Sonya Olds Som, a partner with legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), was honored as “Executive of the Year” by the National Bar Association General Counsel Invitational (NBA GCI) at its third annual conference in New York City. More than 200 general counsel and in-house counsel were in attendance at the event.
“I am thrilled to be recognized by the National Bar Association General Counsel Invitational as Executive of the Year,” said Sonya, one of the organizers of NBA GCI and a recognized thought leader regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession nationwide. “As an African-American lawyer, it is my honor to use my position as an in-house counsel recruiter and partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa to assist in programming and promoting NBA GCI and other events that provide continuing legal education and relationship-building opportunities for NBA’s members nationwide. The National Bar Association plays an important role in advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and it is my privilege to lead MLA’s partnership with the NBA as we do our part to increase the number of African-American GCs and in-house counsel in our nation’s legal departments.”
Chicago-based Sonya is primarily responsible for strategizing and leading networking, business development and marketing initiatives for Major, Lindsey & Africa’s In-House Practice Group throughout the Midwest. She 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.
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 and employment and immigration-related matters. 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 regularly speaks on panels and 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.
In addition to her work with the National Bar Association, Sonya serves as Midwest Chapter Co-Chair of the Cornell Black Lawyers Alumni Network; is a member of the advisory board of High Performance Counsel; is an active member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Minority In-House Counsel Association (MIHCA); and is a member of MIHCA’s board of directors.
Founded in 1982, Major, Lindsey & Africa is the largest and most experienced legal search firm in the world. With more than 25 offices worldwide, Major, Lindsey & Africa has earned recognition for its track record of successful general counsel, corporate counsel, partner, associate and law firm management placements. The fi rm also provides law fi rms and companies with highly specialized legal professionals on project, interim and temporary-to-permanent hire basis. Combining local market knowledge and a global recruiting network, Major, Lindsey & Africa recruiters are dedicated to understanding and meeting client and candidate needs while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and confidentiality. The firm considers every search a diversity search and has been committed to diversity in the law since its inception. Major, Lindsey & Africa is an Allegis Group company, the global leader in talent solutions.