Hinshaw Partners Diane Webster and Gretchen Harris Sperry Named to Crain's Chicago 2022 Notable Women in Law
The U.S. law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP today announced that Crain's Chicago Business has selected partners Diane Webster and Gretchen Harris Sperry among its 2022 Notable Women in Law.
Each year, Crain's recognizes the achievements of women attorneys for exemplary leadership, community involvement, professional accomplishments, and significant contributions to the advancement of women and diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession.
"Diane and Gretchen are highly regarded in the legal community and beyond, not only for their professional accomplishments but also their leadership and commitment to mentoring other women and diverse attorneys," said Robert Shannon, managing partner of Hinshaw. "They have significantly impacted the firm's success in attracting, retaining, and advancing women and diverse attorneys. We are delighted that they are among this year's Crain's Notable Women in Law."
Webster became the first woman in Hinshaw's history to be appointed as partner-in-charge of the Chicago office. A seasoned trial attorney, she focuses her practice on defending companies, state and county governments, and school districts in complex/catastrophic litigation. She is among a select group of attorneys who have never lost a case, achieving either a successful resolution for her clients or a complete defense verdict with no monetary damages.
Sperry is chair of Hinshaw's nationally recognized Appellate Practice Group and handles appeals on a wide range of matters in state and federal appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. A recognized thought leader, she has authored articles and treatises on appellate practice and is regularly quoted by media outlets. In addition, she had a key role in integrating cutting-edge technology at all stages of litigation at Hinshaw. Working with the firm's Chief Knowledge Officer, she assisted in integrating technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into general litigation and appellate practices at the firm.
Webster and Sperry are actively involved in the firm's leadership and have served as mentors to countless women and diverse attorneys.
Webster is involved in the hiring, retention, and advancement of women and diverse lawyers through leadership roles on Hinshaw's Executive Committee, Hiring Committee, Attorney Life Committee, Women Affinity Network, and Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity (LCLD) committee. An inaugural fellow of LCLD in 2011, she had a critical role in developing programming of the national leadership and professional development program. She is actively involved in a number of professional organizations, including the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI), Hispanic National Bar Association, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Step-Up Women's Network, National Association of Women Lawyers, and has held numerous leadership roles with the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA).
She has devoted countless hours to mentoring diverse law students through the Hispanic HLAI JD Mentors Program, LCLD, the Step-Up Women's Network, and ALPFA.
A dedicated mentor, Sperry has guided women and diverse attorneys at Hinshaw and the greater Chicago legal community. She mentors many young lawyers formally and informally, helping to integrate them into the firm and hone their law practice since the post-pandemic return-to-office. She is a member of the firm's Associate Hiring Committee, which seeks to eliminate implicit bias in hiring, and teaches legal writing courses to incoming associates through Hinshaw University. She previously taught appellate advocacy at Loyola and UIC John Marshall Law Schools and has taught a 3L Practical Skills Training Seminar at Loyola since 2013.