Press Release

Naperville Attorney Vincent F. Cornelius Receives the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Law

April 28, 2010


Vincent F. CorneliusDeKalb, Ill.
 -- Northern Illinois University College of Law is pleased to announce that Vincent F. Cornelius is the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Law from the Northern Illinois University Alumni Association in recognition of his significant professional accomplishments and civic involvement.

A 1989 graduate of the College of Law, Cornelius is the founding member of his own law firm with offices in Wheaton and Joliet, Illinois. The firm is general practice with a focus in criminal and civil litigation.

Cornelius began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the DuPage County State’s Attorney Office in Wheaton, where he served as a felony prosecutor.  There, he received extensive bench and jury trial experience in felony, misdemeanor, DUI, juvenile and domestic violence cases.  Prior to establishing his own practice, Cornelius was an associate attorney with the law firm of James D. Montgomery and Associates in Chicago, now known as Cochran and Montgomery, where he practiced in the areas of civil and criminal litigation, including Municipal Law, Civil Rights, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Criminal Defense.

In addition to an outstanding legal career, Cornelius has devoted a great deal of time to serving his community.  In 2008, Cornelius became the first African-American president of the Illinois Bar Foundation, where he has been an active member for his entire career and a board member since 2000.  He is also a member of numerous legal organizations including the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors, Chicago Bar Association Committee on Federal Jury Service, DuPage & Will County Bar Associations, Illinois Academy of Lawyers and the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Law Reform, among others.

Cornelius is also a dedicated and active alumnus. He has served on the College of Law Alumni Council since 1998, serves as a mentor to law students, and is a frequent speaker on alumni panels.  He has also been called on to serve on several important ad hoc NIU Law and University committees.  Cornelius hosted the first NIU Law Minority Reception in Chicago on February 26, 2004.  The Minority Reception, now a tradition, continues to remain a favorite event among alumni.

The College of Law will honor Cornelius at an open reception from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, in the Thurgood Marshall Gallery at the College of Law in DeKalb. The NIU Alumni Association will present Cornelius and the other recipients with their awards during a private dinner and ceremony that evening.

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For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or mmitchell@niu.edu