About the ISBA

Young Lawyer of the Year Award

Previous Winners


  • Cook County – Tejas N. Shah, Nominated by Scott D. Pollock
  • Downstate – Timothy J. Ting


  • Cook County – Sarah Toney, Chicago, Nominated by Nicole Sartori
  • Downstate – Tracy Douglas, Springfield, Nominated by Standing Committee on Women and the Law


  • Cook County – Todd Belcore, Chicago, Nominated by Carol Ashley
  • Downstate – Angel Wawrzynek, Mattoon, Nominated by Sean Britton


  • Cook County – Steven V. Hunter – Nominated by Peter A. Sarasek, Quarles & Brady
  • Downstate – Angela Baker Evans, Peoria – Nominated by Standing Committee on Women and the Law


  • Cook County – Emily N. Masalski – Nominated by Standing Committee on Women and the Law
  • Downstate – Joshua D. Herman, Peoria – Nominated by Linda Raineri, Executive Director, Peoria County Bar Association


  • Cook County – Gina Arquilla Deboni – Nominated by Frank DeBoni
  • Downstate – Diana M. Law, Aurora – Nominated by the Standing Committee on Women and the Law


  • Cook County – Sean Wieber – Nominated by Gov. James R. Thompson
  • Downstate – Elizabeth “Nikki” Carrion, Alton – Nominated by the Standing Committee on Women and the Law


  • Cook County – Justin Heather – Nominated by  Michele Jochner
  • Downstate – Amie M. Simpson, Joliet – Nominated by Standing Committee on Women and the Law


  • Cook County – Michael G. Bergmann – Nominated by Susan J. Curry, Chicago
  • Downstate – Heather M. Fritsch, Sycamore – Nominated by – Lori Cunningham, Elmwood Park and Mary F. Petruchius, Sycamore


  • Cook County – Sonya D. Naar – Nominated by: Alice Vila
  • Downstate – Julie L. Cibilskus, Aurora – Nominated by: Jan Wade


  • Cook County – Raj N. Shah – Nominated by: Allen Ginsburg
  • Downstate – Christopher S. Haaff, Woodstock  – Nominated by: H. Joseph Gitlin, Virginia M. Vermillion, Annemarie Kill,


  • Cook County – Franco A. Coladipietro – Nominated by: Katherine Amari, Celia Gamrath, Anita DeCarlo, Dennis J. Beninato, Chicago
  • Downstate – Betty Y. Jang, Champaign – Nominated by: Thomas P. Cronin, Chicago


  • Cook County – Celia Gamrath – Nominated by: Kate Kelly and Beth McMeen, Chicago
  • Downstate – Peter R. Jennetten, Peoria – Nominated by: Murvel Pretorius, Jr., Peoria


  • Cook County – Iain D. Johnston – Nominated by: Celia G. Gamrath and Jack Siegal, Chicago
  • Downstate – Keith E. Fruehling, Urbana – Nominated by: Bruce L. Bonds, Urbana


  • Cook County - Anita M. Bolanos Ventrelli – Nominated by: Donald C. Schiller and Celia G. Gamrath, Chicago
  • Downstate – Carl W. Gilmore, McHenry – Nominated by:  Chris S. Haaff, Woodstock


  • Cook County – Timijanel Odom – Nominated by: Richard Porter, Chicago
  • Downstate – Michael P. Ruiz, Carbondale – Nominated by: Suzanne Schmitz, Carbondale

Each spring the Young Lawyers Division recognizes two outstanding young lawyers – one practicing outside Cook County and one within. Award recipients must be members in good standing of the Illinois State Bar Association and have not yet reached age 36.

Required Information for Nominations

  1. Name, member number, year of birth, firm, address, email address, fax, and telephone number of the Nominee
  2. Nominator (If different from the nominee, please include contact information and member no.)
  3. Please include the nominee’s curriculum vitae; any published articles written by the nominee; two letters of recommendation; and a statement of reasons why the nominee merits this award. If different from the nominee, the nominator may incorporate the statement of merit into a letter of recommendation.
  4. Please describe in the statement the nominee’s particular achievements in the practice of law, including examples of excellence in advocacy, counseling, or litigation; contributions to the advancement of the Bar of Illinois and the legal profession generally; and service to the community. Please limit the statement of merit and letters of recommendation to two typed pages.

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Burkholder at MBurkholder@isba.org.

Nominations are closed for 2016.