The National Judicial College will pay tribute to two prominent Chicagoans for their lifelong commitment to the advancement of justice at the National Judicial Institute and Conclave in Chicago on Oct. 15, 2015.

Hon. Sophia H. Hall

Hon. Sophia H. Hall

Michael A. Pope, Esq.

Michael A. Pope, Esq.

The Advancement of Justice Award is presented by The National Judicial College to those who have demonstrated dedication to improving skills of the judiciary in advancing justice. The award will be given during a reception at the National Judicial Institute and Conclave, a two-day gathering at the American Bar Association headquarters in which more than 100 judges will discuss emerging issues in the judiciary.

The Honorable Sophia H. Hall and Michael A. Pope, Esq. will be celebrated for their professional and philanthropic dedication to the advancement of justice. Cook County Circuit Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans will assist NJC President Chad Schmucker with presenting the awards.

“The National Judicial College is pleased to honor such outstanding pillars of the legal community who have dedicated their careers to this noble pursuit,” NJC President Chad Schmucker said. “We are thankful for their service and contributions to the NJC and their passion to improving the judiciary.”

Judge Hall is the Presiding Judge of the Resource Section Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. She is being honored for her many years of service on the Circuit Court during which time she also chaired the Board of Trustees of the NJC, served on the State Justice Institute and on the boards of the National Center for State Courts, the National Conference of State Trial Judges and as President of the National Association of Women Judges. Additionally, she is a past President of the Illinois Judges Association.

“My experiences at The National Judicial College, as a student and a member of the Board, have improved my skills as a judge and on the bench, and provided ideas to improve the administration of justice,” Hall said. “As our society evolves, so do the challenges facing the judiciary. The NJC provides inquiring spaces for judges to explore ways to meet those challenges.”

Michael A. Pope is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, based in Chicago. He heads the firm’s international Product Liability Practice Group. He has tried complex jury cases to verdict around the country for almost 40 years. He also served as chair of the Board of Trustees at NJC, as President of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and President of the International Association of Defense Council.

“As a former NJC Board Chair and longtime supporter, I am thrilled to receive this award,” Pope said. “Since 1963, the NJC has been the leader in judicial education and a valuable resource for judges nationwide.”

Cook County Circuit Chief Judge Evans, who also has been a participant in NJC courses, will help congratulate the awardees at the Conclave. Judge Evans oversees the circuit’s nearly 400 judges.

“For more than 50 years, The National Judicial College has been a go-to resource to help judges navigate and brainstorm ways to learn, innovate and advance justice,” Chief Judge Evans said. “I can’t think of two more deserving members of our legal community to be honored for their service in these ventures. Judge Sophia Hall and Michael Pope are dedicated to raising the bar for judicial proficiency, productivity and competency, which aligns perfectly with what The National Judicial College has built a reputation of doing.”

Sponsors of the event to date include Jenner and Block—LLP (Platinum level), Schiller, DuCanto and Fleck as well as McDermott, Will and Emory (Gold Level), LLP and Silver Level sponsors Winston and Strawn, LLP.

The NJC is housed on the historic 255-acre campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. For over 50 years, the NJC has been offering courses to improve judicial productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges to achieve judicial excellence. The NJC is a Nevada not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational entity affiliated with the American Bar Association, governed by an 18-member Board of Trustees.