Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.)
Of Counsel, Jones Day
Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.), a trailblazer and leader, heads Jones Day’s efforts in advancing the rule of law in Africa. Devoted to promoting the effective delivery of justice worldwide, particularly in Africa, she has partnered with judiciaries, attorneys, NGOs, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and State to lead training programs in Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. She also has taught at the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
President Ronald Reagan nominated her in 1985 to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, making her the first woman of color to serve on a district court in the three-state Seventh Circuit. In 1999, President William Clinton’s nomination made her the first and only judge of color to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the third woman of color to serve on any federal circuit court. She brings her vast experience on the bench to serve as a resource for Jones Day’s leading trial and appellate practices.
Judge Williams has served on many judicial committees and, as Treasurer and President of the Federal Judges Association, was the first person of color to become an officer. Committed to public interest work, she helped found Just The Beginning — A Pipeline Organization, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Chicago, Minority Legal Education Resources, and the Public Interest Fellowship Program for Equal Justice Works. She serves on the boards of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the University of Notre Dame, the National Institute for Trial
Advocacy (NITA), iCivics, and the Museum of Science & Industry Chicago.
Benjamin E. Alba
Director of Academic Success, DePaul University College of Law
Professor Ben Alba is the director of academic success at DePaul University College of Law, where he also serves on the Faculty/Staff Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community-building. Prior to joining DePaul in 2002, he was a partner in the Chicago litigation firm of Sneckenberg, Thompson & Brody, practicing in insurance, personal injury, civil rights, and administrative review. He has taught courses in legal writing, moot court, remedies, bar passage, and academic skills.
Honorable Jorge L. Alonso
U.S. District Judge, Northern District of Illinois
The Honorable Jorge L. Alonso has served as a United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2014. Judge Alonso was nominated to his position by President Barack Obama. Judge Alonso previously served as an Associate Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County where he presided over felony cases in the Criminal Division. Before taking the bench, Judge Alonso worked as an assistant public defender in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender for over a decade.
Judge Alonso is very active in the Illinois legal community. While on the Circuit Court, he served on the Illinois Supreme Court Special Committee on Capital Cases, and as Faculty for both the Illinois Judicial Conference and the New Judge Seminar. Judge Alonso remains active in the Illinois Judges Association, the Chicago Inn of Court and the Lawyers Club of Chicago. Judge Alonso also volunteers with a number of local nonprofits, including the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. He is a Lecturer at Law at UChicago Law School and Adjunct at UIC Law School.
Judge Alonso received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami and his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Judge Alonso served on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism from 2017-2020.
Associate Corporate Counsel, Amazon Music
Kezmen Clifton is an Associate Corporate Counsel for Amazon Music where she focuses on music licensing. Prior to joining Amazon, Kezmen was an employee benefits and executive compensation attorney at Jones Day.
Kezmen received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Honorable Jeffrey I. Cummings
Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Illinois
The Honorable Jeffrey I. Cummings was appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois on February 1, 2019. He previously served as a litigation partner at Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., and as a hearing officer for the City of Chicago’s Police Board and Commission on Human Relations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorneys Office, Northern District of Illinois
Jeremy Daniel is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. While attending Illinois Wesleyan University, Jeremy enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan, Jeremy served as a Combat Engineer Officer in the Marine Corps. Jeremy has since worked at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and with the Honorable Virginia M. Kendall.
2L, University of Illinois College of Law
Tanairy Delagdo was born and raised in Chicago. She attended Undergrad at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Between college and law school, she was a litigation paralegal at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago. She is now a rising 2L at the University of Illinois, making her a double Illini. Tanairy is the President of the Women’s Law Society and the Latino/a Law Students Association
Student, DePaul University College of Law
Jesus Diaz was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He has been living in Illinois for two years. He was inspired to go to law school after he saw the effects of “stop and frisk” in New York City. He plans to practice civil rights law or immigration law. This summer he was a legal intern at Children’s Legal Center Chicago, where he worked primarily on U-Visa. When he is not reading, he likes to lift weights.
SaDella Duval d’Adrian
2L, DePaul University College of Law.
SaDella Duval d’Adrian is a rising 2L at DePaul University College of Law. During her first year at DePaul, she has had the opportunity and pleasure to be involved in many of the great student groups on campus, including the SBA. The experience reaffirmed her passion for leadership and advocacy. Before attending DePaul, she graduated from The University of Arizona in 2010. Between law school and undergrad, she was an HR Manager and General Manager for two retail companies. She also started and ran her own real estate and land business. Her goal is to be a catalyst for change and play her part in making the world and legal system more equitable. She hopes to do this one day as a prosecutor or trial attorney.
3L, University of Illinois Chicago Law School
Cymone Forde is a 3L law student at UIC Law School. Originally from Florida, Cymone moved to Chicago last August. Prior to law school, she worked in project management for a software company. This past summer Cymone has been working in-house for Mondelez International, a global snacking company. She is also on the Professionals’ Council for Shriver Center on Poverty Law.
