Option 2.jpg

Freeborn & Peters LLP’s Women's Leadership Council (WLC) was established in 2007 to provide professional development, marketing support, networking opportunities and mentoring to our female associates and partners. 

The Women’s Leadership Council (“WLC”) promotes the development and advancement of our women attorneys, advocates the marketing efforts of our women attorneys, and focuses on the recruitment and retention of women attorneys.

The WLC aims to support women at Freeborn through: 

  • Connections to other women attorneys, internally and externally, through events, panels, and seminars
  • Sponsorship and mentorship that advance women in their careers
  • Recruiting and retention of female attorneys  
  • Support of marketing and networking efforts 
  • Resources aimed at developing our women attorneys into leaders within the firm and the legal community

 To achieve these goals, the WLC has formed committees focused on issues relating to public relations and marketing, attorney integration and mentoring, social activities, and professional development:

  • Public Relations and Marketing – The Marketing Committee of the WLC presents women attorneys with opportunities to expand and strengthen their personal and professional networks beyond the firm. Our semi-annual events welcome women clients and friends of the firm to join us for gatherings including presentations by women entrepreneurs, wellness events, and more, which promote the development of relationships with other professional women. Due to COVID-19, these events have shifted to a virtual format, including a virtual escape room and meditation classes. Additional virtual events will take place throughout 2021.
  • Attorney Integration and Mentoring – As Freeborn continues to grow across all of its offices, it is even more important that the women work to ensure that its members are fully integrated within the WLC, the firm, and its practice groups.  The Integration and Mentoring committee works to do exactly that to provide visibility, collaboration and support to and among each office and WLC member.
  • Social – Freeborn’s women attorneys work within all Practice Groups of the firm. The Social Committee of the WLC recognizes that working together is not necessarily the same as spending quality time together, and therefore provides women attorneys with planned social events in order to facilitate relationships outside of work.   
  • Professional Development – Freeborn appreciates that women attorneys face a variety of unique challenges. The Professional Development Committee of the WLC works in tandem with the Management Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Practice Group Leaders to embrace these diverse perspectives while encouraging, mentoring and advancing women associates and partners within the firm. The firm currently has four women Practice Group Leaders and strives for continued inclusion of women in leadership roles.

These WLC initiatives have dynamically advanced the professional development of women practicing at Freeborn – successfully enhancing their careers and sculpting their skills to become leaders both in the legal industry as well as role models within the community. The Council is run by elected Co-Chairs serving two-year terms. Partners Kimberly A. Beis and Erin McAdams Franzblau were elected in January 2021.

Kimberly A. Beis
(312) 360-6767
[email protected]

Meet the WLC

Kathy Ehrhart, Partner

Litigation | Insurance & Reinsurance | Insurance Brokerage 

What is the most memorable/interesting matter in your career? If I had to choose, it would be defending Arthur Anderson against an accounting negligence case brought by Frederick’s of Hollywood.  It was the first jury trial case for Anderson post-Enron and taught me the most about the importance of and how to tell a compelling story to a jury, in particular with a beleaguered defendant who had already been crucified to the outside world as someone who likely did the very thing they were being accused of when they in fact had not.  That case taught me so much about what we do inside and outside of a courtroom to advocate for our clients and I regularly draw upon those lessons, even now years later.  

What is your favorite type of matter to work on? My favorite type of matter has very little to do with the actual subject matter.  Instead, it is a matter where the client not only needs our help in terms of litigating a case, but in being their partner and advisor to strategize on the best way to achieve their goals in the case.  It’s funny because I think we often think about commercial litigation as not being personal.  But we can never lose sight that litigation is very personal, even when that “person” is a company.  Understanding and supporting the emotion that drives the individuals involved in litigation is one of the most important parts of my job and when we, the client and the advocate, work together to harness and use that emotion, that’s when the magic happens and we are more likely to get the outcome that we need and want.

A few little known facts about me include: Before I was an attorney, I was a news anchor on a radio station for almost three years, I’m a huge movie buff, and I have two dogs, one of which is a Bernese mountain dog named Butkus who outweighs me.

Freeborn’s Women’s Leadership Council Remembers Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg showed women that we can be anything that we want and that she was willing to fight to open the pathways to get us there. As she famously said “women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” The Women’s Leadership Council of Freeborn could not agree more. We deserve to be in all places where decisions are being made. We deserve to be at all levels of the legal industry. We deserve to be in every courtroom. We deserve to be in every C-suite. We deserve to be at every board table. We need more of us that look like us to be examples for every young woman out there. So that they too see and know that they can choose to be anything they want to be. Thanks for all that you taught us, Justice Ginsburg.