CBA Record March-April 2021

S TRONGER TOGE THER , 50 YEARS AND COUNT I NG Linda Rio 1994-1995 What was the most me a n i n g f u l a n d enriching aspect of serving as a Chair of the YLS, either per- sonally or profession- ally?

“At the time of my involvement in YLS, the country of Ukraine was going through a constitutional convention. I was invited by a joint commission of the American Bar Association to attend on behalf of young lawyers in the United States. That was phenomenal … and remarkable to stand in a space with a group of lawyers who had amazing vision, and to talk about our bar association and our Young Lawyers Section and how we serve both our community globally and as citizens of the United States. It was an incredible week on the ground in Kiev to participate and speak at the podium.”

Chair? “I developed great relationships with the past Chairs of the YLS who preceded me and with the Presidents of the Chicago Bar Association. During my time, and even before and after, I developed good relation- ships with the judiciary because we were presenting and putting together programs and reaching lawyers, partners, large law firms, highly visible attorneys, as well as the judiciary. There are so many people with whom I became really good friends with who are now general counsels and CEOs of large corporations. Back then, we were all just young lawyers. The thing to under- stand, for the lawyers reading this article, when you do things, you give it your all – when you volunteer – because you want to do it. Not because you are going to meet people who are probably going to give you a job. When you commit, you do things 200%, because the person who is sitting next to you could be the CEO of a company, or it could be the managing hiring partner of a large law firm, you just don’t know. But from those relationships, and from being in an environment that is altruistic, gracious, and wants to give back, you just don’t know who you will come in contact with at that time, or even later in life.”

“When I was involved with the YLS, and particularly the few years leading up to and then being Chair, I got very connected to and involved with community service and legal aid, and connected much more to the whole Chicago-area legal community in a different way. Professionally, what hap- pened was I completely changed my path. The year that I was Chair, I actually left my law firm, and at the end of my year as Chair I went to work at the CBA and became the first Director of Community Services. Professionally, it made a huge difference in my life, because I started out on a very different path that I’ve been on ever since of doing Legal Aid, pro bono, and com- munity service. The most important thing is that it exposed me to things in the legal community and legal aid and pro bono work that I ended up making my career.”

Karen Johnson 1998-1999

What advice would you g i ve t o YLS members about CBA involvement or being a lawyer generally? “If you are the most

prepared and the most ethical attorney in the room, you will develop a strong reputa- tion and a good foundation for practicing law for many years.”

Aurora Abella- Austriaco 1999-2000 Wh a t a r e s om e important relation- ships that you formed or fostered as a result of serving as the YLS

Elizabeth Lewis 1995-1996

What’s a unique and meaning ful experi- ence that you had as a result of being involved in the YLS?

Sally McDonald 1996-97

Edward J. Matushek 1990-91

Thomas M. Donnelly 1992-93

Ilene M. Korey 1993-94

Elizabeth McMeen 1997-98

28 March/April 2021

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