40 Under Forty 2022

Illinois Attorneys to Watch


Jennifer Huelskamp is a Partner in the Employment and Litigation Practice Groups with a practice focused on employment litigation and counseling. She has significant experience representing clients in state and federal courts and in proceedings before government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Jennifer also routinely practices in the general commercial litigation space. We congratulate Jennifer Huelskamp, recognized as one of the Forty Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch

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Success at any age is impressive. But to achieve it at an early age is even more of a feat. This, though is exactly what the 40 young attorneys fea- tured in this publication have done. For the last 23 years, the 40 Under Forty Committee at Law Bulletin Publishing Company sift through over piles of nomination forms to select 40 of the most talented young attorneys working in Illinois. This publication is the result of this work. Despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, the competition to be featured in these pages has remained intense. We received more 1000 nominations for attorneys throughout Illinois. Choosing who to include was just as challenging the previous editions. What does it take to earn recognition as one of the best young lawyers in the state? Intelligence, passion, success in the office, a desire to help community and, most importantly, a willingness to work hard at one of the country’s most important professions. Putting together this issue is no easy task. We solicited nominations from across the state. We then worked with our nominated attorneys in fine tuning their profiles. The results, we hope for both an entertaining and educational read.

OUR TEAM Peter Mierzwa President & Publisher pmierzwa@lawbulletinmedia.com Adam Hrejsa Director, 40 Under Forty ahrejsa@lawbulletinmedia.com Julie Leuck Senior Visual Communication Designer jleuck@lawbulletinmedia.com Susan Englund Production Designer senglund@lawbulletinmedia.com Amanda Monto Marketing & Events amonto@lawbulletinmedia.com OTHER LEGAL PUBLICATIONS Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Chicago Lawyer Magazine Women In Law Lawyers Handbook Jury Verdict Reporter

OTHER LEGAL EVENTS JVR Trial Excellence Awards Law Bulletin Seminars

Adam Hrejsa Director, 40 Under Forty

Copyright © 2022 by Law Bulletin Media. This is a product of the Legal Advertising Department. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system. Reproduction available from the publisher.


LEVIN & PERCONTI CONGRATULATES MEGAN O'CONNOR for being named to the 2022 40 Under Forty list

You Join a Prestigious List of Levin & Perconti Honorees

Jaime Koziol Delaney 2016

Margaret Battersby Black 2011

Andrew J. Thut 2017

Cari Silverman 2014

Michael Bonamarte 2010

Daniel Goldfaden 2019

Michael Shanahan 2020

Daisy Ayllon 2021

Kelly Sabo Gaden 2021

(312) 332 - 2872 www.LevinPerconti.com Questions@LevinPerconti.com

Honorees Table of Contents

Erica Bernstein Berger Schatz


48 Payal Keshvani 49 Elaine Knowles

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

22 Lisa Bradley

JPMorgan Chase

Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, LLP

23 Monica Burkoth Johnson & Bell 26 Kathleen Carlson Sidley Austin LLP 27 Kalia Coleman

52 Brienne Letourneau Willkie Farr & Gallagher 53 Jeremy Liabo Ropes & Gray LLP 54 Courtney Lindbert

Riley Safter Holmes & Cancila LLP

Cunningham Meyer & Vedrine

30 Alexis Crawford Douglas K&L Gates 31 Mary Eileen Cuniff Wells

55 Alexander Loftus

Loftus & Eisenberg, Ltd.

58 James Looby Morgan Lewis

Miller Shakman Levine & Feldman LLP

34 Alexis Dominguez

Neal Gerber & Eisenberg

35 Juli Dreifuss

Much Shelist, P.C.

38 Matthew Elster Beermann LLP 39 Megan Gieseler 42 Kelly Greco Polsinelli 43 Jennifer Huelskamp Freeborn & Peters LLP 46 Delilah P. Jenkins 47 Katherine Johnson Steptoe & Johnson

Dussias Wittenberg Koenigsberger LLP

Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres

59 Krista Luzio

66 David Neiman

Hall Prangle & Schoonveld LLC

Romanucci & Blandin

60 Caroline Manley

67 Megan O’Connor Levin & Perconti 68 Kristine Reveille 69 Jordan Rice MoloLamken 70 Vincent Rizzo 71 Christina Roupas Cooley LLP 72 Roya Samarghandi Carmel Law LLC 73 Scott Schonfeld Laner Muchin, Ltd. 74 Matthew Sims Hinshaw & Culbertson 75 Elizabeth Thompson 76 Jonathan Treshanksy 77 Shaun Van Horn Jenner & Block 78 Charlie Wysong 79 Adam J. Zayed Zayed Law Offices Swanson Martin & Bell

