40 Under Forty stars shine bright

Date: 
Monday, October 28, 2019

CVLS Staff and Volunteers Honored

For 20 years the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer have selected 40 exceptional Chicago attorneys under the age of 40 to honor. This award is appropriately named 40 Under Forty, and we have some new 2019 winners announce and we cannot be more proud of them. Click here for the full list.


Rebekah Rashidfarokhi, pictured above with 2004 40 Under Forty winner and CVLS deputy director, Phil Mohr, has been a long-time advocate for the underpriviledged.

She joined the CVLS family in 2007 as a general practice lawyer working on cases ranging from family law to mortgage foreclosure defense. A decade later, Rebekah is now the program director of our Guardian Ad Litem for Minors program. In addition to her regular duties, Rebekah has personally gathered and trained a second team of volunteers who provide much needed assistance to Chicago’s immigrant community and organized over 30 community clinics this past year to provide guardianship planning for undocumented immigrants in case of deportation.


Carolyn Blessing, Locke Lord LLP

Carolyn Blessing has made a name for herself as a sharp litigator with a heart of gold. She impresses with her strong courtroom instincts, adaptability and impressive organizational and strategic skills. No stranger to accolades, Carolyn was also honored with CVLS’ Distinguished Service award in 2016.


Jill Felkins, Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney

Jill Felkins is an accomplished civil defense litigator with an impressive list of courtroom victories. In addition to being a CVLS GAL for vulnerable minors, Jill serves on Segal McCambridge’s IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law externship program, giving local law students exposure to a law firm setting prior to graduation, a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association, and a steering committee member of Illinois Women Conquer Alz.


Samira Nazem, The Chicago Bar Foundation

Samira Nazem has used her impressive legal skills to fight for those who lack access to justice during her entire legal career. Today, Nazem continues to fight as director of pro bono and court advocacy for The Chicago Bar Foundation. She also serves as the staff attorney for the Circuit Court of Cook County Pro Se Advisory Committee, which works to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the services provided to unrepresented litigants.


John Schreiner, Perkins Coie LLP

John Schreiner is a corporate law partner at Perkisn Coie who divides his time between navigating highly regulated commercial transactions and volunteerism. He is one of our top GAL volunteers, with the knowledge and skillset needed to overcome any legal obstacle that gets in the way of justice.


Michael Viglione, Ryan Ryan and Viglione

A tireless advocate with an almost photogenic memory regarding case facts, Michael Viglione is both praised and feared in the courtroom. “Michael is one of the most impressive young trial lawyers I have encountered in my career,” says Tim Whiting, with Chicago’s Whiting Law Group. In addition to being a top-notch personal injury specialist, Michael acts as a CVLS volunteer on Adult Guardianship cases.