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Government Careers Panel

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
12:00 pm
- 1:00 pm

Virtual Program

1.00 hours Illinois MCLE Credit Hours pending approval

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

The Panel on Government Careers provides an excellent opportunity for young lawyers to hear from practicing government attorneys. Topics to be discussed are where each panelist’s career originated, how it has progressed into their current roles, what inspired them to get into public service, and the best channels and resources for young attorneys to tap into.



Stephen Lee
Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP

joseph sweeny

Joseph Sweeny
Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr

Speaker Bios

Diane Smason

Diane Smason started as a trial attorney with the Chicago District Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1998 and became a supervisor in 2004. In January, 2020, she was promoted to Deputy Director of the Chicago District Office. While in the Legal Unit, she litigated a wide variety of matters, including class and systemic cases, under Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA. She regularly speaks about the EEOC and all areas of federal employment discrimination law. Ms. Smason is actively involved in the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section and is past Public Co-Chair of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities (“ERR”) Committee and the Section’s Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Committee. She is also a Board Member of the Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter, and Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Prior to the EEOC, Ms. Smason was an associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago practicing labor and employment law and general commercial litigation. She also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Bernard A. Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Ms. Smason attended the University of Michigan Law School and has a B.A. in English and political science from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Judge Nagle

Hon. Kim Soo Nagle, the current president-elect of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, has devoted her career to public service. For the past 11 years, Judge Nagle has served as a U.S. Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration primarily handling disability and fraud matters. Prior to her appointment, she was an Assistant Regional Chief Counsel with the Office of General Counsel for SSA, as well as an Assistant Attorney General for the Child Welfare Litigation Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. She began her career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in DuPage County, Illinois. Judge Nagle earned her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and B.A. in History from the University of Illinois atUrbana-Champaign. She is a lifelong Chicagoan, serving her neighborhood and school communities as a board member and volunteer.



Deepa Rajkarne is an attorney at the Social Security Administration’s Office of General Counsel where she handles an array of employment litigation, management advice, and government ethics matters. Before joining public service, Deepa was a labor & employment/litigation associate at Epstein, Becker, and Green, PC and Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC. She is a graduate of Boston University School of Law.

Sean Franzblau

Sean is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Public Corruption Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. Previously, he prosecuted drug trafficking and major drug offenses for the Office. Sean clerked for the Honorable James Zagel, United States District Judge of the Northern District of Illinois. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Kenyon College.


Devlin is a staff attorney in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, where he investigates civil violations of federal securities laws and regulations. Prior to this, Devlin was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, where he prosecuted a wide range of federal offenses, including securities fraud, financial crimes, cybercrime, and narcotics and violent crimes. He also previously worked at Jenner & Block and clerked for NDIL District Judge Edmond E. Chang. Devlin is a graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Dartmouth College.


Stephen Lee was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois from 2008 to 2019 and served as senior counsel to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s health care fraud unit. He is now in private practice at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP. Earlier in his career, he worked at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York and was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He is a graduate of Yale College and Columbia Law School.

joseph sweeny

Joseph Sweeny is an associate with Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr. He maintains a general litigation practice with a focus on defending clients in white-collar prosecutions and independent investigations.

Joseph graduated from The University of Maryland School of Law and prior to law school, Joseph attended Michigan State University as a varsity student-athlete.


Joseph graduated from The University of Maryland School of Law and prior to law school, Joseph attended Michigan State University as a varsity student-athlete.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Chicago, IL United States
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