Center for Disability & Elder Law

61 Mallory Moreno Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. 64 Joseph T. Murphy Clifford Law Offices 65 Terence Naughton

Krzak Rundio Law Group, LLC

Rapoport Weisber & Sims PC

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Taxman Pollock Murray Bekkerman, LLC

Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym


one of the 2022 Forty Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch


First Person: A One-Time 40 Under Forty and My Path to the Corner Office

By Seth Darmstadter

I ’m the Chicago Office Managing Partner at Michelman & Robinson, LLP. We’re a litigation, transactional and regulatory firm of nearly 100 extraordinary lawyers across seven growing offices. Unquestion- ably, my roads to M&R (I’m on my second tour of duty, following an 18-month stint rebuilding, restructuring, and rehabilitating Outcome Health, a healthcare technology startup, as its crisis-time GC) have been fortuitous, including the game-changing honor of being named a 40 Under Forty by Chicago Lawyer and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in 2014—recognition that pro- pelled my career into overdrive. Back in law school, I joined Meckler Bulger Tilson LLP (now Cozen O’Connor) as a summer associate. That stint led to me becoming an associate and then, in 2013, a partner of the firm. A year after making partner, I was des- ignated a 40 Under Forty. Instantly, my phone “blew up.” Recruiters came calling, one of which introduced me to K&L Gates LLP. I had no intention of leaving Meckler, but the opportunity to jump to BigLaw in- trigued me, as did the several pitches of- fered up by K&L Gates lawyers. I took the plunge in January 2015 and began work at the mega-firm. While there, I practiced with a solid group of professionals, and the people and platform supported the expansion of my client roster, which grew

professional journey. To be sure, these concepts inform the way I approach legal practice and manage M&R Chicago. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP Be introspective, understand your profes- sional values, and be unapologetically de- termined to practice with and for others who share them. Focus on the engagement of your teams, and the shared commit- ment to serving as a tool in your clients’ successes. That mindset (rather than a fo- cus on “revenue first”) drives results and, with them, client satisfaction. My time at M&R has taught me that engaged teams lead to satisfied clients, and that revenue naturally follows. LEARN FROM THOSE WHO INSPIRE No matter where we are in our careers, there are always those around us who can serve as extraordinary models and men- tors. Embrace the opportunity to learn from them. I’m inspired most by changemakers. These include a local judge who never misses the chance to take promising prac- titioners under her wing and mentor them, treating law as a true apprenticeship by developing the next generation of practi- tioners. I’m regularly buoyed by my part- ner Sanford Michelman, an unparalleled strategist, always willing to bet on himself,

to include several of the premiere found- ers and companies in Chicago’s growing tech scene. Fast forward 18 months and things were rolling at K&L Gates. Even so, I said yes to a lunch meeting that forever changed my life. Over a Caesar salad, I learned that M&R planned to enter the Chicago legal market. I knew of the flourishing L.A.-based firm, and I accepted an invitation to fly west to meet with its stakeholders. After speaking with Sanford Michelman (M&R’s Co-founder and Chairman) and Dana Kravetz (the Firm Managing Partner), I agreed to become a co-founding partner of M&R Chicago. My reasons for doing so were then—as they are now—rooted in possibility and the visions of M&R’s leadership team (of which I’m now among the ranks). In them, I found wildly successful lawyers, great humans, friends, and entrepreneurs with whom I shared core values regarding ethics, client service excellence, and the business and practice of law. Those shared values are foundational to my professional fulfillment. Today, ev- erything we do internally at M&R focuses on a culture designed to build the most engaged workforce, and externally, we’re about putting our clients in a better posi- tion than where we found them. I’ve been asked to share my most im- portant takeaways from my ongoing



KINDNESS, RESPECT, AND MENTORSHIP My 40 under Forty nominations included cherished letters written by two of my heroes—both legends of Chicago’s legal community—The Honorable James F. Henry, Ret., and Richard A. Devine. These two legal lions taught me about friendship, mentorship, and made me a better human. They taught me to disagree without being disagreeable, to relentlessly learn, and to pay forward the gifts I received from those who came before me, by passing their lessons to those coming up in the ranks. Hopefully, this piece does just that. I hope it resonates. Seth Darmstadter is a trusted legal advi- sor and sought-after commercial litigator for top-shelf clients nationwide. He is also a crisis management specialist, having guid- ed companies, large and small, through tu- multuous and business-threatening events. Seth can be contacted at 312-638-5671 or sdarmstadter@mrllp.com.

