Dolores Hanna, Class of 1952

First female president of the International Trademark Association

Dolores HannaA highly influential figure in the development of trademark law and practice, Dolores Hanna was the first female president of the International Trademark Association. During her career, she practiced both in-house at Kraft, Inc. and at the law firms Bell Boyd & Lloyd and Hill & Simpson. From 1985 to 1987, Hanna chaired the Trademark Review Commission’s comprehensive review of federal trademark law that resulted in the passage of the Trademark Law Revision Act of 1988. A past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Hanna was also president of the Women’s Bar Foundation and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago. Her many honors include a Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association, a Founder’s Award from the CBA Alliance for Women, a President’s Award from INTA and induction into the IP Hall of Fame in 2008.

What advice would you give to young law students and attorneys today?

I think that it’s important to take law school seriously- read the cases, study hard, and participate in discussions. When possible, join organizations and learn how to interact with others. Organizations that aren’t necessarily law related, but just to have the opportunity to interact with people in all professions. Participate in activities where you’re giving and not just receiving. It’s surprising how clients you can get meet when you meet people in other professions.

What has been your greatest achievement?

The fact that I was able to, as a woman, either be allowed to join or head an organization, which then proved to the world that women were capable. The fact that sex had nothing to do with achieving whatever goals were necessary. I was the first woman president of at least half a dozen organizations, so I’m proud of the fact that I was able to open the door. It was important to me for women to follow me; I didn’t want to be the one and only. So, I worked with other women, younger women in particular, to give them confidence and to help them achieve some of the goals they aspired to that I did.

What would people find most surprising about you?

Travel has always been a part of my life. I’ve traveled around the world many times. I love to read and go to great restaurants.

What does it mean to you to be one of Chicago-Kent’s 125 Alumni of Distinction?

It’s a sobering thought. I’m still surprising I was placed in that category. I’m delighted and pleased, of course. I hope that I am worthy of that honor and that I can be in a group of people that will be a good representation for the school to enhance its reputation.