Chicago Committee Programs 2020

Pathway to Partnership 

Pathway Partnership is a business development program for diverse, senior associate attorneys in law firms. The program is designed to help associates develop client relationships, making them more competitive candidates for law firm partnership. The overarching goal of the program is to increase the number of diverse partners at large law firms in Chicago. 

Associate Board Boot Camp

The Associate Board of Directors will host their annual Junior Associate Boot Camp. This one day event will include panel discussions with senior associates and partners from prominent Chicago law firms, the program will discuss topics such as navigating law firm life, mentorship, and professional development.

Rate My Pitch Program

15219789157_477241f14c_zThe Chicago Committee is pleased to announce that Rate My Pitch is proceeding for the eighth year in a row this Fall 2020.  Rate My Pitch is a professional development program for mid- and senior-level associates from Chicago Committee member firms. The program provides instruction and learning for the skills and behaviors required for building successful business relationships. Associate participants are assigned to teams to practice scenarios that mimic real life encounters, from taking a partner/practice group leader to lunch through making a formal pitch to a real panel of in-house counsel in response to a mock RFQ for legal services.

During Sessions I and II, seasoned member firm partners coach participants as they practice the scenarios.  In Session III the associates present their pitch in response to the mock RFQ for legal services before a panel of in-house counsel. Associates are evaluated based on their professional presence, substantive competence, empathy and effective communication.


For more information about Rate My Pitch, visit our Rate My Pitch Program page.

Learn about the success of past Rate My Pitch Programs: Rate My Pitch 2015Rate My Pitch 2016, and Rate My Pitch 2017.

Corporate CLEs

The Chicago Committee will host CLEs presented by diverse attorneys for corporate legal departments, creating meaningful contract with in-house attorneys. 

Associate Board CLE: Career Charting 

The Associate Board annually presents a unique CLE program on a diversity and inclusion related, professional development topic.

PracticePro Career Conference

The Chicago Committee hosted PracticePro’s Career Conference summer associates at member law firms. The day-long conference included panels and group sessions on how to thrive as a summer associate at a large law firm. 

Summer Soiree

The Chicago Committee hosted its annual Summer Soiree to introduce summer associates to the Chicago Committee and the legal community. Attorneys and law students enjoyed a night of networking and celebrating diversity in the legal profession. 


The Chicago Committee and DePaul University College of Law partnered to host LegalTrek, a summer program for diverse, undergraduate students interested in the legal profession. During eight class sessions, the students learned about different practice areas, the law school application process, and LSAT prep. They also participated in mock negotiations, a mock trial, and visited Chapman and Cutler LLP and the federal courthouse. Attorneys volunteered as mentors and coaches for the program.

In-House Roundtables Lunches

The Chicago Committee will host roundtable lunch discussions for mid-level and senior level associates with in-house counsels. The associates received insight about business development, client services, and diversity in the legal profession.

Minority Associates and In-House Counsel Bash 

The Associate Board this annual, lively event for associates and in-house counsel. The reception provides an opportunity for the attorneys to meet and network.


The Chicago Committee hosted a series of topical webinars for law firm leaders, partners, associates, and personnel. The programs addressed subjects such as, calls to action for law firms in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and recommendations on how attorneys navigate uncertain times due to the pandemic.

 Thriving in Uncertain Times, April 27, 2020

The Chicago Committee hosted a virtual discussion with law firm partners, Sharon Hwang (McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.), Michael Martinez (K&L Gates LLP), Stephen Schwab (DLA Piper LLP), and Bilal Zaheer (Locke Lord LLP), about how associate attorneys can best position themselves before and during economic downturns. The panel discussed recommendations for associates on how to weather the upcoming changes, and practical advice to plan a strategic course of action to keep their careers on track during industry volatility.

The Prepared Partner: Weathering Industry Changes, May 7, 2020

The Chicago Committee hosted a virtual panel with law firm partners and in-house counsel, Michael Chu (McDermott Will & Emery LLP), Steve Flores (Winston & Strawn LLP), Pam Kain (Cushman & Wakefield), Michael Martinez (K&L Gates LLP), and Joseph McCoy (Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP). The attorneys gave recommendations on how partners and senior associates can strategically direct their teams, add value to their legal services, and optimize their practice.

 The Power of Our Experience, June 18, 2020

Law firm partners and Chicago Committee Board members, Steven Hunter (Quarles & Brady LLP), Gray Mateo-Harris (Fox Rothschild LLP), and Malaika Tyson (McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.), hosted a virtual, interactive discussion for attorneys to share racial incidents and obstacles they have faced and overcame in the workplace to lend power and hope for those dealing with the same issues.

 Staying the Course: Best Practices for Difficult Times, June 25, 2020

The Chicago Committee hosted a virtual discussion on best practices and recommendations in response to the new focus on diversity and inclusion in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. Kori Carew (Seyfarth Shaw LLP), Jeremiah DeBerry (Mayer Brown LLP), Steven Hunter (Quarles & Brady LLP), and Sylvia James (Winston & Strawn LLP) discussed what issues have currently arisen from the tension between economic instability and a push for institutional change and recommendations for a pathway forward.

Action from the Top, July 8, 2020

The Chicago Committee virtually hosted a candid conversation with law firm leaders about implementing positive change. Michael Elkin (Winston & Strawn LLP), Peter Ellis (Reed Smith LLP), Charles Harris (Mayer Brown LLP), Patricia Brown Holmes (Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP), and Pallavi Wahi (K&L Gates LLP) talked about what substantive changes their law firms are making in response to calls to action to denounce racial injustice.