Exelon Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award

More on the Exelon Award

In 2000, The Chicago Bar Foundation and The Chicago Bar Association jointly commissioned The Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award. The award was created to specifically recognize the generally unsung pro bono contributions of outstanding attorneys in the corporate sector, and to encourage other corporate attorneys to volunteer their time and talents to help those in need.

The selection committee will choose the recipient based upon the nominee’s work on significant pro bono cases or matters that helped residents of the Chicago area impacted by poverty, abuse and discrimination; the length and breadth of pro bono commitment and experience; and other significant accomplishments that have improved access to justice for residents of the Chicago area impacted by poverty, abuse, and discrimination.

In 2003, the Award was generously endowed by Exelon Corporation, which allows the recipient of the award to designate a special Chicago Bar Foundation grant to a CBF-supported legal aid or public interest law organization of his or her choice.

Nominations for the 2024 Exelon Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award are now open. Please, submit all nomination packets by Friday, May 10th. 

Exelon Award Recipients

2023 – Melvin Flowers

Melvin Flowers has been a dedicated leader and advocate for pro bono work throughout his legal career, and across varied cases and communities. Currently Accenture’s Global Legal Lead for Strategic Initiatives as part of the Global Data Privacy Legal Team, he has also co-developed and directed the company’s Midwest Market Unit pro bono program for many years. During his time helping to lead Accenture’s pro bono work, Melvin has significantly expanded the program and encouraged many members of Accenture and other Chicago area law firms to get involved.

2022 – Chantal Kazay

Chantal Kazay’s longstanding commitment to pro bono work dates to her time in law school at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law, where as a student member of the school’s Street Law class she visited juvenile detention centers and provided “Criminal Law 101” to detained youth and underserved communities. While in law school she volunteered with Legal Aid Chicago in their expungement and sealing clinics, a project she continued her involvement with into her legal career.

2021 – Theresa Duckett

Theresa Duckett is a true pro bono champion within the corporate sector and someone who has led by example throughout her career, especially in her current role at BMO Harris Bank. Her personal dedication to public service has been clear since her early days in law school. During her time at Tulane University School of Law she was a PILI intern at the Better Government Association, and she returned to the organization for a fellowship after graduating cum laude in 2002. Theresa went on to join Locke Lord LLP, where she chaired the firm’s pro bono committee and represented many asylum clients volunteering with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).

2020 – Jane Mansell

In her seven years working in-house at McDonald’s Corporation, Jane has been a regular volunteer on almost all the legal department’s pro bono projects. A member of the company’s Pro Bono Committee, she has devoted countless hours supporting McDonald’s Pro Bono Program while taking on many significant pro bono cases herself.

2019 – Sherene Awad Jodrey

Sherene Awad Jodrey has been a champion for pro bono throughout her legal career, first as an associate at Winston & Strawn, then in-house at Aon, and now as Senior Counsel at The Boeing Company. The length and breadth of her pro bono service are impressive, as is the ripple effect of her pro bono advocacy, which has inspired many other attorneys and helped to build new in-house pro bono programs.


Dolores Ayala


Gary Wachtel


Eric Carlson


Claire Battle


Mary Jo Quinn


Angela B. Frye


Steven S. Fus


Sandra J. Wall


Mary Anne Smith


Kal Gibron


Minauti Mehta



Randall S. Rapp


Laura L. Hois


Daniel A. Cotter


Steven M. Cook


Sujata Dayal and Tejal Vakharia


Pauline Levy


Mary Ann O’Connor


Daniel J. Harper