2011 – Kendall Hill
For nearly thirty years, Kendall Hill has been a dedicated lawyer in the Office of Cook County Public Defender, working to protect the rights of indigent individuals accused of crimes. As an accomplished advocate and leader within the office, Kendall provides exemplary service to the public.
With an eagle eye for the subtleties of litigation, dedication to each case, and compassion for each of his clients, Kendall is a skilled and passionate defender. He has tried over 75 jury trials, argued before the Appellate Court on many occasions, and twice has argued before the Illinois Supreme Court. As stated by one of Kendall’s colleagues “He is one of the most brilliant lawyers I have met in my more than 50 years in courtrooms.” Kendall is now the Deputy of Criminal Operations for the Office, responsible for the work of 330 attorneys. His approach to this role reflects his usual dedication to service; although he misses trying cases on a regular basis, he is grateful that his position allows him to reach many more people in a positive way.
All of Kendall’s work is marked by his belief that every individual is entitled to a zealous advocate and to be treated with respect. Kendall states “I’ve never had to look at a poor person and say ‘give me your last quarter or else.’ I’ve been able to say ‘what can we do and how can we do it?’ and give them my all as it relates to that case.” Kendall believes this representation is essential to not only the individuals they represent, but also to the communities in which we live.
Kendall leads by example in improving access to justice, but he also brings others to this cause through his teaching. He has led several trial advocacy programs, trained many public defenders and defense attorneys, and taught criminal law and procedure.