About the ISBA

ISBA Academy of Illinois Lawyers Nominating Information

Purpose of Academy

The Academy was established in 1999 to celebrate excellence in the legal profession and to recognize lawyers throughout the state who maintain the highest of professional standards. 


A class of Laureates will be selected annually by the Academy Board of Regents. Laureates will be members of the Illinois State Bar Association and the profession who exemplify values, standards and ideals of the best of the legal profession. A total of 6 Laureates may be selected.

Who Qualifies to be a Laureate

Candidates must have practiced law primarily in Illinois for at least 25 years, must be a member of the ISBA, and have demonstrated a commitment to the highest principles of the legal profession through a pervasive record of service of the law, the profession and the public. A Laureate may be selected posthumously within three years of his/her death.

Who Does Not Qualify

It is recognized that the contributions of the ISBA Past Presidents to the profession and the public have been profound. However, the Academy Board of Regents considered it most appropriate to continue to honor them as members of the Advisory Board of the Illinois State Bar Association and deemed them ineligible as candidates for Laureates of the Academy.

Others who are ineligible for nomination include:

  1. Sitting ISBA Board Members (and for 24 months thereafter)
  2. Sitting Academy Regents (and for 24 months thereafter)
  3. Sitting Judges and Justices