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WBAI installs new president, announces upcoming transgender-focused program
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

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Wochner Law Firm LLC partner Corinne Cantwell Heggie will become the Women's Bar Association of Illinois ( WBAI ) president on May 30, having previously served as its first vice president and chair of a number of events and committees since joining the association. Heggie will, like those before her, serve a one year term.

Heggie's law firm is focused on helping individuals and businesses preserve their wealth with estate and business plans. This includes preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorney and a variety of estate planning documents as well as administering estates and handling probate cases. Heggie explained that her years practicing financial services law, first as a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and later as counsel at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC is a foundation for her work in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration and probate. She received her Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.

WBAI began in 1914 with nine women lawyers who were practicing in Chicago and was founded, according to its website, "to promote the interests and welfare of women lawyers and also to aid in the enactment of legislation for the common good and in the administration of justice. Its activities have always been divided between burning controversial social and political issues and the practical need to help its members gain employment. The WBAI was one of the first minority bar associations to extend its membership to males."

"I am looking forward to being the president of the largest statewide bar association dedicated to promoting and advancing women in the legal profession," said Heggie. "I am committed to furthering that mission over the next year."

In her roles with the WBAI, Heggie has spoken about diversity within the legal profession at the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and St. Louis University College of Law. She has received a number of honors including an Illinois Super Lawyer earlier this year, an Illinois Rising Star in 2017, Best Lawyers named her a national "Woman of Influence" in 2017 and she was chosen one of DePaul Magazine's "14 under 40" due to her mentoring of young lawyers and contributions to the legal profession.

The first event Heggie will be furthering her outreach is through WBAI's upcoming panel discussion that she spearheaded—Transgender in the Workplace: The Status of the Law and Leveraging the Power of Authenticity for Business Success—June 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Alliance Bernstein, 227 West Monroe St. Suite 5500.

This free event will be moderated by Bernstein Private Wealth Management LGBTQ Community Ambassador, WBAI Diversity Chair and LAGBAC Member Franco LaMarca and feature panelists Center on Halsted Gender Equity and Inclusion Director and Transgender in the Workplace author Vanessa Sheridan and LAGBAC Board of Directors member and first out transgender judicial candidate in Illinois Jill Rose Quinn. Bernstein is also a presenting sponsor.

"As a member of all the organizations involved in this luncheon, I am personally excited for this collaboration," said LaMarca. "These groups, for the most part, represent marginalized communities that had to fight for their voices be heard and have a seat at the table. Whether it is women, the LGBTQ community or any other community of diversity, no group should feel or be isolated any longer. Such collaborations strengthen the impact and reach of any group and offer an opportunity to catapult progress forward."

"I am looking forward to contributing to this event," said Sheridan. "I always appreciate and encourage collaborations between groups that make a difference for our community. My goal, as always, is to educate because it raises awareness and is a doorway to progress."

"I am excited to present a seminar on transgender employment rights at a time when the Supreme Court is set to decide on the EEOC v. Harris case," said Quinn. "We at LAGBAC are delighted to be partnering with WBAI on this important issue."

Continuing Legal Education credit has been applied for and is pending approval.

While Heggie is WBAI's president, the association will also celebrate the 19th Amendment's centennial with a luncheon October 16, 2019 at the Union League Club. WBAI and the Illinois State Bar Association's Women in the Law Committee have formed an ad hoc committee to serve as a resource for state, county and local agencies to find qualified women to serve agency and commission vacancies. Heggie said willing and capable women in these positions will bring new eyes to issues facing Illinois, Cook County and Chicago.

For more information about these events, contact WBAI at or 312-341-8530.

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