President - Hon. Thomas R. Mulroy

Judge Thomas R. Mulroy became the 141st President of the Chicago Bar Association in June 2017.  After practicing law for over 30 years, Judge Mulroy became a judge in 2007 and sits in the Law Division’s Commercial Calendar section.  He spearheaded the Commercial Calendar’s innovative and successful mandatory arbitration program which assists litigants by expediting the adjudication of certain smaller cases and he is the supervising judge of the program.

Judge Mulroy was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois before joining Jenner & Block, where he became a partner and practiced as a criminal defense and commercial trial lawyer representing clients in state and federal courts throughout the country. 

Judge Mulroy was active in the representation of indigent clients through Catholic Charities, the Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Federal Defender Program.  He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Governors at Loyola University’s School of Law.  He sponsors the annual Mulroy Award for Excellence in Evidence at the law school.

Judge Mulroy has served as Special Counsel for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission;  Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Civil Procedure and Evidence Committee; a Board member of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; a Board member and life member of the Illinois Bar Foundation; a Board member of the Chicago Bar Foundation and adjunct professor of trial practice at  Loyola, Northwestern, and DePaul Universities.

Judge Mulroy earned his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law.

First Vice President - Steven M. Elrod

A partner at the firm of Holland & Knight, Steven M. Elrod represents private and public sector clients on land use, zoning and real estate matters. He is chairman of Holland & Knight’s National Land Use and Government Team and is the executive partner of the firm’s Chicago office.  He has also served on the firm’s national directors committee for two consecutive terms. 

Mr. Elrod has extensive experience in the litigation of land use issues, including eminent domain, regulatory taking and inverse condemnation, as well as First and Second Amendment issues.  He successfully argued a religious land use case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Mr. Elrod also serves as the corporation counsel for the City of Highland Park and as the village attorney for the communities of Northbrook, Glencoe and Lincolnwood.  He is also actively involved in the general representation of the firm’s more than two dozen Chicago area government clients. 

His many charitable and civic efforts include service on the Board of the Chicago Bar Foundation, which funds pro bono legal service organizations.  He is the past chairman of the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing law-related and civic education to elementary and high school students; and he is a founding member of the Board of the Highland Park/Highwood Legal Aid Clinic. 

A frequent speaker and author, Mr. Elrod is consistently ranked among the best lawyers in the nation by the legal guides Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America.  He is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern Pritzker University School of Law where he teaches local government and land use law.  His many honors and awards include the Tree of Life Award for Civic Service from the Jewish National Fund, the Lecturer of Merit Award from the National College of District Attorneys; and Volunteer Alumni of the Year from Northwestern University. 

Mr. Elrod earned his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University, manga cum laude, and his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.

Second Vice President - Jesse H. Ruiz

Jesse H. Ruiz is a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, where he serves as Marketing Partner and is a member of the firm's Client Service Committee.  Mr. Ruiz also practices in the Corporate and Securities Group and counsels clients on corporate finance issues; negotiation of consulting and other commercial agreements; reorganizations; corporate compliance; corporate governance issues; employment matters, and the formation of business entities in the United States, Latin America and Europe. 

Mr. Ruiz also serves as legal counsel to the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, receiving the Foundation’s Leadership Award for his efforts and assistance in the formation of both organizations. 

Mr. Ruiz has focused his civic involvement in public education for many years, formerly serving as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education and as a member of the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission. He has also served as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education and on the Chicago Public Schools Desegregation Monitoring Commission. 

Mr. Ruiz serves on the American Bar Association's Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and he is past president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and past chairman of the Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois. He is also past chairman of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and has taught corporate law as an Adjunct Professor at John Marshall Law School. 

His many awards and honors include the Barristers Philanthropic Award from Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth for his work in education advocacy and youth mentoring; the Education Excellence Award from El Valor; the Education Award from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and the Vanguard Award from the Chicago Bar Association.  He was also selected by Chicago United to be featured in its first "Business Leaders of Color" publication, featured in Crain's Chicago Business. 

Mr. Ruiz earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, where he served as an editor of the University of Chicago Law School Roundtable.

Secretary - E. Lynn Grayson

Recognized as one of the nation's leading environmental lawyers, E. Lynn Grayson is a partner at Nijman Franzetti LLP. Ms. Grayson serves as lead environmental counsel in U.S. and international transactions and counsels corporate leadership on the management of material environmental risks and liabilities.

