The Women’s Leadership Forum supports the growth of our women attorneys through various initiatives, programs and events. 

The Women’s Leadership Forum supports the strategic retention and advancement of women attorneys at the firm through mentoring and professional development programs designed to assist them with managing their careers, augmenting their skills and dealing with issues faced by women generally.

In August of 2004, the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) was established to further the firm’s commitment to the strategic retention and advancement of women and to provide a forum for our women attorneys to discuss issues and share information. A driving force for its creation was the recognition that as a national law firm we have an enormous amount of wisdom, experience and vision within our midst, which, when collected and shared internally and externally, can empower women at all levels in their careers to achieve success and satisfaction.

The WLF was the driving force behind the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms, which provides the leaders of women’s initiatives in Chicago law firms with a venue for sharing information and programming. Katten also was a lead signatory to the Chicago Bar Association’s “Call to Action” project, which promotes women’s leadership in the legal profession.

Additional examples of steps we take to fulfill our WLF mission include the following:

Professional Development

The WLF has been instrumental in organizing firmwide training in areas such as business development and networking.

Mentoring Clusters

The WLF organizes mentoring clusters composed of 7 to 10 women of varied experience and practices, with the idea that sharing the respective backgrounds and advice of women in the group will help promote the firm’s collective professional and personal growth. Clusters meet quarterly, at a minimum, and are encouraged to meet as often as members desire. Each cluster can plan its own activities according to the interests and schedules of the group.

Internal Events

The WLF hosts regular internal events and roundtable sessions to discuss specific issues that affect women in the legal workplace today, including leveraging a professional presence, balancing work and life, how to achieve financial wellness and unleashing the power of personality for more success.

External Events

The WLF has joined hands, as an active sponsor, with several community organizations and events that support and advance the value of women in business, including the following:

  • American Bar Association’s Women Rainmakers Section
  • Charlotte Business Women of the Year Leadership Forum and Luncheon
  • Charlotte Women’s Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women
  • Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms
  • Los Angeles Women’s Rights Committee on Human Rights Watch
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Simpson Academy for Young Women
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • Women’s Bar Foundation
  • Women’s Board of the American Cancer Society
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles

Annual Client Events

Katten’s Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Charlotte offices each host an annual client event specifically for women in business and law. The purpose of these events is to network with women clients and colleagues in the local area, showcase our women attorneys and demonstrate the firm’s commitment to diversity and women’s issues.

Recruitment

The firm is a regular sponsor of the Northwestern University School of Law Women’s Leadership Coalition, and Katten women attorneys provide support in the form of mentoring and education by serving as panelists for ongoing programming for women law students.

Katten is also a sponsor of the annual Women's Law Association conference at Harvard Law School.

Surveys

Katten has been named to Working Mother magazine's "100 Best Companies" list every year since 2007, and among the "50 Best Law Firms for Women" by Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers every year since the list was first compiled in 2007.