August 2020 Newsletter
President's Message
Greetings BWLA Members, Sponsors, and Friends,
The summer months are typically a quiet time for bar associations; however BWLA has been hard at work.
Last month, BWLA formed the Civil Rights Action Committee (“CRAC”) to focus on civil rights issues that include, but are certainly not limited to, advocating for police reform and mobilizing a robust Voting Rights Campaign in Black communities. The CRAC hit the ground running, and we had attorneys on the front lines supporting individuals who were arrested at the height of the protests following the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. BWLA members saw a need and without hesitation jumped in to provide assistance. I am so thankful for our awesome membership! 
As the CRAC developed, we realized that we needed to tackle so many issues that dedicated subcommittees would be necessary. One such example, the Voting Rights Education (“VRE”) subcommittee, is focused on outreach in the Black community and within the prison system, to ensure that these traditionally disenfranchised communities understand their rights regarding eligibility to vote, registering to vote, and addressing roadblocks when voting during the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. This summer BWLA also formed an Expungement & Sealing Committee which will work steadfastly to clear the records of as many eligible candidates as possible and provide them with a fresh start.  You can find more information about both committees in the newsletter below!
Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, law students were financially impacted by lost jobs and rescinded opportunities. In response, BWLA launched the Summer 2020 Law Student Hardship Grant to provide financial support and mentoring to several law students. In addition, we partnered with the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (“DAPP”) in support of their Displaced Student Stipend Fund and Fellowship Program. 
Finally, don’t forget that BWLA’s Annual Fundraiser has been postponed to September 3, 2020, and it will now be a virtual program. BWLA cannot serve our community or support law students and attorneys without the support of our sponsors and friends. Now, more than ever, we need that support so that we can continue to make an impact in our community. Check out flyer enclosed below for more details about the event!
BWLA is committed to supporting our community during these unprecedented times, and we will creatively and safely provide programming and service opportunities during the 2020-2021 bar year. It is my hope that you are all safe, healthy, and well.  

Kenyatta S. Beverly
2020-2021 BWLA President

Upcoming Events
BWLA 2020 Annual Fundraiser

 Women of Color in Politics: Leading the Charge to Transform Democracy

September 3, 2020, 12:00 - 2:00 PM
(Virtual Event)
BWLA cordially invites you to join us for our annual Fundraiser!

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to host this event virtually. We encourage all members, sponsors, and friends to log-in from your laptops to hear from our dynamic panelists as they discuss their journeys to becoming influential political figures and the unique role of black female politicians in addressing economic, health, educational, and criminal justice disparities in America.

The log-in details to join this event will be provided in the upcoming weeks. We hope you will join us!

*Individual ticket holders are encouraged to donate to BWLA's 501(c)3 Scholarship Fund. However, donation is not required to attend.
BWLA School Supply Drive
Annually, the BWLA Scholarship Fund Board collects school supplies for its School Supply Drive.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our children are facing the reality of continuing remote learning as they start the school year. Now, more than ever, students need our support. Although instruction will be virtual, school supplies will still be needed.

The recipients of BWLA members' donations will be children of women at the Domestic Violence Shelter. BWLA has previously supported the shelter by providing meals.

If you are interested in contributing and helping BWLA to provide school supplies, please donate here .
Past Events
On July 25, 2020, BWLA partnered with the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (“DAPP”) to provide volunteer attorneys for the DAPP Corona Fellows Resume Writing Workshop, a program that benefitted law students adversely impacted by the pandemic.
BWLA Scholarship Fund Board member Samya Abdela and BWLA President Kenyatta Beverly mentoring law students during the workshop.
Mentoring and CLE Opportunities
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism invites BWLA members to take advantage of their new lawyer mentoring program for free CLE credit, and to build lasting and powerful mentoring relationships. 

Participants may engage in this program virtually. More information can be found here.

BWLA's membership is also invited to enjoy the following free online CLE: Advancing Women in Law Summit Course (1.0 Hours of Diversity and Inclusion CLE Credit in Illinois).
The Voting Rights Education (“VRE”) subcommittee needs you! This upcoming election is essential to our country's future. Help spread the word about voting rights. The VRE subcommittee is partnering with the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide voters’ rights education to inmates and returning citizens; hosting virtual town hall meetings; providing informational materials for dissemination via social media, email, and postings in businesses; partnering with organizations to pursue legislation related to voters’ rights; and taking other action. 

If you would like more information about how to get involved, please contact Kalia Coleman at by Friday August 14 at 5:00 p.m.
Are you interested in helping with voter outreach from the comfort of your home? Awesome! BWLA has an opportunity for you.