We get to choose our partners, team members, clients, cases, and causes. I love practicing, teaching, and mentoring in the law—perhaps as much as I do because of the autonomy allowed by consistent busi- ness development. WORK SMART AND GROW Practicing law is hard, fiercely competitive, and all too often, a grind. But grinding isn’t growing. A legal career is not about billing the most time. It’s about relationships, skill-building, decision making, and em- bracing mistakes. It’s also about counseling clients, being counseled by mentors (and often by junior lawyers working on our teams), pitching, selling, and problem-solv- ing. Growing M&R nationally, and especially building M&R Chicago, we constantly seek to add lateral partners and associates who want to grow within a structure that en- courages individuality, diversity of thought, and these shared values.

and who repeatedly has bet on me. He has taught me, by example, the true execution of client service excellence. I draw further inspiration from visionary founders— some I’m lucky enough to call clients and friends—who’ve developed industry dis- ruptive ideas and surrounded themselves with professionals like me to help scale them. And I’m also moved by people who use their platforms to fight for social jus- tice—those who’ve dedicate themselves to doing well by doing good—and by resil- ient, yet kind, men and women in the legal profession who are inclusive and win the right way. RAINMAKING = FREEDOM I don’t know about “balance,” but business developers can successfully achieve work/ life integration. We have the freedom to incorporate our family life, our non-work- hobbies, our loved ones, our non-law firm priorities, and lots of joy into our everyday.

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Judge bars DOJ from conditions on funding Case involves local cooperation with immigration agents

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Pay earned despite void school pact Quantum meruit Because the contracts that school officials signed with Re- store Construction and Restore Restoration after fire damaged Proviso East High School in 2014 were void ab initio — based on the school board’s failure to com- ply with the Illinois School Code’s voting and bidding requirements — a Cook County judge ruled that the contractors were not entitled to the alternative remedy of quan- tum meruit. But the Illinois Appellate Court reversed, because precedent on contracts implied by law support- ed the plaintiffs’ claim for more than $1.4 million. The defendant relied on prece- dent “from the early 1900s,” but “more recent case law than that cited by the Proviso board es- tablishes that a municipal entity may be sued under the equitable theory of a contract implied in law even when the proper proce- dures for incurring contractual debt were not followed,” the 1st District explained. “The parties have not cited, and we have not found, any case that holds that recovery under quan- tum meruit is barred where the intended contract with a munic- ipal unit has been determined to be void ab initio. We decline to make such a holding for the first time here.” Restore Construction Co. v. Board of Education of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 , 2019 IL App (1st) 181580 (June 28, 2019). Here are highlights of Justice Maureen E. Connors’ opinion (with light editing and omissions not noted): Although the terms “contract implied in law” and “contract

A federal judge on Thursday permanently enjoined the U.S. Justice Department from with- holding public safety money from the city of Evanston and about 350 other municipalities if they refuse to help enforce immigration law. In a written opinion, U.S. Dis- trict Judge Harry D. Leinenweber held the Trump administration violated federal law and the U.S. Constitution by placing condi- tions on the receipt of funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Jus- tice Assistance Grant. The conditions are aimed at so-called sanctuary cities, juris- dictions that limit their coop- eration with the federal govern- ment’s enforcement of civil im- migration law. Sanctuary cities refuse to turn over for deportation undocu- mented immigrants not suspect- ed of serious crimes. The conditions enjoined by Leinenweber would require po- lice to give Immigration and Cus- toms Enforcement agents ad- vance notice before a noncitizen is released from custody and to allow those agents unrestricted access to police stations and lock- ups. Other conditions would require

High court gets lawyer doubleheader One case on pensions credits in divorce, the other on a stray cow Paul A. Osborn (left) and Timothy B. Zollinger (right), each attorneys with Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson P.C. in Sterling, argued back-to-back cases before the Illinois Supreme Court on Sept. 19. The 16-person firm has operated in northwest Illinois since 1862. Video screenshots from illinoiscourts.gov

ADRIANNA PITRELLI apitrelli@lawbulletinmedia.com

her share of the $9,626 used to purchase the credit. The 3rd District Appellate Court, in a split decision issued Feb. 20, reversed Hauptman’s r uling. Writing for the 3rd District ma- jority, Justice William E. Holdridge wrote that “to the extent that a pension benefit is a marital asset, any enhancement in value ob- tained during the marriage is also a marital asset subject to appor- tionment on an equitable basis.” That Ochoa became eligible for the enhanced annuity during the marriage was a key factor, the majority held.

factored into marital property during a divorce. Ochoa was on active military duty from 1974 to 1980 and start- ed work for the Illinois State Po- lice in 1989. He got married in 2000. His wife, Louise Zamudio, filed for divorce in 2014. Ochoa purchased 48 months of military service credit in 2004 and 2008 to enhance his State Re- tirement Systems pension. He and Zamudio disagreed on how much of Ochoa’s pension was marital. In April 2016, then 14th Judicial Circuit Judge John L. Hauptman determined the service credit was nonmarital property, but required Ochoa to reimburse Zamudio for

