Michael J. Hernandez, Partner at Franczek P.C. and ABF Fellows Illinois State Chair, has been honored with the 2024 Outstanding State Chair Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). Hernandez will be recognized during the 68th Annual Fellows Awards Reception and Banquet, which will be held in Louisville on February 3.
The Outstanding State Chair Award is given annually to an ABF Fellows State Chair who has demonstrated dedication to the work of the ABF and the mission of the Fellows through exceptional efforts at the state level. Hernandez, an ABF Life Fellow, has served as the Illinois State Chair since his appointment in 2018.
“Michael J. Hernandez has gone above and beyond in his service to the ABF and the greater Chicago community,” said ABF Fellows National Chair Laura V. Farber. “We are honored to recognize Michael with this award for his continued dedication to the mission of the Fellows and to the highest principles of the legal profession.”
At Franczek P.C., Hernandez practices in education, labor, and employment law. His experience involves litigation at all levels of state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including property tax appeal work. He has a broad background in constitutional and civil rights law, including affirmative action and desegregation matters. He was also appointed as the firm’s first Diversity Officer in 2006.
Before joining the firm, Hernandez was General Counsel of the Illinois State Board of Education and Deputy General Counsel for the Chicago Board of Education. He also served as a member of the Classrooms First Commission’s Operational Shared Services work group and was on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Counsel of School Attorneys.
Hernandez is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. He also serves his community through his involvement with the Chicago Advisory Board of Teach for America, the Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Board, and the Arts Alliance Illinois. He has also worked with the National Latino Education Institute and was a congressional nominee to the National Hispanic Leadership Summit.
“I am honored to be the recipient of this ABF Award,” said Hernandez. “Our success has been a team effort of support from my law firm Franczek P.C. and the ABF team that ensures Fellows receive quality program updates and the resources they need to contribute to this cause and vibrant community.”
About the American Bar Foundation
The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is the world’s leading research institute for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.