The Chicago Bar Association 150th Celebration

1985 after beginning his career with the CBA in 1971 (upon his retirement in 2020 after almost 50 years of service, he was recognized by bar and community leaders as “one of a kind, a visionary, and a legendary bar association leader”). During these years there was a notice able change in the makeup of CBA membership, reflecting the change in the makeup of the bar. In 1975, the membership of approximately 12,000

was almost entirely male. By 1999, the membership of more than 20,000 had a significant female component. Also, by 1999, the CBA had elected three female presidents–Esther R. Rothstein, Laurel G. Bellows, and Patricia C. Bobb–and two minority presidents: Chester Blair and Donald Hubert. The creation of the Young Lawyers Section also gave younger members a larger voice in the operation of the CBA.

The CBA in 1999 was a different organization than it was in 1975, having adapted to major changes in the world around it. The organization not only sur vived and flourished but was well posi tioned to enter the 21st Century and even greater changes. John Levin is a retired Assistant Gen eral Counsel of GATX Corporation and a member of the CBA Record Editorial Board.

Photos: Top left: At the 1982 Annual Meeting, outgoing President Kevin M. Forde (left) presents the famed Lincoln Gavel to the new President, David C. Hilliard. Bottom left: The Young Lawyers Section has a long-standing tradition of earning accolades from the American Bar Association for its outstand ing programming for new lawyers. Pictured in 1995 with the Section’s honors are YLS Past Chairs Beth McMeen, Sally McDonald, and Karen Litscher Johnson.

Top right: Among the many national figures who spoke at CBA func tions was former U.S. Senator Paul Simon, who was welcomed by CBA President Thomas A. Demetrio. Middle right: Cook County Board President Richard Phelan and Justice for Youth Chair Joel Bellows were flanked by CBA Past Presidents Donald Hubert and Richard Prendergast during a campaign organizing meeting in 1993. Bottom right: U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (right) and CBA President Leonard Jay Schrager pose with a commemora tive ice sculpture created for the Association’s 125th year anniversary kick-off dinner.

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