SPRINGFIELD — It had been decades since attorneys from Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson P.C. in Sterling argued a case before the Illinois Supreme Court. But last week, the firm went back-to-back in Springfield. Timothy B. Zollinger and Paul A. Osborn each argued separate cas- es in front of the top court Sept. 19. Osborn handled the appeal for client Frank Ochoa Jr. in In re Marriage of Louise Zamudio , a case originally from Whiteside County that questions how pur- chased service credits on a state employee’s pension should be

LAWYERS • Page 6


On further review, lawyer appeals NFL no-call ruling


wouldn’t take it farther. Now he’s asked the court to reverse itself. His motion, filed Sept. 16, contends that the ruling isn’t based in state or federal law but in English common law from three-quarters of a cen- tury ago. He said in an email Thursday that he changed his mind after the Catholic Church cited the NFL de- cision in a request to dismiss a suit against church officials over al- leged sexual abuse by a defrocked deacon. “The ink was barely dry on that NFL dismissal when the [c]hurch’s attorneys grabbed that ruling and asked the Louisiana Supreme

Court to dismiss the molestation case of John Doe,” he said in the email. “It troubles our group enough to ask the Louisiana Supreme Court to ask that it recon- sider its NOLA ‘No Call’ ruling granting the NFL such tort immu- nity.” Le Mon’s lawsuit alleged fraud and sought damages over game of- ficials’ failure to flag a blatant penal- ty: a Rams player’s helmet-to-hel- met hit on a Saints receiver while a pass was on the way. The lack of a penalty call for pass interference or roughness helped the Rams beat the Saints and advance to the Super Bowl.

A state district judge and a three- judge appeals panel had said the suit belonged in state court but the Supreme Court overruled them and threw out the lawsuit, finding that buying a ticket bought fans on- ly “the right of entry and a seat at the game.” Judges and juries shouldn’t be “second-guessing the decision tak- en by a professional sports league purportedly enforcing its own rules,” the opinion says. The Catholic Church cited that state- ment in a motion to end a lawsuit filed last year by a man who says

NEW ORLEANS — After the dis- missal of the “Nola No-call” lawsuit against the NFL was cited by attor- neys for the Roman Catholic Church in a sex abuse case, a New Orleans Saints fan said he has changed his mind and is not drop- ping his lawsuit after all. Antonio Le Mon, an attorney as well as a Saints fan, sued the NFL over game officials’ failure to call an obvious penalty at a crucial point in a January playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled against him and he said he

NFL • Page 8



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Advice from Past ’40 under Forty’ Recipients— The 10 Year Refresh T en years ago, several attorneys recognized as “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” from the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives In Law provided advice to their younger selves. With another decade of legal practice behind them and having survived the end of a recession, a pandemic, unprecedented hiring, the Great Resig- nation and the overturn of Roe v. Wade, we asked this group for their updated advice. Here is what they had to offer:

If I knew then what I know now.

ANGELA ELBERT Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP Ten years ago, imagining a worldwide crisis that isolated everyone would have been inconceivable. Because we are pro- fessional service providers, the most cru- cial advice we can heed is to continuously connect, reconnect, and re-establish. At- tend virtual conferences or meet online to cultivate neglected relationships. Propose writing or speaking with clients or pros- pects to re-engage with them profoundly. Volunteer in your community and profes- sion to foster your own leadership roles. Try to make up for lost time by investing in yourself and your career as we reemerge from this pandemic.

LESLEE COHEN Partner, All Rise Legal Counsel 10 years into running my own firm, I’ve learned that business development through networking is a must from Day 1 of lawyering and is actually enjoyable! What this really means is keeping in touch with your contacts and continuously mak- ing new ones. Golf and charity dinners are not necessary for a thriving practice—you just need to form close relationships with referral partners. Having your own clients gives you the freedom to chart your own career course, whether succeeding at a larger firm or taking the incredibly fulfill- ing leap as I did.

NICOLE AUERBACK Partner, ElevateNext Law My advice is:

1. Be kind to others (and yourself). So much of what we do can be done effectively without being uncivil to others. 2. Take risks. You are more likely to re- gret inaction than action. Innovation only occurs if people take risks. 3. It’s a journey, not a sprint. Start or- ganizations like the Coalition. The re- wards are immeasurable.

