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2020 Annual Reception - Michael Chmiel

Thu, September 24, 2020 10:31 AM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

CHICAGO – On September 24, 2020, the Illinois Judges Foundation hosted its Annual Reception through Zoom.  It was the first ever virtual reception for the IJF, which retreated to the Internet due to the Pandemic.  Various members of the legal profession from throughout Illinois participated in the event, which also raised funds through good will offerings.

With the challenges of the Pandemic, Cook County Judge Janet Adams Brosnahan, who serves as Chair of the IJF’s Harold Sullivan Scholarship Committee, swayed the Directors of the IJF to double its scholarships this year, notwithstanding the financial challenges facing the Foundation.  With each of the law schools of Illinois represented through applications for these scholarships, and with more than twice the number of applications received since last year, Brosnahan noted, “Unfortunately, the pandemic has clearly affected the financial standing of the law schools as well as the students.”

This year, the IJF awarded scholarships to 

Gretha Rodriguez-Franco of the DePaul University College of Law, 

Bora Ndregjoni of Chicago-Kent College of Law,

Deijha Swanson of UIC John Marshall Law School, and 

Rebecca Day of UIC John Marshall Law School.

Retired Judge Helaine Berger awarded the scholarships at the Reception, and comments were received from the Deans of the law schools of each student. 

Greetings and congratulations were offered to the scholarship recipients from the Supreme Court of Illinois through

Justice Michael Burke, who attended the Reception after terming of the IJF Board in May.  As well, McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel, who serves as President of the IJF, explained, “These students are stellar and hopeful examples of our next generation of attorneys and judges.”

In its tradition, the IJF also honored three pillars of the legal community in Illinois.  

Judge Raymond McKoski, who is a former Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in Lake County, and who now serves on the faculty at UIC John Marshall Law School, was honored for his decades of service and work on ethics with the judiciary in Illinois.  

Retired Judge Barbara Crowder, who recently retired as a Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County, and who serves as First Vice President of the Illinois Judges Association, was honored for her years of service and contributions through local and statewide bar associations.  

Attorney Floyd Perkinsis a long-time Partner with Nixon Peabody in Chicago, who for many years, and since the founding of the IJF, has served as counsel to the IJF and the IJA on a pro bono basis, was honored for helping the Foundation chart its course over the past thirteen years.

Next on its agenda for the Foundation, and working within the limits of the Pandemic, the IJF will head outside this weekend to host its first Golf Outing and 19th Hole at The Odyssey in Tinley Park on October 17, 2020, thanks to the organizational efforts of Cook County Judge Tom Sianis.  Further information on this and other events can be found at ijafoundation.org.

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