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Alumni On the Move - Class of 1988

Alumni of the NIU College of Law are an accomplished and driven group, comprising a nationwide community of legal practitioners, judges, public servants, and educators. We are proud to highlight their distinguished achievements and activities. Check back regularly for updates and see how NIU Law alumni exemplify excellence in their professions.

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  • Timothy Cusack was appointed an Associate Judge to the 10th Judicial Circuit in Peoria, IL. - January 2013
  • Joseph G. Feehan was named a 2016 Leading Lawyer in Personal Injury Defense Law: General, Products Liability Defense Law, and Transportation Defense Law including Aviation/FELA/Maritime. He is with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C. in Peoria, IL. - April 2016
  • Joseph G. Feehan was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Personal Injury Defense Law: General; Products Liability Defense Law; and Transportation Defense Law: Including Aviation/FELA/Maritime. - November 2011
  • Peggy D. Gerkin was named a 2016 Leading Lawyer in Criminal Defense Law, Felonies & Misdemeanors, Family Law, and Workers’ Compensation Law. She is with Franks, Gerkin & McKenna P.C. in Marengo, IL. - April 2016
  • Peggy D. Gerkin was named a 2011 Leading Lawyer in Criminal Defense Law: Felonies and Misdemeanors; Family Law; and Worker’s Compensation Law. - November 2011
  • Hon. Kathryn D. Karayannis was sworn in as an associate judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit of Illinois on October 17, 2011. She had been working as an assistant state’s attorney in the Kane County office’s child support division before her election to the bench, completing more than 20 years of service to Kane County.
  • Chris NickelsChris Nickels completed the Leadership South Carolina program. The program, which is the oldest of its kind in South Carolina, fosters an understanding of the state's most pressing issues. Each year, just 50 participants are selected to take part in the highly competitive program.  Nickels and his classmates in this year's program focused on improving literacy. - May 2014
  • Chris Nickels was named as a Top 100 Litigator in the state of South Carolina by the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA). - May 2013
  • Nerino J. Petro was named to the “Fastcase 50” in recognition of his leading efforts in advancing legal technology. - October 2011
  • Judge James Snyder.Hon. James Snyder was elected first vice-president of the Illinois Judges Association. - June 2017
  • Hon. James Snyder was elected as second vice-president of the Illinois Judges Association. - June 2016



  • Bradley J. Waller joined the bench as an Associate Judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit in DeKalb County, IL. - January 2013
  • Hon. Charles Weech was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Justice and Mental Health Planning. - February 2013

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