(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm welcomed the 2023 cohort of its Kattalyst Sponsorship Program, which has been expanded to include a larger group of participants at the associate, counsel and partner levels.

"The Kattalyst sponsorship program is rooted in the firm's commitment to offer professional development opportunities to all its attorneys, especially attorneys of color, and women and LGBTQ+ attorneys. This program affords attorneys the opportunity to build stronger connections with colleagues and firm leaders and strengthen their business development skills," said Amber Haggins, Katten senior director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Talent.

Launched in 2021, the Kattalyst Sponsorship Program is designed to support historically underrepresented attorneys, who are "protégés" and work with their "sponsors" to gain the experience, skills and connections necessary to succeed in their careers. This year, the number of protégés has grown by 50 percent to 18 participants, and the program has been broadened to include counsel in addition to associates and partners across the firm's offices.

Over the course of a year, high-achieving senior attorneys are paired with partners and firm leaders, who use their experience, influence and networks as sponsors to guide their protégés' careers and expand access to business development and client-facing opportunities. Program participants also receive one-on-one tailored coaching on leadership, management skills, law firm economics, relationship building and business development.

Due in part to their involvement in the sponsorship program, past protégés successfully have been elevated to partner, tapped to serve on firm committees and taken on firm leadership roles in affinity groups, as well as turned into Kattalyst sponsors and accepted new career-advancing legal positions.

The 2023 class of Kattalyst protégés include:

  • Sheehan H. Band, associate, Financial Markets Litigation and Enforcement, Chicago
  • Lauren Batterham, associate, Private Credit, Chicago
  • Louise Carroll, partner and co-chair, Affordable Housing and Community Development, New York
  • Gabriela Chiriboga, associate, Private Credit, Los Angeles
  • Peter J. Dalmasy, associate, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Chicago
  • Meena Dev-Sidhu, counsel, Real Estate, Los Angeles
  • Kelly N. Hutchinson, counsel, Government and Public Finance, Chicago
  • Ali Kassing, associate, Real Estate, Chicago
  • Carl E. Kennedy, partner and co-chair, Financial Markets and Regulation, New York
  • Ilana N. Lubin, partner, Mergers and Acquisitions/Private Equity, New York
  • Tenley Mochizuki, associate, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, New York
  • Cheryl Camin Murray, partner, Health Care, Dallas
  • Jessica L. Schauwecker, associate, Mergers and Acquisitions/Private Equity, Dallas
  • Yelena Shagall, partner, Insurance and Health Care Fraud Litigation, Chicago
  • Fabiola T. Valenzuela, associate, Capital Markets, Chicago
  • Julia M. Winters, partner, Commercial Litigation, New York
  • Paul S. Yong, associate, Securities Litigation, Los Angeles
  • Geoffrey G. Young, partner, Commercial Litigation, New York