The Vanguard Award recognizes lawyers, judges and institutions who champion diversity, making the law and the legal profession more accessible to and reflective of the community at-large.
”The Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois has for years recognized the very best members of the Latino legal community at the Vanguard Awards,” said Federico Rodriguez, president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.
“Having one of the country’s only Latina law school deans in our own backyard is too important to be taken for granted. She is a stupendous role model. We are proud to recognize Dean Rosato and the great work NIU’s College of Law continues to demonstrate in the advancement of minorities into the higher professions.”
“I am honored to be recognized by the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois,” Rosato said. “This award is especially important to me as it underscores my personal commitment to encouraging diversity in NIU’s student and faculty population, to increasing access by providing a cost-effective, high-quality education integrating practical skills, and to instilling in our graduates a responsibility to give back to their communities through concerted public service, regardless of their career path.”
Dean Rosato was one of six recipients of this year’s Vanguard Awards, sponsored by various Chicago Bar Associations, including the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.
Other recipients include:
- Asian American Institute, Asian American Bar Association of Chicago honoree.
- Peter Birnbaum, President and CEO, Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., Chicago Bar Association honoree.
- Joey Mogul, People’s Law Office, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago honoree.
- Hon. Jorge Ortiz, Lake County Circuit Court, Puerto Rican Bar Association honoree.
- Hon. Marcus Salone, Ret. Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Cook County Bar Association honoree.
In 2009, Rosato became the first female dean to head the NIU College of Law, and is still amongt only a handful of minority women deans across the country. Under her guidance, NIU Law has enacted numerous initiatives to advance its mission of promoting diversity, professionalism and academic excellence in the legal academy.
NIU College of Law has consistently maintained national recognition under Dean Rosato’s leadership for its diverse faculty, commitment to public interest law, employment of its graduates in government positions, and its affordability in providing an excellent education.
Rosato is a sought-after speaker who has presented at local, state and national bar associations, law schools across the country, and national organizations such as the Association of American Law Schools. She also writes frequently on numerous legal issues that affect children and families, as well as on diversity in the legal profession.