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.
- Chairing and/or co-chairing over 20 cases to verdict in state and federal court and over 50 arbitrations.
- Successfully defending and resolving numerous cases with exposure up to $200 million, through dispositive motions and/or negotiating favorable settlements for Fortune 500 companies, energy and media companies, railroads, and educational institutions.
- Counseling clients on early dispute resolution and trial strategy including jury consulting.
- Providing 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 Inn of Court
Cook County Bar Association
Honors & Awards
Distinguished Alumni Award, The University of Iowa College of Law (2015)
POW Award for Leadership, Womenetics (2014)
Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders, Diversity MBA Magazine (2014)
“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
Sinai Health Systems, Board of Directors