Commissioner John Kim To Receive CBA Vanguard Award

John KimThe Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner John K. Kim will be honored with a 2021 Vanguard Award. The award will be presented by the Asian American Bar Association in partnership with the Chicago Bar Association. The virtual award luncheon will be held on April 28, 2021, at noon CDT.

The Vanguard Awards will recognize 14 lawyers, judges, or institutions that have made the law and the legal profession more accessible to and reflective of the community. Past recipients include Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice and Commission on Professionalism Liaison Mary Jane Theis, and Commission on Professionalism Executive Director Jayne Reardon.

“Throughout his career, John has set an example for integrity and empathy that all lawyers should emulate,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “Since joining the Commission in 2019, John has been a leader in the development of new ideas and educational programming that promote a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession, mirroring the communities we serve. On behalf of the Commission, I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Kim currently serves as in-house Counsel at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., where he chaired the Corporate Law Department’s Diversity and Inclusion and Ethics and Professionalism Committees. Prior to State Farm, Kim was in private practice in Bloomington and Peoria, Ill.

Kim serves on the Board of Directors of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation, Prairie State Legal Services, and the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and chaired the Judicial Evaluations Committee – Outside Cook County.

Locally, Kim served on the Board of Directors for the McLean County Bar Association, where he’s currently part of the Law Day Committee. He was also a Board member for the Peoria County Bar Association and chaired the Diversity Committee. Kim focuses his pro bono efforts on immigration matters in partnership with The Immigration Project.

Kim received a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and a B.A. from Wheaton College (IL). Before attending law school, Kim worked as a refugee and asylee caseworker in Nairobi, Kenya, and for a faith-based organization in Washington, D.C.

About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

The Illinois Supreme Court established the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2005 under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism, and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, the Commission on Professionalism works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.

Press Contact

Laura Bagby, Communications Director

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