BWLA's voter outreach includes a social media video campaign entitled "Black Women/Men Vote." BWLA is requesting that members provide a short video of themselves (no longer than 1 minute in length), sharing why they vote and why it is important for everyone to vote. 

Attached to the this newsletter is a #BlackWomenVOTE sign. If you have access to a printer, we encourage you to print the sign (or get crafty and make your own!) to display in front of you during your video. BWLA will share these videos on our social media in an effort to educate, generate excitement around the upcoming election, and encourage voting. 

Please submit your videos to  
Employment Opportunities
Company: Abbvie
Location: Lake County, IL
Company: UIC John Marshall Law School
Location: Chicago, IL

(Disregard submission deadline)
Company: UIC John Marshall Law School
Location: Chicago, IL

(Disregard submission deadline)
BWLA updates employment opportunities on our website bi-monthly.

Employers may email employment opportunities to Please include links for all employment opportunities.
BWLA Member Achievements
Congratulations to Sherina Maye Edwards on being selected as one of 22 women executives for the #ShareTheMicInitiative! Check out Sherina’s insightful thoughts regarding race in corporate America here!
Congratulations to Jessica Kimbrough on being named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director at United Airlines! Learn more about Jessica’s new position here!
Congratulations to Masah SamForay on being installed as the 2020-2021 President of Rotary Club Chicago Southeast!
Lauren Robinson was recently featured by La Piana Consulting--check out the interview here!
BWLA Member Spotlight
Aerial Henderson

Assistant State's Attorney
Cook County State's Attorney's Office
BWLA Committee Chair, Aerial, shares why BWLA matters to her:

"BWLA fosters growth, support, mentorship and the empowerment of Black women who are entering or are already part of the legal profession. I became acquainted with BWLA in law school where the members of BWLA opened up their time and space to mentor and provide financial support through scholarships for law students.

As an attorney, BWLA provides comfort in knowing that as Black women, we are connected while being in a profession that is dominated by those who do not look like us. BWLA connects us through education, through social events, and through mentorship. I care about BWLA because BWLA allows me to serve and mentor others, while also engaging with communities in the very city I grew up in.

Through the service of BWLA, we have the ability to inspire those who may not have even seen the legal profession as an option. That is why BWLA matters to me. "
BWLA partnered with DAPP to support the DAPP Displaced Student Stipend Fund and Fellowship Program

BWLA sponsorship provided for two BWLA Fellows who were selected to receive the stipend and participate in the fellowship!
Alichia McIntosh
Alichia McIntosh, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Cashmere Cozart
Cashmere Cozart, UIC John Marshall Law School
Congratulations to Alichia and Cashmere!
BWLA is excited to announce the formation of the Expungement & Sealing Committee! 

Having a criminal record can seriously diminish a person's quality of life in many ways such as limiting employment opportunities, making it more difficult to rent, denial of educational financial aid, and other negative impacts.  

If you are interested in helping to provide members of the community with a fresh start, consider serving on this committee. Training will be provided and cases can be handled remotely. 

Please email Committee Chair Michelle Sieger at 
to express interest. 
BWLA joins the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Racial Justice Coalition

BWLA is now a proud member of the new CBA YLS Racial Justice Coalition ("RJC"), an initiative formed to combat systemic racism through service, community engagement, and education.

With over 25 partnering bar associations, legal organizations, and nonprofits, the CBA YLS RJC is committed to collectively impacting social change in our profession and in our communities in furtherance of diversity and equality.

Click here to read the official RJC press release. 
The Diversity Scholarship Foundation, NFP is accepting applications for its 2020 scholarships! 

The application deadline is September 14, 2020.

Apply here
BWLA's Summer 2020 Law Student Hardship Grant application is CLOSED. 

Applicants will receive notification in late August if they were selected to receive the Grant.
Thank You To Our 
2020 Fundraiser Sponsors
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Jones Day
Sidley Austin LLP
United Airlines
Jenner & Block
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP
Bartlit Beck LLP
Chapman & Cutler LLP
Citadel LLC
Foley & Lardner
Mayer Brown LLP
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Chicago Bar Association
DePaul University College of Law
Diversity Scholarship Foundation
Whitt Sturtevant LLP
Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers
Friend of BWLA
McDonald's Corporation
Peoples Gas

Supporter of BWLA
Institute of Continuing Legal Education
Quarles & Brady LLP
Women's Bar Association of Illinois
Akerman LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Littler Mendelson P.C.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
McDermott Will & Emery
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Uche P.C.
Ulta Beauty, Inc.