Chicago Bar Association Convenes Strategic Planning Committee 

The CBA plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the law profession, as well as improving the effectiveness of justice in communities near and far. As the CBA approaches their 150th anniversary in 2024, the Strategic Planning Committee has been convened to thoughtfully consider the future of CBA. 

“In forming this Committee, we hope to challenge all members to make the CBA the bar association they want, need, and deserve,” said CBA President E. Lynn Grayson. “As we plan for the next 150 years, we must adapt offerings to support and advance legal careers as well as serve as a change agent for racial justice, the rule of law, access to justice, and improving the communities where we live and work.”

Andrew W. Vail, Partner at Jenner & Block, chairs the CBA’s Strategic Planning Committee. “We have a tremendous Committee committed to serving the CBA membership, the courts, and the broader Chicagoland community by bolstering post-COVID legal practices; promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; and raising awareness of socioeconomic issues facing individuals and communities today.” 

The Committee is comprised of lawyers and judges from a diverse cross section of the legal, business public service and not for profit community who are committed to a justice system that is more reflective of the Chicago metropolitan area’s diversity. Members of the Committee are:

Michael Alkaraki, Partner at Leahy Hoste Alkaraki
Hon. Charles S. Beach II, Associate Judge of the Pretrial Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County
Daniel Berkowitz, Assistant Attorney General at Illinois Attorney General's Office
Hon. Alison C. Conlon, Circuit Judge for the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County
Daniel A. Cotter, Attorney at Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC**
Hon. Joy Cunningham, Justice of the Illinois First District Appellate Court*
Octavio Duran, Principal Attorney at Duran Law Offices**
Steven Fus, Attorney at Steve Fus Law and Interim Director of Cabrini Green Legal Aid
Maurice Grant, Principal Attorney at Grant Law LLC
Hon. LaShonda A. Hunt, Bankruptcy Judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Daniel M. Kotin, Shareholder at Tomasik Kotin Kasserman*
Patty McCarthy, Regional Sales Manager at Lexis Nexis
Martin Montes, Board of Director, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
Kernisha Padilla, Conflicts Attorney at Blank Rome LLP
Matthew A. Passen, Partner at Passen & Powell**
Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright, General Counsel of the Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission
Adam Zebelian, Associate at Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck, LLP

The Committee is honored to be served by three Special Advisors: 
Stephen M. Elrod, Partner at Elrod Friedman LLP*
Hon. Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Terri L. Mascherin, Partner at Jenner & Block LLP*

*denotes past President of the CBA
**denotes past or current Chair of the CBA Young Lawyers Section

The Committee looks forward to receiving input on its strategic planning, which can be provided to Andrew Vail at