2014 – Brian K. Jones
Since 2010, Brian K. Jones has been an exemplary leader in the Wills for Heroes program, where his efforts have engaged volunteer attorneys from every sector of the legal community and contributed to more than 2,100 first responders having estate plans in place, free of charge. In addition to his tremendous commitment to Wills for Heroes, Brian developed a thriving law practice, which in 2012 merged with Harrison & Held, LLP, where Brian is a partner and co-chair of the family office practice. While maintaining his pro bono commitments and busy law practice, Brian is an active member of the CBA Young Lawyers Section, having served on the Executive Committee and in a number of other roles.
The Wills for Heroes Foundation was created after the 9/11 attacks to assist first responders with estate planning and living wills and it is run without a dedicated staff. For the past four years, Brian has spent hundreds of hours planning, recruiting and training volunteers for the program in the Chicago area, where it is run by the CBA Young Lawyers Section. One Saturday every month, Brian and other volunteer attorneys, notaries, and witnesses arrive at the Chicago Fire Department Headquarters at 7:30 a.m. to create estate plans for first responders. Brian not only contributes his time and his expertise in estate planning, but he has been influential in connecting firms and corporations such as Mayer Brown, AT&T, and JP Morgan Chase with the program and encouraging other pro bono efforts as well. He has helped organize special training programs for attorneys and led by example by participating in nearly every monthly program. In 2013, Brian also organized the first Wills for Heroes event outside of the city, in his hometown of Geneva.
Having graduated from The John Marshall Law School only eight years ago, Brian already has created a successful law practice and bettered the profession through service to the community and the organized bar, making him a very deserving recipient of this year’s Weigle Award.