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Alumni On the Move - Class of 2009

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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  • Michael BaimaMichael J. Baima has been named a shareholder in the firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren s.c., based in Milwaukee, WI. According to a press release from the firm, Baima is a registered patent attorney in Reinhart’s Intellectual Property Practice. He serves a wide range of clients involved in the mechanical and electromechanical industries.  - February 2017


  • Rocio S. Becerril's Chicago-based immigration law firm, The Law Office of RSB, will expand their services into the western suburbs starting on May 1, 2014. The new office will be located at 29W522 Batavia Rd, Suite 2, in Warrenville, Illinois. The firm focuses on family based petitions and deportation defense. - April 2014
  • Craig L. Boston was hired as an Assistant State’s Attorney in DuPage County, Illinois. - September 2012
  • Brian Covert opened a new law office in Warrenville, IL. Brian's firm focuses on foreclosure defense, loan modification and short sales. - October 2012
  • Brent EamesBrent Eames has been named a partner in the firm of Whiteside and Goldberg, Ltd, according to a press release from the firm. Eames joined the firm in 2011 and works on civil personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims and police and firefighter disability pension claims. - March 2017
  • Brent R. Eames has been appointed by the President-Elect of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) to serve as a member of the ISBA Workers’ Compensation Law Section Council for 2016-2017. As a member of the council, Brent will assist lawyers who practice before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission by disseminating information relevant to the practice; making recommendations on proposed legislation; conducting conferences and seminars on topics important to section members; and promoting communications between the bar and all personnel of the commission. - April 2016
  • Brent R. Eames helped represent a client on a case that was featured in the November 17, 2014 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The case involved Robert Montegna, an employee at a car dealership in Moline, IL. Montegna was seriously injured in a crash while taking a customer for a test drive in November 2008. He was represented in the case by Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd., and Eames was one of the attorneys who worked on the case. Montegna received a $2.25 million settlement.
  • Rick Guzman was featured on the cover of the Beacon-News of Aurora, IL on September 17. Guzman was interviewed for an article discussing new properties on LaSalle Street in Aurora, including Emmanuel House, the non-profit organization that he co-founded and for which he serves as chairman of the board. - September 2013
  • A golden plaque given to Marissa Hanson in recognition of her winning the Kane County Bar Association's Outstanding New Lawyer Award for 2017. It details her commitment and dedication to the legal profession and features embossed signatures from Lawrence W. Lobb, president of the bar association, as well as Alice Sackett, the secretary and treasurer of the bar association and an NIU Law alumna.Marissa Hanson received the 2017 Outstanding New Lawyer Award from the Kane County Bar Association. - July 2017
  • Marissa Hanson has been appointed to serve on the Illinois State Bar Association's (ISBA) Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law for 2016-2017. The purpose of the committee is to educate attorneys, judges, and members of the public about the law; monitor and comment upon proposed legislation, administrative rules, and judicial decisions; gather and centralize resources on other issues; further  professional development and inclusion; and create programming and other resources to support professional needs all as it relates to racial and ethnic minority groups. - May 2016
  • Lindsay HatzisLindsay Hatzis was sworn in as the secretary/treasurer of the Kane County Bar Association on June 7th, 2017.




  • Lindsay Hatzis (left) with her nominator, Ed Petti.On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Lindsay Hatzis was one of the recipients of the Best Under 40 Award, given by the Kane County Chronicle in recognition of outstanding leadership and professional accomplishment within the Kane County, Illinois community. She is pictured with her nominator, attorney Ed Petti.




