Members, leaders, and friends shared with us their thoughts on the CBA and its role in championing justice, building connections and making an impact.

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Laurel Bellows

CBA President, 1991-1992
Founding Managing Principal, The Bellows Law Group

Kenya Jenkins-Wright

CBF President 2023-2024
General Counsel, Guardianship and Advocacy Commission

Jeffrey M. Moskowitz

CBA/YLS Chair 2020-2021
J. Moskowitz Law LLC

Justice Joy Cunningham

CBA President, 2004-2005
Justice, Illinois Supreme Court

From Our Members

The CBA always has been an important part of my law practice. During my time as CBA President, I saw firsthand the pivotal role the CBA plays in protecting the rule of law and improving access to justice. I am proud to be a part of the CBA’s rich history and continuing efforts to support lawyers, create a welcoming legal profession, and help those in need

E. Lynn Grayson
Nijman Franzetti LLP

I am so pleased I have developed meaningful connections with my peers as Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. Through my involvement over the years, I have come to appreciate the community and camaraderie of this organization, one that also offers an intersection of different practice areas and a diverse membership.

Tracey Brammeier
Clifford Law Offices

Dan Kotin

CBA President,  2016-2017
Partner, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC

From Our Members

Coming from out of state, unconnected to Chicago let alone its legal community, I began my legal career in 1968 at what was then a large firm. Three and one half years later, I decided to join the in-house law department at The Quaker Oats Company.

At that time, I wanted to make sure that I would be able to return to private practice if “the Quaker thing” did not work out, so I joined and became quite active in the CBA, first in the YLS and then the Association as a whole. While “the Quaker thing” actually did work out (I became General Counsel and stayed for 25 years), I was able, through the CBA, to interact with and get to know the city’s finest lawyers, learn new legal skills, make life-long friends and give back to the profession and the community.

CBA activity also led to me becoming involved with the ABA, where I also learned a lot, got to meetings in great places and made great contacts and new friends.

I left Quaker just before it was acquired by Pepsi, and then spent nearly 10 years at Seyfarth Shaw. Then I was asked to become the General Counsel of the ABA. I served as the General Counsel for 5 years, and also briefly as the ABA’s interim Executive Director during a period of transition. Then, following a brief unsuccessful retirement, I served again as an interim Executive Director, this time for the Legal Aid Society of Chicago.

I have had a varied, satisfying legal career, all in Chicago. I attribute much of my success to the early support and education I received by being an active member of the Chicago Bar Association.

Congratulations to the CBA on its 150th Anniversary! May it continue its good work for many years to come!

R. Thomas Howell, Jr.
YLS Chair, 1974-1975

Aurora Austriaco

CBA President, 2012-2013
YLS Chair, 1999-2000
Partner, Valentine Austriaco and Bueschel, P.C.

From Our Members

A bit of CBA History

While serving as CBA President in 1986, the CBA was faced with a burgeoning countywide scandal. A then unknown mammoth Federal investigation later known as Operation Greylord became public.

The undercover investigation disclosed massive corruption in our court system, involving Judges, lawyers and court personnel. The CBA recognized that the scandal could seriously impact the coming judicial election. The CBA leadership met with the then Chief Judge of the Circuit Court and determined that the CBA organize a huge retention campaign to inform the voting public of the many fine judges on the ballot and urged the voters to support them.

The CBA printed and distributed thousands of these pamphlets throughout the County. I am pleased to report that the CBA retention campaign was a huge success. Every judge on the ballot, except for one, was elected. That one judge who presided over a very controversial case was faced with a big push back from a large vocal community group over his decision in that case.

The Chief Judge praised the CBA for its work in the retention campaign and demonstrated the importance of electing good judges. The CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee continues to do the hard work of evaluating judicial candidates to provide the voting public with helpful information and guidance in voting for qualified judicial candidates. 

Joseph Stone
CBA President, 1986-1987

Steven M. Elrod

CBA President,  2018-2019
Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP

From Our Members

More CBA History

Since its inception the CBA coveted a “we-own-it” home. However, until it became a necessity in the mid-1980’s, the CBA had not made the commitment.

When I became President in 1988 the CBA envisioned a new 15-story home at 321 S. Plymouth Court, the space it had purchased two years earlier. However, it became apparent that our current developer was not capable of delivering on that project and we had to find another developer immediately. Fortunately, Miglin-Beitler, Inc., came to our rescue and within two years completed our dream home.

Of course, we also had to raise the money to make our new home financially feasible. We started the campaign with the largest and most successful Chicago firms and lawyers. I visited, usually with our Executive Director Terry Murphy, more than fifty law firms and lawyers and emphasized the CBA’s importance to the profession and local judicial system. Most enthusiastically supported the project with generous monetary commitments. Our goal was $5.5 million and we were more than halfway there in pledges when I left office.

During my term, the Cook County judicial retention election and the CBA received unprecedented media coverage because a well-known Chicago activist and his followers sought to prevent the retention of Chief Judge Harry Comerford. The CBA vigorously supported the Chief Judge, and the other judges the Judicial Evaluation Committee had found qualified, with additional resources for the battle. We prevailed, though the Chief Judge’s fate was in doubt until the early morning hours after the election. The Chief Judge attributed his victory to the CBA’s efforts. Roy Hofer CBA President, 1988-89 

Roy Hofer
CBA President, 1988-1989

Eileen Letts

YLS Chair, 1986-1987
Partner, Zuber Lawler LLP

Patricia C. Bobb

CBA President, 1997-1998
Patricia C. Bobb & Associates

Thomas A. Demetrio

CBA President, 1992-1993
Corboy & Demetrio

Anita Alvarez

CBA President, 2009-2010
Chief Legal Counsel at Maryville Academy

Thomas Z. Hayward, Jr.

CBA President, 1983-1984
YLS Chair, 1972-1973

Hon. Sharon Johnson Coleman

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Dan Cotter

CBA President, 2014-2015
Attorney and Counselor - Howard & Howard

Hon. Jacqueline P. Cox

United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois

Kerry Peck

CBA President, 1999-2000
Managing Partner, Peck Ritchey, LLC

Terri Mascherin

CBA President, 2010-2011
Partner, Jenner & Block LLP

Timothy Tomasik

CBA President, 2022-2023
Partner, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman LLC

Hon. Mary Jane Theis

Chief Justice, Illinois Supreme Court

Hon. Marvin E. Aspen

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Hon. Joan Humphrey Lefkow

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Hon. Thomas R. Mulroy

CBA President, 2017-2018

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321 S Plymouth Ct
Chicago, IL 60604, US

About us

Founded in 1874, the Chicago Bar Association is celebrating 150 years of maintaining the honor and dignity of the legal profession, cultivating relationships between members, and promoting the administration of justice and the public good. One of the oldest and most active metropolitan bar associations in the United States, the Chicago Bar Association has more than 17,000 members, including attorneys from every practice area and the judiciary, as well as law students. Through CLE offerings, mentorship, and pro-bono projects, the Association provides resources and opportunities for attorneys of all ages, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the modern practice of law.