Ms. Grayson also advises clients on critical enforcement, regulatory and litigation matters, conducts environmental internal investigations and defends clients in criminal, whistleblower and qui tam actions. She has significant experience defending against natural resource damage claims and performing due diligence including water scarcity concerns.

Prior to her career at Nijman Franzetti, Ms. Grayson chaired the environmental law practice group of a large national firm. She has served as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Emergency Services and Disaster Agency and the State Emergency Response Commission and has prosecuted federal and state environmental cases as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois.

Ms. Grayson has consistently been recognized as a leading environmental lawyer by Chambers USA, the Best Lawyers in America, Illinois Super Lawyers and the Leading Lawyers Network. She is an AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. She has also served as a special liaison from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Environmental Law to the U.S. Department of Defense addressing regulatory reform.

Ms. Grayson has made significant contributions to promote diversity in the legal profession, including the advancement of women. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms and a past chair of the Illinois State Bar Association's standing committee on Women and the Law, as well as the Chicago Bar Association's Alliance for Women. She has received numerous awards and honors including the CBA's Alta May Hulett Award, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois' Women with Vision Award, the ISBA's Diversity Leadership Award and the 2017 Best Lawyers' Women of Influence Award.

Ms. Grayson earned her bachelor's degree from Franklin College and her J.D. from Indiana University's School of Law.

Treasurer - Maurice Grant

Maurice Grant is a nationally recognized attorney specializing in business and commercial litigation, employment, corporate and real estate.  As the principal of the Chicago firm Grant Law LLC, Mr. Grant represents clients ranging from large Fortune 500 companies, to governmental entities, hospitals and private medical practices, as well as medium and small businesses and individuals.

Prior to founding Grant Law LLC, Mr. Grant co-founded Grant Schumann LLC and established the Law Offices of Maurice Grant. Earlier in his career, after serving as a judicial law clerk for Justice Calvin C. Campbell of the Illinois Appellate Court, he worked as an associate attorney representing clients in commercial, real estate and employment litigation at the law firm now known as Much Shelist, P.C. 

Within the Chicago Bar Association, Mr. Grant has served as a member of the Board of Managers as well as Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Committee.  He also serves on the CBA’s Finance Committee and as the association’s Pro Bono General Counsel. 

His many honors include being AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.  He has also been recognized multiple times by Super Lawyers and Leading Lawyers Magazines for his accomplishments in commercial litigation and employment.  Mr. Grant was honored as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United.

Mr. Grant has served the local community in a variety of capacities including as a member of the Board of Trustees of Living Word Christian Center, the Board of Directors for the IFF (the largest not-for-profit lender in Illinois), the Center for Conflict Resolution, the Evanston Symphony Orchestra and the Public Interest Law Initiative.  He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago Kent College of Law.

Mr. Grant earned his bachelor’s degree in history from DePaul University and attended graduate school, majoring in European and African history.  He received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.


Board of Managers

Immediate Past President - Daniel M. Kotin

Daniel M. Kotin is a founding member of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC. He is an experienced personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice attorney. 

Within the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), he serves on the Association's Finance Committee. Over the years, he has chaired multiple committees of the CBA and served as a director of the Young Lawyers Section. He is also involved in the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where he is a member of the Board of Managers and was previously the Chairman of the Association's Seminar Planning Committee. In addition, he is currently the President of The Society of Trial Lawyers. 

He is on the faculty at Loyola University School of Law. He also is the President of the Board of Governors for the law school and serves as a Co-Chair of its Circle of Advocates. He is on the faculty at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy where he teaches trial skills to lawyers in an annual program. He has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Illinois and serves on the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. 

In 2002, he was recognized and profiled by Chicago's Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch". He was honored by the Lawdragon as one of "500 New Stars, New World," in 2006. He is a member of The National Trial Lawyers, an organization comprised of the top 100 trial lawyers from each state. He is currently profiled as one of the Top 5% of Civil Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network, has been designated an "Illinois Super Lawyer" and maintains an AV rating - the highest possible rating for any attorney - from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.

