Sonya Olds Som is a Partner in Major, Lindsey & Africa's Chicago/Midwest office and is primarily responsible for strategizing and leading networking, business development and marketing initiatives for our In-House Practice Group team throughout the Midwest. Sonya focuses on sourcing in-house counsel search opportunities for attorneys at all levels – from junior counsel to general counsel -- in corporate legal departments in a wide range of industries by developing and maintaining relationships with general counsel, human resource leaders and other C-Suite executives. Sonya also provides career advice to attorneys and is a recognized Thought Leader regarding diversity in the legal profession nationwide.
Sonya is a devoted wife and mother. In her spare time, she enjoys social networking, reading, theater, travel, singing, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.
Prior to joining Major, Lindsey & Africa in 2010, Sonya focused her legal practice on the representation of individual and business clients on a wide variety of labor & employment and immigration-related matters. She gained more than 10 years of experience at several national and regional law firms, including Paul Hastings; Butzel Long; Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Lowey; Dykema Gossett (where she was placed by Major, Lindsey & Africa); and Laner Muchin, where she served as partner and immigration department chair.
In 2007, Sonya was named one of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's "40 Under 40" and was included on Lawyer of Color's 2014 Midwest Region Hot List. She has authored, co-authored and been interviewed for many articles on topics including diversity in the legal profession, networking, social media, personal branding, market trends and career strategies for lawyers; regularly speaks on panels on these topics nationwide; and maintains a prolific social media presence.
Cornell Law School: J.D., specialization in International Legal Affairs, concentration in Business Law
Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne): Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law in Paris
Kalamazoo College: B.A., English, with honors
Universidad de Extremadura in Cáceres, Spain
University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa
State Bar of Illinois (Inactive Status)
State Bar of Georgia (Inactive Status)
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
American Bar Association
Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago
National Bar Association
President's Council of Cornell Women
Cornell Black Lawyers Alumni Network (Midwest Chapter Co-Chair)
Hispanic National Bar Association
Minority In-House Counsel Association (MIHCA) Board Member
Women's In-House Counsel Leadership Institute (WIHCL) Faculty Advisory Board Member
Metropolitan Black Bar Association of New York City
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
The National Black Lawyers - Top 100
HIGH PERFORMANCE COUNSEL (HPC) Advisory Board Member