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In Honor of Michael Francis Lefkow:
The Lefkow Fellowships at Northwestern Law School

In September 2006, the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association presented an endowment to Northwestern University School of Law, to honor the memory of Michael Francis Lefkow. Mr. Lefkow was a distinguished civil rights lawyer and champion of the poor and underserved. He was killed by a disgruntled litigant who had targeted his wife, Hon. Joan Humphrey Lefkow, judge in the District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, because of her decision to dismiss a case. Judge Lefkow’s husband and her mother, Donna Humphrey, were both killed in their home on February 28, 2005.

The Chicago Chapter established the Lefkow Public Interest Fellowship at the alma mater of both Michael and Joan Lefkow, to provide law students with paid summer internships to represent the poor and vulnerable and to participate in projects designed to promote a fair and independent judiciary. Since 2007, the Lefkow Public Interest Fellowships have been a fitting tribute to an outstanding lawyer as well as a sustainable program to recognize judges like Judge Lefkow who face intimidation of the cruelest kind with courage and integrity. If you are interested in learning more about the FBA Lefkow Fellows or in contributing to this program, please contact Peggy McCormick.

Walter J. Cummings Award

The Chicago Chapter annually presents this award to an attorney for excellence in pro bono service as nominated alternately by the judges of the Seventh Circuit and the Northern District. The award is given in the name of longtime chapter board member and judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the late Walter J. Cummings.

Frank J. McGarr Award

The Chicago Chapter annually presents this award to an attorney for distinguished federal government service. The award is given in the name of the late Chicago Chapter Past President Frank J. McGarr (1921-2012), a U.S. district court judge and former first assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Kathryn Smith Matkov Award

The Chicago Chapter annually bestows this award on an attorney or judge whose lifetime commitment to excellence and accuracy in defining, illuminating and informing the public on critical issues to American society, particularly in the areas of children, the aged and minorities. This award is given in the name of Chicago Chapter Past President Kathryn Smith Matkov, who at a young age passed away from cancer shortly after completing her tenure as President of the Chicago Chapter and in recognition of Ms. Matkov’s commitment to improving conditions for children, the aged and minorities.

Milton Gordon Award

The Chicago Chapter annually presents the Milton Gordon Award for distinguished federal government service by an attorney under the age of 40 or in practice for less than ten years. The award is given in the name of the late Milton Gordon, a distinguished attorney who spent his career in service to state and local governments.

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