Jenner & Block

Hamill and Scott Among Law Bulletin's "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch"

Jenner & Block Partners John J. Hamill and Kenyanna M. Scott were recently named to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s 2007 list of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch,” an annual publication that honors 40 Illinois attorneys who display “intelligence, passion and a track record of success, a desire to help the community and willingness to work hard.”  The 40 honorees are carefully selected out of hundreds of nominations sent in by attorneys, Managing Partners, politicians, judges, and opposing counsel from across the country.

Mr. Hamill was recognized for his success in “big-ticket” litigation for high-profile cases for corporate clients such as BlueCross BlueShield of America (BCBSA) and ComEd.  Mr. Hamill is “responsive, intelligent, courteous, and insightful,” Daniel Engle, Senior Associate General Counsel of BCBSA, told the magazine.

The article highlighted his success in representing the Illinois Academic Decathlon Association and the U.S. Academic Decathlon Association following an investigation into anomalies in scores posted by a Chicago high school, his work in securing the release of an indigent man who was being held in Cook County Jail on a civil contempt charge for nearly a decade, and his work on a series of highly complex lawsuits for MCI.

Brian Leske, former in-house counsel at MCI and current legal advisor on the Romney presidential campaign, told the editors, “The litigation skills needed to handle these cases were immense.  They required the highest advocacy capabilities that an in-house counsel could ask of its lawyers.  From the careful choice of written words during briefing, to the presentation of oral arguments that methodically walked courts through difficult legal principles and highly technical factual scenarios, John and his team of lawyers showed legal talent of the highest caliber.”

Ms. Scott was recognized for her courtroom successes, her devotion to the community and promoting diversity in the legal profession.

The article discusses how as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Scott tried twelve cases to verdict and argued numerous criminal appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

In her role as vice-president of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association (BWLA) of Greater Chicago, the article points out, Ms. Scott has tackled “a host of philanthropic projects” such as the organization of a fundraiser to donate food, water and clothing to the war-torn region of western Sudan and volunteering at an orphanage in South Africa.

In addition, the article highlights how Ms. Scott co-authored an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court cases of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School Districts, No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education in which the Court determined what efforts local school systems may voluntarily take to promote diversity.

Ann Claire Williams, Circuit Judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit told the Law Bulletin, “Kenyanna has embraced the opportunity to serve as a role model and mentor, especially to young people, people of color and women, and she has taken on leadership roles to ensure that others see that success in the legal profession is possible for them.”

Partner Craig C. Martin was also featured in the magazine as the author of an article entitled, “Perspective On Being ‘40 Under Forty.’” Mr. Martin was named to Law Bulletin's 2001 list of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty To Watch" as well as to The National Law Journal's 2002 "40 Under 40 Young Advocates Making Their Mark" and Crain's Chicago Business' 2002 "Forty Under 40" list. For the article, the Law Bulletin Publishing Company asked Mr. Martin to provide his thoughts about succeeding in today’s legal marketplace.

In the article, Mr. Martin addresses how practicing law is about earning trust and putting the clients’ interests ahead of personal interests. He also discusses the importance of being a mentor and encourages young lawyers to pursue an area of law that they are passionate about.

Mr. Martin also congratulates all of the “40 Under Forty” honorees and he says of Mr. Hamill and Ms. Scott, both are “highly deserving” of the recognition. “Kenyanna is dynamic and charismatic. John is persevering and direct,” he said. “Both are at an important stage of their careers, the same one that I was at not long ago. They have achieved an incredible amount and they are poised to achieve more. They understand the importance of client service.”

Please click here to view Mr. Hamill's "40 Under Forty" article.

Please click here to view Ms. Scott's "40 Under Forty" article.