For the first time in the organization's 135-year history, the DuPage County Bar Association will be led by a sitting prosecutor.
Lynn Cavallo, an assistant state's attorney in DuPage, was sworn into the association's presidency during a Thursday night dinner.
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An attorney since 1991 and past president of the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers, Cavallo joined the state's attorney's office in 2008.
During her term, Cavallo said she and the association will turn their attention to helping future generations of attorneys begin successful and lengthy careers.
"We have more than an adequate number of attorneys, but there is increasing need for specific legal services," Cavallo said. "Law school grads are eager to pursue careers in public service but quickly learn they can't remain there because they don't make enough to repay their law school debt. We need to fix that."
She also plans for the association to develop better relationships with area law schools to help "bridge the gap from the academic world to the practicing world."
"I quoted Abraham Lincoln in my acceptance speech when I said, 'The best way protect your future is to create it,'" she said. "And we're going to do that by delivering future members an association that is just as good, if not better, than the association we were delivered."
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said he was proud of Cavallo for climbing the association's ranks.
"We're in a unique situation in DuPage County because whenever there's a new rule or initiative, everyone else looks to DuPage to see what we're doing," Berlin said. "Lynn has proved to be a great leader with several years of civil experience before she even joined our office. So the legal community will be looking to her in the year to come."
Berlin said it wasn't until 2011 that prosecutors were even members of the association, much less presiding over it.
"Historically, very few, if any, assistant state's attorneys have been members of the association. It was not until 2011 that all (county prosecutors) became members," Berlin said. "We are the largest law firm in the county with 87 lawyers, so I decided there was no good reason not to be involved. We all work together in the same building, in the same courthouse and before the same judges."
The DuPage County Bar Association has 2,600 members and serves the attorneys, judiciary and residents of DuPage County. According to its mission statement, the association provides legal education, business development and networking opportunities.