As a young lawyer, I served as a law clerk for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride. I am thankful for all I learned from him. He set an example on how to be a good lawyer, a good judge, and a good person.
Some people attend law school because they want to make a difference in the world. For various reasons, usually economic pressure, these young attorneys eventually focus on more lucrative opportunities instead. But Tom Kilbride followed his passion and delivered on the change he set out to make.
Tom began his legal career providing pro bono, or free, legal services to those most in need. He supported faith-based and humanitarian projects such as the Quad Cities Interfaith Sponsoring committee and the Rock Island Human Relations Commission.
Under his leadership, the Illinois Supreme Court made key changes to assist Illinoisans in gaining access to the legal system. He worked to ensure that the Illinois legal system is available to everyone. The court also increased transparency by bringing cameras into courtrooms.
Serving on the Illinois Supreme Court is a rare accomplishment. As Justice Kilbride completes his term, I commend him for his contributions to our community and congratulate him for setting a wonderful example as an ambassador to the legal profession. He has earned the respect of judges throughout Illinois, as well as prosecutors, plaintiffs’ lawyers, defense lawyers, the business sector, law enforcement, and the community at large. Thank you, Justice Kilbride.