Jenner & Block

Susan J. Kohlmann

Partner


What leadership position do you hold and in what organization?
I have held numerous positions at the New York City Bar, chair of the Diversity Committee, Chair of the Women in The Profession Committee, Member of the Executive Committee, and most recently on the Nominating Committee.

Why did you get involved in that organization?
I have been involved with the New York City Bar since I was a young associate because it offered an immediate and easy way to get involved in substantive issues of law and policy, as well as important issues facing the profession. The New York City Bar mission says that it was “established for the purposes of cultivating the science of jurisprudence, promoting reforms in the law, facilitating and improving the administration of justice, elevating the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession, and cherishing the spirit of collegiality among the members thereof." It has been all of those things and more.

How has being involved in that organization helped you professionally?
Through the City Bar, I have met and gotten know lawyers and judges from all over the City and together we have worked on several interesting issues. Many of the lawyers that I have met over the years have become clients. 

How has Jenner & Block supported you in your leadership role?
Jenner & Block has supported a variety of different events at the City Bar through sponsorship and other support. These events have included the annual diversity champion awards, the City Bar Justice Center’s annual dinner (the City Bar Justice Center provides pro bono legal services in New York City and supports the creation and expansion of pro bono and access to justice) and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture.

What have you learned from your leadership role?
In addition to the obvious exposure, I have learned much about the profession and focused on a wide variety of issues regarding diversity and the administration of justice. In my substantive practice area, I have been able to keep current on a wide variety of issues and, as I have gotten more senior, had opportunities to speak on panels and learn from key lawyers and judges in the area.

What will you tell others about your experience in the organization?
While it is always difficult to find the time in our busy practice for bar service, it is an enormously rewarding experience both professionally and personally. Participating on a New York City Bar Committee is an easy way to get involved in law reform. I love being a lawyer and care deeply about the opportunities the profession has afforded me. Being active in the New York City Bar has given me the opportunity to meet colleagues and expand my network, but more importantly it has given me the opportunity to mentor younger lawyers and, hopefully be a force for positive change and growth in the profession.

How have you involved other Jenner attorneys in your organization?
I have introduced and involved several other Jenner attorneys to the New York City Bar in a variety of ways. Many have come to events and I have helped several lawyers get on different substantive bar committees.

Terri L. Mascherin

Partner

What leadership position do you hold and in what organization?       
I am the Immediate Past President and Board Member of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA).

Why did you get involved in that organization?
I view the Chicago Bar Association as my “home town bar.”  I think it’s easy sometimes to become trapped in our ivory towers of big law firm practice, interacting only with lawyers who are just like us and do the same kinds of work that we do.  As a young lawyer, I wanted to feel connected to the profession in Chicago and to get to know lawyers who practice in different fields and in practice settings different from mine.

How has being involved in that organization helped you professionally?
I know many lawyers in Chicago, and a large number of state and federal court judges as a result of my bar work.  As a result, wherever I go in the city, if there are lawyers there, I’m likely to know someone.  When I go into court in Chicago, there is a good chance that I’ve met the judge, maybe even worked closely with him or her on a Bar Committee or project.  I feel that this has enhanced my reputation in the City and opened many doors for me.

How has Jenner & Block supported you in your leadership role?       
The Firm has supported me every step along the way – from when I chaired a YLS Committee as a young lawyer through my year as President last year.  Of course, the Firm has supported CBA events financially, but in addition, several of my partners and our associates have volunteered to work with me or to support the work of the CBA on various committees and special projects.  And the Firm enthusiastically supported my efforts to become an officer, and ultimately President, of the CBA.

What have you learned from your leadership role?
There are lots of wonderful, talented lawyers out there who don’t practice at firms like ours.

What will you tell others about your experience in the organization?
Get involved in your local bar – you’ll be happy that you did.

How have you involved other Jenner & Block attorneys in your organization?
I appointed two Jenner & Block lawyers to chair committees during my year as President, encouraged one to run for the Board (and he is serving with me this year), involved several associates in supporting my work as President, and provided several folks opportunities to speak at conferences.

TERRI L. MASCHERIN
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
Northwestern University School of Law