Third-year Northern Illinois University College of Law student Kaitlin Barclay received the 2014 Illinois State Bar Association Law Student Division Public Service Award at the organization’s 138th Annual Meeting on Friday, June 20, at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis.
Nominated by Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Parness and William Obuchowski (’13), the ISBA Law Student Division Public Service Award is awarded annually to a law student participating in activities that enhance professional responsibility and provide service to the public. The award is based on extracurricular accomplishments and service-related activities during the recipient’s law school career.
Barclay is the second NIU student to win the award; Ryan J. Dowd earned the honor in 2002.
“I was inspired to go to law school because from an early age I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to public service,” Barclay said. “I decided that having a legal education would provide me with a distinguished set of skills that would allow me to serve my community in the best possible way.”
Barclay, who resides in Naperville, has been especially active in NIU’s Public Interest Law Society as a first-year student representative, president, and auction co-chair. During the past year she spent as many as 10 hours a week volunteering and fundraising on behalf of the organization. She has also volunteered in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Domestic Violence unit and the Kane County Bar Association’s Feed My Starving Children program.
During the summer of 2012, she was the NIU student representative on Prairie State Legal Services’ fundraising committee, where she raised funds and organized student volunteers for a “Battle of the Bands” event.
Barclay was the Notes & Comments Editor for the NIU Law Review and was a representative on the ISBA Young Lawyer’s Division Law Student Committee as well.
“I chose to attend NIU Law because it has the best representation in the (Illinois) collar counties of alumni who have become either assistant state’s attorneys or public defenders,” said Barclay, who also received an Outstanding Woman Award from NIU earlier in 2014.
NIU’s College of Law has been recognized by National Jurist as one of the best schools for public service, one of just 20 listed in the category of government. The Princeton Review ranks NIU as among its prestigious list of best law schools in 2014. NIU is also among preLaw Magazine’s tuition winners and has been recognized as a National Jurist best value law school.
The 32,000-member ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public through a website, consumer brochures, and distribution of legal information.