Jonathan B. Amarilio

Jonathan B. Amarillo is a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP who focuses his practice in civil appellate litigation and critical motion practice.  Jonathan has been involved in numerous high profile cases and regularly represents individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and Fortune 500 companies before state and federal appellate courts, primarily the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

Jonathan has also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois and as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago in a number of matters. In addition to serving as the CBA YLS Chair, and on the CBA Board of Managers, Jonathan has held several YLS officer positions and has served on a number of CBA practice and administrative committees, including the CBA Special Committee on Appellate Practice, the CBA Membership Committee, the CBA Officer Nominating Committee, and the CBA Special Committee Assisting the Illinois Supreme Court to Implement Recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Illinois Courts. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth organization, on the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Young Professionals Board, as a Vice-Chair to the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Investing in Justice Campaign, as Co-Chair of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Speakers Committee, and as a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association’s Rules Committee. Jonathan has been repeatedly honored as an Emerging Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers Network and has been repeatedly named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.

Alan R. Borlack

Alan R. Borlack is a partner in the law firm of Bailey Borlack Nadelhoffer LLC. He has represented parties in complex commercial and business litigation, arbitration and appeals since he first began practicing law at Mayer Brown & Platt after graduation from law school. He has handled virtually every kind of case, many involving sophisticated issues and sizeable amounts. He has also done pro-bono representation for the community surrounding Wrigley Field where he successfully led the defense against the Chicago Cubs suit to declare unconstitutional the then existing laws that banned lights at Wrigley Field. He has appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court on five occasions as well as state and federal appellate courts.

For many years, he has been a frequent speaker on litigation topics at legal organizations including the CBA and the St. Louis Bar Association. He is the immediate past Chair of the CBA Animal Law Committee where he pursued his personal passion for animal welfare. He is currently Chair of the CBA Civil Practice Committee. His community service includes membership on the Board of Directors of the Cameron Kravitt Foundation, which provides grants to leading medical schools to help teach young pediatricians how to handle grief when a child dies. He is also a member of the Political Council of the Humane Society Legislative Fund that is devoted to animal welfare matters. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan, with High Distinction, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude.

Hon. Thomas M. Durkin

Thomas M. Durkin became a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois on January 14, 2013, having been nominated by President Barack Obama on May 21, 2012. Before taking the bench, he was a partner in the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP from 1993 to 2013, specializing in complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and internal investigations.

Prior to joining Mayer he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stanley J. Roszkowski of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1978 to 1980. After his clerkship, Judge Durkin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago from 1980 to 1993, where he held positions as First Assistant US Attorney, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division, Chief of the Criminal Receiving and Appellate Division, and Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division. While an Assistant United States Attorney he tried over 50 jury trials.

He has held many roles as a volunteer in the legal community including serving on the Board of the Legal Assistance Foundation from 1999 to 2008. He has also been a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2000. In 2015, he was appointed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He earned a J.D. degree with honors from DePaul University College of Law in 1978 and a B.S. degree in accounting with honors from the University of Illinois in 1975.

Mark B. Epstein

Mark Epstein, of Epstein and Epstein, concentrates his practice in the areas of mental health, guardianship, and elder law. He is published in leading publications including in the CBARecord and Illinois Bar Journal. He has litigated leading melJ.tal health law cases in Illinois, including the Illinois Supreme Court case that tested the constitutionality of authorized involuntary psychotropic medication. He has been an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern Law School; chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Mental Health Law Committee; and 5-time chair of the Chicago Bar Association Mental Health Law Committee. He received a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship, and he has been a member of various legislative and executive task forces involving mental health law issues. He was named an Illinois "Super Lawyer" and by the Leading Lawyers Network as an Illinois "Top Ten" Elder Lawyer.

Mr. Epstein received his B.A. degree from the University of Chicago and his J.D. degree from Northwestern Law School.

Hon. Shelvin Louise Marie Hall

Hon. Shelvin Louise Marie Hall was the first African-American female Chair of the Executive Committee of the First District, Illinois Appellate Court. After training in Civil Rights Law by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund she entered private practice in Houston, Texas where she spent six years in the firm she founded, the first law firm in the nation that was run entirely by African American women.  In 1982 she returned to Chicago and was admitted to practice law in Illinois.  She spent the next eight years serving as general counsel to the Illinois Department of Human Rights, supervising civil rights, administrative, labor and legislative issues. 

