Joy V. Cunningham to Be Installed as First African-American Woman President of The Chicago Bar Association
Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Embraces New Role as 131st President of Largest Metropolitan Bar Association CHICAGO, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Joy V. Cunningham, senior vice president and general counsel for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, will be installed as the first African-American female president of The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) on June 24, 2004.Cunningham
has had a distinguished and varied career, including service as a Circuit Court Judge.During her one-year term, Cunningham -- also the first corporate counsel to be president -- will focus her energy on several projects, including advocating for mandatory continuing legal education for Illinois lawyers and sponsoring a judicial seminar for state and federal court judges in an effort to improve the Administration of Justice.She
is also committed to serving the public by expanding public service and consumer education programs; creating a program called "Computers for Clergy," which will solicit law firms to donate working computers to Chicago-area clergy; and the implementation of regular programming at the William C. Goudy Elementary School
, adopted by the CBA
in 2003.Cunningham currently brings her experience from the bench to Northwestern Memorial, where she's committed to developing proactive strategies to avoid hospital risk while continuously underscoring the importance of quality initiatives."Joy demonstrates exceptional leadership ability and a propensity for forward thinking," said Gary Mecklenburg, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare.
..."Joy is making history by becoming the Chicago Bar Association's first African-American woman president.
More importantly, she
has been making a difference in people's lives for a long time, and I know she
will continue to do so."African-American lawyers were not admitted to the CBA
until November 1945 and minority numbers in bar associations didn't start growing substantially until the mid-1980s and 1990s.That's part of why Cunningham feels a moral obligation to serve as president of CBA.
"As the legal profession becomes more diverse, I believe it's important the leadership reflects that," said Cunningham
."I have a responsibility to do the very best I can in this position, because young black lawyers need to recognize that they can be included in the infrastructure of the legal system and have the power to bring about change."Cunningham grew up in New York and worked as a nurse before going to law school in the early 1980s.
has proven credentials in the legal and medical communities and her
selection as president of the Chicago Bar Association
...Before joining Northwestern, Cunningham most recently served as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, where she had a diverse assignment including jury trials.She also has served as associate general counsel for Loyola University and Loyola University Health System and was the first African- American woman to serve as an attorney with the law firm of French, Rogers, Kezelis & Kominiarek.She has also served as Assistant Attorney General and as a judicial clerk to Illinois Appellate Justice Glenn Johnson.Cunningham has served on the CBA Board of Managers almost continually since 1995, as a member (95-97), secretary (97-99), treasurer (01-02), second vice president (02-03) and first vice president (03-04).She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Bar Foundation and worked for many years with The CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee.She has authored professional publications and is a member of a number of professional associations, including the American Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.She
has been recognized for her
volunteer service to several community organizations including the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
, The Constitutional Rights Foundation
and the Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children
.She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Network and is a board member of the Center for Conflict Resolution.Cunningham earned her Juris Doctor degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and her Bachelor of Science degree from the City University of New York.She
is admitted to practice law before the Illinois
, New York, Federal and the Federal Trial Bars
and her husband, Vance du Rivage, have a son, Jeremy Keith.
will be installed as CBA President at The CBA Annual Meeting
, Thursday, June 24, 2004, at the Standard Club