As published by San Francisco Gate
“Justice Garman has achieved great success and is a wonderful role model for our graduates,” John Marshall Dean John E. Corkery said. “We were honored to have Justice Garman return to John Marshall to share some insights into her groundbreaking legal career.” John Marshall confered upon Garman an honorary degree at the law school’s 200th commencement on Jan. 17.
In the more than 40 years that she has practiced law, Justice Garman has worked at every level of the state’s court system. Throughout her distinguished career, she has achieved many “firsts” as a woman serving in the Illinois judiciary.
Justice Garman was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court for a 10-year term in 2002 and was retained in 2012. In 2013, she was chosen by her colleagues to serve as chief justice. She was sworn in Oct. 28, 2013, and is just the second woman to serve as chief justice. Garman is now the longest-serving woman judge in Illinois history.
Justice Garman received the Freedom Award from The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association in 2014. She was named “Person of the Year” by Chicago Lawyer Magazine in 2013. She also was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Judges Association in 2007. Justice Garman is a member of the Vermilion County, Illinois State and Iowa State Bar Associations and the Illinois Judges Association.
An Illinois native, Justice Garman was born in Aurora and grew up in Oswego, where she graduated from Oswego High School as valedictorian of her class. She received a bachelor of science degree in economics, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois, and a juris doctor degree, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Ryan Lee has been named the valedictorian of John Marshall’s 149 graduating students. A Chicago-area native, Lee earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Iowa in 2006. Before enrolling at John Marshall, he worked as a project finance manager in the construction industry.
He was a staff editor of The John Marshall Law Review and will be joining Sidley Austin LLP this spring as an associate in their Global Finance group.