Every year, the Champion for Justice Award is given to an individual who has advocated for people living in poverty through their pro bono commitment to LAF. LAF is so proud to be able to honor Mary Hutchings Reed with this year’s Champion for Justice Award.
Mary joined LAF’s Board in 2000, where she served as the chair of its Fundraising Committee. She was instrumental in the early formation of LAF’s Young Professionals Board, and in the organization of the inaugural golf outing. She served on LAF’s rebranding committee, and designed a program to connect Board members with LAF staff members, in order to deepen – Board involvement with LAF’s mission. She has hosted and organized several donor cultivation events, and is contributing a portion of the sales from her newest novel, Saluting the Sun, to LAF.
Mary has a long list of accomplishments that go far beyond her relationship with LAF. She received her bachelors and master’s degrees from Brown University, and her law degree from Yale. She recently retired after practicing law for nearly 39 years. Mary began her career at Sidley & Austin, and then moved onto Winston and Strawn where she helped start the Advertising, Marketing, and Privacy Law Practice. She has perennially been listed in Leading Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers (USA), and twice was named Best Advertising Lawyer in Chicago.
She has served on the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, the Board of Directors of the WBEZ Advisory Board, the American Civil Liberties Union of Chicago, the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and Steel Beam Theatre. She has been honored with awards from the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, as well as the Women’s Bar Association. Through the Lawyers committee for Civil Rights under Law, she served as counsel to the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Mary has also taught entertainment law at Northwestern University and Columbia College, and currently writes a column for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. In her free time, she serves the Chicago homeless population by volunteering with The Night Ministry.
Her friend Susan Russell, refers to Mary as “a brilliant, charismatic and big-hearted human being who goes out of her way to help those around her achieve their goals. Her list of talents is long. And her generosity of spirit is, no doubt, felt and appreciated by many.”
We could not agree more. Congratulations Mary and thank you, from your friends here at LAF!