Three NIU Law alums honored in “40 under 40” list

College of Law alumni Karoline Carstens (‘06), Elizabeth Shine Hermes (‘03) and Adam R. Vaught (’05), have been honored as “40 under 40” attorneys by The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Law Bulletin publishing company conducts the “40 under 40” survey annually to determine who they believe are the up and coming young attorneys in Illinois under the age of 40. Forty attorneys are chosen – from hundreds of nominations each year – based on professional achievements, passion and a desire to help the community.

Karoline Carstens, an associate at the Alton law firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy, handles a large caseload for the asbestos and mesothelioma litigation team. She has assisted in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for her clients working every step of the legal process from initial inquiries through discovery and deposition to preparation for trial.

Elizabeth Shine Hermes, a partner at the law firm of Odelson & Sterk, Ltd., based in Evergreen Park, devotes her practice to municipal law and property tax law. She counsels municipal clients on a variety of matters such as property tax issues, land use and zoning, economic development, intergovernmental agreements, annexation and contracts, as well as the drafting of resolutions, ordinances, agreements and policies.

Adam R. Vaught, a partner at the Chicago-based law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP., focuses his practice in professional liability defense, with emphasis in the counseling and defense of attorneys and law firms in malpractice and disciplinary matters. He also has a significant appellate practice and serves as a board member for the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association.

“We are thrilled to see our alumni recognized for their contributions,” said Eric Dannenmaier, dean of the NIU College of Law. “They join an impressive list of NIU alums and faculty recognized for their efforts in their areas of practice as well as in their respective communities.”   

As the only public law school in northern Illinois, NIU College of Law has been named a top law school nationally for diversity, value and careers in public interest/government service. Its graduates enter a variety of legal and public service careers, including over 90 alumni who are active or retired judges. In addition to practicing law, many graduates also choose careers as leaders in government and business where the J.D. degree is a recognized advantage.

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