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updated: 7/1/2014 3:37 PM

Former attorney general to discuss legal ethics at Benedictine

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By Ryan Blackburn
Benedictine University

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will discuss legal ethics this month when he visits Benedictine University in Lisle.

Gonzales will speak Thursday, July 24, at Benedictine as part of the nonpartisan Center for Civic Leadership. Established in 2005 under the direction of former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, a 1969 Benedictine graduate and Distinguished Fellow, the center seeks to shape a new generation of public leaders and responsible citizens.

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"We are excited to hear about Gonzales' experiences as attorney general and about legal ethics governing lawyers practicing in the federal courts," Ryan said.

The event also features a vocal performance by Daniel Rodriguez and begins with an ethics course at 5 p.m. for attorneys or cocktails for the general public, with dinner at 6 p.m. Gonzales will give the keynote presentation at 6:45 p.m. on the second floor of the Krasa Student Center at Benedictine University, 5700 College Road, Lisle.

Tickets, $50, include dinner, two drink tickets and the presentation. Legal professionals' tickets, $75, include dinner, two drink tickets and two hours of Continuing Legal Education ethics credit (for attendance at the 5 p.m. course led by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas and Gonzales' keynote presentation).

To buy tickets, visit ben.edu/cclgonzales.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership in partnership with the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois and the DuPage County Bar Association. Proceeds benefit the center.

Gonzales, who was the first Hispanic appointed U.S. Attorney General, served from 2005-07 under the administration of former President George W. Bush.

He was born in San Antonio, Texas, and served in the Air Force from 1973-75. After attending the Air Force Academy, he transferred to Rice University where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1979. He earned a law degree from Harvard University Law School in 1982.

After Gonzales became a partner of the Houston law firm of Vinson and Elkins, he was appointed by Bush as senior adviser to the governor of Texas, chief elections officer and lead liaison on Texas Border and Mexican Affairs. He was named Texas secretary of state in 1997, serving until 1999 when he was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court. He was elected to the court the following year. Shortly after Bush was installed as president in 2001, Gonzales was named as White House Counsel. He resigned as U.S. Attorney General in 2007.

Today, Gonzales is the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law and dean at Belmont University College of Law where he teaches First Amendment, National Security, Separation of Powers and Constitutional Law.

His accomplishments include the Harvard Law School Association Award, the Central Intelligence Agency's Director's Award and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. He also has earned recognition as Hispanic American of the Year by Hispanic magazine and one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Time magazine.

For information, call Barbara Juster Shore at (630) 829-6247 or email bshore@ben.edu.

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