Member Groups

The Catalyst
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

June 2006, vol. 11, no. 4

Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow announces her retirement

The recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Ceiling Buster Award from the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow has served as a shining example and mentor to women attorneys throughout her magnificent legal career. Blazing a path for women, she was the only woman in her 1953 class at Loyola University Chicago Law School, the first woman to try felony cases in the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the first woman to chair the Illinois Appellate Court’s Executive Committee, the first woman elected to the Illinois Supreme Court, and the first woman to serve as its Chief Justice. After serving on the high court for 13 years, Justice McMorrow’s retirement is effective July 5th. She is a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, having served as its president from 1974 to 1975. The WBAI recognized her many achievements by naming an award in her name in 2004. She is also a long-time member of The Advocates Society which annually awards its Advocates Society/Knights of Dombrowski scholarship to a law student and that scholarship will now be awarded in her name. The Court has selected Justice Anne M. Burke of the First District Appellate Court to succeed Justice McMorrow until the next general election in 2008.

In a press release from the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice McMorrow writes: “Lincoln once said: ‘Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.’ This has been our guiding principle. My profound thanks to all who helped me along the way.” 

And our profound thanks to Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow for helping so many women attorneys along their way in the profession. You are unique and you will be missed!