9. There is no such thing as a dumb question. Working remotely makes it harder to ask those quick questions, but make the effort to reach out and find the best way to com- municate with others, so those questions can be answered. 8. Hot Potato is for the playground. Throwing a project into someone else’s lap that does not reflect your best work will not earn you any points.

7. Raise your hand. Don’t forget that participating in organi- zations, getting leadership experience and helping with firm service is still part of your job and is critical for your development. 6. Can you hear me now? Obtain all the resources to work seamless- ly—this means reliable WIFI and phone service, a high powered printer/scanner and an overnight dropbox.

While there was mention of remote work- ing in the comments above, these women also provided us with a separate Top Ten list of basic reminders for attorneys prac- ticing in our “new normal” or hybrid and remote work: 10. Out of sight, Out of Mind. If you would normally attend a meeting in person, you should have your screen on to demonstrate your attention and focus on the topic at hand.



MARGO WOLF O’DONNELL Partner, Benesch We all know that building and maintaining a book of business is the key to success in a law firm. My own experiences have taught me again and again that I need to take full advantage of my own opportunities-- formal and informal networks, staying up to date on developments in my practice area, continually seeking new credentials. These efforts set the stage for success. Providing value to my clients in my work also is critical. At the same time, as law firm attorneys, we must choose every day to take risks, by looking for opportunities and picking up the phone or sending the email to a potential client. Risk-taking op- erates on a larger scale at particular junc- tures in a career. Mid-career can be the ideal time to tackle a challenging role on a case or in a firm leadership role. But these kinds of experiences are only available to lawyers willing to leave the safety of the status quo.

MARCIA OWENS Partner, Honigman LLP

KATHY MALAMIS Vice President, Division Associate General Counsel, Life, Accident & Health, Zurich North America Embrace change. Stepping outside your comfort zone provides career growth. Take smart risks – those with the greatest impact do not play it safe. Networking is critical at all stages of your career and your network is one of your most valuable assets. Networking is a two-way street, so deliberately and thoughtfully connect and make introduc- tions for others. My best networking ex- periences have been through leadership positions in professional and non-profit organizations. Finally, there are a lot of good lawyers out there. Differentiate yourself by tak- ing the time to understand your client’s business and by making smart risk/reward decisions.

Add value. The practice of law is not a game of Jeopardy—it is not how quick you hit the buzzer, but whether you an- swer the question in a way that provides the client with something more than they already knew. The value of a lawyer is in thoughtful consideration, analysis, re- search, preparation and experience. Too often, lawyers try to sell their services by being “fast” or “more up to date” than their (typically older) counterparts. Us- ing these phrases to define yourself may score some quick wins, but it may also cost you the respect of seasoned clients and colleagues who recognize that there is no fast forward button on thought- ful legal counsel. Be humble, listen, ask questions and take a rookie spot on the team—those more senior attorneys may be a little slower, but they have many more laps under their belt.

5. Dress for success. Take note of your audience, a court ap- pearance or meeting to dress profession- ally and appropriately for the occasion. 4. Stay Current. Stay on top of current changes in the law, so you can counsel clients and address topics that are on their mind. 3. Out of Office. Communicate your plans for vacation or time away, so that others can adjust expectations.

2. Your mother does not work here. Take responsibility for your legal career. No one else has the same interest in your success as you do. 1. That was easy (or was it). Hitting send is easy, but think before you send a message. Think about how to send the message, what method to use to con- vey your message and even when to send your message.

*The Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law is comprised of law firm and in- house counsel members with chapters in Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. This organization offers programming fo- cused on networking and leadership for the advancement of female attorneys. www.thewomenscoalition.com






E rica Bernstein, an attorney at Chi- cago’s preeminent family law firm, Berger Schatz, provides an unmatched level of service to her clients. Fellow at- torneys and judges describe Bernstein as diligently prepared, notably articulate, and a prowess in the courtroom. Her colleagues note that she has an un- wavering ability to remain concise, com- mitted, and level-headed during emotion- al conversations - characteristics that can be attributed to much of her success. “Erica has an uncanny ability to diffuse heated conversations between lawyers by reminding everyone that it’s OK to be passionate, but the legal battles are not about the lawyers. It’s about the litigants,” Shawn Bersson, senior partner with Chicago’s Katz & Stefani, LLC said. “She is extremely diligent and has a keen eye for finding hidden gems in discovery.” This diligence and understanding are key factors that have led her to success in the most complex of cases. She works tirelessly to discover even the smallest of details that can transform cases. For ex- ample, in one hotly contested case she uncovered several unauthorized transfers in her client’s account. This evidence was crucial in helping support her client’s case and land a just result. “These results are not rare for Bern- stein. She is so well-organized and pas- sionate about earning the best results for her clients,” Berrson said.

