_ Names President-Elect Nominee

Illinois Attorney on Track to Lead Association in 2012-2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 14, 2011 — Chicago lawyer Laurel Bellows was selected by her _ peers as president-elect nominee today at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Atlanta.  If elected in August during the association’s Annual Meeting, she will become president-elect for one year before serving as president from August 2012-2013.  Bellows is principal of The Bellows Law Group, P.C.

“I am greatly honored to be nominee for the highest position in our association and look forward to serving the profession and the organized bar during the next few years,” said Bellows. “The strength of the association depends on serving the needs of our members, as well as effectively addressing issues that traditionally define us as lawyers — issues such as liberty, justice and fairness.”

If elected president, Bellows will continue to focus the ABA on helping lawyers become better at what they do. “These are tough times for Americans, including many lawyers. Recent admittees have difficulty finding jobs and many senior practitioners can no longer afford to retire,” she emphasized.  But these challenging economic times are providing some opportunity as well. “Attorneys previously secure in their positions are opening their own firms. The ABA is ideally situated to assist them. As never before, our memberships carry value.”

Beyond assisting the profession, Bellows emphasized the ABA’s role in protecting and promoting core American values. “The ABA is a strong voice for all lawyers, members and non-members. The legal profession has always been the bulwark of our democracy. We have a unique responsibility to ensure that when it comes to justice, no one is left behind,” she said.

Prior to being chosen ABA president-elect nominee, Bellows served as chair of the association’s policymaking House of Delegates (2006-2008), the second highest elected office in the ABA. Bellows has also served as chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors, where she chaired the Finance Committee. She was also president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and chair of its Metropolitan Bar Caucus, ABA affiliates.

Bellows’ work in the law and her community has been recognized by many publications. Crain’s Chicago Business lists Bellows among its annual list of Power Players; in 2006, she was named one of the 28 Power Lawyers in the City by Chicago Magazine; she was cited as one of Chicago’s 100 Women of Influence in 1996, also by Crain’s Chicago Business; and Bellows was listed among Working Mother Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Working Mothers in the country in 1997.

Bellows has been on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on the Administration of Justice, and on the U.S. Senate Judicial Nominations Commission for Illinois. She has served as chair of the Chicago Network, a networking organization of diverse, professional women in the Chicago area. Bellows was the second female president of the 22,000-member Chicago Bar Association where she founded the Women’s Alliance.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University School of Law, Bellows has practiced law for more than 30 years.  She practices law with her husband, Joel, in Chicago. They have four children and four grandchildren.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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