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Vincent F. Cornelius installed as 140th ISBA President

Vincent F. CorneliusVincent F. Cornelius was installed as president of the 32,000-member Illinois State Bar Association on June 17, 2016. The installation took place at the association's 140th Annual Meeting at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont. Cornelius is the Principal in the Law Office of Vincent F. Cornelius with offices in Joliet and Wheaton. He is the 140th ISBA president, and the first African American to lead the association as president. View pictures from the installation at

A major focus of Cornelius' year as president will be the future of young lawyers. Cornelius has ambitions for a collaboration with Illinois law schools and law school deans, the Illinois Supreme Court, the American Bar Association, and others to prepare young lawyers for the profession. As a small-firm attorney, Cornelius understands the concerns of his peers, including solo practitioners, and he plans to address their issues as well.

The ISBA Annual Meeting featured programming from the association's Solo and Small Firm Conference. Cornelius will also focus on offering assistance for small-firm members through enhanced Law Practice Management Resources.

Cornelius will also highlight diversity and inclusion in the profession, and the issue of implicit bias.

Cornelius' law practice concentrates on criminal defense and civil litigation. He was elected to the ISBA Board of Governors 37-and-under seat in 1999. He served as the chancellor of the ISBA's Academy of Illinois Lawyers and as the president of the Illinois Bar Foundation from 2008-10.

Cornelius served as assistant treasurer and as chair of several committees of the DuPage County Bar Association. He is a founding member of The Black Bar Association of Will County.

Cornelius received his law degree from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1989. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of St. Francis in Joliet. He began his legal career as an assistant state's attorney in DuPage County before joining the law firm of James D. Montgomery and Associates in Chicago. He opened his own firm in Wheaton by age 30 - a long-term goal. He later opened a second office in his hometown of Joliet.

Posted on June 15, 2016 by Chris Bonjean
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