Women in Law 2022

ELIZABETH MCMEEN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Chicago Bar Association E izabeth McMeen is the first woman to serve as the Chicago Bar Association’s Executive Director and was promoted to the position in September 2020. As the Executive Director, she manages the day-to-day administration of a staff of 25 while ensuring the development and implementation of the CBA’s strategic priorities. She serves on the Board of Managers which decides all policy issues for the CBA. After earning her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in the fall of 1990, Beth was hired as a law clerk to Cook County Circuit Judge Donald P. O’Connell, then the presiding judge of the Law Division. She spent 9 years there, moving up to Assistant Director then Executive Officer of the Circuit Court during her tenure. Along the way, her desire to serve the legal community drew her to the CBA. Beth became co-chair of the YLS Moot Court Committee in the Spring of 1991 and helped lead the committee for two years. In 1993, she became the Director of the YLS where she assisted committees with planning meetings, finding speakers, and working on special events. She moved up the ranks of the YLS in the following years and was appointed YLS Chair in 1997. As YLS Chair she hosted gatherings of young lawyers’ sections from midwestern bar associations – part of the ABA YLD affiliate outreach program, published Young Lawyers Professional Responsibility Guide and the paper Becoming an Adult: Your Rights and Responsibilities, and helped lead the Career Fair for children of the Cabrini-Green Housing Project. Beth officially joined the CBA staff in 1999 as its CLE director. She held that position for 10 years, enhancing and expanding the bar group’s educational offerings. As CLE Director, she created nearly 100 unique and engaging programs each year, turning the CBA’s CLE programming into one of its top member benefits and a key revenue generator. Under her direction, the CBA started recording all the programs so they could be viewed by members to earn their credits. In 2010, Beth was promoted to Assistant Executive Director, working closely with long-time CBA Executive Director Terry Murphy. Working closely with staff, the board, and members positioned Elizabeth to succeed Terry Murphy as Executive Director when he retired in 2020. Under her leadership, the CBA has continued to thrive even during the most trying times of the pandemic, guiding the CBA’s efforts to address and meet members’ needs virtually. As the CBA nears its 150th anniversary in 2024, Beth looks forward to shepherding the continued success of the CBA and its members as we work together to maximize our impact as lawyers in the profession, the justice system, and the public we serve. Beth lives in La Grange, IL with her husband, Kevin. Her son, Jack, is a senior at Marquette University and her daughter, Eleanor, is a sophomore at Tulane University.




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