Jeffrey Sharp, the firm’s Managing Partner, has served as a mentor in the Chicago Committee's Mentorship Academy. “Just as promoting equal opportunity is important to our community, sustaining a welcoming and inclusive culture is important to our firm because it allows us to draw from a broader talent pool in order to serve our clients better,” said Mr. Sharp. The Academy is a year-long program designed to bring minority attorneys at all levels together with leaders in law firms to build substantive individual and group mentoring relationships.
Partner Julianne Hartzell served as past president of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. She is currently the co-chair of the Coalition’s Community Outreach committee. The Coalition is a non-profit association whose mission is to share effective methods to enhance the retention and promotion of women lawyers and to promote a dialogue and support network among women, furthering their career advancement and professional development.
Kwanwoo Lee, an Associate in the electrical and computer technologies practice, serves on the Board of Directors for the Asian American Bar Association (AABA) of Chicago. The AABA encourages and promotes professional growth of its members, serves the Asian American Pacific communities, and fosters the exchange of ideas and information among its members and the public.
Partner Jeremy Protas served on the Board of Directors for the National LGBT Bar Association from 2010-2017, and served as the Association’s President in 2015. Mr. Protas founded and implemented a successful “Small Group Outings” program to maintain a cohesive environment as the Firm grows. The program pairs partners and associates from varying practice groups, to get better acquainted with their colleagues. This increased comradeship has benefited project staffing, because matters increasingly involve cross technical disciplines and demand the experience of multiple practice groups.
Partner Jennifer Burnette is a member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium, supporting women and their successes in science and engineering. The mission of the Women's Board includes advocacy in science education and research programs for women and minorities.
Partner Jeremy Kriegel volunteers as a “coach” at the Chicago LegalTrek Contract Negotiation Workshop held every summer at Northwestern University Law School. Mr. Kriegel coaches teams of college students through a mock negotiation of a sale of high-tech goods, followed by a question-and-answer session. Chicago LegalTrek, affiliated with the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, is a program designed to diversify the legal profession by encouraging college students from historically underrepresented groups to pursue careers in the legal profession.
At the Microsoft Women and Minority Law Student IP Summit, Partner Paul Stephens, was a panelist in a roundtable discussion on diversity. The program focused on career development, recruiting and retention for minorities and women in law firms and corporate legal departments.
A number of firm attorneys are committed to the Chicago Chapter of the Women In Bio organization (WIB) and its mission. Partner Sharon Sintich, Ph.D. serves as chair of Young Women In Bio. Partner Heather Kissling serves as co-chair of Communications and as a member on the advisory Board. Partner Katherine Neville, Ph.D. also is a member of the advisory Board. Partner Lynn Janulis, Ph.D. has chaired or co-chaired Membership and Communication committees. Through their work in WIB, they aim to increase awareness and foster career development for women in Illinois interested in biotechnology innovation and commercialization.