(September 2, 2022, Chicago) – Steptoe partner Kate Johnson has been named to Crain's Chicago Business' 2022 list of "Notable Women in Law." The list recognizes lawyers who serve as role models or mentors to other women attorneys, promote inclusive workplace practices and lead professional organizations and civic/community service initiatives outside of the firm.
Elected partner at the beginning of 2021, Johnson is a patent litigator who practices across a variety of technical fields, and regularly handles matters in district court, the Federal Circuit, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the US International Trade Commission (USITC). She handles these complex litigation matters from pre-suit strategy to trial, post-trial, and appeal.
As one of the few female partners in the Intellectual Property (IP) practice group and the only female IP partner in Chicago, Johnson plays a critical role in mentoring and recruiting associates. She mentors multiple associates in Steptoe's Chicago office, helping them navigate everything from learning how to work with different partners, understanding various areas of law, and producing quality work. Johnson is committed to the advancement of women in law, particularly in patent litigation. Her focus is on the advancement and success of those specific women in an effort to effect change over time. She regularly advocates internally for them to have work and leadership opportunities that align with their interests and goals.
Outside of her practice, Johnson is an executive board member and programming co-chair for the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law in Chicago, an organization she has supported for more than 10 years. She also regularly works with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services on pro bono adoption matters.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.
The diversity of the firm is a critical factor in its success. The firm’s Chair is a woman; the majority of Steptoe's nine offices are managed by women; the majority of Steptoe’s practice groups have women as leaders; and the firm’s twelve-person elected compensation committee is headed by a woman and includes five women as members. The firm's business services leadership is equally diverse, with half the c-suite made up of women, including three women of color, and other leaders who openly identify as LGBTQ+.