Notable Alumna Profiled: Amy Manning, JD'92

The Alumni Law Society will feature alumni lawyers from around the country.

When Amy Manning was a student at the University of Chicago Law School, she wasn’t certain what her career would look like 24 years later. She did not envision being on the Executive Committee at McGuireWoods LLP, a 1,000-lawyer law firm. Nor did she anticipate she would manage its Chicago office or head the firm’s global Antitrust and Trade Regulation Department.

But that is exactly what she did, picking up numerous accolades along the way. She was recently named an M&A and Antitrust Trailblazer by the National Law Journal and has been on Crain’s “Who’s Who in Chicago Business” list for several years.  

One recognition that made her very proud was receiving the Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois in 2014. “It was the centennial year of the WBAI, which was founded in 1904 by a group of women who were lawyers – but who didn’t yet have the right to vote. I was very touched to be recognized by that organization.”

While earning her law degree at the University of Chicago Law School, Amy won the University of Chicago Hinton Moot Court Competition before Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. She credits the analytical skills she developed at the University of Chicago for much of her success. “In my area of law, there are often no clear answers. These important skills help me every day to attack difficult and nuanced legal problems.”

One person in particular made a lasting impression with Amy: Professor David Strauss. She describes him as an “extremely entertaining and passionate professor” who created an atmosphere where people felt comfortable sharing their views and express their opinions. “His Supreme Court class was the most intellectually engaged I had ever been up to that point in my life.  Only nine people were allowed into the class, and we considered all the current cases under consideration by the US Supreme Court.  That class confirmed I had made the right decision to become a lawyer rather than a doctor.  I only got into the class because someone else dropped (it was a lottery – and I was number 10 on the list).  I often wonder how my life might have changed if whoever dropped hadn’t done so,” she said.
In reflecting on her career to date, Amy is proud of many things – a talented team of lawyers, a growing book of business, and a law firm that has given her tremendous flexibility. But she notes that her journey began with her education at the University of Chicago.  And for that, she is thankful.