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Appellate Justice Jesse Reyes Named Spring ’23 Commencement Speaker

Justice Jesse G. Reyes is currently a Justice on the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. In addition, he serves as the Chair of the First District’s Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Court’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Justice Reyes previously served as a member of the Executive Committee, Presiding Justice of the Fourth Division and the Fifth Division, and the former chair of the Settlement Conference Committee. He has been a member of the judiciary since December 1997, serving both as an associate judge and elected judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. His previous judicial assignments have included the Chancery Division’s Mortgage Foreclosure/Mechanics Lien Section, Domestic Violence Court, and the Sixth Municipal District. He also served on several Circuit Court committees before being elected to serve on the Illinois Appellate Court.

Before his election to the bench, Justice Reyes was employed with the Law Department of the Chicago Board of Education and represented the Board in litigation matters, and was responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures pertaining to school reform. Prior to joining the Board of Education, he was a Senior Supervising Attorney with the Corporation Counsel’s Office representing the City of Chicago in complex civil litigation matters in both state and federal court.

Justice Reyes is the current president and a founding member of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, NFP. He also presently serves on the Leadership Greater Chicago’s Leadership Fellows Association Board and on the board of the North Suburban Bar Association. Justice Reyes is a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense and is a committee member of Illinois Unidos. He is a former president of the Illinois Judges Association and a founding member and former president of the Illinois Judges Foundation. He is also the past Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the past president of the John Marshall Law School Alumni Association, the former secretary of the Chicago Bar Association, and a former member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Assembly. Justice Reyes is an Honorary Member of the DuPage County Bar Association, along with being an Honorary Board member of the Asian American Bar Association and the Filipino American Bar Association.

He is the recipient of several awards for his distinguished service to the bench and bar, with special recognition for his efforts in promoting diversity in the legal profession, including: The Distinguished Service Award, Arab American Bar Association; The Justice John Paul Stevens Award, Chicago Bar Association; The Hon. Charles E. Freeman Judicial Merit Award, Decalogue Society of Lawyers; The Vanguard Award, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois; The Harold Sullivan Award, Illinois Judges

Association; The Justice Anthony Scariano Award, Justinian Society of Lawyers; The Distinguished Jurist Award, LAGBAC; The Hon. John Crowley Award, Lawyers Assistance Program; The L. Sanford Blustin Award, North Suburban Bar Association; The Graciela Olivarez Award, The University of Notre Dame Hispanic Law Student Association; and The Mary Heftel Hooton Award, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.

Justice Reyes received his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. from University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (formerly The John Marshall Law School).