Bruce N. Cook, a principal of Cook, Ysura, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin, in Belleville, is among six Illinois attorneys who will be inducted as a Laureate of the Academy of Illinois Lawyers.
Established in 1999 by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), the 2008 class of Laureates will be honored at a luncheon April 8 at The Standard Club in Chicago.
According to a press release issued by the ISBA, Cook has been the prime benefactor of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation for more than two decades.
"Cook's enthusiasm and financial contributions made possible the purchase of a headquarters building in East St. Louis," the release stated.
Cook is a charter member of the St. Clair County Bar Association pro bono program and was the first recipient of the Richard A. Hudlin Memorial Award for exemplifying ideals of the legal profession and public service.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, and is a past president of both the St. Clair County and East St. Louis Bar Associations.
In her nomination, Laureate Lois Wood, executive director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, said of Cook that he "has never wavered in his belief that society as a whole has an obligation to provide the poor with access to the court…Bruce has come to believe that an attorney's first choice in their charitable giving should be to programs serving the needs of the poor."
Each year, the Academy honors lawyers who have established and maintained the highest principles of the profession as demonstrated by their pervasive record of service to the law and the public, said Joseph G. Bisceglia, ISBA president.
The Laureates are selected by the Board of Regents from submitted nominations.
To be eligible, candidates must have practiced law primarily in Illinois for at least 25 years, must be a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, and must have demonstrated a commitment to the highest principles of the legal profession and to serving the public.
Cook and other members of the 2008 class bring to 86 the number of Illinois lawyers who have been designated as Laureates of the Academy of Illinois Lawyers.
The other lawyers named to the Academy this year are Michael W. Coffield (posthumous), who practiced in Chicago; Alfred E. Gallo, of Hillside; Jack E. Horsley, of Mattoon; Malcolm L. Morris, of DeKalb; and Letitia "Tish" Spunar-Sheats, of Chicago.