“Inspiring Women”-The Women Everywhere: Partners in Service Project marks six years of service to women and children in need

On two days in May, the Women Everywhere: Partners in Service Project, a collaborative effort of nine area bar associations, will celebrate its sixth anniversary of joining several hundred volunteers-including judges, attorneys and friends of the legal community-together to provide services to women and children in need throughout Illinois. The theme for this year's program is "Inspiring Women," and the co-chairs for this year's Women Everywhere events are Ellen M. Girard of Quarles & Brady and Jeanne M. Reynolds of Reynolds & Reynolds. Due to the success of the Women Everywhere program in past years, the program has been expanded to two days. On Thursday, May 12, 2005, Women Everywhere will present its educational program for high school girls in the Chicago area, which consists of two components: tours of area courthouses and government facilities, and an educational seminar. Two weeks later, on Thursday, May 26, 2005, Women Everywhere will conduct its day of community service and outreach to local agencies that assist women and children in need.

What follows is an outline of the activities for these two days:

May 12, 2005 - Educational Program:

Over 200 female high school students will participate in this year's educational program. Some students will start their day with City of Chicago Treasurer Judith C. Rice, who will be the program's kick-off speaker for students participating in tours of federal and state courts and offices. Kimberly J. Anderson of Anderson & Boback has been instrumental in coordinating student visits to various courtrooms in the Richard J. Daley Center, and Andrea Aycinena of Peck Bloom Austriaco & Mitchell has taken the lead in coordinating tours of Cook County Criminal Court Building. In addition, students will participate in tours of the Chicago federal courthouse and offices.

Other students will participate in the Women Everywhere educational seminar, which is co-chaired by Yolaine Dauphin, law clerk to Justice Charles E. Freeman, and Michele M. Jochner, law clerk to Chief Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow. This group of students will begin their day by hearing opening remarks from Judge Ann Claire Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Then, Dolores K. Hanna of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd and Dean Patricia Mell of The John Marshall Law School will discuss with the students overcoming obstacles against women in society and the workplace. Next, the students will hear from Mary Lee Leahy of Leahy Law Offices and Tracey Ladner, Deputy Corporation Counsel of the Employment Litigation Division of the City of Chicago Law Department, who will review sexual discrimination and harassment cases. The students will then prepare oral arguments for a mock appeal of a discrimination case. Illinois Appellate Court Justices Anne Burke, Shelvin Louise Hall, and Jill McNulty will hear the arguments and engage in questions and answers with the students.

The students participating in the court tours and the educational seminar will then come together for lunch at the James R. Thompson Center, where they will hear from Dorothy Brown, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk. After lunch, the students will also meet with Lilia Chacon, Fox 32 Chicago News Reporter, and Kerri Stefanson, a forensic investigator with the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, who will discuss their career paths and the jobs they perform.

May 26, 2005 - Service Day:

On this date, several hundred volunteers will participate in a day of work projects for community agencies which provide services to women and children in need. Last year, nearly 30 community agencies in several Illinois counties received direct volunteer services through the Women Everywhere service day. Projects undertaken by volunteers included painting, gardening, or other facility maintenance work, as well as providing legal education to the organizations and those they serve.

For more information on any aspect of the Women Everywhere project, and to volunteer to make a difference, contact Courtney Stevens of Jenner & Block at (312) 840-8621.

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May 2005Volume 15Number 3PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)