Paula Hudson Holderman, Winston & Strawn’s chief attorney development officer, has global responsibility for the firm’s professional development and all facets of education and training. Professional development integrates mentoring, work assignments, and associate evaluations with in-house training, outside CLE courses, on-line learning, and hands-on pro bono experiences.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Holderman was director of hiring, training, and minority recruiting for the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office. She previously served as associate director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution/Director of Clinical Education at John Marshall Law School. She was an assistant state’s attorney for the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office in Urbana, Ill., from 1979-1989. During that time, she tried more than 20 jury trials, including four murder trials to verdict.
Ms. Holderman was recognized as among “100 Women to Watch” in July 2012 by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine. In April 2012, Ms. Holderman was named as one of the 15 “Women Making An Impact” by Chicago Lawyer Magazine and was featured in the Law Bulletin’s Women in Law 2012 publication. She received the 2011 “Women with Vision” award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and was recognized by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation at its 2011 Unity Dinner as an “Advocate for Diversity.” She also received The John Marshall Law School Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1997).
Honors and Awards
Ms. Holderman will become the president of the 30,000 member Illinois State Bar Association in June 2013. She will be only the fourth woman to be elected president of the organization in its 137-year history. Ms. Holderman has served on the ISBA Board of Governors since 2006. Before being elected to the board, she was an elected member of the state bar Assembly for more than a decade and chaired its Finance Committee as well as the Resolutions & Drafting Committee. In addition, she chaired the Standing Committee on Women and the Law and the Bench and Bar Section Council. Ms. Holderman was president of the state bar lobbying organization, LAWPAC, from 2004-2005. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and is an ex-officio member of the ISBA Mutual Insurance board of directors.
Ms. Holderman led the successful effort to create and establish The Illinois Law & Leadership Institute pilot program in 2011. The program provided three weeks of introduction, exposure, and instruction on skills to succeed in careers in law to a group of diverse Chicago eighth and ninth graders. In 2012, the ISBA pilot program partnered with the nationally-acclaimed Just The Beginning Foundation to continue and expand its mission in Illinois.
Ms. Holderman is a member of the ABA House of Delegates and served three years as liaison to the Commission on Women in the Profession. She is a co-chair of the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Ms. Holderman is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation as well as the Illinois Bar Foundation. She is a past board member of the Chicago Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.
Ms. Holderman is the James C. Wood Distinguished Co-lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, where she has taught on the adjunct faculty since 1993. She has also taught at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA); Chicago-Kent College of Law; Emory University, Atlanta; and the John Marshall Law School, Chicago. In June 2010, Ms. Holderman taught an ABA accredited course on “Working with Experts in IP Litigation” at Peking University, Beijing, China.
Ms. Holderman was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to its governing board for MCLE in Illinois in 2012. She is currently in her second term as a commissioner on the Court’s committee on Character and Fitness. She previously chaired the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on MCLE and was a member of the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Professional Responsibility (1998-2006). In addition, she is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism CLE Advisory Group.
Ms. Holderman is past president of the Champaign County Bar Association (1987-88) and the John Marshall Law School Alumni Association (1994-95).
Ms. Holderman is a member of Winston & Strawn’s Diversity Committee and chaired its Women to Women (W2W) initiative for many years.
Ms. Holderman received a B.A. in French from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1976 and a J.D. from John Marshall Law School in 1979.
Speeches and Publications
“The Power of Authentic Networking,” Chartis Insurance Women’s Engagement Series, July 2012; “Civility in Practice,” Office of the Illinois Attorney General, February 2012 with Jayne Reardon; “The Power of Authenticity: To Thine Own Self be True,” Loyola University Spirituality and the Law Seminar, November 2011; “The Importance of Bar Association Leadership to Your Career Development,” WBAI, November 2011; “From the Corner Office to the Boardroom to the Bench: Women Leaders in the Law,” Chicago Bar Association, October 2011; keynote, “The Power of Authentic Networking,” AIPLA Women’s Networking Dinner, Houston, May 2011; “Civility and Professionalism 2011,” ISBA Law Ed program, March 2011; “Taking Charge of Your Career,” CLEO Leadership & Retention Seminar, Chicago, February 2011; “Exploring Generational Differences in the Workplace,” Chicago Bar Association, November 2010; “Networking Skills for Enhanced Client Service,” Hong Kong, October 2010; “Judicial Selection in Illinois: A Judicial Symposium on Election and Appointive Systems,” October 2010; keynote, “The Power of Authentic Networking,” Leadership Illinois, September 2010; the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois “Spring Training Program” May 2010 with Delilah Flaum; “A Woman Law Student’s Guide to Authentic Self-Promotion,” NIU College of Law, DeKalb April 2010; keynote, “A Woman Law Student’s Guide to Authentic Self-Promotion,” SIU School of Law Women’s Leadership Institute, January 2010; “Ethics, Risk Management and Conflicts in Large Law Firms,” The John Marshall Law School Chicago, November 2009 with Anne Thar; “Seek Power: A Woman’s Guide to Authentic Self-Promotion,” ISBA Chicago, October 2009 with Delilah Flaum; “The Importance of Individual Attorney Development Planning,” Washington D.C., July 2009; “The Perils of Character and Fitness: Traps for the Unwary,” ABA Annual Meeting Chicago, August 2009; “Backpack to Brief Case,” NAWL, Chicago 2005; “Building Our Future,” National Women’s Leadership Conference, San Diego, 2003; published, “Developing Specialty Programs for Women,” in the ABA Best Practices Attorney Professional Development, 2004.