40 Under Forty 2023

P assion. Ability. Knowledge. Results. Those are what Collette Woghiren’s fellow attorneys say set this civil litigation pro apart from her colleagues. Woghiren’s clients are equally as effusive in their praise. They point to her ability to meet the goals of her clients while minimizing the business risk that these clients face. And while Woghiren has built a thriving career, she’s also managed to serve her community. She dedicates a significant amount of time to mentoring diverse law students and attorneys as well as writing and speaking about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Her peers cite her extensive pro bono work, work that has had a significant posi- tive impact on the lives of clients who might otherwise have no access to legal representation. In 2023, Woghiren earned the Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award presented by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. That’s impressive. But even more impressive is the fact that this year’s award marked the fifth time that Woghiren earned this honor. For her first award, Woghiren represented an individual who claimed that his former employer violated the American with Disabilities Act when it terminated him after he requested a medical accommodation related to hypertension. Woghiren argued the case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She has also been honored for the pro bono work she did while rep- resenting a detainee of Cook County Jail who argued that he received inadequate medical care for a hip injury, a detainee who received inade- quate treatment for thyroid disease and a detainee in a wrongful arrest lawsuit. “I’ve continued to have the pleasure to watch Collette flourish,” said Katherine Fritzi Getz, an attorney with Chicago’s Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg, LLP. “She has demonstrated to me time and again that she will handle the thorniest of challenges – professional and personal – with integrity and grace. I have no doubt she will continue to make her beneficial mark on the legal and business community of Chicago.” Woghiren’s legal victories include her work as part of a legal team that achieved victory after a month long trial related to a client’s entitle- ment to property tax exemptions. “I first met Collette when she was a junior litigation associate at Neal Gerber Eisenberg. At that time she impressed me as a highly engaged and intelligent young attorney with a big upside,” said Jenny Kim, cor- porate counsel with the Chicago office of Accenture. “In following her growth and development as she rose to the rank of partner in the firm’s litigation group, I am happy to say that she exceeded my early appraisal.”


AGE 3 8

FIRM Neal Gerber & Eisenberg

LAW SCHOOL University of Chicago Law Schoo l

AREA OF PRACTICE Complex civil litigation


A highly engaged and intelligent young attorney with a big upside.”



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