The College of Law will honor eight alumni at the Annual Alumni Dinner in Chicago on Thursday, April 11th. Three different types of awards will be presented, each for a distinct purpose.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni for their professional achievements and leadership in their communities. Five alumni have been selected to receive 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards.
Donald Lasser '57 passed the Illinois Bar and then served three years in the Judge Advocate's Office in the Air Force, going in as a First Lieutenant and promoted in 18 months to a Captain. He then moved to California, passed the bar, and practiced law there for approximately 40 years. His practice consisted of business law, tax law, and entertainment law. Lasser is retired and now lives in Carlsbad, California.
J. Scott Myers '71 is a double Illini, having received a B.A. in History, with Honors, before graduating from the College of Law. Scott began his legal career with the Chicago civil defense firm of Jacobs, Williams, & Montgomery, the precursor of Williams, Montgomery, & Johns. In 1989, Scott left that firm to become senior partner in O’Connor, Schiff, & Myers. By 2000, Scott’s specialty had evolved into a medical malpractice defense practice, with an emphasis on nursing home defense. His knowledge and leadership in this practice led to his election to the Society of Trial Lawyers and the American Trial Lawyers Association, both organizations reserved for active trial lawyers with significant jury results. He was selected as one of Illinois’ Leading Lawyers. He also acted as National Coordinating Counsel for a Detroit seat belt manufacturer in products liability litigation throughout the United States.
During his career, Scott gave numerous speeches and presentations to interested organizations and groups, including the Defense Research Institute, and contributed several chapters to books now considered the definitive books on nursing home defense. Scott tried over 60 cases to jury verdict throughout Illinois, in cases as diverse as negligence, products liability and medical malpractice, all in the law divisions throughout the state. He was also a founding member of the John Cribbet Society, the President’s Council, and served on the College of Law’s Board of Visitors. Mr. Myers retired from practice in 2017. He lives in the north suburbs of Chicago with his wife, Kate, also a University of Illinois graduate.
Mark Goldenberg ’73 is a double Illini, having received his B.S. in Accounting in 1970 before graduating from the College of Law. Mark is the Managing Partner of the law firm Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C., in Edwardsville, Illinois. He is one of the founding members of the firm which was organized in 1990. Prior to 1990, Mark practiced law with the firm Goldenberg & Hendricks, P.C. He also practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with Peat, Marwick & Mitchell, as well as his own CPA firm. Mark’s law practice focuses on Commercial, Transactional Law, Commercial Transactions and Litigation; Estate, Tax, Business and Financial Planning; Corporate and Partnership Law; Probate; Acquisition, Divestiture and Organization of Business; Municipal Law; and IRS Audits, Appeals and Tax Court. Mark served as City Attorney/Corporate Counsel for the City of Granite City (Illinois) from May 1985 to May 1993, and he has also worked with the Village of Maryville (Illinois) as a Special Assistant Village Attorney, Assistant Village Attorney, and as the Village Attorney.
Throughout his career, Mark has represented individual clients and small to large business entities. He has handled general representation of numerous business entities in business operation and planning, acquisitions, mergers and sales, exit planning and problem solving. He has maintained the highest level of integrity and is highly regarded and respected by colleagues, clients and his partners. Mark has assisted the College of Law as a guest presenter in the Trial Advocacy Program for more than 20 years. He also served on the University of Illinois College of Law Board of Advisors. Recently, Mark was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on its Committee on Character and Fitness, Fifth District.
Reverend Craig Mousin '78 has been the University Ombudsperson at DePaul University since 2001. He received his B.S. cum laude from Johns Hopkins University, his J.D. with honors from the University of Illinois, and his M. Div. from Chicago Theological Seminary. He joined the DePaul College of Law faculty in 1990, and served as the Executive Director of the Center for Church/State Studies until 2003, and co-director from 2004-2007. He is an Associate Editor of the Center’s publication: Religious Organizations in the United States: A Study of Identity, Liberty and the Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2006). He co-founded the Center’s Interfaith Family Mediation Program as well as the College of Law’s Asylum and Immigration Legal Clinic and its Technical Assistance program. In addition to teaching at the College of Law, he has taught in DePaul’s School for New Learning, the Religious Studies Department and Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies program in DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has also taught Immigration Law and Policy as an adjunct law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and also teaches a course on the Bible and immigration law as an adjunct faculty at Chicago Theological Seminary.
Prior to DePaul, he began practicing labor law at Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson in 1978. In 1984, Mousin founded and directed the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center, a provider of legal assistance to refugees which has since become the National Immigrant Justice Center. He also directed legal services for Travelers & Immigrants Aid between 1986 and 1990. The United Church of Christ ordained him in 1989. At that time, Wellington Avenue U.C.C. called him as an Associate Pastor. He was a founding co-pastor of the DePaul Ecumenical Gathering (1996-2001). Mousin serves as a Life Trustee of the Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition, he is a member of the Leadership Council of the National Immigrant Justice Center, a member of the Leadership Council of the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture, President of the Board of the Eco-Justice Collaborative, and a former President and Board member of the Immigration Project of downstate Illinois. Mousin is a current member of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee.
In 1986, he was a recipient of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Maurice Weigle Award. In 2009, DePaul University presented him with the Spirit of DePaul award. In 2013, the Immigration Project of Downstate Illinois honored him with the Gleaner of Justice Award.
The Honorable Debra Walker ’87 was elected judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2008. She sits in the Domestic Relations Division, as the Team Lead for Team E, where she hears disputes pertaining to custody, visitation, property division, maintenance, child support, and domestic violence, and supervises five judges dealing with these same issues.
