Drinker Biddle & Reath partner Jesse H. Ruiz has been selected as recipient of the Hispanic National Bar Association's (HNBA) 2014 Latino Lawyer of the Year Award. Ruiz is a member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Practice Group, the firm's Marketing Partner, and a member of the firm’s Client Service Committee. He was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates from across the country for his outstanding professional achievements combined with an exceptional commitment to service.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Hispanic National Bar Association, especially in a year when the HNBA also recognizes its partnership with, and outstanding support from, our good friends at Walmart,” said Ruiz. “I believe we all reflect our surroundings, and for more than 17 years I have been fortunate to be surrounded by outstanding lawyers and colleagues at Drinker Biddle & Reath, and the clients we have the privilege of serving. Sincere thanks to everyone at Drinker Biddle and the HNBA for their support of me and all Latino lawyers.”
In addition to his business transactions practice, Ruiz is extremely active in civic and charitable causes. In June 2014, he was named Father of the Year by the Father’s Day Council, and was a top fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. Ruiz is also president of the , Chicago Bar Foundation and serves on the boards of the Chicago Legal Clinic, Illinois Association of School Boards, Metropolitan Planning Council, Museum of Science and Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art and Rush University Medical Center, and the executive committee of the Chicago Community Trust.
Ruiz is a major figure in Illinois public education. In February 2011, he was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission. In May 2011, he was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education. The Board oversees the operations of the Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the nation, with approximately 400,000 students and a more than $5 billion operating budget. Previously he served as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education from September 2004 to May 20011.
Ruiz is also pro bono legal counsel to Get In Chicago, the Illinois Dream Fund, Erie Neighborhood House and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation. In August 2013, he was appointed by the president of the ABA to the Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, a historic commission that aims to ensure that the voices of the Latino community across this nation are heard.
Ruiz will receive the award at the HNBA annual convention in Washington, D.C., in September.
The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is not-for-profit, nonpartisan, national membership association that represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, law students, and legal professionals in the United States and its territories.