Associate Professor of Law and Director, Summer Pre-Law Program, UIC Law
Professor Sonia Bychkov Green emigrated from Russia as a child, and has always been interested in international issues. She has written in language laws in the former Soviet Union. Her current research projects revolve around conflicts of law including some cutting edge conflicts issues such as assisted reproductive technology and same-sex marriage laws.
Professor Green received her BA, MA and JD from the University of Chicago. While at the University of Chicago Law School, Professor Green was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship to study at the Hague Academy of International Law. She practiced in insurance and commercial litigation with McCullough, Campbell & Lane, and Bates Meckler Bulger & Tilson. Before joining the John Marshall faculty, she was Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing at IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, and she has taught legal writing as an adjunct instructor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Honorable LaShonda A. Hunt
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Illinois
The Honorable LaShonda A. Hunt was appointed a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Illinois on January 6, 2017. She previously served as general counsel of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, chief legal counsel of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.
2L, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Luma Khabbazis an incoming 2L at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Originally from Valparaiso, Indiana, she attended Indiana University Bloomington where she received her BAJ in journalism and BA in international studies with a concentration in human rights and international law. She also received a Spanish minor. After graduating, Luma worked at Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Population Fund, which is the UN agency for reproductive rights and health.
At Northwestern Law, Luma is the President of the Women’s Leadership Coalition, the President of the Muslim Law Students Association, and on the executive board of If/When/How – Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. She spent the summer after her first year at Legal Aid Chicago in their Children and Families Practice Group. Outside of law school, Luma likes to cook, eat, and watch shows about food.
Student Recruiting Manager, NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) Marshall-Motley Scholars Program
Adria Kimbrough serves as Student Recruiting Manager for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) Marshall-Motley Scholars Program. Named in honor of civil rights legends Thurgood Marshall — LDF’s founder and the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice — and Constance Baker Motley, former LDF attorney and the first Black woman to become a federal judge, the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP) is an innovative educational and training opportunity that will produce the next generation of civil rights attorneys to serve Black communities in the South.
A former litigator and higher education administrator, Ms. Kimbrough most recently served as Pre-Law Advisor, Director of the LEAD Program, and Mock Trial Team Coach at Dillard University. She previously served as Assistant Dean of Students at Cornell University, University Attorney at Albany State University, Associate General Counsel for the University of Arkansas System, and as Associate and Of Counsel for two labor and employment boutique firms. Ms. Kimbrough received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Talladega College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
3L, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Hani Majeed is a 3L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is in the Weekend JD program and she works for an investment firm during the weekdays. She has written in the Health Law Journal and serves as the Director of Communication for the Business Law Society. Hani would like to pursue corporate transactional law after law school.
Before law school, Hani was a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. She is passionate about equity in education and volunteers for a student advocate group at Loyola called SUFEO. Hani is also a wife and a mother of three girls, and she loves traveling with her family.
Former Assistant United States Attorney
Jordan Matthews is a former Assistant United States Attorney and experienced trial lawyer. As a federal prosecutor, Jordan investigated and prosecuted a wide range of crimes, including national security, espionage, theft of trade secret, cybercrime, extortion, RICO, civil rights, financial fraud, and tax offenses. Jordan currently focuses her practice on internal and government investigations; high-stakes criminal, civil, and administrative litigation; and compliance counseling.
Jordan was an Assistant United States Attorney for nearly seven years, most recently serving in the National Security and Cybercrime Section of the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office. During Jordan’s time as a federal prosecutor, she tried numerous cases to verdict and led hundreds of investigations. Jordan also frequently worked closely with corporations who were victims of crime.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jordan was a litigator at a multinational law firm, where she handled commercial litigation matters with an emphasis on products-based class actions, mass torts, and consumer fraud. Jordan is an active member of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association and the Yale University Alumni Schools Committee.
Juan Morado Jr.
Partner, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Juan Morado Jr. is a seasoned health care regulatory and transaction attorney and has extensive experience working with state and federal agencies, and providing strategic counsel to private and public corporations, organizations, and individuals. He is a trusted advisor to hospitals, health systems, physician groups and business owners, helping them achieve their business goals while navigating complex regulatory requirements to implement industry best practices. Juan is one of the leading Certificate of Need (CON) attorneys in Illinois, and provides guidance to General Counsels on all aspects of their business needs.
Before joining Benesch in 2017, Juan served as General Counsel to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, and he began his career in public service with the office of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel and later became Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant GC in then-Gov. Pat Quinn’s office.
Juan serves as a mayoral appointee on MPEA Board, and previously served as Commissioner on the Illinois Medical District Commission. Juan is a Past President of the Hispanic Lawyer Association of Illinois, and also serves on the Board of the Chicago Bar Association, the Public Interest Law Initiative, La Casa Norte, and is the Chair of the Latino Leadership Council.
