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Michael Angarola Named Spring 2024 Valedictorian

Michael Angarola

Husband, father, and former priest turned police sergeant Michael Angarola is now able to add another title to his resume: UIC Law Spring 2024 valedictorian.

For a while, Michael struggled with the idea of pursuing law school, despite being surrounded by those in the field. Between his biological and stepparents, three out of the four of them are lawyers. “I’ve always loved the law but didn’t see myself doing that initially, I just knew I was deeply drawn to public service.” It wasn’t until he faced the stagnation that many experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic that he decided to make the leap and attend law school.

During his time at UIC Law, Michael remained involved on campus despite his law school responsibilities, family obligations and his work in the Mount Prospect police department. He has served as editor-in-chief of the UIC Law Review, a member of the Moot Court competition team, and sits of the Moot Court executive board as the candidacy director. He was also summer associate at Kirkland & Ellis, one of the top law firms in the world, where he joined active litigation cases, received assignments parallel with that of a first year associate, and participated in the summer trial advocacy program that put on a mock trial for one of Kirkland’s’ partners.

Aside from his personal determination and perseverance, Michael greatly credits UIC Law for preparing him for his future legal career, specifically speaking, the “incredible faculty” that provided expertise in foundational areas of the law, and the unparalleled experiential education opportunities UIC Law offers.

However, what may have struck him the most and made a lasting impact was the camaraderie of the students. It is through these aspects that he was able to feel supported and challenged during his journey and ultimately feel ready to work in the field of law.

Contingent upon passage of the bar exam in July, Michael has accepted an offer to return to Kirkland & Ellis as a full-time associate. Kirland & Ellis has also sponsored him to be a PILI Graduate Fellow in the UIC Law Pro Bono litigation clinic this summer. In this role, he will work as a 7/11 licensed law graduate and provide extra support to the clinic by handling various cases.

Kirkland has an active pro bono program and encourages its attorneys to participate to give back to the community. My experiences at the clinic have undoubtedly instilled in me the importance of giving needed legal services to those with limited resources.

Michael Angarola