The Chicago Bar Association is pleased to celebrate 2022 Women’s History Month which commemorates and encourages the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. As a part of the celebration, the CBA is profiling a diverse group of women lawyers and judges who share their personal stories, their perspectives on how to thrive within the profession, their advice for women entering the profession and their predictions for the future. For a full list of the CBA’s Women’s History Month events and programs, visit the CBA’s website here: Women’s History Month (chicagobar.org).
Below is our featured interview with Judge Diana Lopez of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
What is the most important lesson you have learned during your legal career about how to thrive in the profession?
Be consistent in your work ethic. Listen and help people with sincerity and authenticity.
What do you believe are the most important attributes of a leader in the legal profession?
One of the most important attributes of a leader in the legal profession is that you have initiative but also know how to be a team member. Humility and grace also are necessary attributes to really be effective in the areas that serve the public.
Please provide an example of a person, or a quotation that inspires you. Explain why you are inspired by that person or quotation.
When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become–whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm–her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, ‘Yes, someone like me can do this. — Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Judge of the United State Supreme Court.
** Reminds me that a young person is always watching what I may be doing in my career, life and profession and it is crucial to be a good role model for all of the youth.