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Corinne Heggie and Mary Smith raise the Bar at this year’s Spring Summit

On March 3, 2020, Corinne Cantwell Heggie, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ President, and Mary Smith, the American Bar Association’s Secretary, chaired a Spring Summit for Advancing Women in the Law. Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer graciously hosted the Summit at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago.

ABA President Judy Perry Martinez attended the Summit in which attendees first explored the research that was based on a first-of-its-kind report from the ABA and ALM Intelligence addressing why senior women are far more likely to leave the practice of law than their male counterparts. The following two panels provided perspective from law firm managing partners and from corporate general counsels. Each faculty discussed how firms and companies can be agents of change and support senior women in their organizations. The Summit concluded with a “view from the bench” moderated by Judge Virginia Kendall. The faculty included Chief Judge Pallmeyer, Chief Judge Diane P. Wood, Chief Judge Sara Darrow and Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengel.

It was a fitting and historical end to an informative Summit to have all women chief judges, especially since each woman is the first female chief in the district in which she serves.

Corinne and the Women’s Bar Association were proud to partner with Mary Smith and the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession to begin Women’s History Month 2020 with the Spring Summit.


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