Hinshaw Partner Diane Webster Profiled in "New Face of Leadership" Feature
Diane E. Webster, Hinshaw partner and current partner-in-charge of the firm's Chicago office, was recently profiled by Dustin Seibert of Emerging Lawyers Magazine. In the article, Webster describes how her mother's experience as a first generation immigrant from Uruguay helped kindle her own interest in becoming a lawyer, the value she places on professional mentorship, the importance of promoting greater diversity in the legal profession, her commitment to craft as a trial lawyer, and the challenge and responsibility of serving in a firm leadership role.
Read the full article profile (PDF). Here's a summary:
Webster on her mother's immigrant experience: "I didn’t like the sense of helplessness and lack of control she had to experience. I wanted to do something. Being a lawyer is a privilege. Through your legal training, you are armed with the knowledge and skill to help others who often desperately need your help."
Webster on the importance of having a mentor in her own career: "[Kevin Burke, current chairman of Hinshaw, has] been instrumental in all aspects of my career and life. He's an amazing mentor, role model and one of the best trial attorneys ever."
Webster on her own role as a mentor: "It’s one of my favorite things because I love to develop that bond and see others succeed. I usually have one formal summer associate or regular associate mentee as well as many informal mentees both inside and outside of the firm."
Webster on the importance of greater diversity in the legal profession: "There is a lack of diverse attorneys in our profession, particularly among Hispanics, which may be the most underrepresented group. It is important for us that all of our attorneys, particularly our diverse attorneys, have what they need to grow and succeed [at Hinshaw]. We strive to impart a sense of inclusion."
Webster on the challenge of serving as a firm leader: "I take it very seriously that they took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to do the work I’m doing. I feel a tremendous responsibility that, with all I was afforded, I need to make good on that decision and deliver the very best I can."
Colleagues, clients and her professional peers also attested to Webster's qualities as a lawyer and as a person in the article. Here's a summary:
Current Hinshaw chairman Kevin Burke: "It’s like one of those Malcolm Gladwell books where she exhibits all those things that if you look back and see what makes people successful, she has every aspect. She works very hard and has a great personality and temperament that causes people to root for her."
Scott Beckman, vice president of ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company: "Diane has an unparalleled zest, intelligence and award-winning personality when it comes to defending doctors in med mal litigation…. She’s extremely thorough, very passionate about what she does, and is accomplished. Besides being a stellar trial attorney, she cares passionately about her clients and is an absolute delight."
Joseph Balesteri of Powers, Rogers & Smith: "Diane’s preparation, her intelligence, honesty and a very captivating personality set her apart from lawyers in her field, especially at her age. Those things make her a complete package."
Al Schwartz of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz: "There are lawyers out there who make everything, from court appearances to depositions, a painful struggle. [Diane's] just not like that; she gets through difficult situations in a very positive way."
The article "The New Face of Leadership" was originally published by Emerging Lawyers Magazine for 2016, and is reprinted with permission.