Distinguished Counsel, Uncompromising Ethics
Fellows of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) are recognized by judges, other attorneys and clients as the gold standard for family law. In addition to their individual practice, Fellows conduct legal education programs, lead community outreach, and support philanthropic initiatives. They also lead the charge in shaping family law legislation and enacting legal reform.
Of the several thousand family law attorneys in the State of Illinois, 95 are practicing Academy Fellows. To earn the distinction of Fellow, these remarkable lawyers–most with decades of experience in family law–have sustained the highest principles in their practice and passed a rigorous review process.
Renowned for providing outstanding service to their clients, Illinois Fellows raise the bar for the practice of family law. Not only do they advance the profession with their exceptional advocacy and uncompromising ethics, they also benefit their clients through expert guidance and protection.
AAML Fellows address myriad issues to achieve the best outcome for their clients, including
- Custody (parental responsibility)
- Valuation and division
- Alternative Dispute Resolutions
Get to know. . .
Why did you apply to become a Fellow of the AAML?
The people, the education and the experience. No one is ever too old to make new connections (and friends), learn something new and gain a fresh perspective in our ever-changing area of law.
What area of family law do you find most interesting?
The challenge of the “non-parent” or “not yet parent.” They may be grandparents, parents who seek to adopt or have a child via assisted reproductive technology, or other family members who have a vested interest in the family unit but have no “standing.” There are so many untapped resources available but not necessarily the mechanisms in play to implement these resources.
Give us the number one tip you have for clients considering divorce, custody, prenup arrangements—any issues involved with family law?
The right attorney who aligns with your goals will make an already difficult process easier. Don’t be attracted to the loudest person in the room. They may be attracting the wrong attention.
Outside the office, what do you do for fun?
I walk my English Mastiff several times a day and exercise daily to blow off steam (yes, I consider that fun). I make sure to laugh with my husband and two kids over the silliest of things. I love good wine and our amazing Chicago restaurants. I travel as much as I can and take in the culture there like fresh air.
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Never sacrifice your reputation for anyone—be it for clients, opposing counsel, or the court. And not least important, be yourself and value what you bring to the table.
Kathryn Homburger Mickelson, equity partner at Beermann LLP in Chicago and Bannockburn, can be reached at email@example.com and 312-621-4382.
William Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students
The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers sponsors the AAML Illinois Chapter William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students. This scholarship is a one-time award of $5,000 to a second-year law student attending an Illinois Law School. It is named for the Hon. William Stewart Boyd, who has spent more than two decades as an Associate Judge for the Cook County Circuit Court, and who has agreed to mentor the scholarship winners.
Kyle Johnson of Oswego, IL was the 2022-23 winner of the Illinois Chapter’s annual William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African-American Law Students.
Kyle graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Political Science and emphasis in public law. Enrolled as a 1-L at the NIU College of Law, Kyle recognizes the sensitive nature of family law proceedings and states that he hopes to “smooth the road” from the start of such cases to their conclusion.