Sonya Olds Som Partner

Sonya Som


Why Can’t We Be Friends? Maximizing the Potential of the In-House, Outside Counsel Relationship April 28, 2017 Sonya Som discusses a potential secret weapon at t... Read More
In-House on the Road: Conducting a Long-Distance Job Search March 22, 2017 Sonya Som discusses the strategies that can help i... Read More
Demystifying Executive Coaching: The Tenzing Norgay Factor February 16, 2017 Sonya Som introduces us to the world of executive ... Read More
Words of Advice from Your GC Friends January 23, 2017 Sonya Som asked general counsel around the country... Read More
How Law Firms Can Serve As Way Stations for In-House Counsel December 17, 2016 Sonya Som describes how a brief stint at a law fir... Read More
Tis the Season to Get Cracking November 8, 2016 Sonya Som advises in-house job seekers not to take... Read More
The Buckets List: Relationships You Must Cultivate Throughout Your In-House Career October 24, 2016 In-house career development specialist Sonya Som o... Read More
Introducing ‘Real Talk’ with Sonya Som October 21, 2016 A new column focused on the career issues facing i... Read More
How to Leverage Key Strategies to Fuel Your Path to In-House Leadership August 18, 2016 Those who have ascended to the top of the in-house... Read More
Managing Risk: Panel Finds Lawyers are Essential at the Board Level December 15, 2015 Business risk is on the rise and corporate boards ... Read More

In the News

How Sonya Som Rebounded From The Recession And Her Advice For Landing Your Dream Legal Job November 18, 2016 Its been a long journey for Sonya Som to once agai... Read More
Legal Search Firm Major, Lindsey & Africa Names Three New Partners September 28, 2016 Major, Lindsey Africa announces the promotion of ... Read More
The Hungry Lawyer Abroad September 27, 2016 How to eat your way into your client's heart, even... Read More

A former law firm partner by background, I am pleased to act as a resource and "connector" for my fellow attorneys as they seek new opportunities and professional relationships. As a personal mandate, I am committed to providing the very best career consultation, candidate recruiting and networking assistance that I can to the legal community. As an African-American woman lawyer, I am particularly passionate about doing all I can to advance the cause of diversity in the legal profession for women and minorities nationwide.

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

The National Black Lawyers - Top 100