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August 5, 2012

Margaret Brent 2012 Honoree Joan M. Hall

Joan M. Hall, retired partner at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, rose through the ranks to become the firm’s second woman partner, its first female litigation partner and the first woman appointed to Jenner’s executive committee. She also was the first woman to chair Jenner’s hiring committee. As a result, by 1974, roughly half of that year’s hires were women. She served as the first woman chair of the ABA Section of Litigation and used her yearlong term to establish the process of diversifying both the section’s leadership and its membership.  Since the late 1990s, Hall has been a driving force behind the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago, which has enabled hundreds of girls to obtain college degrees and become leaders themselves.