For the Public

Jessica Arong O'Brien Elected to Board of Governors of Illinois State Bar Association

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Chris Ruys
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2012

CHICAGO, IL – Attorney Jessica Arong O’Brien, a special assistant attorney general at the Illinois Department of Revenue and acting chief counsel of the Illinois Lottery, has been elected to the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).  The board directs the operations and activities of the association.
 
Previously, O’Brien served on the Board in an appointed capacity as one of two at-large board members. At its annual meeting in June 2011, the ISBA Assembly voted to establish two at-large Board seats to reflect under-represented segments of the association in its governance.
 
A native of the Philippines, O’Brien immigrated to the U.S. after high school, received her bachelor of science degree in the hotel and food administration and minor in financial management from Boston University in 1989. She furthered her culinary arts education at Ecolê Hotêliêre de Laûsanne, Switzerland and The Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London. O’Brien spent five years at Caesar’s Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, holding dual positions as divisional food and beverage trainer and comptroller, responsible for the training of senior staff and line employees and the management of its multi-million-dollar budget.
 
Law is O’Brien’s second career, and she quickly distinguished herself in that area. A 1998 graduate of The John Marshall Law School, she was the first student to complete the JD/LLM joint degree program in Tax Law in just three years, and also gave birth to her first daughter while in law school.  In 2002, she earned her second Masters in Law, with honors, in Employee Benefits. O’Brien litigates cases involving corporate, partnership, and individual income and sales taxation at the Illinois Department of Revenue. In her capacity as acting chief counsel of the Illinois Lottery, she assists the superintendant in the day-to-day affairs of the multi-billion dollar operation and oversees Lottery’s litigation docket.
 
A past president of the Filipino American Bar Association, O’Brien spearheaded the annual swearing-in of bar presidents, which is now known as the Unity Award Dinner. She serves as the president of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to diversify the legal community through scholarship awards, panel discussions, community outreach and support of bar organizations’ diversity initiatives. She is a hearing officer for the Attorney Registration Disciplinary Commission, treasurer of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and the past president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area. O’Brien has won numerous awards for her accomplishments and has been recognized for her activism in the legal community. She won a primary election contest in March for a seat on the bench of the Cook County Circuit Court, and will run unopposed in the general election in November.
 
The 33,000-member Illinois State Bar Association, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public.

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