The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has honored Schiff Hardin associate Adam Diederich with its 2016 Young Lawyer Pro Bono Award. Adam will receive the award at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s annual The Power of Voice benefit on October 20, 2016, alongside famed children’s folk singer Ella Jenkins, Lori Lightfoot, and Sidley Austin LLP.
Adam has worked with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s Education Equity Project (EEP) for the past four years. In that capacity, he has represented numerous students enrolled in Chicago-area schools who are facing potential expulsion. Adam’s successful representation ensures that the students’ education is not disrupted. The cases require investigation and interviews and frequently involve hearings before a school board or administrative law judge.
The 2016 Young Lawyer Pro Bono Award is now the second award Adam has earned for his work keeping students in school and ensuring that they receive due process throughout the expulsion process. He was also named EEP’s 2015 Advocate of the Year.
“I am so very proud of Adam,” said Marci A. Eisenstein, Schiff Hardin’s Managing Partner. “He has stepped up to represent students who would otherwise go unrepresented—something we all have a duty as lawyers to do.”
“There is a significant power imbalance between students and school districts,” said Adam. “I am grateful to the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for giving me the opportunity to help correct that imbalance.”
The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee is one of Chicago’s most prominent nonprofit legal organizations. It advances civil rights, racial equity, and community empowerment by partnering with law firms and collaborating with community-based groups, educational institutions, and other advocacy organizations.
Adam’s efforts embody Schiff Hardin’s strong commitment to pro bono work. From operating a storefront legal clinic in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood to protecting California’s shark population from cruel hunting practices, our attorneys are encouraged to follow their pro bono passions. And they do—in 2015 alone, we worked on more than 370 pro bono projects for more than 220 different organizations.