Chicago Tribune Honors Passing of Jean Allard '53

From the Tribune:

Jean Allard was the first female partner at the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and, along with former University of Chicago President Hanna Holborn Gray, was among the first women to become members of the exclusive Chicago Club.

In 1979, Ms. Allard helped start and became the first chairwoman of the Chicago Network, an organization of influential local women. Her motivation in launching the group was to foster the idea of women helping women, said Mary Sue Barrett, a member of the Chicago Network who succeeded Ms. Allard as president of the Metropolitan Planning Council in 1996.

"She founded it because she was doing it, and she wanted to recruit others to do the same," Barrett said.

Ms. Allard, 87, a former Hyde Park resident, died Sunday, Jan. 29, in the Buckingham Pavilion nursing and rehabilitation center in Chicago, following a long illness, said her niece Patricia John.

She was a mentor to countless professionals, including Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama. Jarrett met Ms. Allard in 1983 while an associate at Sonnenschein.

"She took me under her wing," Jarrett said. "Were it not for Jean Allard, I would certainly not be where I am today."

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