Honoring Those Making the Legal Profession Accessible

diverse legal professionDid you know only 1 percent of attorneys in the top 100 corporate law firms are members of minority groups? And as NALP reported this past January, among employers listed in its NALP Directory of Legal Employers, only 7.52% of partners were minorities. Meanwhile, the National Association for Women Lawyers reported that the pay gap between male equity partners and female equity partners has widened in the past ten years. In 2006, the typical female equity partner earned 84% of what the typical male equity partner did. In 2015, the percentage had decreased to 80%.

To increase minority and female representation and retention in the industry, more need to be able to access the legal profession, and remain included in the profession. Many are working to make this a reality.

This April, The Chicago Bar Association and a number of other Illinois bar associations are honoring an array of legal professionals for their work on diversity and inclusion. The 2016 Vanguard Awards will recognize 12 lawyers and judges who help make the law and the legal profession more accessible to and reflective of the community-at-large. Each of the honorees has worked to make the profession a better place for those of varying ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, and genders and more representative of the client’s today’s professionals represent.

Below are the list of award recipients:

  • Amicus Polonaie and Director Mark Dobrzycki
  • Hon. William J. Haddad (ret.)
  • Sharon Hwang
  • Hon. Michael B. Hyman
  • Hon. Jessica A. O’Brien
  • Hon. Ramon Ocasio
  • Jayne Reardon
  • Leslie Richards-Yellen
  • Zaldwaynaka Scott
  • Rosa Maria Silva
  • Will Thomas (posthumously)
  • Standish E. Willis

The 2016 Vanguard Awards will be held at the Standard Club in its Grand Ballroom on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The reception begins at 11:30, and the luncheon will follow at 12:00pm.

To reserve a seat or a table at the event please contact Tamra Dress for more information. She can be reached at 312-554-2057 or via email at tdrees@chicagobar.org.

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