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In recognition of Black History Month, local Naperville resident, Judge Vincent Cornelius will share his key influences and role models who helped him along the way and on path of becoming the first African American to serve as President of the Illinois State Bar Association.
The Honorable Vincent F. Cornelius is a Circuit Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Will County, IL. He was the principal of the Law Offices of Vincent F. Cornelius for 24 years prior to his election as a Judge. He is a former prosecutor in the office of the DuPage County States Attorney and a former associate attorney with the law firm of James D. Montgomery and Associates in Chicago.
Judge Cornelius was elected to serve as the 140th President of the 32,000 member Illinois State Bar Association. He was the first African American to serve as ISBA president in the 140-year history of the Association. He is the only lawyer in Illinois history to serve as Illinois State Bar Association President, Illinois Bar Foundation President, and as Chancellor of the Academy of Illinois Lawyers. He has also served as a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.
Judge Cornelius has served on Governor’s Commissions, Supreme Court Commissions, legislative committees, and university boards. He currently serves as a commissioner of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Historic Preservation and as Chairman of the NIU College of Law Board of Visitors. He also serves on the boards of directors of Joliet Catholic Academy and the Black Bar Association of Will County.
Judge Cornelius has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America. He is a recipient of the NIU College of Law’s Outstanding Alum Award, a recipient of the University of St. Francis's Distinguished Alum Award, and a recipient of the Joliet Catholic Academy Career Achievement Award. Judge Cornelius is a frequent keynote speaker and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He is married to Zina Lever Cornelius and is the father of two adult children.