Diversity Leadership Council Newsletter
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2017, vol. 10, no. 1

Julie Johnson – Selected for CBA, Alliance for Women, Alta May Hulett Award

Julie A. JohnsonThe ISBA Women & the Law Committee celebrates extraordinary women in the practice of law. We nominate committee members and non-committee members for various awards given by the ISBA and other organizations. We were honored and excited to have our nominee, Julie A. Johnson, our committee’s Chair, recognized by the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women, Alta May Hulett Award. Julie is a true bar leader and we have come to greatly admire Julie as an individual and colleague who exemplifies the best of our profession.

Julie A. Johnson with Women & the Law Committee members.Julie reflects the highest standards of professional ethics and excellence. Julie is a Member of the Illinois Bar in good standing since 2007. She was named as a Rising Star in the Illinois Super Lawyers from 2008-2013 and again in 2016. And she was named as an Emerging Lawyer in Leading Lawyers in 2016.

Julie’s visions of advancing and empowering women began before Julie entered law school, when she worked as a Domestic Violence Medical Advocate/Counselor/Outreach Coordinator for Working Against Violent Environments (WAVE). Julie’s work with the domestic violence program exposed her to the challenges that battered women face when using the legal system to seek protection and escape their abuser. As a result of her work with WAVE, Julie decided to go to law school in order to better serve that community through the legal profession.

Julie’s leadership and vision developed significantly when she attended Northern Illinois University College of Law and served as President of the NIU College of Law Women’s Law Caucus for the 2005-06 term. During her term as President, Julie directed and produced The Vagina Monologues as a fundraiser for a local domestic violence program and coordinated networking opportunities to connect women law students with female attorneys in private practice. Julie also served as a Law Student Liaison on the American Bar Association’s Commission Domestic Violence. Her first job in the legal profession was as a 711 licensed student at the NIU College of law, Zeke Giorgi Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, protecting battered women. Julie represented battered women in orders of protection and other family court matters.

In the ISBA Women and the Law Committee and Diversity Leadership Council, Julie has worked very hard to promote communication, collegiality, and support for positive change among women. Specifically, Julie coordinated a 2014 ISBA survey at large, studying the status of women in the legal profession. In May 2015, using the results of the survey, Julie served as the Program Coordinator for ISBA Law Ed Series CLE, “Because You’re Worth It! Achieving Advancement & Fair Compensation in the Legal Profession.”

Julie is always open to share her knowledge and passion with others and is a vocal and passionate contributor to the committees on which she serves. She was the co-drafter of a pending proposal to restructure and improve organization-wide ISBA diversity initiatives. Her enthusiasm for the initiative revealed her commitment and dedication to positive changes within the ISBA.

Julie is a new mother and she is a content contributor to the new Chicago Bar Association Blog, “Balancing Act, A Guide for Working Parents.” As the 2016-17 Chair of the Women and the Law Committee, Julie committed her focus to understanding the state of paid new parent leave in Illinois law firms and working to improve it.

Congratulations, Julie! We are so proud!

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This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of the ISBA's The Catalyst newsletter.