Paula Hudson Holderman

Adjunct Professor
James C. Wood Distinguished Lecturer in Intellectual Property

Professor Paula Hudson Holderman is the chief attorney development officer for international law firm Winston & Strawn LLP where she has global responsibility for all facets of lawyer professional development, education, and training.

She is the 2013-14 president of the 32,000 member Illinois State Bar Association. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and is the ex officio director of the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company Board. As part of her leadership in the ISBA, she spearheaded the creation of the Illinois Law & Leadership Institute that provides legal immersion programming to diverse high school students at programs in Chicago and Carbondale.

In 2013, Prof. Holderman was honored, along with her husband, U.S. District Court Chief Judge James F. Holderman, with the Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Philanthropic award from the Lend A Hand Foundation. She was also recognized in Today’s Chicago Woman magazine as “100 Women with Influence” in its July 2013 issue. In 2012, she was named as one of “15 Women Making An Impact” by Chicago Lawyer Magazine.  She received the 2011 “Women with Vision” award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and was recognized by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation as an “Advocate for Diversity”.

Prof. Holderman currently serves on the governing board for MCLE in Illinois. She is a past commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission for Character and Fitness and long-standing member of the Court’s Rules Committee on Professional Responsibility. In April 2013, she co-chaired the Court’s “Shaping the Future of the Courts Conference”.

She serves on the ABA House of Delegates and co-chaired the 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago.

At the College of Law, Prof. Holderman teaches Advanced Trial Advocacy in Intellectual Property jointly with her husband, The Hon. Jim Holderman and has served on the adjunct faculty  since 1993. She has also taught with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), Emory University School of Law, Chicago Kent College of Law, and the John Marshall Law School. She and Judge Holderman co-taught a course on using expert witnesses in intellectual property trials at Peking University, Beijing, China in 2010.

Prior to joining Winston in 2002, Prof. Holderman was the director of hiring, training and minority recruiting at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she was responsible for the training and education of more than 900 lawyers. She was an assistant state’s attorney in Champaign County, Urbana from 1979-89 where she tried hundreds of bench and jury trials.  She was president of the Champaign County Bar Association in 1988-89. 

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, was a visiting student at the University of Illinois College of Law, and received her J.D. degree from the John Marshall Law School where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

Prof. Holderman is a frequent speaker on professionalism, civility, and women lawyers.