Justice Hall was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1991 and elected to a six-year term the following year.  In 1995 she joined the Law Division where she presided over civil jury trials and then retained for a second six-year term in November of 1998. The Illinois Supreme Court then assigned her to a two-year term as a Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. She was elected to a full 10-year term on the Court in November 2000 in a contested race, and was retained for a second 10-year term in November of 2010. She has served as Presiding Justice of both the First Division and Fourth Division of the First District Appellate Court, on the Mediation Committee and as Chair of the Court's Executive Committee.

Justice Hall is chairperson of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association and former chair of the Illinois Judicial Council, an organization of predominately African American judges in Illinois.  She has served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Cook County Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the National Bar Association’s Judicial Council, the Lutheran Family Mission and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.  She was the first woman judge on the executive committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference and serves on its education committee.  She has held memberships in the Illinois Judges Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the Illinois State Bar  Association and other bar groups.  She is a devoted member of the Friendship Baptist Church, where her late father, Rev. Dr. Shelvin Jerome Hall, served as Pastor for 51 years.  Her sister, Justice Priscilla L. Hall, sits on the New York State Supreme Court. 

Her many awards and honors  include: the CBA's Earl Burrus Dickerson Award; Sweet Holy Spirit Church's Justice of the Year Award; The DuSable Museum Women's Board's Dr. Margaret Burroughs Legacy Award; Barnes and Thornburg's Black History's Living Legends; Mahogany Scholarship Heritage Foundation's Black Heritage Award - Excellence in Law and Public Service; Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, Westside Federation of Chicago, Safeway Companies Dr. King Legacy Partners: Legacy Award; the Unity Dinner Advocate for Diversity Award; the Liberty Achievement Award from the American Bar Association - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section; and Boston University School of Law's Lifetime Achievement Award.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University in Hampton Virginia and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Hon. Robert F. Harris

Prior to being appointed a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in September 2017, Judge Harris served as the Cook County Public Guardian since his appointment to that position in 2004. The Public Guardian’s Office is the only law office of its kind in the country that combines the legal representation of abused and neglected children, children in custody/divorce cases, and disabled elderly wards. Harris began his career as an attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian in 1991. While in law school, he worked at the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic to represent residents of the Cabrini Green Housing Complex in civil, criminal and juvenile matters. Prior to going to law school, Harris worked for several years as an engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Honeywell, Inc.

Judge Harris has presented both locally and nationally, lectured or acted as a panelist on issues regarding children or the elderly for organizations such as Chicago Kent College of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Northwestern University Law School, DePaul University College of Law, University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, National Association of Counsel for Children, Annie E. Casey Foundation/Casey Family Services, Chicago Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the National Black Child Development Institute.

He has received many awards and honors for his work with children and the elderly from organizations such as DePaul University College of Law (Outstanding Service to the Profession Alumni Award), Reclaim A Youth Foundation, Cook County Juvenile Court Child Protection Division, ReHabilitative Systems, Inc., the Cook County Bar Association (Ida B. Platt Award), the National Association for Elder Law Attorneys (John J. Regan Writing Award) and was recognized as a community leader in Who’s Who in Black Chicago. He has served on several boards and was a 2007 Fellow in Leadership Greater Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and earned his J.D. from DePaul College of Law.

Michele M. Jochner

Michele M. Jochner is a partner with the matrimonial law firm of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Jochner served for 15 years as a judicial law clerk to two Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court: the late Hon. Mary Ann G. McMorrow and the Hon. Charles E. Freeman. She has served in a number of bar leadership roles, including as Chair of the CBA’s Public Affairs Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee of the CBA’s Alliance for Women.

A recognized legal scholar, expert writer and educator to law students and attorneys, Ms. Jochner has been honored by her peers in "Best Lawyers in America” and in “Super Lawyers,” as a "Leading Lawyer" who ranks in the top 100 Women Consumer Lawyers in Illinois, and as the recipient of the 2015 Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award by the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. She also has authored nearly 200 articles on a wide array of legal topics appearing in publications nationwide, and her two columns, “Law From a Different Perspective” and "On Appeal," appear regularly in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. In addition, she is listed in several “Who’s Who” publications, and was previously recognized as one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Ms. Jochner regularly speaks on legal issues to various groups across the State, including seminars on effective legal writing, appellate advocacy, and family law. She has also served as an adjunct professor at both DePaul University College of Law and The John Marshall Law School. In testament to her career-long commitment to legal education, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Ms. Jochner to serve as Vice-Chair of its Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Board.

