Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Illinois Bar Foundation

Vincent Cornelius
Vincent F. Cornelius, J.D. ‘89, Attorney at Law and Principal in the law offices of Vincent F. Cornelius, has been named a recipient Northern Illinois University Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Law. Every year the Northern Illinois University Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni through the Distinguished Alumni Award, the F.R. Geigle Service Award, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and the Outstanding Alumni Award for each of the seven academic colleges at NIU. Recipients are selected based on outstanding professional and ersonal successes, as well as involvement in civic, cultural, or charitable activities. “NIU alumni have gone on to distinguish themselves and Northern in countless ways,” explains Jack Tierney, President of the NIU Alumni Association. “This award program seeks to recognize some of those outstanding individuals who have gone out and achieved great success in their personal and professional lives.” This year the Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Health and Human Sciences will be presented to Vincent F. Cornelius, J.D. ‘89, a highly respected sole practitioner. Cornelius has established the Law Office of Vincent F.

IBF President Vince Cornelius, honoree Judge William Bauer and James Holderman, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
The Illinois Bar Foundation honored Judge William Bauer and ISBA Past President Ralph Gabric (posthumously) with the DuPage County Beacon of the Profession Honorary Fellows Award on Friday, April 23. The DuPage County Fellows Chapter hosted this reception at Maggiano's Little Italy in Naperville. Click here to view a photo gallery from this event.

ISBA President John O'Brien
The Illinois Bar Foundation will host a reception honoring Illinois State Bar Association President John O'Brien on Thursday, May 6, at the Metropolis Ballroom, 6 S. Vail Avenue, Arlington Heights. Please RSVP by April 30th to or (312) 726-6072. Registration form

IBF Treasurer and Lincoln Legacy Society charter member James Lestikow with IBF President Vince Cornelius
The Illinois Bar Foundation welcomed its charter members into the Lincoln Legacy Society during a ceremony at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on Thursday, April 15. The Lincoln Legacy Society was created exclusively to honor and recognize individuals who have agreed to support the Foundation's vision to be the statewide leader in advancing justice in Illinois by providing for the Foundation in his or her estate plan. Abraham Lincoln, the state's most famous lawyer, left an indelible mark on the Illinois legal system. Lincoln Legacy Society members will leave their mark on the legal system through their legacy gifts to the Illinois Bar Foundation. Click here to view a photo gallery from this event Lincoln Legacy Society charter members (Charter membership continues through Dec. 31, 2010):
  • Perry and Michelle Browder, East Alton
  • Vincent & Zina Cornelius, Naperville
  • Carl R. Draper, Springfield
  • Gregg A. Garofalo, Chicago
  • Mark D. Hassakis, Mt. Vernon
  • R. Michael Henderson, Peoria
  • Thomas and Eileen Killarney
  • John B.
Doreen Mahoney, wife of Illinois Bar Foundation Vice President George Mahoney, passed away Tuesday, March 9. Mr. Mahoney has requested that all memorials be directed to the Illinois Bar Foundation.
The Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Foundation announce the resignation of IBF Executive Director Susan Lewers. After nine years at the helm of the Foundation, Susan hopes her departure will allow her to spend more time with her growing family. The Illinois Bar Foundation has grown substantially since Susan began with the Foundation in 2001. With a new Strategic Plan adopted in 2009, the Foundation has its sights on significant growth in the immediate future. Susan can be contacted at

