Member Groups

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

October 2014, vol. 20, no. 3

Someone you should know: Tracy Douglas

Tracy Douglas, a member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law is the 2014 ISBA Young Lawyer of the Year Award (outside Cook County).

Ms. Douglas, a member of the Illinois Bar since 2010, serves the people of the State of Illinois as the staff attorney for the Governor’s Office of Executive Appointments. In this capacity, she oversees all appointments to the State’s 366 boards and commissions, as well as public guardians and public administrators. Ms. Douglas also recruits and vets candidates for the State’s 366 boards and commissions. These range from regulatory boards, such as the Elevator Safety Review Board and Hospital Licensing Board, to advisory boards, such as the Department of Corrections Advisory Board and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Advisory Board. In addition, Ms. Douglas advises the Governor’s staff on laws relating to boards and commissions. She has become an expert in the area of appointments law and process. Ms. Douglas is also responsible for updating the Governor’s website for appointments, <www.appointments.illinois.gov>.

In addition, Ms. Douglas has used her passion for education to reach both law students and lay audiences. She gave a presentation entitled, “Beware the Heir, Property Law in Harry Potter” at a conference in Orlando, Florida, successfully using the popular series to explain property law concepts. In addition, Ms. Douglas assisted in an Introduction to the Law class at the University of Evansville, encouraging students to think abstractly about legal concepts by discussing the law as it relates to the supernatural. As part of the class, Ms. Douglas and course professor Amanda Hall led class discussions regarding questions posed by the students (i.e., Can a werewolf be guilty of murder? Who is the true owner of Tolkien’s One Ring? Do vampires or the undead have rights?).

During law school, Ms. Douglas worked with the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Illinois College of Law. As part of her work with the Human Rights Clinic, she worked on a project for the United Nations, analyzing whether non-traditional legal systems could be used to enforce an anti-corruption treaty. Ms. Douglas has also served the public as a journalist. She previously worked at the Daily Illini and led reporting on the 50th anniversary of the decision in Brown v. Board of Education. She also covered campus visits by then-State Senator Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich. Since graduating from law school, Ms. Douglas served as a volunteer for Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE), a project of the Kentucky Bar Foundation, and for Kentucky Legal Aid.

Ms. Douglas has become an accomplished lawyer in a very short period of time, with much more to offer our profession in the future. Although her practice as a government attorney is not a traditional one, her important work helps guarantee open and honest government for the citizens of Illinois. She embodies the ideals, principles, and goals which every young attorney should strive to attain. The ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law was proud to nominate Tracy Douglas for the 2014 Young Lawyer of the Year Award (outside Cook County) and even more proud that she was selected as the winner. ■