As outgoing President, I wish to express a heartfelt thank you for your support this past year. While we continued to face challenges with the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Hellenic Bar Association (HBA) has emerged stronger than ever. The HBA ended the 2021-2022 year with more members and in-person events than it had prior to the pandemic! After nearly two years of social distancing, we not only brought back our hallmark events, but also hosted new programming for our membership. Below is a look back at our past year:
- Career Corner – At our annual Career Corner, our young attorneys and law students networked with HBA members and were given an opportunity to learn more about the practice of law from HBA members in private practice, government, in-house and the judiciary.
- The 71st Annual Scholarship Ball – With a record number of scholarship benefactors, sponsors and silent auction donors, we awarded $60,000 in scholarships to deserving law students of Hellenic descent and honored distinguished members of our Greek-American community: Hellene of the Year, Andrew Limouris; Service Award, Reverend Fr. Chrysanthos Kerkeres; Advocacy Award, Georgia Logothetis; and Lawyer of the Year Joan T. Berg.
- Inaugural St. Dionysios Areopagitis Distinguished Service Award. We celebrated for the first time as a membership the Feast Day of St. Dionysios Areopagitis, patron saint of judges and lawyers, and presented the inaugural St. Dionysis Areopagitis Distinguished Award to our pro bono legal aid clinic, Hel.LAS.
- Vasilopita Party – We welcomed the new year with our Vasilopita blessing, which we were fortunate enough to have blessed in-person by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael and Rev. Fr. Chrysanthos Kerkeres.
- CLE events – Access to Justice for Learning and Hearing Impaired Litigants and View From the Bench. Each of these CLE events provided unique insight from our judiciary and professional development opportunities for our members.
- Young Lawyers Event– Our young lawyers socialized at our joint event with the Hellenic Professional Society at Flight Club.
- HBA Women’s Forum – We hosted our first ever Women’s Forum where a panel of professional women of Hellenic descent discussed lessons and skills that helped pave their way to successes.
- Lyceum Mentorship Program– We rolled out our Lyceum Mentorship Program where HBA scholarship recipients will be mentored while in law school and as young lawyers by past HBA presidents.
- Law Day– We brought back in-person our annual Law Day essay competition where students from our local Greek American Day Schools presented their winning essays on how Title IX impacts educational programs in a courtroom hosted by Judge Anna Demacopoulos at the Richard J. Daley Center.
- Judge’s Night– Finally, we ended our year with a sold-out Judge’s Night held at the National Hellenic Museum where we honored Illinois Appellate Court Justice Mary K. Rochford with the Socrates Dikastes Award and Judge George Bakalis and Judge Nicholas Geanopoulos with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Serving as the 71st President of the HBA has been one of my most rewarding and humbling experiences. I thank you for this opportunity and wish our new President, Eleni Katsoulis, and the 2022-2023 Officers and Directors a fruitful and rewarding term.
Have a healthy and safe summer!