Last month, Illinois bar associations across the state gathered together to recognize a handful of those in the Illinois legal community who have made it their mission to provide females and minorities with greater opportunities in and better access to the legal profession.
At the 2016 Vanguard Awards, twelve Illinois lawyers and judges received a prestigious diversity award for their inclusion efforts, two of whom were affiliated with the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.
On April 20th, Commissioner Leslie Richards-Yellen, partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism were both honored at the Standard Club with a diversity award at the event in Chicago.
One of the goals tied to the mission of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion within the Illinois legal community. Through the work of our Lawyer-To-Lawyer Mentoring Program, the development and presentation of our own CLE programs, our on-going collaboration with CLE course providers and bar associations to develop diversity and inclusion courses of their own, and through the insight shared in our 2Civility blog posts, the Commission regularly works to create a more inclusive profession.
The Chicago Bar Association organized the 2016 Vanguard Awards in a manner that allowed several Illinois bar associations to nominate a lawyer or judge who works to increase female and minority representation and retention in the profession.
Leslie Richard-Yellen was nominated by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago and Jayne Reardon was nominated by the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
Upon receiving notice of the diversity award, both Leslie Richards-Yellen and Jayne Reardon were asked to film short acceptance speeches on behalf of the organizations that nominated them.
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is honored to have had two of their own honored with this diversity award, and will continue living out its mission for many more years to come.