2023 – Whitney K. Siehl

Whitney K. Siehl has been passionate about advocating for women’s rights since middle school when she wrote a contest-winning essay advocating for increased legal protections for women. Currently a plaintiffs’ litigator at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP, she handles class action lawsuits of various types, with a particular focus on sexual assault and harassment cases. Though Whitney is still early in her career, she already has made her mark advancing justice for women and has done extensive pro bono work in this area. 

Whitney has participated in multiple groundbreaking cases, representing survivors in the high-profile sexual abuse and harassment cases against Harvey Weinstein and USC gynecologist Dr. Tyndall, securing sizable settlements for her clients following both cases. A substantial portion of her work is pro bono, including her work on the Harvey Weinstein case. She has also led several pro bono employment discrimination matters, spending approximately 2,100 hours on pro bono matters from mid-2019 through 2022. Through this work, Whitney has highlighted sexual misconduct and gender discrimination as important issues in our profession and justice system.

Whitney has also contributed substantially to the legal profession and community overall. She is the President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) for the 2023-2024 bar year, where she will work to support and promote women lawyers in Chicago. Her theme is “Together We Succeed,” emphasizing empowerment through sports and support for businesses owned by women, particularly women of color. Through the WBAI, she took part in numerous mentoring programs and served as co-chair of several committees and major events. 

In addition, Whitney is a founding member of the Force of Lawyers Against Sexual Harassment (FLASH), an organization working to end sexual harassment and abuse in the legal profession through advocacy, policy, and court rule changes. As a Board member of FLASH, Whitney has led the group’s membership outreach and supports their campaign to raise awareness.

Whitney’s career has been devoted to advancing justice for women and engaging in impactful pro bono work, while also bettering our profession and giving back to the Chicago legal community. Her contributions to furthering the ideals of the legal profession make her a very worthy recipient of the Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award.