bar Association of Illinois

WBAI Newsletter - Winter 2019  

WBAI Newsletter - Winter 2019