Leslie’s contagious energy and valuable insight mixed with her natural talent has been her formula for success. Leslie has successfully defended numerous corporations in multi-million-dollar exposure cases, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death product liability cases, negligence and premises liability cases, insurance and consumer putative class actions with thousands of potential class members, and business and employment disputes. Leslie routinely leverages her broad experience and honed trial skills with early offensive strategies to achieve unmatched results for clients. In fact, clients tout Leslie’s command of several practice areas and overall general litigation knowledge as an invaluable benefit to working with her and having her as a trusted advisor.
Honored by a number of professional and community organizations, Leslie is recognized as a connector, a mentor, and a trailblazer among her peers, colleagues, and friends. She has served on several educational, health, and other non-profit boards to support the needs of both the legal field and the broader community.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for Fortune 50 manufacturing company in a tortious interference with business and trademark infringement litigation where company employee was helping plaintiff’s case
- Represented and negotiated a favorable settlement for a major utility company in TCPA litigation with $600 million dollars in exposure.
- Successfully represented municipality in nationally publicized discrimination and retaliation employment dispute.
- Chaired and/or co-chaired over 20 cases to verdict in state and federal court and over 50 arbitrations for Fortune 500 companies, including railroads, media and technology companies, educational institutions, and manufacturing entities.
- Counsels clients on early dispute resolution and trial strategy including jury consulting.
- Provides continuing legal education classes for lawyers and presentations for schools and other professionals on social media, privacy, diversity, and mentoring.
University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1995
University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, M.A.
University of Iowa, B.A.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
American Bar Association
Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago
Chicago Bar Association
Chicago Inn of Court
Cook County Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Leadership Greater Chicago, Fellow
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellow
National Bar Association
Past Teaching Appointments
Adjunct Professor of Communications Law, Roosevelt University
Adjunct Professor of Mass Communications Law, John Marshall Law School
Honors & Awards
Illinois Leading Lawyer
Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2019)
Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
Lawdragon Inc. (2019)
Distinguished Alumni Award
The University of Iowa College of Law (2015)
POW Award for Leadership
Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders
Diversity MBA Magazine (2014)
“Know Better, Do Better” and “No Second Chance,” (interviewee and author) Chicago Lawyer (December 2018)
“Civility in the Legal Profession,” (co-presenter) PLI Practising Law Institute Illinois Basic Skills for Newly Admitted Attorneys 2018, Chicago, IL (October 1, 2018)
“Cracking the Code: Strategies for Addressing Race, Racism, and Politics in the Workplace,” (co-panelist) BWLA Let's Talk Roundtable, Chicago, IL (March 1, 2018)
“Ethical and Strategic Implications in Cases Involving Third Party Litigation Financing,” (co-panelist) 2018 ABA Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts, and Products Liability Litigation Committee's Joint CLE Seminar, Whistler, BC (January 26, 2018)
“Benefits and Mechanics of Diverse Partner Integration,” (co-author) Best Lawyers “Women in the Law” Spring Business Edition (April 2017)
“The New Frontier: The Rise and Impact of Third Party Litigation Financing,” (co-panelist) ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar (February 18, 2017)
“Legal Compliance Update: The Current Telephone Communication Protection Act Landscape & What You Need to Know to Avoid Liability,” (speaker) The National Bar Association/ Commercial Law Section (February 2016)
“Turning Jury Research Results Into Winning Strategies,” (speaker) The National Bar Association/Commercial Law Section (February 2015)
American Bar Association/ABOTA Trial College, (faculty) American Bar Association, TIPS Section, Reno, NV (April 2014 and 2015)
“The Art of The Dance,” (speaker) Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Women Lawyers Lean-In Series (August 2013)
Ethics CLE – “Civility in the Practice: Advocacy with Less Attitude,” (speaker) SNR Denton Client CLE Seminar (June 2011)
“Benefits of Bar Leadership,” (moderator) Leadership Institute for Women of Color in Law and Business (April 2011)
“How to be a Successful Rainmaker,” (panelist) Leadership Institute for Women of Color in Law and Business (April 2010)
“Challenges Encountered By Diverse Associates at a Large Law Firm and How to Overcome those Challenges,” (panelist) Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP Associate Seminar (May 2009)
Community Development Commission (CDC), Commissioner, appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Legacy Charter School, Board of Directors, Founding Board Member
Sinai Health Systems, Board of Directors, Secretary
Sinai Community Institute, Community Affairs Committee, Co-Chair