Principal Attorney – Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
Description of your practice
I am a Principal Attorney for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. I currently practice in the User Charge and Enforcement Division of the Law Department. where I represent the District in court and at administrative hearings regarding violations of the District’s ordinances. I have also practiced in the Law Department’s Employment, Environmental, and Real Estate Divisions.
Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I am a member of WBAI because it supports women lawyers as we navigate through issues that are unique to our profession. It provides programming that not only covers professional development, but recognizes that we have goals outside our professional lives. I have particularly enjoyed the programs on writing and publishing a book (“Write and Change the Narrative: Women Lawyers & Literature) and the importance of taking care of ourselves (“Be Your Best Self in 2021”). In turn, as a lawyer for 26 years, WBAI allows me to share my professional experiences with young women in the legal community.
What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?
The former secretary-general of the UN, Kofi Annan stated: “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” Like society in general, the legal community is stronger when women feel empowered. The best way to empower women in law is for them to feel safe, valued, and respected. It is important that law firms address issues of sexual harassment, that women feel valued by eliminating gender discrimination and pay disparity, and respected by providing them with equal opportunities in leadership roles and assignments that challenge and provide them with the best professional exposure.
As an Adjunct Professor at the UIC John Marshall Law School, I believe that being a female attorney has its advantages because female law students see me as a role model. I have many female students that I mentor during and post-law school. As a mentor, I discuss work-life balance, how I managed law school while working full-time, being married, and having my son in my second year. I provide them with resources for clerkships and employment opportunities. They attend bar association events with me and I introduce them to women judges and attorneys that have excelled in their field. Through these experiences, these aspiring women can see what they can be.
What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
Professionally, I am looking forward to teaching in person. I miss interacting with my students as being in their presence gives me energy and I feel more effective as a teacher. Personally, I am looking forward to spring and summer. My husband designed and built a beautiful patio last summer and we bought a projector and screen. So, I am most looking forward to having movie nights with my mom and sisters.
Tell us something interesting about you.
After college, I lived in Kawasaki City, Japan for a year where I taught conversational English to children and adults. I climbed Mt. Fuji and want to climb it again when I hit my next age milestone.