John Marshall Board of Trustees Elects Paula Hudson Holderman (’79) President

Chicago attorney Paula Hudson Holderman (’79) has been elected President of the Board of Trustees of The John Marshall Law School. She is the first woman and fourth person to hold that office.

Holderman took over as President from Leonard F. Amari (’68), who had served as Board President since 2007. “On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I sincerely thank Leonard for his exemplary service to the law school,” Holderman said.  “Leonard’s loyalty and love for John Marshall is unparalleled.”

After retiring from Winston & Strawn last year as the firm’s chief attorney development officer, Holderman was open to a new leadership challenge. She says her primary goal is to provide board support for new Dean Darby Dickerson’s priorities. Dickerson was recently named as one of the nation’s most influential leaders in legal education, and Holderman believes she will bring a new dynamic to the law school and the Chicago legal community.

“John Marshall has always been a leader in preparing students to practice law as evidenced by our numerous legal clinics and national rankings in legal writing and trial advocacy. But as the legal industry evolves, the Dean will be a catalyst for innovation and transformation in legal education, further strengthening the contributions of John Marshall graduates to Chicago and beyond,” said Holderman, who chaired the Dean Search Committee.

Amari noted that John Marshall is “extraordinarily fortunate to have someone with the quality and experience of Paula Holderman to take my place. She brings a wealth of board experience and organizational leadership to the position, providing her the necessary background to be the next president of the Board of Trustees.”

Holderman has served on John Marshall’s Board of Trustees since 2013. She currently is an officer of the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company, and the Illinois State Delegate to the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates and is a Board Member and Treasurer of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on MCLE.

From 2013 to 2014, Holderman served as President of the Illinois State Bar Association. She has previously served on the Supreme Court’s Commission on Character & Fitness, and the boards of the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Illinois Bar Foundation, the Chicago Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. She is also a past president of the John Marshall Alumni Association.  Her leadership and service to the bar has been recognized with numerous honors including the John Paul Stevens Award; CBA Alliance for Women Founder’s Award; WBAI Women with Vision; and the Diversity Advocate Award.

Holderman is married to retired Chief Judge James F. Holderman of the U.S. District Court, a long-time adjunct faculty member at John Marshall in Intellectual Property.

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