Member Spotlight

Whitney K. Siehl

Associate Attorney // Hagens Berman Sobol & Shapiro LLP

Description of your practice.
I am a Plaintiffs’ litigator focused on sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sports law at Hagens Berman Sobol & Shapiro LLP. I currently represent the class of actresses and entertainment industry professionals against Harvey Weinstein and the class of students and alumnae of USC against the university and Dr. George Tyndall for sexual abuse. I am also representing a class of youth athletes against the governing body of their sport for failing to implement appropriate concussion management protocols.

My diverse Plaintiffs’ class action and individual practice also includes personal injury, mass torts, civil rights, antitrust, and products liability. I played a significant role in securing millions of dollars in settlements for survivors of sexual abuse and families in birth trauma cases.

Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I am extremely passionate about the WBAI’s mission to advance the interests of women and women lawyers. WBAI events and programming bring the Chicago legal community together, foster lively discussions about women in the law, support camaraderie and connection with members, and we have fun! I would not be the lawyer I am today without the mentors, mentees, and friends I have made through my involvement with the WBAI.

What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?    
The best way to empower women in the law is to ensure women attorneys have opportunities for career advancing work such as arguing motions, taking depositions, trial, client interaction, business development, and leadership roles. Senior attorneys can mentor women, recognize and reward success, help build confidence, and encourage women attorneys to celebrate their accomplishments and ask for what they want in their careers. For junior attorneys, I suggest striving to gain as much experience as possible, ask for more responsibility on case files, and be ready to take on new opportunities and challenges.

What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally ?
I am looking forward to Co-Chairing my favorite event of the year, the WBAI Judicial Reception, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. We are honoring the Illinois judiciary and four exceptional judges with the Judge Mary Heftel Hooton Award: Honorable Edmund Chang of the Northern District of Illinois, Honorable Megan Goldish of the Cook County Circuit Court Domestic Violence Division, Honorable Sophia Hall of the Cook County Circuit Court Chancery Division, and Honorable Marguerite Quinn of the Cook County Circuit Court Law Division, Trial Section. I hope to see many of you at the Judicial Reception as it is a fantastic opportunity to honor and meet the judiciary.

I enjoyed serving as the WBAI Recording Secretary this bar year, as well as the Co-Chair of the Annual Golf Outing and Judicial Reception, and I look forward to continuing to serve the membership as a WBAI officer in the future.

Tell us something interesting about you.
I was a member of the women’s golf team at Northwestern University and a member of the NCAA Academic All-American women’s cross country and track teams at Miami University. In 2017, I was incredibly honored to be inducted into Port Clinton High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. I helped start Port Clinton’s women’s golf team when I was in high school and was thrilled to learn in recent years several members of the team signed national letters of intent to play college golf. I still make time to compete in athletic events, and in 2019 I completed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, where athletes jump from a boat near Alcatraz Island into the icy waters of the San Francisco Bay and bike and run through San Francisco’s steep hills and rugged terrain.

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