66 ABA Journal Members Who Inspire articles.
“You are impacting lives in a critical way,” says Judge Ernestine Gray about working in juvenile court. “And if you are talking about children who are growing up, it’s going to help determine where they are in the future. I don’t want to look back and say, ‘If I had done X for this child, maybe they could’ve done great things.’ So in the moment where you are, do the good work.”
Apr 1, 2023 1:20 AM CDT
In January 2021, Aubrey Coleman became a program manager at Microsoft and began working with internet service providers to bring affordable broadband to people living in unserved rural areas across the country. He also partners with community organizations to educate residents on how to obtain federal subsidies to reduce the price of internet access; how to safely navigate the internet; and how to access computers or tablets at lower prices.
Feb 1, 2023 12:50 AM CST
Brian Wallach was preparing for a case in 2017 when he felt a weakness in his left hand. At 36 years old, the assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois ignored it. He had been on the track and field team at Yale, after all, and he was healthy. Why worry?
Jan 31, 2023 10:42 AM CST
Dec 14, 2022 8:38 AM CST
Randall Kinnard says he learned a lot about pressure, stress and loss during the Vietnam War. But he says he also realized he could transfer those tough lessons to the courtroom. “I elected to focus my practice on injured people and wanting to use those skills I had to help them achieve some fairness back into their life.”
Dec 1, 2022 12:50 AM CST
“I read a quote recently that said we should think hard about what we owe each other as citizens and human beings,” Deborah Ferguson says. “I believe that.”
Nov 22, 2022 3:37 PM CST
In summer 2020, Lauren Champaign and two colleagues proposed to Foley a three-part action plan for addressing racial injustice and inequality. “We took it very seriously and talked about how it felt to be in this moment as African American lawyers and what we wanted to see changed,” Champaign says. “Sometimes people think about organizational change, and that’s something, but with our three-part action plan, we were like, ‘No, we are intelligent, corporate attorneys doing really creative things. Here is a massive problem that has gone on for centuries. We can do more than just internal work.’”
Oct 1, 2022 12:40 AM CDT
Roula Allouch thinks about young people in her community whenever her civil rights work starts to feel daunting. “Working with youth helps refocus and recenter me on the reason that we’re doing it all: to make things better for the generation coming after us,” says Allouch. “I don’t want the next generation of Arab-American kids and Muslim youth to be dealing with those same challenges.”
Sep 20, 2022 10:10 AM CDT
More than 40 years ago, Janet Goelz Hoffman set out to help those who help others, building a sizable client base of nonprofit organizations before retiring as a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman. Now in the next chapter of her career, the veteran public finance attorney continues to prioritize the needs of nonprofits at Katten’s Chicago office as a senior counsel and pro bono counsel. She not only assists these clients with transactional pro bono matters, but she also is mentoring younger attorneys who are also interested in making pro bono part of their practice.
Aug 1, 2022 12:30 AM CDT
G. Helen Whitener brings several different perspectives to her work as a state supreme court justice. She is the first Black woman and fourth immigrant-born justice to sit on the Washington Supreme Court. She is the first Black LGBT judge in the state of Washington. She also identifies as an individual with a disability.
Jul 20, 2022 8:42 AM CDT
Carrie Cohen credits one particular experience for changing the course of her career. She graduated from Cornell University in 1989 and decided to defer law school for a year so she could work as a paralegal at what is now Vladeck, Raskin & Clark in New York City. Learning from trailblazing labor lawyer Judith Vladeck and her daughter, Anne, had a profound impact on Cohen. “They represented unions, and then Mrs. Vladeck had a specialty representing women in employment discrimination, sexual harassment and sort of #MeToo issues before that term ever existed,” Cohen says.
Jun 1, 2022 12:50 AM CDT
In a landmark ruling in April, the Department of Defense was ordered to stop discriminating against people with HIV and permit them to deploy and commission as military officers. Scott Schoettes represented the two plaintiffs who brought the suit, a case with personal meaning for him as an attorney living with HIV.
May 31, 2022 1:12 PM CDT
“I always say I have been so lucky in life,” Emily Feinstein says. “I was lucky that my dad married my mom, because that relationship provided me with so many opportunities that would not have otherwise been available—the ability to go to college and the belief that I was obviously going to law school. I don’t think that would have been ingrained in me. And so being able to take what I have and use it to help others has always been really important.”
Apr 1, 2022 1:00 AM CDT
Luz Arévalo has spent most of her career helping immigrants and members of other marginalized communities sort through issues with their taxes.
Mar 31, 2022 2:54 PM CDT
Matt Simpson was 10 when he attended a sports camp hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes in North Carolina and discovered goalball, a sport developed in 1946 to help rehabilitate World War II veterans. He has since competed at the sport’s highest level, playing on the U.S. men’s national team that won the silver medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro and representing the United States again at the delayed 2020 Games in Tokyo last summer.
Feb 1, 2022 12:50 AM CST