ACC Chicago is excited to publish Member Spotlights that feature a Chapter member in a creative question-and-answer format. ACC Chicago has more than 2,200 members, and Member Spotlights are designed to help you get to know your fellow Chapter members better and enhance networking opportunities. We will also archive all Spotlights here so you can go back and access them at any time. If you are interested in being the subject of a Spotlight or know someone who would make a good subject, please contact Zack Raimi at email@example.com . We hope you enjoy this exciting feature!
Christine Binotti, Lead Counsel, Labor & Employment, Immigration & Employee Mobility, Motorola Solutions Inc., Chicago, IL
Years in-house: 11 years
Law School: Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Undergrad: University of Missouri, Columbia (BS in Biology)
The best thing about my current job is: The variety of work. I handle all things labor and employment, which can mean one day I may be developing a strategy for screening candidates for employment or responding to a charge of discrimination and the following day I may be suggesting the appropriate disciplinary action for an employee that has violated our Code of Business Conduct.
The most challenging thing about my current job is: Supporting terminations and reductions in force. At the end of the day, these are people and the decisions I make will have a significant impact on their lives. I do not take that responsibility lightly.
My proudest accomplishment as an in-house lawyer is: Helping to change the company culture. We recently relocated our offices (from Schaumburg to downtown Chicago) and I have worked with our HR team to update our employment polices to better align with the evolving culture of our company and our changing workforce. For example, I recently revised our Alcohol Policy to allow drinking in the workplace, which has been very well received by our employees.
My most pivotal career move was: Moving from focusing on commercial contracting to labor and employment. When I first joined Motorola Solutions, I provided commercial legal support to our North America Sales Team. I lived and breathed commercial contracting for six years and learned so much about our products and customers. But I wanted to gain a new perspective and broaden my skill set, so when an opportunity to join our labor and employment practice became available I interviewed for the role. I now lead this practice area and my role has been expanded to include immigration and employee mobility.
Advice I would give to new lawyers, in-house or otherwise: Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. I have grown the most when I’ve been uncomfortable.
Hardest life lesson I’ve learned as a lawyer is: As an in-house counsel, my role is to advise and it is up to my client whether to accept a risk. The hardest part is letting go.
Best thing about ACC’s Chicago Chapter is: The community and connections. I’ve met some of my closest friends through ACC.
My favorite pro bono or volunteer activity is: ACC’s Chicago Street Law Program. I grew up in St. Louis, in a very middle class family. My mom is a single parent without a college education. There were no lawyers in my family and before entering the legal profession, I had absolutely no idea what it meant to be a lawyer outside of watching “Ally McBeal.” It is critical that we give back to our communities. Giving Chicago Public School students exposure to lawyers along with practical and positive experiences with the legal profession enables them to envision themselves as legal professionals and gives them a goal to work towards.
If I were not practicing law, I would probably be… A baker. I’ve always wanted to go to culinary school and open a bakery.
The worst job I ever held was: I worked for one week at a sock store at the mall. It was my very first job. As I’m sure you can imagine, selling socks is extremely glamorous.
My worst travel experience was: I was travelling to Australia with a friend and we missed our connection in LA. Our luggage went to Melbourne, but we were stuck for 36 hours in LA and then in transit, wearing the same clothes.
What book are you currently reading? “Hillbilly Elegy” by JD Vance.
What’s currently on your music playlist? Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Panic at the Disco, Charlie Puth.
People may be surprised to learn that I… Have 8-year-old twins. While extremely tiring, being a parent of multiples is incredibly rewarding and an exciting adventure that I wouldn’t change for the world.