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March 2019

Chicago Office Hosts Second Installment of 2019 Women’s Initiative Event In-House Counsel Series

On February 28, 2019, Gordon & Rees' Chicago office held the second installment of its women's initiative in-house counsel speaker series called "Her Path Forward - Together We Can" which featured Jenna Buda, Corporate Counsel-Director-Reinsurance law at Allstate Insurance Company. This installment focused on sacrifices that women make while building their legal careers. 

More than 25 women in the legal profession attended this intimate gathering to gain insight from Buda as she shared her experience of building her career as a lawyer. Guests included women lawyers from well known businesses including CVS, CBRE, State Farm, and Allstate. After the discussion, Chicago partner Avanti Bakane hosted a dinner for State Farm counsel, Melinda Fuller, who traveled to the event from State Farm’s headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois.

Buda delivered a personal discussion on the challenges women face while building their careers in the legal profession. Her humble, positive and confident demeanor engaged listeners as she stressed the importance of finding support from others, building your network of peers, and looking within yourself for strength and confidence. She encouraged taking risks and looking for opportunities for growth to remain passionate about your profession. She also discussed management of advancement when met with doubt and peer challenges. In closing, she answered questions from the audience and imparted hope for success.

In 2018, the Chicago office hosted its first in the "Her Path Forward - Together We Can" series on April 26 which featured Karen Mayfield Jones, Litigation Counsel at PRA Group, Inc., the second, on September 20 which featured Jennifer Gust, AGC at Resolute Management, and the final event on November 14 which featured U.S. General Counsel of McDonald's Corporation, Mahrukh Hussain.  This series will continue into the remainder of 2019, with three more installments anticipated with dynamic and specialized speakers to add to this accomplished list.

The Chicago office gives special thanks to the speakers, all of the attendees as well as Gordon & Rees organizers Avanti Bakane, Kelly Milam, Tyler Duff, Nerissa Diaz Moisan, Jimmy Antonopoulos, and Abra Geisler.

Gordon & Rees is a national litigation and business transactions firm with more than 850 lawyers in offices across the United States. Our lawyers provide full service representation to public and private companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Founded in 1974, Gordon & Rees is recognized among the fastest growing and largest law firms in the country. Additionally, in 2018 Law360 ranked the firm among the top 40 largest U.S. firms and The American Lawyer ranked the firm among the top 45 on its Diversity Scorecard.

Avanti D. Bakane
Kelly V. Milam