Natasha Jenkins ’07
Natasha Jenkins ’07 has shown her commitment to promoting principles of equity in the legal field throughout her career. Formerly an advocate for worker’s rights as general counsel of Teamsters Local 700, she now leads a chapter of the oldest association of African American lawyers and judges in the country.

Jenkins is the president of Illinois’ Cook County Bar Association (CCBA). “I sit as the youngest Black woman known to hold the position in the organization’s 108-year history,” she says.

In that capacity her goal is enhancing CCBA’s strategic programs, educational initiatives, and community outreach to prepare attorneys to not only excel as practitioners in their fields, but also to combat racism, advocate for justice, and promote equity in the legal field and in the judiciary. Her dual career roles also include working as an associate at Littler Mendelson P.C. in Chicago, where she practices labor and employment law.

Jenkins majored in history at Hamilton. Her thesis centered on housing discrimination in the United States and its relationship to the development of the Chicago Housing Authority in her hometown. After graduation from the University of Illinois School of Law, she was hired as an assistant attorney general at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, practicing civil litigation and criminal law. She later pivoted to labor and employment law with a focus on the transportation field after stints with the Chicago Transit Authority, Teamsters Local 700, and United Airlines.

“I served as lead labor counsel for United in grievance proceedings, mediations, and arbitrations to ensure collective bargaining and disciplinary procedures were consistently enforced,” Jenkins says.

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In the next few years, she hopes to strengthen her practice as an expert in labor and employment and to continue to advance the agenda of the CCBA.

“For the first time in U.S. history, there is a Black woman serving as vice president of the United States and a Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, but there is more work that needs to be done to eradicate injustice and increase diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal profession and in the world,” Jenkins says.

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