Michael J. Kaufman

Michael J. Kaufman is a professor of law and dean at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has served as a member of the Loyola law faculty since 1986 serving as associate dean and interim dean until he was appointed dean in March 2017. He has devoted his entire professional life to the service of others and is renowned for his efforts to create greater educational diversity and equity at all levels of learning—from birth to the bar exam. He has published dozens of books and countless law review articles in the four areas of his expertise: education law and policy, securities regulation and litigation, civil procedure, and jurisprudence. 

His casebook Education Law, Policy, and Practice: Cases and Materials (Aspen 1st ed. 2005, 2d ed. 2009, 3d ed. 2013) is one of the leading texts in both law school and graduate school classes devoted to education law and policy. Kaufman’s particular expertise in early childhood education and student learning is reflected in a book he coauthored, Learning Together: The Law, Policy, Pedagogy, Economics and Neuroscience of Early Childhood Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), and in his newest book, The Pre-K Home Companion: Learning the Importance of Early Childhood Education and Choosing the Best Program for Your Family (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Kaufman also created and directs Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute, which conducts conferences, transdisciplinary research, comprehensive academic programs, direct representation of children and families, and advocacy dedicated to enhancing educational access and equity. Kaufman also has published the most widely used treatise in Illinois civil litigation, the Illinois Civil Trial Procedure book, now in its 16th edition. He also coauthored the textbook Learning Civil Procedure (West, 2015).
After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced civil rights and securities litigation in one of the world’s largest law firms. He was elected to three terms on the board of education of a large, diverse school district in the Chicago area, serving as the board's president and vice president. He has won awards for his teaching and for his public service. He is also an expert consultant to federal and state regulators and a public arbitrator for securities disputes, and he delivers bar examination review lectures for thousands of law students throughout the country each year. He is a graduate of Kenyon College, magna cum laude, and received his J.S. from the University of Michigan Law School where he won the American Judicature Society Award.

Lori E. Lightfoot

With more than twenty years’ experience in the justice system and government sector, Lori E. Lightfoot has served as a trial attorney, investigator and risk manager. She currently is a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, based in the Chicago office and handles a range of client matters such as complex commercial litigation, internal investigations, as well as criminal defense.

Both as a civil litigator and as Assistant US Attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois (1996–2002), Lori has tried more than twenty federal and state jury and bench trials. She has also argued cases in state and federal appellate courts and she has successfully conducted numerous internal investigations. In addition, Lori has considerable experience in instituting risk management and compliance practices for municipal government departments, such as police, procurement services, emergency management, homeland security and 9-1-1 emergency call systems.

From 2002 to 2005, Lori worked with the City of Chicago as Interim First Deputy Procurement Officer, Department of Procurement Services (DPS); General Counsel and Chief of Staff, Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC); and Chief Administrator, Office of Professional Standards (OPS) of the Chicago Police Department. At OPS, Lori managed a 100-person office of civilian investigators charged with investigating police-involved shootings, allegations of excessive force and other misconduct alleged against Chicago police officers. She also coordinated joint investigations with state and federal criminal authorities and facilitated the implementation of new compliance and risk management systems. She was appointed as President of the Chicago Police Board by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in June of 2015 and was approved by the Chicago City Council in July of 2015.

As Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Lori oversaw the City’s 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency call systems, emergency response operations, homeland security initiatives and related technologies. She also developed management accountability metrics for each OEMC operational unit. Highlights of her OEMC experience include managing the recovery of the city’s 9-1-1 system following a catastrophic crash and serving as point person for recovery efforts during and following natural disasters, such as large scale fires and weather.

Lori has been associated with Mayer Brown since 2005 and, previously, between 1990 and 1996. Earlier, she served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Charles Levin, Michigan Supreme Court (1989–1990). She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School.

