AAFS Fellow Sheri Mecklenburg Receives the Richard J. Phelan Public Service Award

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Sheri Mecklenburg 1

Source:  Pamela A.W. King, JD, Section Secretary

On July 17, 2017, at the 19th Annual Pro Bono Public Service Awards Luncheon, Sheri Mecklenburg (Fellow, Jurisprudence Section) was recognized by the Chicago Bar Association as one of the “unsung heroes in the legal profession.”

The Richard J. Phelan Public Service Award honors attorneys who have dedicated a significant portion of their legal career to the public sector, achieved excellence in their work, and demonstrated a firm commitment to increasing access to justice for all Chicagoans.

In her 19 years as a public servant, Sheri Mecklenburg has gone above and beyond to improve the justice system. Sheri began with the City of Chicago Law Department, followed by an appointment as General Counsel for the Chicago Police Department, where she drafted legislation protecting free speech in mass demonstrations and the nation’s first Witness Rights Policy. In 2007, Sheri founded the Women’s DNA Initiative to address a backlog of untested rape kits and drafted legislation to ensure that future backlogs are not overlooked. Sheri currently works with the United States Attorney’s Office, where, in addition to being a dedicated trial attorney, she continues to be involved in a variety of initiatives to improve the court system and the community. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association’s Chicago Chapter. Approximately 700 people attended this year’s event held at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago, co-chaired by David Bamlango, a partner at DLA Piper LLP (US), and Susan L. Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Allstate Insurance Company.