  • Alice Sackett (left) presents Lindsay Hatzis with the Outstanding New Lawyer Award for 2016 from the Kane County Bar Association.Lindsay Hatzis, pictured on the right receiving her award from Alice Sackett ('91), was presented with the Outstanding New Lawyer Award for 2016 on June 9th by the Kane County Bar Association. The award is presented to someone who is in their first eight years of practice, has shown commitment to the Kane County Bar Association, exhibited a commitment to their community and has promoted a positive view of the legal profession through their integrity and professional responsibility, and who has demonstrated a high level of professional development in this early stage of their career. Additionally, Lindsay has been appointed as the editor-in-chief of the Kane County Bar Briefs for the 2016-2017 year.
  • Lindsay Hatzis has been elected to the Kane County Bar Association Board of Managers for a three-year term and appointed associate editor of the Kane County Bar Briefs for a one-year term. - May 2015
  • Kristen M. HenryKristen M. Henry has been appointed by the President-Elect of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) to serve as a member of the ISBA Federal Taxation Section Council for 2016-2017. As a member of the council, Kristen will inform and advise the members of the bar on current developments in federal taxation and their ramifications; review and comment on federal tax laws, regulations, court decisions, and Internal Revenue Service pronouncements and practices; and monitor improvement and understanding of the federal tax system through proposals of, and changes in, tax laws and regulations, and through writing, testimony, conferences, and seminars. - April 2016
  • Joseph J. Hylak-Reinholtz was named partner at Burke Warren MacKay & Serritella in Chicago, IL. Joe practices in the area of health care and corporate where helps healthcare entrepreneurs and providers achieve their business objectives by negotiating and closing transactions while ensuring compliance with ever-changing federal and state healthcare regulations. - May 2016
  • Joseph Hylak-Reinholtz recently joined the health care law practice group at Much Shelist in Chicago. Joe represents health care providers and suppliers in connection with transactional and regulatory compliance matters, including joint venture agreements, mergers, sales and acquisitions of health care-related businesses. - June 2014
  • Joseph Hylak-Reinholtz moved to Holland & Knight LLP. - June 2012
  • Paul Isaac has been working on the lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan against Navient and Sallie Mae over alleged student lending abuses. Isaac has served as an assistant attorney general at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office since 2011, and is currently part of the Consumer Fraud Division. - March 2017
  • Chris KellyChristopher Kelly was promoted to the position of chief of the Immigration Law and Practice Division (ILPD) at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington, D.C. ILPD provides specialized legal advice on immigration, citizenship, and protection law issues to the agency. - November 2016
  • Chris Kelly was promoted to chief of the Executive Communications Unit at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington, D.C. His unit is responsible for coordinating and completing legal reviews tasked to ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor from internal sub-components and external agencies. - November 2015
  • Chris Kelly will be joining the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement District Court Litigation Division as an Associate Legal Advisor at ICE's Headquarters in Washington, DC. For the last four years, Chris has worked as an Assistant Chief Counsel with ICE, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in Eloy, Arizona. - September 2014
  • Michael D. Martinez has been named a 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state. To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less. - January 2017
  • Michael D. Martinez was involved in a recent Indiana Supreme Court case involving a constitutional challenge to the Indiana Product Liability Act statute of repose. Martinez represented Larry Myers, a retired electrician who had brought legal action against a number of manufacturers who he claims knowingly produced products that caused malignant pleural mesothelioma. The details of the case were presented in the Indianapolis Star on April 4, 2016.
  • Mike Martinez completed work with his firm Matushek, Nilles & Sinars, L.L.C. on a landmark case in asbestos defense law. It is the first published decision on a spoliation of evidence case in the state of Illinois. The 4th District Appellate Court's preliminary opinion was first released on December 16, 2014. The decision is available to read. 
  • Desi Matel-Anderson was the subject of a feature article by Devin Thorpe in the January 28, 2015 edition of Forbes. Matel-Anderson works with Field Innovation Team (FIT) and is CEO of the Global Disaster Innovation Group, LLC and formerly served as Chief Innovation Advisor at FEMA. Her current firms train first responders to natural disasters how to use innovative recovery technology such as mobile apps, heat mapping systems and support drones. Thorpe's profile also includes a video interview done on January 29th at 7:00 p.m Eastern time, available at the link to the article.
  • Cynthia PietruchaCynthia Pietrucha has been selected to co-chair the Disability Rights Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. Her term will run from September 2017 until September 2018. Pietrucha also regularly appears in front of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to assist workers with equal opportunity, access to gainful employment and reasonable workplace accommodations for physical and mental disabilities. - July 2017
  • Downers Grove, IL Mayor Martin Tully appointed Cynthia N. (Edwards) Pietrucha to the Downers Grove Liquor Commission. As a member, she will review applications for liquor licenses and make recommendations to the liquor commissioner accordingly, as well as conduct disciplinary hearings and consult on liquor ordinance violations & disciplinary action. Pietrucha will serve a three-year term. - January 2017
  • Cynthia N. (Edwards) Pietrucha served as a sports law judge at the annual National Sports Law Negotiation Competition (NSLNC) at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA. Negotiation topics included a sponsorship agreement between the energy drink company Red Bull and the Los Angeles Derby Dolls roller derby team and a discipline action between professional soccer player Hope Solo and the Women’s Sports Foundation. 40 law student teams participated in the competition. - September 2015
  • Cynthia (Edwards) Pietrucha recently represented the DuPage County Bar Association's Lawyer Outreach Program by providing a "Law Day" for sixth-grade students at Whittier Grade School in Downers Grove, IL. - April 2015
  • Cynthia (Edwards) Pietrucha was hired as Senior Contract Buyer at Pace Suburban Bus. She is responsible for conducting complex public procurements, negotiating contract terms and leading public bid openings. - September 2013
  • Mark Sobczak was recently named a partner in the Appellate Practice group at Clausen Miller, P.C.  He was also named a 2016 Rising Star by Super Lawyers for the 3rd consecutive year. - February 2016

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