Those who work with Bernstein are not surprised by these results. A sitting Judge, who she frequently appears in front of, noted that she approaches even the most complex cases with a level of thoughtful- ness beyond her years. The Judge pointed to a child-support case that involved many years of income analysis, she presented her discoveries in a clear and concise manner. “Through the use of demonstrative exhibits and testi- mony, she skillfully and directly brought information to the forefront that may have otherwise been lost in thousands of pages of documents,” the Judge said. “It is apparent she cares about her clients who are experiencing a difficult time.” In addition to building a thriving fami- ly law practice at a young age, Bernstein has served as the Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Family Law Committee for the past four terms, organizing CLE’s and other pro- grams that educate and give back to the law community. With Bernstein serving as co-chair, in the summer of 2022, the Fam- ily Law Committee received the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Commit- tee Service. She also served as a legislative liaison for the Chicago Bar Association, representing and voting on behalf of the Young Lawyers Section Family Law Com- mittee for proposed changes to all prac- tices of law.

She is extremely diligent and has a keen eye for finding hidden gems in discovery”

AGE 34

FIRM Berger Schatz

LAW SCHOOL Chicago-Kent College of Law




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E arning the trust of her colleagues and clients has never been a challenge for commercial litigation specialist Lisa Bradley. Even during the earliest days of her legal career, Bradley's peers trusted her to handle court hearings, depositions and settlement conferences. During these early days, Bradley efficiently juggled more than 50 cases at any given time. And as Bradley gained more experi- ence, she took on more complex cases, representing major lenders and govern- ment-sponsored entities in high-stakes litigation. Why have so many entrusted Bradley to handle these complicated cases during a relatively still young career? It’s her skill, legal knowledge and commitment to her clients. No one outworks Bradley, and few can equal her ability to uncover the key issues in a case and use that knowledge to best serve her clients. Today, Bradley focuses her practice on general and commercial aviation litigation and transactional matters. She is currently representing clients in one of the world's largest aviation litigation cases. Most re- cently, she earned a favorable decision for a client in a Title VII matter in the Eastern District of Michigan. Adam Codilis, president and attorney at law with Codilis & Associates in Burr Ridge, Illinois, said that Bradley boasts all the skills needed to become a star in Chi- cago's legal world. "In her tenure at my firm, I was consis- tently impressed with Lisa's work prod- uct, her firm grasp and efficient research on the legal issues in any given case, her

poise in the courtroom and the ease with which she balances professionalism and familiarity in communications with cli- ents and other counsel, all while juggling a heavy caseload," Codilis said. Bradley hasn't let any obstacles inter- fere with her dedication to the law. In 2018, she relocated to New York after her husband found a new job. She practiced contract litigation and appellate work all while studying to pass the New York bar. Just one month after being sworn into this state's bar association, she success- fully argued her first appellate argument in front of the Appellate Division in the Second Judicial Department of New York. Codilis said that as he's continued to follow Bradley's career, her talents have only continued to impress. "She was and continues to be dedicat- ed to her clients as well as her ethical re- sponsibilities," Codilis said. "Lisa's profes- sionalism and candor to clients, opposing counsel and the court is second to none." Despite her busy career, Bradley has found time to serve her profession. She is a member of several bar associations, including the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, New York State Bar and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. Bradley also gives back to her com- munity. She is a supporter of the Mercy House for Boys and Girls, the Catch-A- Dream Foundation and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which she raised money for while running the New York City Mar- athon. Bradley also sponsors children in Kenya through World Vision.

Lisa’s profession- alism and candor to clients, opposing counsel, and the Court is second to none”

AGE 33

FIRM JPMorgan Chase & Co. LAW SCHOOL University of Illinois Chicago School of Law

AREA OF PRACTICE Commercial litigation





M onica Burkoth, despite her young age, has already established a strong track record of earning winning results while defending municipalities, law enforcement officers and security personnel in civil rights, class action and prison litigation cases. How strong of a record? Burkoth has brought more than 45 jury trials to ver- dict, including serving on the trial team that secured a defense verdict in a wrong- ful death case against the City of that stemmed from an officer-involved shoot- ing. In that case, the decedent’s estate sought damages of up to $25 million. And that is only one example. Burkoth has already notched several victories in high-profile cases and is known through- out the city as one of the fiercest advo- cates for her clients. No one outworks Burkoth, and no one has a better under- standing and knowledge of the law. “Monica is a tremendous trial attorney, who has a unique ability to understand the law to meet the needs of her clients and win cases,” said Theresa Carney, with Rock Fusco Connelly LLC. “She has successfully defended cases in both state and federal court and has an excellent record in ob- taining favorable jury verdicts, dismissals and summary judgment rulings.” Results like these are why Burkoth’s clients keep coming back to her, and why her peers recognize this young attorney as one of the top municipal law specialists in the city.

