A good labor and employment attorney ensures that her clients comply with ever-changing laws and regulations. An exceptional one also strives to improve the bottom line and encourage positive advancements in employee relations.

Pat sees the practice of labor and employment law as a dynamic force for change. The kinds of protections afforded employees today are vastly different than they were 25 years ago. Pat’s goal is to help employers move forward in the spirit of these statutes, taking advantage of societal changes to improve workplace interactions, productivity and profitability.

After more than three decades of working with public and privately held companies, Pat has proven herself a shrewd negotiator. She never comes to the table without fully understanding the nature of the business she is representing or the grievances of the people sitting across from her. A measured approach and reasonable resolutions are her hallmarks.

When litigation is necessary, Pat’s approach is a strong defense of her employer clients with the goal of obtaining the best result at the lowest possible cost.

  • Experience

    • Pat has served as chief negotiator for manufacturing, retail, assembly and higher education clients, reaching many agreements with the Steelworkers, Teamsters, SEIU and other unions over the years.
    • When a client was faced with personal liability in a collective wage and hour action under a joint employer theory, Pat successfully negotiated a settlement that minimized her client’s personal contribution.
    • Disciplining tenured faculty members and defending tenure and promotion decisions in the world of higher education is challenging. Pat has accomplished both successfully.
    • With many companies facing significant downsizing and restructuring since 2008, Pat has assisted numerous clients with voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions with no resulting litigation. She has defended employers against difficult claims of unlawful discrimination in courts, arbitrations and fair employment agencies, obtaining either defense decisions or favorable settlements.
    • One of an employer’s fears is the threat of class actions in employment claims; Pat has helped clients develop arbitration programs with class action waiver provisions to minimize such risks.
  • Credentials


    • University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
    • Saint Louis University, B.A., History, honors

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

        Professional Memberships

        • American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Section Chair (2006­2007); Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2012-2015); Commission on Women in the Profession (2007­2010); Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Editorial Board (2015-2018)
        • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
        • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow
        • Chicago Bar Association, Alliance for Women, former co-chair
        • National Retail Federation, Employment Law Committee, Litigation Subcommittee, Chair
      • Insights

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes 20 Schiff Hardin Attorneys and 4 Practice Areas

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 20 attorneys and four practice areas were recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        39 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists, and Two Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to Top 50 Women Lawyers

        Thirty-nine Schiff Hardin attorneys have been selected for inclusion on the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        News Release

        53 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

        Three Schiff Hardin attorneys also received the prestigious Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” award.

        News Release

        25 Schiff Hardin Attorneys, 7 Practice Areas Ranked by Chambers USA 2016

        Twenty-five Schiff Hardin attorneys and seven practice areas received leading rankings in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

        News Release

        91 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois, Michigan Leading Lawyers Network

        The list is comprised of those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        News Release

        40 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

        The Super Lawyers selection methodology includes a statewide nomination process, peer review by practice area, and independent research on candidates.

        News Release

        63 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

        Of the 64 Schiff Hardin attorneys honored by Best Lawyers, three Schiff Hardin attorneys were also nominated for Best Lawyers’ 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago

        Other Publications

        • “Ask the Experts,” (panelist) Protecting Your Company in 2014, Schiff Hardin Labor and Employment Breakfast Briefing, Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 23, 2013)
        • “Independent Contractors: Another Legal Minefield for Employers,” (moderator) Schiff Hardin Webinar (Dec. 11, 2012)
        • “Independent Contractor or Employee? Minimizing Exposure from the Gray Areas of the Franchise Relationship,” American Bar Association’s 35th Annual Forum on Franchising, Los Angeles, Calif. (Oct. 3-5, 2012)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Curbing Employee Speech and Activities: ’You're Entitled To Your Own Opinion But...’,” Schiff Hardin Webinar (Oct. 24, 2017)
        • “Arbitration and Class Action Waivers – Who is Winning?” National Retail Federation Committee on Employment Law (April 2016)
        • “Recent Developments at the Department of Labor,” North Shore Labor Council (September 2015)
        • “NLRB’s McDonald’s Joint Employer Directive: Its Impact on Employee Relations and the Franchise Model,” ABA Webinar (August 2014)
        • “Employment Law for Law Firms: Best Practices for Law Firms as Employers,” ABA Webinar (April 2014)
      • Citizenship

        Civic and Charitable Memberships

        • Chicago Foundation for Women, Board Chair, Executive Committee, Chair