March 2022 Newsletter

President's Message
Happy Women's History Month!

In 1987, BWLA was founded and the month of March was declared by Congress as National Women's History Month. 35 years later, we have witnessed so many barrier-breaking women in the legal profession. We have elected our country's first Black U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, and now we await the appointment of our first Black woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson. It is clear that we are in an era of #BlackGirlMagic. Black women are making HERstory and while there is much still to do, I am in awe of the strides we have made in my lifetime.

Use this month to acknowledge a woman hero in your life! For BWLA, it's our Founders and Past Presidents. Without them there would be no us, and we will honor them at the Beyond Ball: BWLA's 35th Anniversary Fundraiser Celebration on Saturday, May 21, 2022. Save the date!


Nakhia C. Crossley
2021-2022 President
BWLA In The News
BWLA President Nakhia Crossley was interviewed by several media outlets in response to President Joseph Biden's historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Check out the ABC 7 Chicago News segment here and the WGN News segment here.
Upcoming Events
Villas are still available and there is still room on the bus.
You can even join us for the day on the slopes. You MUST pre-book your ski package here!
Click here to register! Contact the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa to reserve your room.
Click here to register!
Click here to register!
Past Events
BWLA's Setting You As A Priority
On February 10, 2022, BWLA's Progressives Committee held a virtual discussion called "Setting You As A Priority." It was led by Chicago State University's Director of Graduate Counseling Program and Assistant Professor, Dr. Shirlyn Garrett, Ed.D, LCPC (IL), LPC (TX), IMFP Mentor. She shared gems with attendees to help the busy professional give themselves some time to regroup and refocus.

Sips for Scholarships Was a Success!!!
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, BWLA's Scholarship Fund Board hosted its Signature event for individual charitable giving, Sips For Scholarships! Guests experienced wine tastings of several Black-owned wine and beer while indulging in delicious bites at Bronzeville Winery, which is scheduled to open to the public soon.

Violet Clark, longtime BWLA member and provider of BWLA's annual Agnes B. McGirth Scholarship, was honored and celebrated for her retirement and contributions to the organization, and her law firm, Laner Muchin, provided a generous donation.

The Silent Auction was such a huge success that we decided to extend it for a week.
Check out the donations here!

BWLA extends a huge thank you to the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery for sponsoring the event and our Master of Ceremonies, Mr. William Hall. On behalf of every BWLA law student scholarship recipient, we want to thank each and every attendee, auction item sponsor, and donor for your generosity.

Congratulations to Jasmine Fannell, Chair of the BWLA Scholarship Fund Board and all of its members for a hugely successful event. Because of your efforts, we raised over $15,000!

View more pictures of the event here.
Together We Can
On Friday, February 25, 2022 BWLA, along with the Business Leadership Council, Black Men Lawyers Association and the Cook County Bar Association, came together at Taste 222 to discuss how the organizations can work together to strategically forge relationships, garner influence and make a larger impact on business and economic development within the Greater Chicago area.

Attendees had the opportunity to network and listen to a panel discussion moderated by Tarrah Cooper Wright, CEO and Founder of Rise Strategy Group. Panelists included the leadership of each organization; BWLA President Nakhia Crossley, BLC Chairman Charles Smith, BMLA Chairman Michael Wilder, and CCBA President-Elect Natasha Jenkins. We would like to send a special thanks to BWLA Past President Kalia Coleman for her assistance with planning this great event.

Click here to view more pictures.
Events Around Town
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Needs Your Voice
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism invites you to participate in the 2022 Survey on Belonging in the Legal Profession. The brief survey explores the experiences of attorneys of color and/or attorneys in DEI decision-making roles in the legal profession. We're specifically interested in whether Illinois attorneys of color feel a sense of belonging in their organizations.
We would greatly appreciate your time in taking this survey. We also encourage you to share the survey with any other Illinois attorneys of color in your network.
Click here to complete the survey.
Please note, this survey is focused on attorneys only. A version of this survey from other court perspectives, such as the judicial perspective, may be developed in the future.
The responses will be used to guide our educational programming and anonymous responses may be used in our editorial content and on our social media platforms.
Please complete the survey by Friday, March 4.
Join BWLA on GroupMe!!!
Want to know who's attending the next BWLA event? Looking for new employment opportunities or weekend brunch buddy? Join BWLA’s GroupMe to connect and fellowship with other BWLA members!

Click here to join the fun! 
The Judicial Evaluation Committee Needs You!
BWLA's Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) is looking for volunteers to represent the organization on upcoming interviews of judicial candidates.

Many thanks to JEC Committee Co-Chairs, LaRufus Mitchell, Demitrus Evans, and Natalie Ellis, for managing the judicial evaluations process.

Click here to volunteer!

For more information about the JEC evaluation process, click here to view an informative video.
BWLA Member Achievements
Andrea Cook
Congratulations to Andrea Cook on her new position as Senior Counsel at Clark Hill Law!
Congratulations to BWLA President Nakhia Crossley on being honored by the Business Leadership Council during Black History Month 2022!
Congratulations to Precious Jacobs Perry on her receipt of the James A. Seaberry Award from University of Illinois' BLSA!
Congratulations to BWLA Past President Zaldwaynaka "Z" Scott on her appointment to the Board of Directors of ComEd!
Do you or someone you know have an achievement that you'd like us to highlight in our monthly newsletter? We want to celebrate our members! Send your latest achievement addressed to BWLA Corresponding Secretary, Era Laudermilk, at
Employment Opportunities
BWLA constantly receives new employment opportunities that our members may be interested in. The ever expanding list has become too lengthy to share here, so please be sure to visit the BWLA Job Board to view all current employment opportunities!
Thank You To Our Sponsors!!!!