Paula H. Holderman sworn-in as 137th ISBA President
Paula H. Holderman, chief attorney development officer at Winston & Strawn, LLP, in Chicago, was sworn-in as the 137th president of the Illinois State Bar Association on June 21 at the Annual Meeting in Lake Geneva, Wis.
During her term as president, Holderman will place special emphasis on four major projects, with an overall focus on enhancing member services and new member recruitment. She has formed a New Lawyer Task Force, to be chaired by two young lawyers, Marron Mahoney and Brian Monico, who, with a committee, will develop recommendations for the ISBA to help young lawyers succeed in the profession.
Holderman will also concentrate on member services and marketing the tangible benefits of ISBA membership. Currently, the ISBA offers 15 hours of free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits each year to members, as well as Fastcase (online research) and E-Clips (case digests and legal news) as essential tools of the practice. ISBA membership also provides access to affordable malpractice insurance through the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company. “We will show the legal community that ISBA membership is not only relevant but the one membership that an Illinois lawyer needs,” she stated.
Holderman will continue to focus attention on women and diversity in the profession. With her guidance, the ISBA launched the Illinois Law and Leadership Institute, a summer legal immersion program for high school students with an intensive curriculum that includes educational exercises and fun activities centered on the legal profession. The programs take place in Chicago and Carbondale and introduce students to careers in the legal field. Also, the ISBA will co-sponsor an event, “30 Female Blackstones”, to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the first national meeting of women lawyers at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
In her position at Winston, Holderman has global responsibility for the firm’s professional development and all facets of education and training for its 900-plus lawyers. She is a nationally recognized authority in the field of professional development with 34 years of experience as a lawyer, legal educator and bar leader.
Prior to joining the firm, she was director of hiring, recruiting and continuing legal education for the Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s Office. She also previously served as associate director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution and Director of Clinical Education at The John Marshall Law School. From 1979-1989, she was an assistant state’s attorney for the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office in Urbana.
First elected to the ISBA Board of Governors in 2006, Holderman has served as chair of the ISBA’s Budget and Audit Committee, the Bench and Bar Section Council, and Women and the Law Standing Committee. She was elected to several terms on the ISBA Assembly. She is a long-serving board member of the Illinois Bar Foundation and past president of the Illinois Lawyers’ Political Action Committee (LAWPAC).
Holderman is currently a Board Member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s governing body on Minimum Continuing Legal Education. She also served on the Court’s Commission on Character and Fitness as well as the Court’s Rules Committee on Professional Responsibility. She is a past president of the Champaign County Bar Association. Holderman is the James C. Wood Distinguished Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Illinois College of Law and a member of the Board of Trustees of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
A native of Lake Forest, Holderman received a B.A. in French from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1976 and a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 1979. She and her family reside in La Grange.