Chicago Bar Foundation Announces Kilbride Public Service Award

kilbrideThe Chicago Bar Foundation is inaugurating a new public service award. The Justice Thomas L. Kilbride Public Service Award will be presented for the first time this year in recognition of Justice Kilbride’s exemplary legacy of public service.

The award will honor unsung attorneys and judges who have dedicated a significant portion of their legal career to the public sector, have achieved excellence in their work, and have demonstrated a firm commitment to increasing access to justice and making the court system fairer and more accessible.

Nominations are open and will be accepted through May 21, 2021. The inaugural award will be presented on July 16, 2021, at the CBA and CBF’s Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon.

Kilbride Award Eligibility

To receive the Kilbride Award, an attorney or judge must meet the following criteria:

  • Dedicated a significant portion of their legal career to the public sector
  • Currently employed by a local, state, or federal government entity serving the Chicago area
  • Member of The Chicago Bar Association

Candidates must demonstrate excellence in the quality of their work, their leadership and involvement in access to justice efforts, and their contributions to improving the legal profession. The selection committee has a strong preference for unsung heroes whose work may not be widely recognized or known.

To nominate an attorney or judge, please complete the application form and submit the following:

  • A summary of why you are nominating the individual and how the nominee meets the criteria for the award
  • A current copy of the individual’s resume or biography
  • A maximum of three support letters
  • Any additional relevant information about the nominee

Documents must be submitted by email to Please attach each item as a separate electronic file.

About Justice Kilbride

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride championed a fair and accessible justice system throughout his career.

Justice Kilbride began his legal career as a legal aid attorney, before building a successful private practice representing a broad range of clients. Justice Kilbride was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2000 where he served for 20 years.

During his tenure as Chief Justice, he spearheaded the formation of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Justice and provided instrumental support in the creation of the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network.

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