In 2009, the Illinois Bar Foundation awarded $304,965 in grants through this program, including $20,000 to Equip for Equality for its statewide Special Education Legal Clinic.
The Illinois Bar Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for 2010. Approved as part of IBF’s new strategic plan, the new guidelines narrow and focus the kinds of programs eligible for grants from IBF this year. The 2010 Grant Application and Grant Guidelines may be found on the Illinois Bar Foundation’s website. Applications are due to the Illinois Bar Foundation by 5 p.m.
ISBA Presiden John O'Brien (right) presents "The Papers of Abraham Lincoln" to Lincoln Library Director Nancy Huntley as Lincoln re-creator Randy Duncan looks on.
ISBA President John O'Brien (right) presents "The Papers of Abraham Lincoln" to Lincoln Library Director Nancy Huntley as Lincoln re-creator Randy Duncan looks on at the ISBA's Illinois Bar Center in Springfield.
ISBA President John O'Brien presented a complete, four-volume set of hardcover books, The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, to the public libraries in Belleville, Edwardsville and Springfield on Friday and in Danville, Decatur and Bloomington on Tuesday. The ISBA, in partnership with its charitable affiliate the Illinois Bar Foundation, purchased sets for all 102 Illinois counties as a contribution to the Illinois Bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth on Feb. 12, 2009. "Public libraries throughout the state will now have this important set of books that include details of his 50 most prominent cases," O'Brien said. "It is a lasting tribute to the most revered lawyer in the history of our state and nation." The Papers, a long-term project dedicated to identifying, imaging and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime (1809-1865), is considered the most comprehensive collection of texts during his life.
The Illinois Bar Foundation will host a "Taste of France" fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 18, at Genevieve Lethu, 900 N. Michigan Level 4 in Chicago. This event will feature wine and cheese tastings by Chef Vincent Colombet and a French cooking demonstration. Tickets are $60. Seating is limited, so please respond to the IBF by Monday, Feb. 15. Download and return the flyer at the IBF Web site, e-mail or call (312) 726-6072. This event supports the programs of the Illinois Bar Foundation.
Illinois Legal Aid Online, which is funded in part by a $20,000 grant from the Illinois Bar Foundation, was featured in a recent Chicago Daily Law Bulletin story. Another $10,000 IBF grant to the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice funds the creation of 5 self help centers in some of the most rural counties in the state. By Maria Kantzavelos Law Bulletin staff writer Illinois Legal Aid Online hasn't yet reached its goal of establishing technology-based legal self-help center in the courthouses and public libraries of every county in the state to increase access to justice for low-income residents and pro se litigants. But an instant messaging service, launched recently on the non-profit organization's Web site, is serving as a supplement toward that end, said Lisa A. Colpoys, executive director of Illinois Legal Aid Online. "Our goal is to have a legal self-help center in every county. It's not there yet," said Colpoys, adding that the computer self-help centers are in courthouses or public libraries in 38 Illinois counties. "And even if there is a legal-self help center in their county, they may not be able to access it because they have transportation issues, they're disabled, they work during the hours it's open. "We thought it was logical to add a help component to the Web site. It gives another access point for people all over the state." Launched in October, LiveHelp is an online chat service that can be accessed with a click of a computer mouse on LiveHelp has Web site visitors communicating in real-time with a remote operator who helps them navigate the site's free online legal information and other resources - such as legal documents and application forms - to help people who can't afford an attorney find the resources they need to resolve their legal problems. "A lot of the people we're trying to reach aren't very sophisticated Internet users. Or they may have problems using a computer in general, or not a lot of experience using a computer. They may not have those skills," Colpoys said. "The operator fills in, and helps them find what they need." The live operators are law students from around the state who may be volunteering via laptop computers in two-hour shifts from coffeehouses or their law schools.  Or, like Samira Nazem - a 3L at the University of Chicago Law School - from their living room couch. Nazem is among the law students who underwent the required training to serve as a LiveHelp operator. She said she usually takes the 9 to 11 a.m. shift on Tuesdays. She said the volunteer work is a perfect fit while juggling her law school studies. "I wanted to contribute, but in a way that wouldn't require 15 or 20 hours a week," she said. "[Volunteering] as a LiveHelp operator] allowed a lot more flexibility for me, while allowing me to give back to the community." Visitors to in need of direction can click on the "Click to chat" option on the Web site for person-to-person help from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.