Three Hinshaw Partners Selected to Crain’s Chicago 2024 Notable Women in Law

February 20, 2024

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is pleased to announce that partners Megan Lopp Mathias, Vaishali Rao, and Paula Wegman have been selected by Crain’s Chicago Business among its 2024 Notable Women in Law. A total of 141 women attorneys from 78 law firms were honored, with Hinshaw among only 20 firms to have three or more attorneys selected.

Each year, Crain’s Chicago Business recognizes leading area women attorneys for exceptional leadership, "making their mark on the law," mentoring, and impact on the community. According to Crain's, this year's class of honorees "serve as mentors and guiding lights for other women in their firms and bring their expertise to their communities and nonprofits outside the office."

A member of Hinshaw’s Commercial Transactions practice, Mathias has over 20 years of experience representing companies in complex commercial business transactions, commercial litigation, and general corporate matters, often serving as external general counsel for mid-market companies. She focuses her practice on advising clients who prioritize Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles or are committed to fostering diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Her commitment is to offer strategic counsel and representation that aligns with their ESG and diversity goals while ensuring legal compliance and risk mitigation.

View her Notable Women in Law profile (subscription required)

A member of Hinshaw’s Consumer Financial Services practice, Rao represents financial services companies in a wide array of matters brought by state and federal agencies, as well as compliance matters related to consumer protection. Rao leads the firm’s Regulatory & Compliance team, building a national team primarily comprised of women attorneys, and is recognized as a go-to resource for national media on topics including debt collection and student loans. Rao is the first woman of color selected to serve on Hinshaw’s Management Committee, the firm’s highest governing body. In that role, Rao influences various firm policies and contributes to oversight of the firm’s strategic plan implementation. In addition to her practice, Rao serves as an alternate on the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals and has been a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow since 2020. 

Prior to joining the firm, Rao served in the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and as Assistant Counsel in the Illinois House of Representatives, where she assisted in the impeachment trial of former Illinois Governor Rod. R Blagojevich.

View her Notable Women in Law profile (subscription required)

Wegman is a member of Hinshaw’s Aviation practice and is nationally recognized for her successful track record defending leading global aviation and aerospace companies and product manufacturers in high-profile litigation in state and federal courts. She also counsels companies on complex regulatory and contractual issues related to domestic and international airline and airport operations. As the first female chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association Aviation Committee, Wegman was actively involved in establishing educational and professional opportunities for attorneys in the aviation and aerospace industry sectors. A longtime advocate for women in aviation and the legal industry, she has mentored numerous women attorneys throughout her career.

In addition to her practice, Wegman is active in community organizations, previously supporting fundraising and service opportunities through her local Catholic parish. She currently donates her time and talent through the suburban alumni chapter of her previous Panhellenic membership and various local fundraising efforts in her current hometown.

View her Notable Women in Law profile. (subscription required)

View the full list of honorees (subscription required)

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S.-based law firm with offices nationwide. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, professional services, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw provides holistic legal solutions—from litigation and dispute resolution, and business advisory and transactional services, to regulatory compliance—for clients of all sizes. Visit for more information and follow @Hinshaw on LinkedIn and X.