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Sami Z. Azhari is an attorney at Azhari LLC in Chicago, where he focuses on federal and state criminal defense. He was named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2015 – 2020. He is a Judicial Investigator for the Illinois State Bar Association and a member of the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Arab American Bar Association. Mr. Azhari received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and his J.D. from Michigan State University.
Beth A. Johnson is a Partner at the Rights and Restoration Law Group, LLC in Chicago, where she focuses on criminal records. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. She received the Esther R. Rothstein Award from the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois in 2018 and was selected as the Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader Fellow in 2014. Ms. Johnson received her B.S. in Political Science from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.
Matthew R. Leisten is the First Assistant State’s Attorney at the Ogle County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. Leisten received his B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University and his J.D. from UIC John Marshall Law School.
Sergio A. Lopez is a law clerk at Castle Law, LLC, in Joliet. He was a finalist in the first National Online Trial Advocacy Competition in 2020. Mr. Lopez received his B.A. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is a J.D. candidate at DePaul University College of Law (expected 2021).
Marjie M. Nielsen is the Managing Attorney at Next Step Legal Services in Chicago, where she focuses on criminal records relief and family law. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and has been a presenter at the IICLE® Criminal Law Short Course. She received the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Intern Alumni Award in 2013. Ms. Nielsen received her B.A. in English and Political Science from Northwestern University and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Sue L. Pak is the Supervising Attorney in the Emerging Adults Program at Cabrini Green Legal Aid in Chicago, where she focuses on juvenile expungement. She has received the Kimball R. Anderson & Karen Gatsis Anderson Public Interest Law Fellowship from the Chicago Bar Foundation, and she is a Skadden Fellow of the Skadden Fellowship Foundation. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association. Ms. Pak received her B.A. cum laude from Emory University, her M.Div. from Trinity International University, and her J.D. magna cum laude from DePaul College of Law.
Kenneth D. Tupy was the Chief of the Felony Division in Sangamon County for seven years. He became legal counsel for the Republican House of Representatives in Criminal Law and was the attorney for the House Judiciary Committee, Prison Reform Committee and the Juvenile Court Act. He became Chief Legal Counsel for the Prisoner Review Board until 2016 when he was appointed as a member of the Prisoner Review Board.
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