CBA to Recognize Distinguished Minority Lawyers and Judges on February 19

Three top-tier attorneys who have fought for justice and equality in the legal profession throughout their careers have been selected to receive the Chicago Bar Association’s distinguished Earl B. Dickerson Award.

Maurice Grant, principal of Grant Law LLC, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia H. Hall, and Langdon D. Neal, principal of Neal & Leroy LLC, will be honored at the annual Dickerson Award Luncheon on February 19 at the Standard Club in Chicago.

The awards were established in honor of the late Earl B. Dickerson, one of the first African American members of the CBA, whose prestigious legal career was marked by his courage and dedication to making the law the key to justice for all of society. Many prominent Chicago attorneys have received the award since it was established including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, U.S. District Court Judge George N. Leighton, Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and Cook County Chief Judge Timothy S. Evans.

“Earl Dickerson’s life and professional career were devoted to the law and to helping others gain equality and justice,” said CBA President Steven M. Elrod. “I am proud to know each one of this year’s award recipients personally, and I know that they emulate the courage and dedication of Earl Dickerson in their work to make the law and the justice system fair and equitable for all in our society.”

grantMaurice Grant is a nationally-recognized attorney specializing in business and commercial litigation, employment, corporate and real estate with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to governmental entities, hospitals and small businesses. He has a long record of service to many civic, educational and charitable organizations including serving on the board of trustees of the Living Word Christian Center and the Abraham Lincoln Center. He recently finished a six-year term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago State University Foundation and also serves on the Board of Directors for Chicago United, the largest feeder of minorities to corporate boards in the Midwest. Mr. Grant has also served the CBA as Treasurer, a member of the Board of Managers, and Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Committee.

Sophia_HallJudge Sophia H. Hall has served as a Jurist in the Circuit Court of Cook County for nearly four decades in various assignments in the Law, Criminal and Juvenile Divisions of the court. She is currently assigned to the Chancery Division. Since 1995 Judge Hall has also served as Administrative Presiding Judge of the Resource Section of the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department. In that capacity she works with communities to promote restorative justice responses for at-risk youth and chairs the Citywide Restorative Justice Committee. Judge Hall has a long record of service and leadership with the Illinois NAACP and she has participated in local and national organizations committed to the improvement of the administration of justice including the National Judicial College, the National Conference of State Trial Judges and the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association.

langdonneal.jpgLangdon D. Neal has an extensive history of representing municipalities, municipal authorities, public agencies and other public trusts, including serving more than 30 years as General Counsel for the Public Building Commission of Chicago. He is the third generation of lawyers practicing at the family-owned firm of Neal & Leroy. Mr. Neal also served on the Illinois State Board of Elections and was Chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners from 1997-2015. He has a long history of community and charitable service with a wide range of organizations including After School Matters, the Jane Addams Juvenile Court Foundation, Choose Chicago, Mercy Hospital, the Black Ensemble Capital Campaign, Urban Gateways and the Little City Foundation.

Tickets for the luncheon are $70 and can be purchased by contacting Tamra Drees at 312-554-2057 or The event begins with a reception at 11:30 a.m. followed by the luncheon at noon.

Questions on this article? Contact Sally Daly, CBA Public Relations Director, at 312-554-2012 or

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