Member Groups

Diversity Matters
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2010, vol. 4, no. 1

Illinois’ legal community unites to raise over $100,000 for Haiti rebuilding efforts

1) Michele Jochner and ISBA President John O'Brien; 2) Honorary Co-Chair Hon. George Leighton, MIchele Jochner, Honorary Co-Chair Jerold S. Solovy, Jenner & Block, Planning Committee Co-Chair Yolaine Dauphin, Honorary Co-Chair Timothy C. Bertschy and Lionel Jean-Baptiste, President of the Haitian American Lawyers Association and Chairman, Haitian Congress to Fortify Haui; and, 3) U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky speaking of her own recent travels to Haiti after the disaster.On March 31, approximately 400 lawyers from the Illinois legal community joined together at the Chicago Hyatt Regency for Lawyers United to Help Haiti Rebuild: A Call to Action. Spearheaded by the Haitian American Lawyers Association, the Chicago Alumni Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, and the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, this event united nearly 40 bar associations, numerous law firms and several law schools for an evening in support of charities working in Haiti to rebuild a country shattered by the loss of over 200,000 people as a result of the recent earthquake.

Attendees heard remarks from the three Honorary Co-Chairs of the event—Hon. George N. Leighton (Ret.), Mr. Jerold S. Solovy and Mr. Timothy C. Bertschy—who underscored the significance of all elements of our diverse legal community joining together to support this humanitarian endeavor. In addition, representatives of the designated charities—World Vision, Partners in Health, Concerned Haitian Americans of Illinois, and the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti—spoke about the relief and rebuilding efforts.

Both the ISBA and the Illinois Bar Foundation were instrumental in the success of the event: the ISBA underwrote a substantial portion of the cost of printing the event invitations and program brochure, and the IBF served as the event’s fiscal agent. Both ISBA President John G. O’Brien as well as IBF President Vincent Cornelius were in attendance, along with the leaders of many of the other participating bar associations. ■