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Women's lawyer group installs new leader, has trans-focused program
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

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Wochner Law Firm LLC partner Corinne Cantwell Heggie recently became the Women's Bar Association of Illinois ( WBAI ) president, 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 were 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 furthered her outreach was 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," which took place June 20 at Alliance Bernstein, 227 W. Monroe St. Suite 5500.

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

While Heggie is WBAI's president, the association will also celebrate the 19th Amendment's centennial with a luncheon Wed., Oct. 16, 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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