Inspirational Woman Award

Inspirational Woman Award

2016 Inspirational Woman of the Year: Judge Linda E. Davenport

2015 Inspirational Woman of the Year - Judge Linda E. Davenport

Judge Davenport obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she majored in radio and television broadcasting. In 1978, She obtained her Juris Doctorate from DePaul Law School. For 22 years prior to taking the bench, she was a solo practitioner with her husband Joe Fortunato in Westmont at Fortunato, Farrell Davenport & Arnold where she handled almost exclusively family law matters. Early in her career, Judge Davenport co-founded an evening drop in program at the YWCA in Lombard for women that wanted to have their legal questions answered. She Served on Wheaton City Counsel for eight years, she was very active in the DCBA Family Law Committee, a Director on the DuPage County Board of Directors and served as the President of the DuPage County Bar Association from 1995-1996. On August 31, 2006 Judge Davenport took the bench as an Associate Judge. Other than a brief time sitting in traffic court. Judge Davenport has been in the Domestic Relations Division. Judge Davenport plays violin and is in the hand bell choir at her church. She knits, crochets, and makes Halloween costumes for her grandchildren. Her biggest hobby is genealogy research, concentrating in families of Italian descent. She is also nearly fluent in Italian.

About the Award

The Inspirational Woman Award evolved from The Glass-Ceiling Buster Award. Thanks in large measure to the hard-work and distinguished service of many of the women who have come before us, today’s women lawyers can take pride in the fact that the glass ceiling has been not just busted by a few, but shattered by many. As a result of the hard-work and dedication of our predecessors, our options and opportunities as today’s women lawyers are limitless.

The Inspirational Woman is one who has achieved success not only in the courtroom or in the office, but in her life – whether she be a fierce litigator, with a secretly soft heart, or a tenacious practitioner, with a fondness for simple indulgences that nourish her soul. She approaches her practice with civility and professionalism in a manner that enhances, not compromises, her standing in the courtroom and the community.

Inspirational Woman Award

The Inspirational Woman is one who embraces all aspects of her womanhood and has managed to successfully balance the demands of family, friends, and her colleagues and clients in the workplace. The Inspirational Woman is one who sees her legal career as a vocation, rather than merely a job or work to be done. She sees the people around her – whether they are family-members, friends, colleagues, or clients – as the most meaningful and valuable parts of a life that is not always neatly compartmentalized by family needs versus career needs. Hers is a life of artful balance.

She tends to the needs of those entrusted to her care – whether they are family-members, friends, colleagues or clients – with courage, strength, dignity and compassion. She leads by example. She teaches. She encourages. She does not hesitate to sing the high praises of other worthy women. She delivers meaningful reproach when necessary, and offers good advice when asked. She mentors those fortunate enough to follow in her footsteps. She is buoyed by their strength and capacity to surpass her own example or others’ expectations. She rejoices in the accomplishments of her peers, for the betterment of the profession and the benefit of the community.

She embraces the world through all of her roles – whether as daughter, sister, mother, friend, litigator, colleague or counselor. She epitomizes the valor of the profession and the grace of womanhood.

Past Winners

  • Judge Helen C Kinney (Year Unknown)
  • Tom Leahy (Year Unknown)
  • Irene Bahr – 1999
  • Professor Dawn Clark Netsch – 2001
  • Justice Ann Jorgensen – 2003
  • Haydee Olinger – 2004
  • Irene Bahr – 2006
  • Bonnie Wheaton – 2007
  • Jane Radostits – 2008
  • Susan Alvarado – 2009
  • Brenda Carroll – 2010
  • Brigid Duffield – 2011
  • Michelle Moore – 2012
  • Judge Dorothy French – 2013
  • Margaret O’Connell – 2014
  • Lynn M. Mirabella – 2015