P. Michael Mahoney (Rockford, Illinois) Chapter

The Stanley J. Rozkowski United States Courthouse. Rockford, Illinois


The P. Michael Mahoney Chapter of the Federal Bar Association was approved and chartered in 2014. We were named after the honorable P. Michael “Mike” Mahoney who devoted thirty six years on the bench and was the longest serving magistrate judge in the federal district courts when he retired in 2012. We are proud to say he is still a member of our chapter and continues to practice law. Our Chapter is committed to the promotion of the welfare, interests, and education of its members . Additionally, we strive to promote professional and social interaction among members and serve as a representative of the federal legal profession in the Norther District of Illinois, Western Division.

This year, after much work, we were finally able to implement the Prisoner’s Rights Project with the Northern Illinois University College of Law for the school year 2018-19. The project allows third year law students to represent inmates from the Dixon Correctional Facility who file civil rights claims in the U.S. District Court. While under the supervision and guidance of an adjunct teacher, the students participate in every component of the law suit including discovery, motion practice, depositions, and trial. To celebrate the success of the Prisoner Rights Project as well as build our membership, we hosted a luncheon and gifted FBA memberships to the participating students. The luncheon was attended by the Honorable Thomas M. Lynch, newly appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Jensen, Dean Falkoff of the Northern Illinois University College of Law, students of the program, and members of our chapter. During the luncheon we enjoyed listening to the students’ stories and seeing the vitality and enthusiasm these young individuals share for the practice of law.

Additionally, we implemented a civics initiative program. Our judges have invited local students to the courthouse to learn about the judicial system and tour the building. We tried something new this January when we hosted two classes of third graders to the courthouse to participate in a mock bankruptcy trial. Prior to the trial, members of our chapter visited the classrooms. Members met with teachers and students and helped to prepare them for the trial as well as explain bankruptcy and the court system. After the mock trial, where each party was zealously represented, the students toured the courthouse, watched an arraignment, and ask the judges questions.

Lastly, we recently we hosted our fourth continuing legal education program covering Employment Rights issues. The program was very well attended by not only local attorneys but from attorneys from our neighboring counties.

We are always working on promoting our membership and looking for ways to be advance our mission. Stay tuned as we have more projects in the works. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me or any one of our officers. We would love to hear from you.

Fiona Whelan


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