November 24, 2008

Illinois Bar Foundation will honor law school dean

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Illinois State Bar Association’s philanthropic unit will honor Southern Illinois University School of Law Dean Peter C. Alexander next month.

Alexander, who is stepping down from his law school post June 30, is the 21st recipient of the Illinois Bar Foundation Distinguished Service to Law and Society Award.

Alexander will receive the recognition at the Fellows Award breakfast at 8 a.m., Friday, Dec. 12, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Tower during the ISBA’s mid-year meeting.

The Illinois Bar Foundation is the philanthropic wing of the state bar association, Alexander said. The foundation is utilized for scholarships and for care for lawyers and their spouses who no longer can care fully care for themselves. The foundation also provides grants to organizations throughout the state for research and to offer programs “that benefit society and advance law as an agent of change,” Alexander said.

Alexander and former Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch will receive recognition for their dedication to the law and the legal profession. Netsch, a Chicago attorney and professor emerita at the Northwestern University School of Law, will be the bar foundation’s 23rd Honorary Fellow.

“It is a true honor to be recognized by the Illinois Bar Foundation for the work that I have tried to do while I have been dean at the SIU School of Law,” Alexander said.

The bar association notes that Alexander has been active for years with the organization, and he chairs the Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, and is also a member of the Committee on Legal Education, Admission and Competence. In addition, through Alexander’s efforts, the law school has been a sponsor of the networking breakfast at the organization’s annual meeting and an alumni reception during the mid-year meeting. He has also encouraged faculty members to become active in state bar committees and section councils, according to the ISBA.

Alexander earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from SIUC in 1979, and his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston in 1983. A noted bankruptcy law expert, Alexander served as a law clerk for the U.S. District Court in Danville until 1985 before going into private practice in Champaign prior to opening his own law firm in Savoy and Watseka.

While in central Illinois, Alexander taught classes at Parkland College in Champaign. He then joined the faculty at the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University in 1992, including serving as professor from 1996 to 2003, and associate dean for research and development from 1997 to 1999.

Alexander returned to SIUC as law school dean in 2003.

Alexander said he anticipates the search for an interim dean will begin soon.