Debra Pickett, Page 2 Communications
[email protected] / (773) 368-7064


CBPA Hosting Private Screening of Thurgood Marshall Feature Film, Panel Discussion

Chicago (September 25, 2017) – The Chicago Black Partners Alliance (CBPA), announces a private screening of the movie “Marshall,” a feature film about the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, which nearly 400 judges, lawyers, in-house counsel, professors, law students, and others in the legal and business community will attend.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11 at 5:00 pm at the AMC River East Theater, 322 E. Illinois Street. It will feature a reception, movie screening, and a panel discussion including Hon. Ann Claire Williams, Judge for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Hon. David H. Coar, former United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Professor Randolph N. Stone, Clinical Professor of Law at The University of Chicago Law School, Hon. Arnette Hubbard, Circuit Court of Cook County, and civil rights attorney James D. Montgomery, Sr., Managing Partner, James D. Montgomery and Associates, Ltd.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to connect with the proud history of the civil rights movement,” says organizing committee member Karen K. Harris, a partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. “Thurgood Marshall is a hero to so many of us who have pursued careers in law. The evening will honor and celebrate his memory and provide much-needed inspiration from his example.”

Harris is joined on the organizing committee by fellow Chicago partners LaDale K. George of Perkins Coie LLP and Joseph Q. McCoy of Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP, along with the co-founders of the CBPA, Peter M. Ellis of Reed Smith LLP and Jeanne M. Gills of Foley & Lardner LLP.

The CBPA is a professional networking group consisting of about 100 African-American partners at major Chicago law firms. Committed to leveraging relationships to benefit its members’ respective professional and business development efforts and serving as a resource for companies seeking to retain outside counsel of diverse backgrounds, the organization aims to improve the recruitment, retention, advancement and promotion of Black and other diverse attorneys in Chicago-area law firms and corporations.

“Justice Marshall once said, ‘We must dissent from the indifference … from the apathy … from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.’ We started CBPA because our legal profession can and must do better,” says CBPA co-founder, Jeanne M. Gills. “We wanted our group to play a vital role in ensuring that Black and other diverse attorneys have equal opportunity to not only access, but also thrive in law firm and corporate environments.”

“This event also fulfills our mission of providing an experienced mentor network for junior African-American attorneys. Our CBPA members and honored guests will join diverse law students and young lawyers in remembering Justice Marshall and how his legacy has been instrumental to the careers and aspirations of so many,” said CBPA co-founder Peter M. Ellis.

The movie centers on a sensational case that Justice Marshall tried early in his career. Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing the superhero Black Panther, portrays Marshall as he defends a black chauffeur against his wealthy socialite employer in a sexual assault and attempted murder trial in 1940s Connecticut. The screenplay was written by renowned trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and his son, Jacob Koskoff, a screenwriter and is directed by Reginald Hudlin.

This event is sponsored by:

Akerman LLP

Mayer Brown LLP

Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.

McDermott Will & Emery

DLA Piper

Perkins Coie LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP

Quarles & Brady LLP

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Reed Smith LLP

Holland & Knight LLP

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

Jenner & Block

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Linda & Peter Bynoe

Sidley Austin LLP