Press Releases

Recognizing the Progress of Illinois’ Women Lawyers

Chris Ruys Communications
Chris Ruys
For Immediate Release: 
February 19, 2014

Three Female Illinois Supreme Court Justices to

Participate in Panel Discussion at NIU on March 21

A panel of six female Illinois justices, including the three who serve on the Illinois Supreme Court, a chief judge and the woman president of the state’s largest bar association, will headline “Myra Bradwell: The Practice of Law in the Wake of Her Legacy,” a panel discussion at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, on Friday, March 21, from 1-5 p.m.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the program panelists will discuss the progress women lawyers have made since Myra Bradwell was denied admission to the Illinois bar because of her gender in 1893. Panelists will include Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman; Supreme Court Justices Anne M. Burke and Mary Jane W. Theis; First District Appellate Court Justices Joy V. Cunningham and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall; Second District Appellate Court Justice Susan F. Hutchinson; and Diane P. Wood, chief judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Jennifer K. Gust, a partner in Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, Chicago, will also participate.

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman will moderate the discussion, focusing on personal career obstacles and the future for women in the profession. A copy of Myra Bradwell: In Light of Experience, a book by state historian John Lupton, will be given to each attendee.

“Today, one out of three lawyers is a woman, and female enrollment in U.S. law schools is almost 50 percent,” said Holderman, the fourth woman president of the 32,000-member ISBA. “But the impressive increases are tempered by the continuing challenges facing women lawyers. Women still aren’t paid at the same level as men, nor do they have the same opportunity to become equity partners at law firms, judges, or corporate counsels.”

The program is presented by the ISBA’s standing committees on Women and the Law and Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law, and NIU College of Law. For further information or to register, visit

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