Top Women Lawyers in Leadership 2017

On November 2, over 250 members, judges, and guests gathered for a reception to celebrate the 2017 Honorees for the WBAI’s Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Awards. The reception took place at the Hotel Allegro Ballroom. This year, five outstanding women were recognized for their accomplishments, diverse backgrounds, and professional contributions through service in a leadership role. The 2017 Honorees were:

  • Tiffany Harper
    Grant Thornton In-House Counsel and Co-Founder of the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program
  • Jessica M. Scheller
    Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney and Co-Chair of the Women’s March on Chicago
  • Tina Tabacchi
    Partner-In-Charge Chicago Office, Jones Day
  • Camilla B. Taylor
    Senior Counsel, Lambda Legal
  • Jill M. Webb
    Law Offices of Jill M. Webb, LLC

This year’s theme was “Making Her Own Path.” Each of the five recipients has worked on the vanguard of legal, social, and mentorship issues or created her own innovative career path and made way for other women lawyers to follow.  The event program was anchored by a video introducing the Honorees to the audience.

All five award recipients were interviewed for the video and shared wisdom and insight from their journeys. Highlights included:

Tiffany Harper, on creating the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program: “There are times when things are just so wrong and you have to make a change. And the only person who can do it is you.”

Camilla Taylor, on overcoming adversity in your career: “Conquering your fears, I think, is important to growing as a lawyer, as an adult, and also as a woman.”

Jessica Scheller, on whether The Women’s March, as “the largest, single-day coordinated protest” to date in America will make the history books: “Well I would sure f****** hope so. It was fantastic.”

Jill Webb, on taking the leap to open her own firm: “I don’t want to look back and regret not having tried.”

Tina Tabacchi’s advice to young women lawyers looking to take on a new or different challenge in their careers: “If I have been able to accomplish some things in my life, they can do it too.”

Jensen Litigation Services generously sponsored the video and provided production and editing services. The video can be viewed below.


The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois created the Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award in 2014 and has continued the tradition of honoring outstanding women in our profession for the past four years. The WBAI once again congratulates this year’s deserving winners. 2017 co-chairs were Becky Dandy, Natalie Federle & Bethany Whittles Harris.

Bethany Whittles Harris is an attorney at Mossing & Navarre, LLC.  Her practice focuses on complex personal injury, nursing home negligence and medical malpractice cases. She is a Director of the WBAI and a co-chair of the Community Outreach Committee.