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.

Meet the WLC

Gia Colunga, Partner

Litigation | Labor & Employment

What is your favorite type of matter to work on? I thrive on sensitive litigation, where emotions run high because of the subject matter and the amount at stake. I often defend clients in non-compete and trade secret cases, and I have developed a niche in defending sexual assault and harassment claims, not to mention defamation claims about all of those things.

What was your favorite COVID hobby or new-found interest? My favorite new pastime is playing soccer with my 9 year old daughter Maria and watching her play soccer. I played soccer growing up, including club ball in college, so I love that she has taken to it as well.  I also got a pandemic puppy, a pug named Gumbo. 

What is your favorite part of being a part of Freeborn’s WLC? Freeborn’s WLC really cares about the women at the firm and wants to tackle challenges like recruitment, retention, and promotion. The WLC stresses that Freeborn’s women attorneys are critical to the long-term success of the firm.

Describe what you work on in your typical work week: I’m a litigator, so there is no typical work week. At any given moment, I may be drafting a brief, deposing a witness, preparing for oral argument, or simply counseling a client. I also love managing teams and projects, ensuring that the client’s problems are resolved effectively and efficiently.