Susan C. Levy, EVP and General Counsel of Northern Trust, to Receive Equal Access to Justice Award
The Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services is pleased to announce that Susan C. Levy, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Northern Trust Corp., will be honored for her contributions to pro bono law at the 2016 Equal Access to Justice Award Luncheon, taking place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at the Standard Club in Chicago. A related networking reception will be held at 11:30 a.m.
Levy will be presented with the Legal Aid Society’s William H. Avery Award for Equal Access to Justice at the luncheon. She also will share insights on her stellar legal career and involvement with pro bono law during an interview conducted by Anton R. Valukas, Chairman of Jenner & Block and former Avery Award honoree. The event is being chaired by Angela Frye, General Counsel, Great Lakes Market at Verizon Wireless, and Aaron Rice, Partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP.
As Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Northern Trust, Levy also is a member of the corporation’s Management Group. Before joining Northern Trust in 2014, Levy was Managing Partner of Jenner & Block from 2008 to 2014; she also launched her career there in 1982 and became a Partner in 1990. At Jenner & Block, she served on the firm’s Policy Committee and was past Chair of its Women’s Forum. Levy was a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and its Complex Commercial Litigation and Government Contracts Practices. She has been AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.
Levy was instrumental in supporting Jenner & Block’s pro bono efforts, and her leadership helped the firm confirm its stellar reputation as a national pro bono leader. During her six years as Managing Partner, firm lawyers performed 416,270 hours of pro bono legal services – an average of 69,378 hours each year and 153 hours per lawyer each year. This included a firm record of 79,713 pro bono hours in 2013. Over this period, Jenner & Block’s pro bono efforts were recognized by The American Lawyer, which named it the number one firm for pro bono five times; The National Law Journal, which placed it on the NLJ “Pro Bono Hot List” three times; and Law360, which selected it as a “Top Pro Bono Firm” every year from 2010 to 2014.
Levy has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including being recognized by the ABA Journal in 2013 as one of six women law firm leaders “on top of her game.” In 2009, Crain’s magazine named her one of 10 leading “Women to Watch” in Chicago’s business community, and she has been included in the publication’s “Who’s Who in Chicago Business” list. Levy has been selected by members of the Leading Lawyers Network as one of the top 10 leading women lawyers, women business lawyers and women litigators in Illinois. In 2010, she received the Anti-Defamation League’s “Women of Achievement” Award.
Her current initiatives include serving as 2016 Chair for The Chicago Bar Foundation’s “Investing in Justice Campaign.” In addition, Levy serves on the Advisory Board for Harvard Law School’s Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry. She also is a member of the Chicago Network, the Northwestern Law Corporate Counsel Institute and the Financial Services Roundtable.
Levy earned her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Anton R. Valukas is the Chairman of Jenner & Block. A former United States Attorney, Mr. Valukas is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. His practice focuses on major civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense and he has been involved in many headline-making cases ranging from manufacturers to air carriers and on issues from product defects to food contamination. During his career, he has been appointed to lead a number of high-profile investigations of government and business entities.
In 2009, Valukas was appointed as the Examiner in the Lehman Brothers Holdings bankruptcy, reputed to be the largest bankruptcy in US history. The resulting account, coined by the press as the “Valukas Report,” was universally applauded for its clarity and usefulness in determining what caused the demise of Lehman Brothers, an event many commentators point to as the precipitating event triggering the 2008 economic crisis. His findings influenced enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and new financial accounting and federal securities rules, making sweeping changes to America’s financial regulatory environment.
In 2009, Valukas was named “Person of the Year” by Chicago Lawyer magazine. Directorship named him one of the 100 “most influential people in the boardroom in 2010. In 2011, The American Lawyer recognized him as a “Newsmaker of the Year” and “Litigator of the Year.” In 2013, The National Law Journal named him one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” and Best Lawyers named him “Chicago Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year.” He was named a “Litigation Trailblazer and Pioneer” by the NLJ in 2014. He is consistently ranked in Chambers USA and Chambers Global.
As with Levy, Valukas’ leadership with respect to the performance of pro bono work and his willingness to devote considerable firm resources to these endeavors has contributed to the strength of Jenner & Block’s pro bono program. In 2002, he created a partnership between Jenner & Block and Fairfield Academy – an elementary school on Chicago’s impoverished South Side – that, to this day, provides support through computers, school supplies, parent education programs, and hundreds of hours of tutoring by firm employees who go to the school on a bi-weekly basis.
Valukas also has served in many public capacities on behalf of the people of the City of Chicago and State of Illinois. In 2007, he chaired the inaugural Chicago Bar Foundation’s groundbreaking “Investing in Justice” Campaign that supplements the salaries of legal aid lawyers. Levy is leading that effort this year.
About the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
The Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services (LAS) pioneered the concept of equal access to justice more than 125 years ago. LAS provides critical legal services to low-income families in the Chicago area, protecting them in cases of domestic violence, elder abuse, housing and consumer issues, and human trafficking. Today LAS serves more than 8,000 families and individuals each year.
LAS is part of Metropolitan Family Services, which has been empowering Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities since 1857.