Having received both her accounting (1982) and law (1987) degrees from the University of Illinois and having worked in downtown Champaign as a CPA, Judge Walker considers it her second hometown. While a law student, Walker served as President of the International Law Society and as ABA representative to the College of Law (when she founded the Negotiations Competition). She was also on the Law Revue Show board of managers and was the WLS football team captain and quarterback (when the team won the intramural championship). She was selected as the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Outstanding Woman Law Graduate for the Class of 1987.
Since graduating, Walker has remained very engaged with the College of Law. She served on the College’s Board of Visitors in the mid-90’s and also served as the charter Chair of the Recent Alumni Advisory Board. She currently serves on the College’s Dean’s Advisory Board. In 1997, she received the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award for Alumni Service. In 2014, she received the Alumni Loyalty Award. Judge Walker is also a frequent lecturer at the College and enjoys hosting U of I law students each summer as her externs.
Walker has been a Commissioner of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism since its inception in 2005 and was a member of the special Supreme Court Committee on Civility which preceded it. She served as Chair of the Commission for the past six years. Judge Walker has facilitated numerous educational programs for lawyers and judges on topics of professional responsibility including civility, diversity and inclusion, and sexual harassment. She has also authored articles on these topics, most recently on #MeToo.
From 2012-2018, Judge Walker served on the Access to Justice Commission by appointment of the Illinois Supreme Court. Since 2014, she has served as the Chief Justice’s proxy on the Illinois Judicial Pension Board. She is the current vice president for the Illinois Judges Foundation board of directors and has served on the board of the National Conference of Bar Foundations from 2013 to 2016. She is a past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Illinois Bar Foundation, and the North Michigan Avenue Business & Professional Women’s Network, and an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Association, and the Economic Club of Chicago.
Judge Walker is married and has two teenage children at Chicago Public High Schools.
The Alumni Loyalty Award celebrates an alumnus who has demonstrated exceptional leadership through their service to the College of Law community. This year, two alumni will receive the Alumni Loyalty Award.
Bill Conlon '70 is a retired partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP. After graduating from the College of Law, Bill served in the U.S. Army. Prior to joining Sidley, Bill was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. While at the United States Attorney’s office, Bill was involved in a wide variety of criminal investigations and prosecutions as well as the trial and appeal of a wide variety of criminal and civil cases. Bill also served as Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office.
Bill was a member of the University of Illinois Law Review. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Trial Practice at Northwestern University Law School. He is recognized in Chambers USA 2012–2017 in Litigation: General Commercial. Bill is also recommended in The Best Lawyers in America 2013–2019 for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Litigation Banking and Finance and is recognized in the 2015–2017 editions for Ethics and Responsibility Law.
Bill’s trial and appellate experience includes jury and bench trials as well as administrative proceedings in state and federal courts throughout the country. Bill served as the Group Head of the Chicago Litigation Group at Sidley and also served for many years as the General Counsel of the firm. He has been a member and served on the boards of the Chicago Bar Foundation and Chicago Bar Association, and is currently the Chair of the City of Chicago Board of Ethics.
Keyonn Pope ’09 is a Partner in the Chicago office of ReedSmith, and a member of the Intellectual Property, Tech, and Data Group. He focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling. Keyonn has extensive experience handling patent prosecution, as well as inter partes review (IPR) petitions before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). An electrical engineer by training, Keyonn has significant experience advising clients on matters related to myriad technologies. He also routinely handles intellectual property and data privacy-related diligence in connection with corporate transactions in various industries. A former student-athlete and musician, Keyonn devotes a substantial portion of his practice to media and entertainment related matters. A trusted advisor to his clients, Keyonn is adept at assembling and managing teams on matters outside of the IP landscape, and is often called upon to do so on behalf of his clients.
Keyonn is a former Adjunct Professor at Howard University (Washington, DC). He is also a frequent lecturer on intellectual property and entertainment related topics. He also holds a number of leadership roles within the firm, including, Firmwide Chair of Reed Smith's Black/African-American Affinity Group, as well as membership on the Chicago Office's Hiring Committee. Additionally, Keyonn devotes significant time to pro bono matters and other community service projects.
The Alumni Professional Development Award honors an alumnus who has made important contributions to the career development of our students and alumni. The 2019 recipient is Lauren Meachum '80.
Lauren Meachum was admitted to practice in 1980 after completion of law school at the University of Illinois. Following admission to the Bar, she served as a captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, United States Army. After being Honorably Discharged, she pursued private practice as an insurance defense counsel. Attorney Meachum joined Liberty Mutual in 1990 and became the Managing Attorney of Meachum, Boyle and Trafman in 1994. In addition to managing the office, she practices in the areas of property loss and general liability. Attorney Meachum is also actively involved in Workers Compensation practice.
Attorney Meachum is a NITA certified instructor. She teaches Attorney Training and Management Training for Liberty Mutual. She serves on the Ethics Panel. Attorney Meachum has also been an instructor for the IICLE, CBA and the ISBA. She has served as an instructor for the Arbitrators assigned to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Attorney Meachum authored an article on ethics for the Illinois Defense Counsel Journal. She was also a Contributing Author for the Larsen Series, Illinois Workers’ Compensation Guidebook, authoring the chapter entitled “Claim Adjuster’s Role and Ethics.” Attorney Meachum is a member of the Board of Directors for Illinois Equal Justice. She is also Council Member for Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network. She serves as the Dupage County Bar Association representative to the Dupage Veteran’s Foundation. Attorney Meachum is a past member of the Alumni Board for the University of Illinois College of Law, and she has been a mentor to University of Illinois graduates and students. She mentors military veterans through American Corporate Partners.
In addition to admission to the Illinois Bar, Attorney Meachum is admitted to the Central and Northern District Courts of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Congratulations to all of our 2019 honorees!