“I have had an opportunity to watch Monica try multiple cases, most recently in federal court. Her demeanor is engag- ing and extremely likable,” said Allyson West, attorney with Chicago’s Hale & Monico. “When you watch her, you can tell that the jury not only respects her but believes her. She is a passionate advocate for her client.” Burkoth is not only a great trial attor- ney but a skilled and persuasive writer as well. She has successfully obtained sum- mary judgment on behalf of her clients in a variety of different cases throughout her career. Burkoth has also helped earn favorable and early resolution of a num- ber of cases, including a class action law- suit filed against the County by detainees at the Cook County Jail. “Monica is a zealous advocate on behalf of her clients,” said Greta Powell, attorney with Smith Blake Hill. “She is passionate about her practice area. Monica is a nat- ural in the courtroom. She knows the law and can connect with the jury in a mean- ingful way. This combination is powerful and makes her a strong advocate on be- half of her clients.” In addition to being a dynamic attor- ney, Burkoth redefines the definition of work-life balance. A mother to two boys under the age of two years old, Burkoth manages to make it look easy. She hopes to show her children that they too can live their lives with both passion and purpose.

Monica is a tremendous trial attorney”

AGE 35

FIRM Johnson and Bell

LAW SCHOOL University of Illinois Chicago School of Law AREA OF PRACTICE Municipal liability, class action










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A sk Kathleen Carlson’s peers and they will tell you: There are few lawyers they would rather be in the trenches with than this commercial litigation pro. Consider Alexis Dunton, Executive Di- rector and Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She worked with Carlson at Sidley Austin for nearly six years. The pair spent many long days, and several all-nighters, on high-stress litiga- tion cases. Dunton credits Carlson with showing her what first-rate client service and legal advice looks like. Dunton points to one fast-paced and high-stakes merger litigation in which she and Carlson had to file two reply briefs in less than 24 hours. “I recall not only Kathleen’s consistently calm demeanor, but also how well she managed every- one on the team through that experience and made sure that we were set up for success,” Dunton said. The result of this hard work? Carlson’s team defeated the motion set for hearing that day and ulti- mately succeeded in obtaining a complete dismissal of the case. “Her legal work is not only exceptional, she is for all lawyers a model of integri- ty, professionalism and devotion to her clients,” said William Conlon, chairman of the City of Chicago Board of Ethics, me- diator with the Chicago Bar Association Mediation Service, and a retired Sidley partner who previously served as Sidley’s General Counsel and as a member of the Executive Committee. With such a successful record, it is not surprising that clients turn to Carlson to

handle the biggest legal issues. For exam- ple, Carlson defended a Fortune 50 com- pany in an employment-related dispute brought by the company’s former chief financial officer, which settled on terms favorable to Carlson’s client. She also represented Elaine Wynn in high-profile litigation against Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts. As her peers say, Carlson is not only a consummate professional, she also rou- tinely produces outstanding results. David Graham, retired Sidley partner, worked with Carlson on a high-profile se- curities fraud case for a corporate client that had previously spent years defend- ing an earlier securities fraud matter. The client dreaded the thought of becoming embroiled again in expensive, time-con- suming litigation. Carlson served as the lead for this case, and thanks to her work, the case was dis- missed in its entirety early in the litigation. Carlson then convinced the plaintiffs to forego appealing the dismissal. “Kathleen was never daunted or in- timidated by the complexity of a matter, much less by our adversaries,” Graham said. “Instead, she would simply go ahead and master all the facts and law, and then display that mastery in everything she did. Even when she was quite junior, she displayed a quiet confidence and that got communicated to our clients and to our opponents. Woe to the opponent who thought they were about to take advan- tage of a more junior attorney!”

She is for all lawyers a model of integrity,

professionalism and devotion to her clients”

AGE 39

FIRM Sidley Austin LLP

LAW SCHOOL University of Illinois College of Law AREA OF PRACTICE Class actions and commercial litigation and disputes




KALIA COLEMAN D uring her legal career, Kalia Coleman has litigated more than 100 bench trials and several jury trials. This caseload, though, has not prevented Coleman from donating countless hours to her profes- sion -- most notably with the Black Wom- en Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chica- go, Inc. (the “BWLA”) -- and serving as a role model to African American women seeking a career in law. It’s why her peers so often refer to Coleman as a leader in her profession. “Kalia is in a league of her own, truly a remarkable attorney,” said Amber Ben- nett, an attorney with Chicago’s Mayer Brown. “She is compassionate, dedicated and extremely hard-working. She goes above and beyond.” This has been evident since Coleman started her legal career at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. There, not only did Coleman litigate hundreds of bench trials, but she also argued three jury trials. This success led to Coleman’s next move, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Coleman litigated four jury trials, argued three ap- peals, and was promoted to Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Division. Coleman has investigated and tried cases related to various areas of the law, including narcotics, money laundering, racketeering, bank robbery, white collar fraud, aggravat- ed identity theft, and weapons cases. Katie Durick, associate general counsel with Facebook, said that Coleman has that rare ability to handle any legal challenge that comes her way.

