Judge Haddad to deliver the Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism

Hon. William J. Haddad

NIU Law will host its 27th Annual Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism given by The Honorable William J. Haddad (Ret) who will present – “The Legal Profession’s Ideals of Public Service: The Formation and Impact of the Arab-American Bar Association of Illinois” – at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3, in the Riley Courtroom of Swen Parson Hall.

Judge Haddad retired from the bench in 2013 where he served in the Circuit Court of Cook County for over a decade. Judge Haddad began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney of Cook County, and later was a founding Partner in the law firm of Haddad, Schlack & Associates. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Haddad had been a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of litigation experience. In 1990, he was the founder and first President of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois.  Later, in 1998, he became the founder and first President of the Suburban Bar Coalition of Cook County. In 1999, Judge Haddad chaired the Illinois Law Consortium for Palestinian Legal Education. He served on two gubernatorial transition teams in 2002 and 2019 dealing with Hate Crime Prevention and Legislation.   In 2014 Judge Haddad founded the American Middle East Voters Alliance, the first Arab-American political action committee in Illinois.

Judge Haddad is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Visitors at Northern Illinois University College of Law. He is also an adjunct professor in trial advocacy and mediation at The John Marshall School of Law. Judge Haddad has lectured and published articles on trial practice for the Illinois State Bar Journal, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association and numerous other organizations. He has organized CLEs at area law schools and law firms, including seminars on Hate Speech and the Rule of Law.

Judge Haddad has been recognized for his achievements with awards from the Illinois State Bar Association, Crime Stoppers of Illinois, Suburban Bar Coalition of Cook County, West Suburban Bar Association, University of Wisconsin Law School, Northern Illinois University College of Law, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Arab-American Bar Association, Muslim Bar Association, Aqsa School, and St. Ignatius High School.

He is happily married to his wife, Sandra, for 45 years and has two adult children, William, Jr., and Christina, who is a 2010 NIU Law alumna.

This lecture series was established in 1994 to honor the late Professor Emeritus Riley, who devoted his life to the law and legal education. It brings distinguished speakers to the NIU College of Law to discuss current issues relating to the legal profession. One hour PMCLE credit (pending approval) will be given to attorneys.

The lecture will be followed by the 25th Anniversary of the Public Interest Law Society Auction, which raises money for outreach assistantships awarded to NIU law students who work in unpaid public interest legal positions during the summer.

RSVP to lawevents@niu.edu or call (815) 753-9655.

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