Members of The Justinian Society of Lawyers recently celebrated their past presidents at a recent dinner in Chicago on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Hardworking past presidents are recognized at the annual dinner in thanks for their commitment to mission, fostering the spirit of friendship, improving the legal education of members, rendering mutual aid to members, promoting the general welfare of members and participating in civic and community affairs, so as to ensure the proper administration of justice. With fundraising, scholarship and mentor programs, today’s Justinians are busy preserving and furthering their long-standing of excellence in the Chicago legal community.
While current members have law school loans, some of the founding members owed families for their emigration to the U.S. to seek new opportunities and careers in law.
The Justinian Society of Lawyers, originally named the Justinian Society of Advocates, was formed in October 17, 1921 and officially chartered four days later. “It was a crisp autumn afternoon, over three quarters of a century ago, when all but 10 of the approximately 40 Chicago lawyers of Italian descent, who, bound by professional and ethnic ties and conscious of their heritage…[i]” met and elected to form the group. Many of the original members of the group were from immigrant families from Italy and they worked hard to support families who sacrificed for their opportunity to become lawyers in the U.S. Some of the founding Justinians were military and political leaders and the group collectively represented a compelling mix of talent and leadership.
Today there are approximately 1,500 Justinians and the list of impressive accolades among members are too numerous to mention in this short article. To qualify for membership, a candidate must be a practicing or retired lawyer or judge, or a currently enrolled law student. At monthly meetings, the Justinians conduct business matters including planning for scholarships and awards. There is also a mentor program through which members may further the Justinians’ mission to benefit the legal community by working directly with newly licensed Illinois attorneys. Both mentors and mentees receive six Professional Responsibility CLE credits upon successful completion of the program[ii].
Justinians are very dedicated to community and work hard to raise money and awareness.
Annual scholarships are available for law students attending area schools, of Italian ancestry and are scholars in need. The Justinians also maintain the Children’s Endowment Fund (“JCEF”), established in 2002 to be charitable and benevolent. “The mission of the JCEF is to assist and aid disadvantaged or disabled children without regard to ethnicity, race or religion.[iii]” Every year the Justinians hold a golf outing to raise money for the JCEF.
Justinian presidents set and implement term goals to improve communication among members and law schools. While holding office, presidents oversee several committees and increase participation among all members. Past president, Michael V. Favia was among those honored among fellow past presidents of the Justinian Society of Lawyers including several past Chicago Bar Association and Illinois State Bar Association presidents, State Court Judges and Appellate Court Justices.
Michael V. Favia, past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, practices healthcare and injury law and litigation in Chicago. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please visit www.FaviaLawFirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.