May 18, 2012

Jenner & Block Partner John B. Simon will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from DePaul University College of Law at the school’s commencement ceremony on May 20, 2012, and will also deliver the law school’s commencement address.

Mr. Simon, a graduate of DePaul’s law school, is being honored for reflecting the highest ideals of the legal profession and for helping the university fulfill its Vincentian mission of education and outreach to those most in need.  He is a former chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, has served as an adjunct professor of advanced criminal law procedure at the College of Law, and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the law school’s Center for Dispute Resolution.

The announcement of the honor in the DePaul Law News noted, “Simon has been a leader in the state and local bar associations and in dozens of community and government organizations – all while maintaining an active practice at one of the nation’s most prominent firms, Jenner & Block…DePaul University and the College of Law are proud to honor an alumnus who has devoted his life to the well-being of Illinois’ citizens and its system of justice.”

Mr. Simon is a nationally ranked "bet the company" litigator.  Clients seek his counsel on issues ranging from complex commercial litigation, qui tam actions, contracts, securities, insurance, antitrust, trade regulation, health care and class actions, among others.  He is a court-certified mediator and skilled arbitrator and has extensive experience as a lobbyist and in handling federal, state and local government and regulatory and administrative matters.  Mr. Simon’s transactional experience includes the formation of business entities, private placements, and employment agreements. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney, where he tried administrative, civil and criminal matters, and argued appeals.  Becoming Chief of the Civil Division at age 29, he is the youngest person ever to serve as a division supervisor.

Mr. Simon devotes substantial time to pro bono work and service to the bar and community.  In addition to his service to DePaul, Mr. Simon currently serves as Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee and Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission.  Other activities have included serving as President of the Chicago Bar Association, a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Planning and Oversight Committee for a Judicial Performance Evaluation Program, Commissioner of the Illinois Racing Board and Chief Executive Officer and Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Please click here to view a webcast of the commencement ceremony.

Please click here to read the full text of Mr. Simon’s commencement address.