Chicago, IL - It’s not every day you see a large group of men teetering through the Chicago Loop in high heels. Thanks to the efforts of Segal McCambridge senior associate Natacha McClain, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will become an annual event during the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section’s (YLS) Violence Against Women Awareness Week.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes events take place throughout the year around the globe to raise awareness of sexual assault and gender violence. Ms. McClain, 2012-2013 Chair of the YLS, coordinated with Between Friends, a local nonprofit focused on ending domestic abuse, to bring Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to Chicago. On Tuesday, May 14, nearly 50 members of the legal community, including more than 20 men, donned stilettos and participated in the mile-long walk through downtown Chicago. “Violence against women is something that affects all of us,” said Ms. McClain. “As attorneys, we can be a voice for victims of injustice in the courts and in the greater community. Today, we speak out against violence and ask the community to end it.”
During Ms. McClain’s tenure, the YLS’s initiatives to end violence against women have evolved from a single volunteer event to a comprehensive week of activities that included service initiatives in support of local nonprofits, educational programs, and public awareness campaigns. In addition to the Walk a Mile event, this year the YLS collected toiletries and baby items for the House of the Good Shepherd, donated undergarments for Free the Girls, provided pro bono training in conjunction with the National Immigrant Justice Center, hosted a panel discussion about domestic violence in the LGBTQ community, and offered a seminar on orders of protection.
The YLS was founded in 1971 to address the needs and interests of newly admitted attorneys. With over 9,000 members, the Section has its own officers, rules, budget, staff and administrative structure. As YLS Chair, Ms. McClain introduced the 2012-2013 bar year theme, "Get Involved in Your Community," as the section's focus for the coming year's member and public service programs. Outside the YLS, Ms. McClain is an active pro bono volunteer. She focuses her legal practice on products liability, construction, employment, and general civil litigation matters in both state and federal court.