Pamela Sakowicz Menaker

Pamela Sakowicz Menaker is the Communications Partner at Clifford Law Offices who holds two degrees in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.  At Clifford Law she handles media affairs in the many high-profile cases handled by the firm including the trial of internationally-claimed violinist Rachel Barton who was severely injured by a Metra train, the fire at the Cook County Administration Building, the scaffolding collapse at the John Hancock Building, the porch collapse in Chicago that killed 13 and injured dozens of others and the collapse of a high wire circus act in Boston in which seven performers were injured during a performance.  Since 2006, she has spearheaded the continuing legal education programs at Clifford Law Office, which draw nearly 4,000 registrants, perhaps the largest CLE program in the state.

Before joining Clifford Law, she worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and then at ABC-TV where she worked for the local affiliate in Chicago as a writer/producer for the local news. She also created the column "Prelude in N" for North Shore Magazine, which she wrote for two years. She has been a correspondent and political speech writer in the nation's capital as well as a producer/writer for Tribune Entertainment and the New York Times Corporation where she worked on a pilot for a news magazine program. She is an adjunct professor in Medill's graduate program where she teaches a class "Law, Policy and Ethics of Marketing."

After being sworn in as an attorney in Illinois, she represented criminal defendants before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals where she is certified to practice. A member of the editorial board for the Chicago Bar Record, she has served as its book review editor since 2000. In 2006, she was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the CBA's Pro Bono Week Committee, and serves on the CBA's Judicial Evaluation Committee and its Public Affairs Committee.  She is involved in various bar associations including the American Bar Association (ABA) where she was Co-Chair of the Section of Litigation's Written Materials Committee, a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force and other positions involving the publication of materials for that 60,000 member section. She also served as Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting in Chicago in 2005, helping organize the dozens of programs and written materials accompanying the continuing legal education seminars. She served as an editor on the prestigious quarterlies Litigation Journal and Litigation News. Most recently, she was appointed to a three-year term on the ABA Standing Committee on Strategic Communications.

In 2016, she was elected to a three-year term on the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Board of Governors where she is Board Liaison to the ARDC, Human Rights, and Membership and Marketing committees. She has served six years in the ISBA Assembly. In 2006, she was tapped to serve as the Co-Chair of the Host Committee for the Illinois Bar Foundation's Annual Gala Affair. She also has served a number of years on the Illinois Bar Journal, the ISBA's member publication. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received her J.D. from Loyola University School of  Law.

Paul Ochmanek, Jr.

Paul Ochmanek is an active trial lawyer who advises condominium and homeowner associations on all aspects of corporate law including but not limited to; turnover, amendments to declarations and by-laws, rule adoption and enforcement, adopting special assessments, assessment collection, foreclosures and bankruptcy issues. 

His practice is focused on representing condominium and homeowner associations and includes prosecuting unit owner violations of the governing documents and ensuring unit owners pay assessments/special assessments.  He has extensive experience defending condominium associations from actions involving building code violations brought before the City of Chicago. Moreover he handles numerous residential transactions.

Matthew Passen

Matthew A. Passen, partner with Passen Law Group, focuses his practice on personal injury and wrongful death cases. In 2014, he was named one of the "Top 40 Litigation Lawyers Under 40" in the state of Illinois by the American Society of Legal Advocates, and has consistently been named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Prior to joining Passen Law Group, he was an associate at Jenner & Block LLP. During law school, he was a judicial clerk for the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He also interned with the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois.

Active in both local and national bar associations, he currently chairs the CBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS) and serves on the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professionals Board (YPB) which he served as President in 2014. He is also Vice-Chair of the Trial Techniques Committee and Automobile Law Committee for the American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS).

He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, as well as the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, New Lawyers Division. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago, and serves on the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Associate Board and Illinois Legal Aid Online's Young Professionals Board.

He received his undergraduate degree in Economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan, where he played four years of hockey as a member of the University of Michigan Club Hockey Team.  He earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson has practiced law in Illinois for over 42 years. At her firm, Robinson Law Group, LLC, she represents lawyers in disciplinary investigations and prosecutions, counsels lawyers and law firms facing ethical crises or looking to implement effective professional practices, and provides expert witness services in legal malpractice cases and other matters where professional responsibility issues are being litigated.  More recently, the firm has been advising companies that work with lawyers to provide technology-based legal services, assisting them in developing relationships that conform to lawyers’ ethical obligations.  

Since March 2009, Ms. Robinson has also served by appointment of the federal district court as Compliance Administrator for Cook County, where she is responsible for overseeing implementation of the consent decree entered in the case of Michael Shakman, et al. v. The Democratice Organization of Cook County, et al, U.S.Dist.Ct., N.D.Ill. No. 69 C 2145.

