Sandra S. Yamate
CEOCompany: Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP)
Role: DIP Presenter
Diversity Insights Breakfast:
Race, Politics, and the Workplace
Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”). IILP is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession through research and educational programming. IILP works primarily in the US but has begun expanding its efforts into the UK, EU, and Latin America. Sandra spent ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the preceding three years as the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, she was a litigator in Chicago for ten years.
Sandra was a founding member of both the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area, where she was its third president and first woman president, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPABA”) where she was the first Central Region Governor, organized NAPABA’s first regional conference, and is currently a member of its Leadership Advisory Council. She is a member of the board of the National Association of Women Lawyers (“NAWL”) and chairs the Harvard Law School Asian American Alumni Group. She is a member of the board and a former Chair of the National Judicial College and a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee. Sandra helped found the Asian American Institute in Chicago (now the Chicago branch of Asian Americans Advancing Justice) and the National Women’s Political Caucus of Greater Chicago. She is a steadfast member of the Chicago Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee where she annually chairs the Chicago Bar Association’s Holiday Drive to Support Local Animal Shelters.
Sandra earned her JD from Harvard Law School as well as an AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She and her husband, Brian Witkowski, parent two badly behaved, poor-trained, but nevertheless lovable husky mixes, Cashew and Filbert, who hope WFH never ends.