2018 ISBA Awards Ceremony

On July 18, 2018, the ISBA hosted the 2018 Awards Ceremony, recognizing our peers for their contributions to the legal community in Illinois. In the past, the reception has been part of the ISBA Annual Meeting. This year, the awards ceremony was its own event in downtown Chicago at the Roanoke.

Troy Riddle, assistant dean for diversity, equality, and inclusion, and the chief diversity officer at the John Marshall Law School was awarded the Diversity Leadership Award. The Diversity Leadership Award recognizes long-standing, continuing, and exceptional commitment by an individual or an organization to the critical importance of diversity within the Illinois legal community, its judiciary, and the Illinois State Bar Association.

Sandra Crawford, was awarded the Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award. The Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award was renamed in 2008 in honor of Matthew Maloney, a recipient of the award who was active in the ISBA as well as the General Practice, Solo, and Small firm Section Council. Sandra has served as chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law, is a member of the ISBA Judicial Evaluation Committee for Cook County, and ex-officio of the Delivery of Legal Services Committee.

Fiona McEntee and The John Marshall Law School International Human Rights Clinic were awarded the ISBA Elmer Gertz Human Rights Award. This award is given to an individual who has a record of advancing individual rights and civil liberties to underserved communities. Fiona is a founding member of the O’Hare Airport attorneys and one of the first to respond to the travel ban last year. She has remained an on-call immigration attorney for the Traveler’s Assistance Project, which provides rapid response legal support to those affected by the travel ban and also those who fear detainment on arrival to the airport. The John Marshall Law School International Human Rights Clinic served a critical role in addressing the Syrian humanitarian crisis by providing pro bono legal research and case management services.

Paul Matalonis was awarded the Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award. This award was named in memory of an Alton attorney and long-time ISBA member, Joseph Bartylak. Bartylak was executive director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation for nearly 30 years. This year’s recipient, Paul Matalonis, is senior staff attorney in the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation’s Southern Regional Office. Paul was recognized for his exemplary service to clients and advocacy for the homeless.

Judge Michael Brandt was awarded the John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award for an individual. The Pro Bono Service award in named in memory of Rock Island Attorney, John McAndrews, who chaired the ISBA Committee on Delivery of Legal Services. Judge Brandt was instrumental in starting the 10th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, where he continues to serve as a committee member and active volunteer. He has provided more than 130 hours of pro bono service during the past year.

The Law FIrm of Heller, Holmes, & Associates in Mattoon was awarded the John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award for a small firm. The firm’s five lawyers performed an extensive amount of pro bono legal work last year, especially to client sof the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.

State Farm Insurance Company was awarded the John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award for a large firm. Its Law Department provides pro bono services for clients of Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the 11th Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Committee, Illinois Legal Aid Online, and Prairie State Legal Services.

The Civil Justice Clinic of Northern Illinois University College of Law was awarded the Excellence in Legal Education Award. This award is to honor a law school program that emphasizes real world skills for students. Law students in this clinic develop practical skills handling civil matters on behalf of low-income senior citizens and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault,stalking, and elder abuse.

State Representative Kelly Cassidy was awarded the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee Community Leadership Award. The Community Leadership award is given to individuals who have worked to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and who foster understanding of LGBTQ+ persons and the legal issues of concern to them. Kelly received the award for leadership on issues including non-discrimination, marriage equality, conversion therapy, and gender marker issues.

We are so proud that Jessica Marshall and Emily Hansen were each awarded the Young Lawyer of the Year Awards, Jessica for Cook County and Emily for outside Cook County. The ISBA created the award to recognize young lawyers who have set a positive example of bar leadership for others to follow. Jessica and Emily are both active members of the Standing Committee on Women and the Law

Larry Davis was awarded the Richard H. Teas Legislative Support Award. This award acknowledges ISBA members’ meritorious service provided in support of legislative efforts in the Illinois General Assembly. Larry was recognized for doing an outstanding job on the Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council in a number of legislative hearings and negotiations. He also represented the ISBA on DUI and traffic-related advisory boards and task forces. 

Richard Hannigan was awarded the Austin Fleming Newsletter Editor Award. The newsletter editor award was established in 1981 and named posthumously for Austin Fleming, who was editor of the Trusts and Estates Section newsletter for 25 years. Richard Hannigan has served as editor of the ISBA’s Workers’ Compensation Law newsletter for the past 18 years. During that time, he has published more than 76 issues.

The Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest is an annual writing contest that invites ISBA lawyer members under 36 or admitted to the bar for fewer than five years, to submit articles that provide useful, practical information on topics that are important to practicing lawyers. This year’s award recipients are:

  1. In third place, John Zimmerman
  2. In second place, Daniel Ritter, and
  3. The first place prize was awarded to Jake Crabbs.

The Newsletter Service Awards are given by the Illinois Bar Journal editorial board in recognition of exceptional service as newsletter editors. 

This year’s recipients:

  • Sarah Toney for 10 years on the traffic laws & courts newsletter
  • Cindy Buys for five years of service on our newsletter, The Catalyst. Thanks, Cindy!
  • Douglas Darch for five years of service on the Employee Benefits newsletter
  • Karen Kloppe for five years of service on the Elder Law newsletter
  • Robin Miller for five years of service on the Family Law newsletter
  • Lewis F. Matuszwich for 20 years of service on the International & Immigration Law newsletter
  • W. Eugene Basanta for 30 years of service on the Health Care Law newsletter
  • Michael R. Lied for 30 years of service on the Labor & Employment Law newsletter.

Congratulations to all of the recipients!


Kelly Thames Bennett is the vice chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law and a partner at Law Offices of J. Jeltes, Ltd, where she represents clients in family life transitions, ranging from divorce, parentage, minor and adult guardianship, prenuptial agreements, adoption, and decedent’s adminis

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October 2018Volume 24Number 1PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)