Inspirational Woman Award

Inspirational Woman Award

2021 Inspirational Woman of the Year: Wendy M. Musielak

Wendy M. Musielak attended DePaul University in Chicago, IL where she graduated with highest honors with a B.S. in Finance and Management. She earned her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law in 2003. Wendy is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois.

Wendy concentrates her legal practice in family law matters including child custody and visitation, child support, alimony and spousal support, collaborative law, mediation, prenuptial agreements, litigation and appeals and complex litigation. Prior to being a partner with Andrew Cores Family Law Group, Wendy was a Staff Attorney for the 18th Judicial Circuit Court and an Adjunct Professor for DePaul University’s Department of Management.

In 2013, Wendy was selected as the DuPage County Bar Association’s Lawyer of the Year for her commitment to her community and local legal associations. Wendy is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Will County Bar Association and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She is also a member and director of the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers. Additionally, Wendy is a fellow for the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and past TEC Committee member. Since 2018, Wendy has been selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer. On June 19, 2020, Wendy was installed as the DuPage County Bar Association's president for 2020-2021.

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.

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
  • Judge 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
  • Judge Linda Davenport - 2016
  • Kimberly Davis - 2017
  • Rebecca Laho - 2018
  • Deborah A. Carder - 2019
  • Judge Ann Celine O. Walsh - 2020
  • Wendy M. Musielak - 2021