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Elena Kraus, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Walgreen Co. to Receive Equal Access to Justice Award

Michael Wagner, Global Exec. Committee Member & Chair, Baker & McKenzie, to Interview Honoree

CHICAGO (September 26, 2017) – The Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services is pleased to announce that Elena Kraus, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Walgreen Co., will be honored for her contributions to pro bono law at the 2017 Equal Access to Justice Award Luncheon, taking place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 4, 2017, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. A related networking reception will be held at 11:30 a.m.

Kraus will be presented with the Legal Aid Society’s William H. Avery Award for Equal Access to Justice at the luncheon. She also will speak about her career in law and work in pro bono, including developing Walgreen’s pro bono program, during an interview conducted by Michael Wagner, Global Executive Committee Member & Chair, North America, Baker & McKenzie. Michael Emmert, Managing Director at Navigant Consulting, and Matthew Walch, Partner at Latham & Watkins, are Co-chairs of the event.

A General Counsel Panel discussion, moderated by Michael Wagner, will take place immediately after the interview with Elena Kraus. Panels will include Kraus; Earl Barnes, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Advocate Health Care; Catherine Levitt, Vice President, Legal, Astellas US; Kelly McNamara Corley, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Discover Financial Services; and Gerd Pleuhs, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Mondelez International.

Elena Kraus is responsible for leading Walgreens’ legal function and developed the company’s robust pro bono program which encourages attorneys as well as paraprofessionals to participate in pro bono opportunities. Prior to her current role with Walgreen’s Elena served as divisional vice president of the company’s commercial legal business partners and services group, where she led a group of attorneys and legal paraprofessionals charged with providing legal services to Walgreen’s business units.

Elena joined Walgreens in 1991 as staff attorney, was promoted to director of transactional law in 2006 and to divisional vice president in 2013. Prior to joining Walgreens, she was in private practice at the Chicago office of DLA Piper.

Michael Wagner has served on Baker & McKenzie’s Global Executive Committee since November 2014, and has served as Chair of the firm’s North America operations since October 2016. His Executive Committee Member responsibilities include Global Industry Groups as well as Firm Communications, Brand, Reputation & Public Relations. He also serves as Chair of the Firm’s Global Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, and is a Past Chair of the Global Healthcare Industry Group.

In addition, Michael is a long-time Litigation partner and leader of Baker & McKenzie’s Product Liability, Safety & Recall Practice. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

About the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
The Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services (LAS) pioneered the concept of equal access to justice more than 130 years ago. LAS provides critical legal services to low-income families in the Chicago area, protecting them in cases of domestic violence, elder abuse, housing and consumer issues, and human trafficking. Today LAS serves more than 12,600 families and individuals each year.

LAS is part of Metropolitan Family Services, which has been empowering Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities since 1857.