On March 3, 2004, retired First Assistant State Appellate Defender Patrick J. Hughes, Jr., will be inducted into the Academy of Illinois Lawyers as one of 12 distinguished Laureates in the 2004 class. Established by the Illinois State Bar Association in 1999 to celebrate excellence in the legal profession, the Academy of Illinois Lawyers annually recognizes attorneys throughout the State who maintain the highest standards of professionalism and community service.
Springfield attorney Patrick Hughes, a 1960 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago's School of Law, engaged in the private practice of law for about one year at a small firm upon graduation from law school. Beginning in 1963, he served four years as an Assistant United State's Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. His entrée into public defense work came in 1967 when he was recruited to serve as Director of Defender Services for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. While there, he also served ex officioas a staff attorney for the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants. In 1973, Mr. Hughes returned to private practice engaging in criminal defense work in both the State and federal courts. Subsequently, he was retained by the State to conduct a number of surveys and to report the findings with respect to indigent defense in Illinois. In 1979, Mr. Hughes was hired as the Legal Director for the Office of the State Appellate Defender; a position he held until his appointment as First Assistant State Appellate Defender in 1993. He held the latter position until his retirement in 2002.
While with the State Appellate Defender's Office, it was among Mr. Hughes's duties to design and implement an in-house staff training program for the office's attorneys. In this regard, for the last 10 years, Mr. Hughes has administered three regional training programs per year for appellate defenders. He co-designed and has co-administered, with the Capital Case Coordinator of the Cook County Public Defender's Office, a week-long death penalty defense program at the University of Chicago School of Law. Based upon the success of the State Appellate Defender's Office's program, Mr. Hughes was tabbed to co-create and has produced a training program for local (county) public defenders.
In addition to his legal defense work, Mr. Hughes devotes significant time to professional activities. He has been an active member and officer in a number of bar associations, including the Government Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Public Defender's Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association. With respect to the latter, Mr. Hughes currently serves as secretary of the Standing Committee on Government Lawyers and has served on the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Council since 1980, including a term as its chair. He presently serves as editor of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Council newsletter, for which he was presented with a 15-Year Newsletter Editor's Award in June 2002.
The Committee on Government Lawyers applauds the selection of Patrick Hughes as a Laureate.