Associate Professor of Law, UIC Law
Professor Mundy began his legal career clerking for Judge A. Richard Caputo at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. After completing a one-year term with the judge, he was selected as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and worked at the Tennessee Justice Center in Nashville. His primary work focused on litigation to expand services for children under Tennessee’s Medicaid program.
Before entering academia, Mundy was an assistant federal public defender for eight years working first in the Middle District of Tennessee and then in the Southern District of New York. His work included representing clients charged with a range of offenses, including narcotics, firearms, immigration, federal benefits and internet-based crimes. He also argued multiple appellate cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he received a JD degree from Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America where he was a Charles & Louise O’Brien Public Interest Fellow and a Dulin-Hayes Law & Public Policy Fellow.
Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
Chief Judge, Northern District of Illinois
The Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer was sworn in as Chief Judge for the Northern District of Illinois on July 1, 2019. She has served as a U.S. District Judge since 1998. From October 1, 1991, until 1998, Chief Judge Pallmeyer served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge. She previously served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Human Rights Commission from 1985 until 1991.
Executive Director, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
Jayne Reardon is the Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. A tireless advocate for professionalism, Jayne oversees programs and initiatives to increase the civility and professionalism of attorneys and judges, create inclusiveness in the profession, and promote increased service to the public.
Jayne’s prior experience includes many successful years of practice as a trial lawyer, committee work on diversity, well-being, and recruiting issues, and attorney regulatory and discipline cases as counsel to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Review Board. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame.
Diona E. Rogers
Thompson Coburn LLP
Diona E. Rogers currently works at Thompson Coburn LLP in Chicago. Diona assists in the documentation and closing of syndicated and single-lender secured and unsecured credit facilities. Prior to joining Thompson Coburn, Diona served as a compliance associate in a Chicago trading firm and worked as a corporate attorney. Diona holds both a J.D. and an MBA, enabling her to apply a strong business-minded perspective to legal matters.
She is president of the Minority Legal Educational Resources, Inc. (“MLER”).
Assistant Dean, Chicago-Kent College of Law
Executive Director, Institute for Law and the Workplace
Marsha Ross-Jackson has served as an HR/legal business partner and adviser to senior leaders, boards of directors and operational leaders. Marsha has a B.A. in Biology from Hampton University, and an M.A. in public administration and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. She is currently a senior lecturer and assistant dean at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Marsha is also the executive director of its Institute for Law and the Workplace.
The Honorable Mary M. Rowland
U.S. District Judge, Northern District of Illinois
The Honorable Mary M. Rowland was sworn in as a U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Illinois on August 22, 2019. She served as a magistrate judge for the same court from October 2012 to August 2019. Judge Rowland has also served in the Chicago office of the Federal Defender; first as a staff attorney and later as the office’s chief appellate attorney. In 2000, she joined the law firm Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, where she led the criminal defense practice and also litigated high-profile civil cases. Earlier in her career, she clerked for District Judge Julian Cook in Detroit, Michigan.
Karen Alicia Shaw
Director of Graduate Legal Studies and Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Professor Shaw directs and consults on university procedures and best practices and develops general administrative and academic policies for post-JD and non-JD graduate law programs. She also teaches health law focused legal writing courses, an interdisciplinary seminar on health literacy and health equity, and a socio-legal research and writing course on rule of law and international development.
Prior to Loyola, Professor Shaw briefly worked in various health law and other legal practice settings before transitioning her career to academia teaching courses in health insurance policy, medical law and ethics, and English at the vocational training and business college levels where she had the privilege of instructing and mentoring many first-generation and nontraditional students. During this time, she also served as a program dean at a career college where she developed health care curricula and implemented the college’s academic assessment initiatives.
Professor Shaw holds a BA degree in Communication Studies from DePaul University, a JD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where she was an associate editor for the Journal of Law and Commerce, and an LLM degree in Health Law from Loyola.
Executive Director, Just The Beginning
Antonette N. Smith was appointed Executive Director of Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization in September 2017. Previously, she served as the Associate Director of Educational Programs for the American Bar Association Section of Real Property Trust & Estate Law. She has also served as a diversity and inclusion consultant to incoming law students at New York Law
Associate, Jones Day
Mike Trajkovich is an Associate at Jones Day where he practices corporate law, with a focus on financing transactions. Mike received a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. Mike is also a member of the Development Council at The Anti-Cruelty Society, an animal shelter and humane society located in Chicago.
Chicago Kent College of Law
Aleathea Williams is a rising 2L at Chicago-Kent College of Law, interested in practicing within the public interest sector. Born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, she had dynamic experiences that taught her the importance of community, advocacy, and equity. Prior to law school she attended the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science with minors in urban politics, American politics, and public policy.
She decided to attend law school in Chicago to re-immerse herself in the community and advocate for the South Side. This summer she interned with the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, through the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). This upcoming year, she will be serving as the Secretary for Chicago-Kent’s Black Law Students Association. As a first generation law student, Aleathea seeks to empower other aspiring law students to confidently immerse themselves in the law school experience and shape their journey outside of traditional standards.