Northern Illinois University College of Law won the Best Law School category in "Lawyers Feeding Illinois," a food and fundraising drive and competition held recently by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) to benefit people in Illinois who are facing hunger.
Led by the NIU Law Student Bar Association (SBA), Christian Legal Society, Delta Theta Phi, and the ISBA student division, the College of Law raised over $900 and 103 pounds of food items. NIU Law was honored at an awards ceremony on May 8 at the ISBA's Chicago Regional Office.
SBA President Dan Porter was very proud to see the student body come together and participate for such a worthy cause. "Within the past few years, NIU Law has become even more involved within the community: the law school will be opening our new poverty-based clinic in Aurora this fall; the students hosted several blood drives and donation drives during the semester; and we proved extremely successful in the Lawyers Feeding Illinois campaign," said Porter, a third-year law student.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose office supported the campaign, spoke at the ceremony and announced that her office would distribute $500,000 in funding from several legal settlements to food banks across Illinois to help feed families and people in need. According to Madigan, "The money will make food available to local food pantries that serve each of Illinois' 102 counties."
NIU Law Dean Jennifer Rosato shared Porter's sentiments with the active participation of the NIU Law community, who participated in such an important campaign to lessen hunger for Illinois families, and in partnership with the ISBA.
"Through these kinds of initiatives, we teach our students about leadership in solving problems in our community, and the importance of collaborations to enhance success," said Dean Rosato. "I hope the students recognize the importance of giving back to the community and will continue this positive trend throughout their careers."
Lawyers Feeding Illinois, an initiative of the Illinois State Bar Association and its president, Urbana attorney John E. Thies, had a goal to raise over 1 million meals in a statewide campaign held February 18 -- March 1. The campaign, chaired by Thies' wife, Terry, surpassed its goal and raised more than 3.7 million meals with the help of judges, lawyers, law students, lawyer teams and more than 2,000 donors.
The campaign was conducted in cooperation with Feeding Illinois, and all donated food and money benefited the eight regional food banks serving Illinois. Numerous local, ethnic and specialty bar associations also participated. Information about the campaign is available at www.lawyersfeedingil.org.