CBA Record March-April 2021



Cynthia Besecker 2000-2001

and to get their perspective. That’s helpful professionally.” What advice would you give to YLS members regarding CBA engagement or being a lawyer generally? “CBA engagement is always going to benefit you, professionally and personally. It gives you a different perspective. And it gives you an outlet for community-based projects that you might not otherwise have – the CBA makes it easier to get involved in community-based projects. You don’t have to go out and look for it. You can just say, ‘hey, what’s the YLS got going on?’ Now, I’m on it, I want to go help paint this homeless shelter or whatever the project may be. It gives you a community that I think is increasingly difficult to obtain in any profession. And not just because of the pandemic. But we all get siloed more and more. CBA engagement forces you to ‘un-silo’ yourself, or it prevents you from being siloed, as much as the demands of the profession would otherwise take place.”

the better chance you would have for future assignments and whatever your goals are, if it’s to move from a big firm to a boutique, a boutique to a big firm, private practice to in house, being able to demonstrate that you have a broad set of experiences and skills is invaluable. Membership in the CBA is worth it. Use the CBA to your advantage. Use it for networking, job prospecting, and to be able to become a thought leader in whatever your space is.”

Wh a t a r e s ome important relation- ships that you formed or fostered as a result of serving as a YLS Chair?

“It was wonderful to be able to work with Equip for Equality, an amazing organiza- tion that does work for individuals with disabilities. As you probably know, young lawyers who are active with the YLS also become active with the [Chicago] Bar Foundation. Therefore, we have a greater sense of all the things the YLS, the CBA, and the CBF are doing to assist others with having access to our justice system. The justice system only works for people if you have access, and our Chicago Bar Founda- tion, and the CBA especially through the YLS, do a great amount of good.”

M e g a n H e a l y McClung 2006-2007 Why did you become amember of the YLS? “I went to law school outside of Chicago and did not know any lawyers in the city.

A very smart lawyer, Cynthia Besecker, who soon after became YLS Chair, highly recommended I get involved in the YLS by Co-Chairing the YLS Moot Court Competition that year. She encouraged me to attend other YLS events, connecting me with lawyer colleagues outside of my workplace, and who have been my good friends for years since.” Do you have any advice for young law- yers? “Get out from behind your computer, your phone, and your desk by joining the YLS and the myriad opportunities to get involved in your legal community.” What is your favorite memory of your time in the YLS? “Participating in the Lawyers in the Class- room program, especially the time when we read a winter-themed holiday story and delivered collected gifts to a packed grade- school gym with all my YLS colleagues dressed as silly elves.”

Mia Jiganti 2002-2003

Daniel Cotter 2003-2004

How has serving as a YLS Chair prepared you for legal practice, made you a better practitioner, or oth- erwise contributed to

What advice would you g i ve t o YLS members about CBA involvement or being a lawyer generally? “I would seek out

your career development? “On a very basic level, because you get to know a lot of people who are in areas of practice that are very different than your own, you get a great perspective on the way people think in different practice areas. That is helpful for somebody like me, because I’m a director of risk management. While I deal across the board with differ- ent areas of law, it is good to have had the experience of working with other people who have practiced in that area of law,

opportunities to lead and to be a thought leader, whether that’s speaking, writing, or being involved in the executive committee of the YLS. Secondly, what I tell mentees in law schools and young lawyers always is to instill in yourself and have a mental image of a quiver on your back – and to pick up as many experiences and tangential skills as you can put that into that quiver. The broader and more well-rounded you are,

Rubin R. Chapa 2001-02

Charis Runnels 2004-05

Carolyn Amadon 2005-06

William B. Oberts 2007-08

Michael P. Rohan 2008-09

Scott W. Henry 2009-10


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