Member Monday: Kristen Lukaszak

Partner, Trial Attorney // Angelini, Ori & Abate

Description of your practice
Plaintiff’s personal injury litigation, specializing in construction and medical negligence.

Why are you a member of the WBAI?
Membership in the WBAI brings a sense of camaraderie to the practice of law that is oftentimes missing in the workplace for women lawyers.  Through the WBAI, I have formed lifelong friendships with many amazing women that I might have otherwise missed. The organization is also uniquely positioned in the Chicago legal community to create a platform for members to become leaders and build a network, which sets it apart from other bar associations.

What do you think is the best way to empower women in law? Tell us about a story or time when being a female attorney was advantageous.
Women attorneys are most powerful when they work together and lift each other up. When I was an associate at a large defense firm in Chicago, I practiced with a female junior partner, both trying cases and developing business. She took me under her wing, teaching me how to interact with corporate clients and navigate big firm life. So instead of becoming each other’s law firm competition, we became a great team, consistently impressing judges and clients alike.  We were both more successful because we were allies. Ultimately, I was promoted to partner at the firm as well, an accomplishment undoubtedly influenced by my growth under a woman mentor. The experience taught me an important lesson – that, as women lawyers, we need to recognize and draw out each other’s strengths, which will in turn make us all better.

What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
I recently moved back to Chicago after having lived and practiced law in Phoenix for the past two years. So this year, I look forward to reconnecting with Chicago colleagues and returning to where I originally began my law career, as a Plaintiffs’ attorney.

Tell us something interesting about you.
I have already had to cancel my wedding twice this year. Maybe third time’s the charm?