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Looking Back & Moving Forward: Where We Are, Where We’ve Been & What’s Next

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
12:00 pm
- 1:15 pm

Looking Back & Moving Forward: Where We Are, Where We’ve Been & What’s Next federal bar association chicago chapter featured

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
12:00PM – 1:15PM
Lunch will be served.
1 hour of Professional Responsibility/DEI CLE

Chicago Bar Association
321 S Plymouth Ct
Seminar Room, 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association proudly presents an enlightening event that brings to the forefront the achievements and challenges of women in the legal profession. This special gathering will feature a panel of four distinguished mid-career women lawyers who have made their mark in private practice, government service, and the judiciary, offering a multifaceted view of the legal landscape as it stands today. Moderated by the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the panel will delve into the evolving practice of law, discussing both the progress made and the hurdles that remain for women in the field.

The panel includes notable figures such as the Honorable Lindsay Jenkins of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Patricia Brown Holmes, Managing Partner/Founder of Riley Safer Holmes & Cancilla, Janelle Carter Anderson, Vice President & General Counsel at The Heico Companies, and Noelle Brennan, Founder and Partner of Noelle Brennan & Associates. Together, they will share their insights and experiences, reflecting on how the practice of law has changed over recent generations, the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and the ongoing efforts to foster diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. Attendees will also have the opportunity to earn 1 Hour of CLE credit, further enriching this engaging and informative session dedicated to celebrating and empowering women in law.

Please Register on Eventbrite

hon rebecca pallmeyer us district court northern il federal bar association chicago chapter

Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, United States District Judge – Moderator

United States Chief District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer graduated from Valparaiso University and the University of Chicago Law School. Following a one-year clerkship with Justice Rosalie Wahl of the Minnesota Supreme Court, she practiced commercial litigation with a Chicago law firm. From 1985 until 1991, Judge Pallmeyer was an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the quasi-judicial agency responsible for enforcement of the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Beginning in 1991, Judge Pallmeyer served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois and then, following confirmation of her nomination in 1998, as United States District Judge. On July 1, 2019, Judge Pallmeyer became Chief Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, the first woman to serve as chief in the court’s 200-year history.

Judge Pallmeyer has been a member of the United States Judicial Conference. She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and an honorary fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She is an active member of a number of bar organizations, including the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, an Inn focused on intellectual property law, as well as the Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter.

hon lindsay jenkins judge us district court northern district illinois federal bar association chicago chapter

Judge Lindsay Jenkins, United States District Judge – Panelist

United States District Judge Lindsay Jenkins was nominated to the court on September 19, 2022, and confirmed by the United States Senate on February 14, 2023. Judge Jenkins is a former federal prosecutor with extensive experience overseeing complex, high-stakes criminal cases and government investigations. Over the course of 15+ years at the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Jenkins led prosecutions and investigations across a broad range of issues – including public corruption, bribery and extortion, mortgage, investment and healthcare grant fraud, theft of trade secrets, computer intrusion, and civil rights violations, as well as mail, wire and bank fraud, money laundering, threats, narcotics conspiracies, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act violations. By the end of her tenure, Judge Jenkins was chief of the criminal division, supervising the work of approximately 150 prosecutors in nine criminal prosecution sections. After her tenure at the US Attorney’s Office, she practiced white collar defense & investigations as a partner at Cooley LLP.

Judge Jenkins is a two‐time recipient of the Chicago Crime Commission’s Criminal Justice Award and has received both the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division commendation and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General commendation. She also was named to Chicago Lawyer’s Top 50 Women in Law list, in addition to being inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers as a fellow. Judge Jenkins sits on the board of the Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter.

patricia brown holmes managing partner founder riley safer holmes cancilla federal bar association chicago chapter

Patricia Brown Holmes, Managing Partner & Founder at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancilla – Panelist

There’s not much in the law that RSHC Managing Partner Patricia Brown Holmes hasn’t done. A former state court judge, experienced prosecutor, and defense lawyer, Patricia is renowned for impeccable judgment, brilliant strategy, and sage counsel. She is a trusted advisor to clients facing high-stakes commercial disputes and litigation; class actions; investigations and white collar criminal matters; environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) issues; and reputational crises.

Patricia is the first Black woman to manage and have her name on the door of a national law firm that is not women- or minority-owned. Often described as a force of nature for her boundless energy and powerful presence, she has received countless accolades for her professional excellence and her dedication to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Recently Patricia was honored with: the Chambers USA 2023 Diversity & Inclusion Outstanding Contribution Award; the ABA Diversity Leadership Award; the American Constitution Society Abner J. Mikva Award; the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation Justice John Paul Stevens Award; the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Philanthropic Award; the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Top Woman Lawyer in Leadership Award; the Women’s White Collar Defense Association Laurie A. Miller Leadership Award; and named to the CCBA Hall of Fame. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the National Football League Diversity Advisory Council.

janelle carter anderson vp general counsel heico companies federal bar association chicago chapter

Janelle Carter Anderson, VP, General Counsel, The Heico Companies – Panelist

Janelle Carter Anderson is General Counsel to the Applied Solutions Group of The Heico Companies, LLC, a global holding company with more than 80 operating companies in industrial manufacturing, metals, and construction. Since 2020, Janelle has been responsible for the strategic legal leadership of the Applied Solutions Group. The Applied Solutions Group consists of 20 industrial manufacturing companies providing components, engineered products, and industrial services across six segments (cargo control, aviation, electronics, thermal, metals, and recycling). Her practice focuses on commercial transactions, intellectual property, supply chain, and M&A for 20 operating companies in the Americas, EMEA and APAC. She also manages corporate governance, as Assistant Secretary to the holding company.

Janelle began her career as a Law Clerk to Judge Julian A. Cook, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She then practiced at two law firms prior to several roles with increased responsibility as in-house counsel. Janelle earned her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center and Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College. Jannelle sits on the board of the Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter.

noelle brennan founder partner noelle brennan associates

Noelle Brennan, Founder and Partner, Noelle Brennan & Associates – Panelist

Noelle Brennan has been in private practice engaged in plaintiff’s employment discrimination and civil rights litigation since 2004 and is a founder and owner of Noelle Brennan & Associates, Ltd. Since 2004, Ms. Brennan has worked on both individual and class discrimination cases, including several large race discrimination and harassment class actions which resulted in significant injunctive relief and significant monetary damages. Previously, she spent seven years as a Supervisory and Trial Attorney in the Chicago District Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she worked extensively on class action sexual harassment cases, including EEOC v. Mitsubishi, and EEOC v. Dial Corporation. Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Brennan was an associate at Katten, Muchin & Zavis.

In August of 2005, she was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Andersen to monitor the hiring practices at the City of Chicago and its compliance with the long standing Shakman Decree which prohibits political discrimination in all job actions. She was appointed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier as a Special Master to review the State of Illinois’ compliance with the Shakman Decree. Most recently she was one of a team of lawyers that recovered $31 million and injunctive relief on behalf of women working for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, subject to egregious sexual harassment by inmates.

She received her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1995 and was the recipient of various academic awards. She taught Employment Discrimination and Individual Employment Rights as an Adjunct Professor at DePaul Law School and also regularly presents at legal seminars for both practitioners and business operators. Noelle is the immediate past President of the Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter.

Please Register on Eventbrite


Chicago Bar Association
321 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604 United States
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