CBA Record March-April 2021

Women’s History Month #ChoosetoChallenge Reading The Chicago Bar Association is pleased to celebrate 2021 Women’s History Month which commemorates and encourages the study and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. The theme of International National Women’s Day 2021 is #ChoosetoChallenge and the CBA has planned a series of educational CLE events the month of March. Register for events (and access the on-demand recordings) at

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy Code Girls tells a little-known story of the 10,000 women recruited from small towns as well as elite colleges to break the Axis code during WWII—work

The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense by Andrea D. Lyon Chicago criminal defense attorney, Andrea D. Lyon, has assembled a powerful anthology of true-life stories of women criminal defense lawyers “fighting the good fight” in criminal courts, a traditional bastion of male lawyers. Lyon, an academician and legendary trial

that saved countless lives, shortened a global war, and pioneered the modern computer and cybersecurity industries. I loved reading about the WWII “code girls” but was reminded once again that the contributions of women often are overlooked in historical accounts of important discoveries and world events. When interviewed about her work writing Code Girls, Liza Mundy was asked: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in your research? She replied: “The extent of the women’s contributions, even going back to the period before the war began. These women were not secretaries or assistants or ancillaries. They made major, major contributions to the course of the war and to the development of computers, code-breaking, and cybersecurity. And the extent to which history had ignored them; it made me angry.” Until the publication of this book, a strict vow of secrecy nearly erased the significant contributions of these patriotic Americans from history made all the easier because they were women. Recommended by E. Lynn Grayson, Nijman Franzetti LLP; CBA 1st Vice President.

attorney, delivers a no holds barred recitation of women who represent clients involved in the criminal justice system. More than 20 years ago, I saw Andrea Lyon try a criminal case, an experience that I felt was tantamount to seeing Clarence Darrow in action. In the years since, Lyon has been a champion of social justice, criminal justice reform, and an unrelenting advocate for her clients and women in the law. Lyon presents interviews of women criminal defense lawyers with whom she has worked or knows from the profession and captures their stories. Among the topics are overcoming blatant sexism, discrimi- nation, and sexual harassment, and the difficulties to advocating for clients from impoverished underserved communities facing systematic racial discrimination and unconscious bias. She and her “sisters in law” are the kind of lawyers we need in these times. Recommended by Nina Fain, Trust Counsel, JS Schirn Family Trust; Chair, CBA Covid-19 Recovery Committee; Member CBA Record Editorial Board.

Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the SupremeCourt by Renee Knake Jefferson &Hannah Brenner Johnson This book recounts the unspoken history of nine qualified women shortlisted to the U.S. Supreme Court between the 1930’s through Sandra Day O’Connor’s

Becoming SuperWoman: ASimple 12-StepPlan to Go from Burnout to Balance by Nicole Lapin Lapin saved me from myself in 2020. In a year when over-work appeared to be the only option, if you were lucky enough to have work, Lapin reminds us to align our time with our values. In the past year, the systems

appointment in 1981. In addition to shining a light on this inte- resting, little known part of women’s history, the authors discuss the harms of shortlisting women by creating a false premise of diversity while preserving the status quo of gender inequity. A must read for those who want to learn more about this period and be inspired to break glass ceilings. Recommended by Katie Liss, Director of the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center at DePaul University College of Law; Member CBA Record Editorial Board.

that women lawyers, and mothers especially, carefully put in place crumbled around us. I found that this book’s message hit home: There is no such thing as Superwoman. We are all our own versions and doing the best we can. Focus on the things you value most, block them into a schedule, and make the time to care for yourself. Recommended by Alexis Crawford Douglas, Partner, K&L Gates LLP.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling After 2020, we can all use some positivity and a little laughter. Funny ladyMindy Kaling does not disappoint in an essay series full of her work-hard-and-take-charge energy, in which she challenges anyone and everyone to tell her why she is undeserving of confidence, success,

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle Rebecca Serle delivers an unexpected love story that crosses into real-life concerns of friendships, worry, future and loss. You will be intrigued at the interplay of fate and free will, as the quick read moves through a wide range of emotions. The themes of female friend-

and professional recognition – all with good-hearted humor and some Hollywood flair, to boot. Recommended byTracy A. Brammeier, Clifford Law Offices; Young Lawyers Section First Vice Chair.

ship, loyalty and fate will leave you contemplating your life and surroundings with renewed eyes. Recommended by Kernisha Padilla, Blank Rome LLP; Young Lawyers SectionWomen in the Law Committee Chair.

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