June 15, 2010
The John Marshall Law School Establishes The George N. Leighton Equal Justice Award
The John Marshall Law School held its inaugural ceremony of The George N. Leighton Equal Justice Award presented to The Honorable Judge George N. Leighton. This Award honors Leighton as a pillar of the civil rights community whose career reflects a life-long devotion to protecting the rights of all citizens. Leighton has been a long-time supporter of John Marshall and an adjunct faculty member for thirty-nine years. This presentation was held Thursday, June 10th at the Union League Club, Chicago, IL.
This Award will be presented annually to distinguished leaders of the legal community whose life’s work reflects the spirit of Leighton and John Marshall’s traditions of access and opportunity. As a leader in the legal profession, Leighton’s career reflects the responsibility and goal of every lawyer to serve as both architect and steward of our democracy. The George N. Leighton Equal Justice Award will ensure Leighton’s legacy serves as an example for the next generation of attorneys and counselors at law.
Judge George N. Leighton concentrates in the areas of federal litigation and appellate cases. He became counsel to Neal & Leroy, LLC in 1987 after retiring from 23 combined years of service as judge on the state and federal bench. Judge Leighton is a 1946 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1940 magna cum laude graduate of Howard University. Judge Leighton's early career included serving as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois and as Master in Chancery of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In 1964, he was elected to a six-year term as Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County and five years later he was assigned by the Illinois Supreme Court to sit as Judge of the Appellate Court, First District.
In 1970, Judge Leighton was elected to a ten-year term as a Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. President Gerald Ford nominated Judge Leighton to serve as a Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1975, upon confirmation Judge Leighton began serving in 1976. Judge Leighton retired from the bench in 1987.