For the Public

Chicago Attorney Appointed to At-large Board of Governors Seat of Illinois State Bar Association

Chris Ruys Communications, Inc.
Chris Ruys
(312) 337-7746,
For Immediate Release: 
July 15, 2011
CHICAGO, IL – Attorney Jessica Arong O’Brien, of Chicago’s South Loop, a special assistant attorney general at the Illinois Department of Revenue and acting chief counsel of the Illinois Lottery, has been appointed to a new, at-large Board of Governors seat of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).  The board directs the operations and activities of the bar association.
At its Annual Meeting in June, the 201-member ISBA Assembly voted to establish two new at-large Board seats to be filled by ISBA Vice Presidential appointment to reflect under-represented segments of the association in its governance.  The other appointee is Vincent F. Cornelius, of Wheaton, a solo practitioner in general practice, who concentrates in civil and criminal litigation. The appointments bring the number of Board members to 27.
A native of the Philippines, O’Brien immigrated to the U.S. after high school, received her bachelor of science degree in the hotel and food administration and minor in financial management from Boston University. She furthered her culinary arts education at Ecolê Hotêliêre de Laûsanne, Switzerland and The Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London. O’Brien spent five years at Caesar’s Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, holding dual positions as divisional food and beverage trainer and comptroller, responsible for the training of senior staff and line employees and the management of its multi-million-dollar budget.
Law is O’Brien’s second career, and she quickly distinguished herself in that area. A 1998 graduate of The John Marshall Law School, she was the first student to complete the JD/LLM joint degree program in Tax Law in just three years, and also gave birth to her first daughter while in law school.  In 2002, she earned her second Masters in Law, with honors, in Employee Benefits. O’Brien litigates cases involving corporate, partnership, and individual income and sales taxation at the Illinois Department of Revenue. In her capacity as acting chief counsel of the Illinois Lottery, she assists the acting superintendant in the day-to-day affairs of the multi-billion operation and oversees Lottery’s litigation docket.
A past president of the Filipino American Bar Association, O’Brien spearheaded the annual swearing-in of bar presidents, which is now known as the Unity Award Dinner. She serves as the president of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to diversify the legal community through scholarship awards, panel discussions, community outreach and support of bar organizations’ diversity initiatives. She is also the past president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area. O’Brien has won numerous awards for her accomplishments and has been recognized for her activism in the legal community.
The 33,000-member Illinois State Bar Association, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public.

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