Prior to founding her practice in 2007, Ms. Robinson served for 15 years as Administrator of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois.  She came to that position after 18 years of practice, first, with the Illinois State Appellate Defender and then as a small firm in the collar counties, concentrating in appellate, criminal and family law.  In her capacities with the ARDC, she worked to develop and implement investigative policies informed by the realities of the practice of law and to expand opportunities for lawyers to avoid disciplinary entanglements.  

Ms. Robinson is a frequent speaker for national, state and local bar association programs on ethics and professional responsibility issues.  She presently serves as a CBA designated member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee.  She has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Discipline, and as Chair of the Planning Committee for the ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility, as well as a member of several ISBA Committees and Task Forces, including the Task Force on the Future of Legal Services.  She is a proud recipient of the Lawyers Assistance Program Carl H. Rolewick Award, and a LAP volunteer.  She received her law degree from the University of Southern California, and is licensed in Illinois and California.

John C. Sciaccotta

John C. Sciaccotta focuses his practice on litigation, arbitration and business counseling matters with a special emphasis on complex civil trial and appellate cases brought in federal and state courts throughout the United States.  John has also been appointed by the American Arbitration Association as an Arbitrator and Lawyer Neutral to adjudicate various claims and disputes in arbitration.  He joined the firm of Aronberg Goldghen in April 2015 from Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He practiced at its Chicago office predecessor firm, Shefsky & Froelich, for 15 years.

Over the course of his career John has provided results-oriented and value-driven legal counsel and advice to public and privately held businesses, lenders, employers and individuals. His litigation and trial services work has included counseling and representing corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and their owners in issues involving corporate control, valuation, corporate squeeze-outs, minority oppression, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He has also represented property owners in various types of litigation against municipalities as well as prosecuting and defending doctors, accountants, engineers, architects and real estate brokers in professional negligence and lien matters.

He has been awarded an AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability. Also among his accolades, since 2007 John has been recognized annually as a Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation by Illinois Leading Lawyers. He has also been named a Super Lawyer in Business Litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers, a designation awarded by peers to only 5 percent of Illinois attorneys. He is a past trustee of the Chicago Bar Foundation, past director of the 100 Club of Chicago and the Civic Federation of Chicago as well as the past president and founder of the Fenwick High School Bar Association and a Fenwick Life Trustee. He received his undergraduate degree from Creighton University and his J.D. from  DePaul University College of Law.

Helene M. Snyder, Esq.

Helene M. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and has a background in both private practice and public interest law, including two years as a guardian ad litem with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings and supervising courtroom attorneys.  Ms. Snyder’s legal practice includes the representation of children as their court-appointed attorney in custody and visitation cases and parents in abuse, neglect, custody, and visitation cases.  She also advises mental health professionals on confidentiality, mandated reporting, and other legal issues.  Ms. Snyder has conducted seminars for physicians and mental health professionals on family law, mandated reporting, and confidentiality and workshops on juvenile law for foster parents.   

Since 1992, Ms. Snyder has taught courses on social work and the law, including mental health law, in the Graduate School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, where she is an adjunct professor.  Between 2005 and 2014, Ms. Snyder also taught courses on social work and the law and on family policy and the law in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  Ms. Snyder also conducts frequent trainings on various legal topics for mental health professionals as part of the Professional Development Program of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  She has published articles on effective legal representation of children in custody and visitation proceedings for the Chicago Bar Association and American Bar Association.  

Ms. Snyder is immediate past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Legislative Committee, past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Domestic Relations Committee, past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Task Force on the revision of Illinois family law, immediate past President of the Family Defense Center, and current President of the Forensic Forum.  Ms. Snyder has previously served as Executive Vice-President of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, President of the Illinois Task Force on Child Support, and a board member of the Women’s Board of the Heartland Alliance.

