Virginia Mary Kendall

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Virginia Mary Kendall
Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Assumed office
January 3, 2006
Nominated by George W. Bush
Preceded by Susanne B. Conlon
Personal details
Born (1962-01-25) January 25, 1962 (age 52)
Evanston, Illinois
Alma mater Northwestern University
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Virginia Mary Kendall (born January 25, 1962) is a District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She joined the court in 2006 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. A noted expert on child exploitation and human trafficking, she is the co-author of the treatise, Child Exploitation and Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and U.S. Responses.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Kendall graduated from Northwestern University with her Bachelor's degree in 1984, she received a Master of Arts from Northwestern in 1987, and later from Loyola University of Chicago with a Juris Doctor degree in 1992.

Legal career and service[edit]

Following law school graduation, she worked as a law clerk for the Honorable George Michael Marovich at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1992 to 1995. After her position as law clerk, Kendall became an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Loyola University School of Law, where she continues to teach.[2] She also teaches trial practice and a child exploitation seminar as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law.[3] Before being appointed to the Federal Bench, Kendall was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois from 1995 to 2005. While she was a federal prosecutor, she served as Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division, Child Exploitation Coordinator, and Coordinator of Project Safe Neighborhoods.[4] She also served on the United States’ Attorney General’s National Advisory Committee responsible for reviewing all nationwide child exploitation investigations. She currently serves as the co-chair of the American Bar Association Litigation Section’s Jury Innovations Committee and has served in the past as the co-chair of the Section’s Human Trafficking Committee.

She has traveled to Nairobi, Kenya several times where she has trained investigators, trial attorneys, and judges how to effectively use the recently enacted Kenyan public corruption laws and sexual offense laws. She has lectured at Cornell University on human trafficking as part of the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, served as a delegate to the Vital Voices Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women international summit, and spoken at the Inaugural Conference of the Avon Global Center’s Symposium on Post Conflict Violence Against Women. She has traveled to Zambia, Liberia and Cyprus to teach judges there about crimes against women and human trafficking through the State Department and Lawyers Without Borders. She is the author of a number of articles concerning exploitation and trafficking, including Greasing the Palm: An Argument for an Increased Focus on Public Corruption in the Fight Against International Human Trafficking, 44 Cornell Int'l L.J. 33 (2011).

Federal judicial career[edit]

Nominated by George W. Bush on September 28, 2005, to a seat vacated by Suzanne Conlon. Kendall was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 21, 2005, on a senate vote and received her commission on January 3, 2006.[5]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

She was awarded the Star of Distinction Award by Chicago Crime Commission for her work in law enforcement, Loyola University Law School’s Robert Bellarmine Award for her distinguished legal and service contributions to the community, the Rape Victim Advocates Visionary Award in recognition of her work on behalf of survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and DePaul University School of Law’s Women and Gender Right’s Leadership Award.