Women's Initiatives

Jenner & Block works to promote and support the advancement and inclusion of women in the workplace, in the profession, and in the community. We have a long history of hiring and promoting women lawyers, beginning in the 1960s, before many other large firms would do so. Our women lawyers were among the first to be elected to partnership in large law firms. Today, women are represented on the Management Committee, the Policy Committee, and are practice group leaders. Partner Susan J. Kohlmann, for example, serves on the firm's Policy, Hiring, and Pro Bono Committees and is the former managing partner of the New York Office.

Jenner & Block was one of the first AmLaw 100 firms to have a female managing partner.  Susan C. Levy was the firm’s first woman managing partner, serving from 2008 to 2014. When she took on that role, Jenner & Block joined a select group of only 8% of the top 200 law firms having women managing partners.  In June 2013, the ABA Journal recognized Susan's leadership in a profile about women in law firm leadership.

We are proud of the recognition our firm has received for its support of women lawyers and for the impact many of our women lawyers have had on the profession and the community. They include the first woman to head the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and the first to be awarded the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women’s Alta May Hulett Award.  Retired partner Joan Hall was the first woman in Illinois to be inducted as a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, and, in 2013, Partner Terri L. Mascherin was the firm's third woman partner elected to the College

Our commitment to gender diversity has been recognized over time in a number of ways.  In 2002, Jenner & Block became the first Chicago-based law firm to win the National Association of Women Lawyers President’s Award, honoring the firm’s commitment to and long-time support of women in the field of law. 

The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) awarded Jenner & Block its 2020 Gold Standard Certification, making the firm one of 42 honored in the United States and among only 16 that met all six criteria for inclusion. WILEF grants the certification to major firms (more than 300 lawyers) that meet criteria concerning the number of women among equity partners, in firm leadership positions, and in the ranks of their most highly compensated partners.

Additionally, the firm was recognized in 2021 as the Top Firm in the “Training & Mentorship” and “Part-Time Options” categories in Yale Law Women’s Report on Gender Equity & Family Friendliness. Yale Law Women is a non-partisan organization that works to advance the status of women at Yale Law School and in the legal profession at large. In 2020, we were recognized as being one of the top firms for hiring practices, inclusion initiatives, and LGBTQ+ representation. The firm received category honors for training and mentoring programs being fully billable in 2019.

Partner Susan J. Kohlmann is a co-chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and a co-chair of the Trademark, Advertising, and Unfair Competition Practice. She is also the former managing partner of the New York office.