Sonya Olds Som Partner

Sonya Som


How to Leverage Key Strategies to Fuel Your Path to In-House Leadership August 18, 2016 Those who have ascended t Read More
Stop! What You Need to Know Before Applying In-House July 9, 2015 Before you send your resu Read More
Future GCs: Good Night, and Good Luck November 6, 2014 A GC/in-house recruiter f Read More
First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers (part 3) July 14, 2014 Musings on the critical i Read More
First thing We Do, Let’s Kill all the Lawyers (part 2) July 2, 2014 Musings on the critical i Read More
First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers (part 1) June 16, 2014 MLAs Sonya Soms musings o 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)