The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) announced that it is accepting nominations for two awards: the Thomas L. Kilbride Judicial Access to Justice Award and the Jeffrey D. Colman Access to Justice Award.
The Illinois Supreme Court created the ATJ Commission in June 2012 to “promote, facilitate and enhance equal access to justice with an emphasis on access to the Illinois civil courts and administrative agencies for all people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.”
It does so by focusing on improvements, resources, and programs within the judicial system that help litigants who are self-represented and limited English proficient access our courts, assist legal aid and pro bono attorneys in representing their clients, and support the judiciary and other court staff.
Thomas L. Kilbride Judicial Access to Justice Award
The Thomas L. Kilbride Judicial Access to Justice Award will be given to a member of the judiciary who has made a significant or meaningful contribution to increasing access to the court system by improving the experience of litigants.
This award honors Justice Kilbride, who was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2000 and chosen as Chief Justice by his colleagues in 2010. Under his leadership as Chief Justice, the Supreme Court established the ATJ Commission.
Nominations should include specific examples of how the nominee has made tangible and measurable efforts to improve the experience of litigants who are self-represented, limited English proficient, disabled, or otherwise vulnerable.
Current Commissioners of the ATJ Commission and members of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) Access to Justice Division are not eligible to receive this award.
The Jeffrey D. Colman Access to Justice Award
The Jeffrey D. Colman Access to Justice Award will be given to a lawyer, paralegal, or court employee who has made a significant or meaningful contribution to improving access to the court system for litigants who are self-represented, limited English proficient, disabled, or otherwise vulnerable.
This award honors Jeffrey Colman, the first Chair of the ATJ Commission who was dedicated to pro bono and public service activities.
Former award recipients include Jackson County Associate Circuit Judge Michael Fiello; Cook County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Schneider; Halle Cox, Director of the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center; and Melissa Picciola, Director of Pro Bono & Community Partnerships at Legal Aid Chicago.
Current Commissioners of the ATJ Commission and members of the AOIC Access to Justice Division are not eligible to receive this award.
Information on how to nominate a lawyer, paralegal, or court employee can be found here. Please reach out to Alison Spanner (email@example.com) with questions. The nomination deadline is June 23, 2023.
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