“I’ve seen her sometimes in the same day move from hard questioning of a co- operator, dealing with a federal judge and defense attorney on a tricky issue involv- ing ethics, to forcefully advocating for a result during an adversarial court hearing,” Durick said. “You cannot come in with one speed or one skill set to those very differ- ent situations. The common thread was that in each of those situations she acted with integrity, skill and grace.” After enhancing her already strong rep- utation while at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Coleman moved to the private sector, joining the firm of Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP as a partner. Coleman serves on its Recruiting and Associate Develop- ment Committee, where she works to make sure the firm attracts and retains diverse attorneys. When she served as president of the BWLA, Coleman developed programming designed to increase the number of black women in the legal field. She spearhead- ed the “Together We Can” event, which brought together the BWLA, the Business Leadership Council, the Cook County Bar Association and the Black Men Lawyers’ Association to discuss ways that these groups could bring about social and eco- nomic change in their communities. “Kalia is a force for the BWLA,” said a Judge, “Kalia was finishing her board term when the pandemic hit. Her ability to keep the board focused on serving our mem- bers who were hit hard by the pandemic was critical. At a time when we all desper- ately needed to be affirmed and encour- aged, Kalia came through.”

Kalia is in a league of her own, truly a remarkable attorney” “

AGE 36

FIRM Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

LAW SCHOOL Loyola University Chicago School of Law AREA OF PRACTICE Government enforcement, white collar criminal defense, investigations, commercial disputes & litigation, appellate practice



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A lexis Crawford Douglas has mastered the juggling act: She is a skilled law- yer who has built a strong intellectual property practice, maintaining a book of business that would be the envy of law- yers with far more years in the business. She passionately serves her clients, devot- ing long hours to crafting solutions that meet their needs. And she finds time to mentor younger lawyers and contribute to both her profession and community. And Douglas has done this while serv- ing as a trademark counsel to brands in a wide range of industries, including those focused on pharmaceutical and medical industries. This can be a complex area of the law, but Douglas has already shown a mastery of it. Douglas also routinely assists her cli- ents with removing infringing content from third-party websites and social me- dia and has earned numerous successful transfers of domain names from cyber squatters. As Margaux Nair, IP counsel with Mars Wrigley, says, Douglas has already set herself apart in the competitive world of IP law. “Alexis exercises excellent judgment and is very responsive to client needs,” Nair said. “She is one of the few attorneys I regularly recommend to others when needing to handle sensitive or complex in- tellectual property matters as she can be relied upon to provide clear, accurate and timely advice.” One highlight of Douglas’ career? Help- ing a mother and her child stay in the United States and avoid a dire fate in her

home country. As part of her pro bono asylum practice through volunteering with National Immigrant Justice Center, Douglas has been instrumental in helping vulnerable applicants obtain asylum. Outside the courtroom, Douglas is a leader with the Chicago Bar Association, where has led some of the largest and most important projects for the organiza- tion. She has served as a member of the association’s Executive Leadership team for the YLS, in leadership positions in con- nection with the association’s Women’s History Month programming, been elect- ed to the Board of Managers and most re- cently appointed to the CBA’s 150th anni- versary celebration planning committee. “Over the years, I have watched Alexis evolve from an intelligent and promising young lawyer to one of the CBA’s stron- gest ambassadors,” said Jennifer Byrne, director of continuing legal education for the Chicago Bar Association. “Her com- mitment to the organized bar is exempla- ry and she stands out as one of our most promising future leaders.” Tina Pompey, assistant general counsel with The Walt Disney Company, said that Douglas has the uncanny knack to quickly understand her clients’ needs and the le- gal skills to find solutions that meet them. “Alexis has always had a wonderful enthusiasm for the practice of IP law,” Pompey said. “She is curious, thoughtful and hard-working. I admired how she was able to secure a position at a large global law firm straight out of law school. Over the years, I have seen her thrive and grow in her role at the firm.”

She is one of the few attorneys I regularly recommend”

AGE 38

FIRM K&L Gates

LAW SCHOOL Chicago-Kent College of Law

AREA OF PRACTICE Intellectual property



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