Member Monday: Olivia Basu

Associate Attorney // The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC

Please provide a description of your practice.
I work for a small firm that focuses exclusively on domestic relations cases – The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC. I have been with the firm for almost 3 years now and I am in my first year of practicing. It has been a challenge graduating and starting in the courtroom while remote, but I have enjoyed everything I have been able to learn this past year and the unique challenges I have faced have only made me a better advocate for my clients. At my firm, half of our cases are financially related (divorce, parentage, prenuptials/postnuptials, mediation, etc.) and the other half of our cases are child-related. Erin Wilson, the founding partner of the firm, is a court appointed Guardian ad Litem, Child Representative, and Parenting Coordinator which enables me to assist and observe child related cases with the guidance of a skilled attorney in the field. I hope to qualify as a court appointed GAL and CR as soon as I am able to!

Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I have been a member of the WBAI since my 1L year in law school. I have a mentor whom I am close with that is also highly involved with the WBAI – Genevieve Niemann. She encouraged me to attend an event she planned for WBAI and my first event was her Mojo Spa nail day in February 2018 — I have been actively involved with the WBAI since! I think the WBAI is a vital tool for women attorneys – especially those just starting their careers given that WBAI has extensive resources for young attorneys. There are also so many unique events and CLEs that are hosted by WBAI, so there is something for every interest, hobby, or practice field. Personally, I am actively involved on the WBAI/Lady Lawyers who Lunch (LLL) Domestic Relations CLE planning committee, where we host quarterly CLEs on a variety of domestic relations topics. The CLEs have been a huge success in the family law community and we have been able to focus on a wide range of topics – from division of property to domestic violence issues.

What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?
I believe the best way to empower women in the law is to show women they have an equal place in this field and that we have the same capabilities of becoming leaders in law that men have. I think it is very important that leadership in the law reflects the actual composition of those working in the field – both men and women. The WBAI is a great organization that focuses on this goal. In order to evoke change, women must come together to work towards equality in the legal field. Speak up for fellow colleagues if you see them being harassed or bullied by men in or out of the courtroom and workplace. Advertise new leadership opportunities in bar associations/organizations to women you believe may be a good fit for those roles. Be a safe space for new lady attorneys who need someone to talk to about the challenges of this field. Please also bear in mind these actions must be intersectional — spanning from amplifying voices of those in the LGBTQIA+ community to minorities/POC.

What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?

Professionally, I am most looking forward to learning how to be a better advocate for my clients and further develop my skills in the courtroom. I am near the end of my first year practicing and have learned so much this past year. I want to hone in on skills I need to work on and become a better attorney by learning from any mistakes and also continue to work with the utmost care for my clients and their cases. I truly enjoy helping all of my clients and impacting their lives. I also look forward to The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC growing more this year by the hiring of a paralegal for the litigation side of our practice and celebrating 3 years since the inception of this firm.

Personally, I am excited for my planned cruise trip to multiple locations in the Caribbean that my boyfriend and I will be going on in April 2022. I love what I do but also enjoy some out of office time with some tropical drinks!

Tell us something interesting about you.
I am originally from Virginia and migrated to the mid-West when I started school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana for undergrad. Due to Virginia and Bloomington’s tame weather, I was absolutely under-prepared for Chicago winter when I started law school at DePaul. I have since learned you need multiple types of jackets for the many phases of Wintertime – stark difference from being used to only needing one coat for all of cold season! In my free time I enjoy cooking, traveling, drinks with my friends, coffee, reading, and going to dine-in movie theaters.