Andrew W. Vail

Andrew W. Vail is a litigation partner in the Chicago office of Jenner & Block LLP. He has practiced at Jenner & Block his entire professional career, coming to the firm after graduating from law school with honors in 2003 and becoming a partner in 2011. In 2005, Illinois Super Lawyers and Chicago Magazine recognized him in their "Best of the Best" lists of the top 100 lawyers in Illinois. He has significant litigation experience in both federal and state courts, representing individuals, privately held, public and Fortune 500 companies as both plaintiff and defense counsel. Andrew counsels clients on complex business litigation matters, and has extensive experience representing clients in internal corporate and government investigations. He speaks and/or testifies nationally on issues relating to reforms in the justice system and legal ethics.

Andrew chairs Jenner & Block's Pro Bono Committee in Chicago and has been recognized by many organizations for his commitment to the Chicago pro bono community. His many honors include: the CBA and CBF's Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award; the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award; the Public Interest Law Initiative's Distinguished Fellow Alumni Award; and being profiled in the National Law Journal's article naming Jenner & Block to its "Pro Bono Hotlist" With colleagues from Jenner & Block, he has received recognition for pro bono work from the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, the Australian Bar Association (CCRFC), the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago and the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago.

As a member of the CBA, he has chaired the Federal Civil Practice Committee and served for several years on the CBA's Judicial Evaluation Committee. He has also been a member of the CBA's Nominating Committee. He currently serves on the Boards of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Law School. He is also a member of the Illinois Supreme Court's Criminal IPI Committee.

He earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Illinois College of Law and his BA in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He recently founded the Henry Owl Scholarship Fund, which recognized Henry Owl, the first person of color to be admitted and graduate from UNC, and provides funds to need-based undergraduates majoring in American studies at UNC.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. with honors from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Greta G. Weathersby

Greta Weathersby is an in-house attorney for WEC Energy Group, Inc., a leading Midwest electric and natural gas delivery company serving 4.4 million customers across four states.  The Company’s principal Illinois utilities are The Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.  She has practiced in the energy sector for the past 27 years including practice as a Partner in the commercial litigation group of a large law firm.

As in-house counsel, she counsels corporate executives and managers to minimize legal risk on a broad range of issues.  Her direct experience includes employment defense of federal and state agency charges and lawsuits; guidance and counsel on ERISA related issues, compliance counseling on FMLA and ADA issues; responding to corporate audits

(OFCCP and FLSA); managing cybersecurity and data privacy issues; regulatory experience before state public utility commissions and litigation defense under breach of contract, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the United States Bankruptcy Code (adversary complaints, claims objections, preference actions, adequate assurance issues). 

She has been active within the Chicago Bar Association for many years including the Commercial Litigation Group and the Energy and Utilities Section. She has also been a member of the CBA Nominating Committee. Apart from her work with the CBA, she is an active member of the American Bar Association and has held leadership positions with Midwest Energy Association, Legal Regulatory and Governmental Affairs section.

She currently serves as a member of the Law Alumni Board of Governors and the Dean’s Diversity Council for Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.  She has also served as a member of the Black Creativity Advisory Council for the Museum of Science and Industry.

She is a recipient of the First Chair Award for Top Compliance Counsel and the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, BLSA Donald L. Hallowell Distinguished Award for Service.

She is a licensed member of the Illinois State Bar; a member of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois Bar and Federal Trial Bar. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University, Cum Laude and with distinction in Political Science and her juris doctor from Loyola University of Chicago Law School.

Zeophus J. Williams

Z. (Zeophus) Williams began her legal career in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (Chicago, Illinois). In 2009, Ms. Williams became Chief of the Child Support Enforcement Division. The Division consists of over 35 attorneys and over 80 support staff. She previously held the positions of Division Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor of Special Projects & Training, and is Chair of the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. The Committee will draft a legislative proposal replacing Illinois child support percentage of obligor income model with an income shares model.

Ms. Williams’ service in the legal profession and community includes president of the Cook County Bar Association (2008-09), and Chair of the following: Illinois State Bar Association Committee on Professional Conduct, Chicago Bar Association Domestic Relations Committee, and Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening. Additionally, she served as (Board Member) Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, (Assembly Member) Illinois State Bar Association, (Secretary) Chicago Local School Council, (President) Cook County Bar Community Law Project, and Legal Clinic volunteer. Ms. Williams presented Continuing Legal Education seminars for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Illinois State Bar Association, Cook County and Chicago Bar Associations, NCSEA, and ERICSA. She is a graduate of DePaul University (Bachelor of Science in Commerce) and John Marshall Law School (Chicago, Illinois).