Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke to Deliver Keynote Address at 2020 Commencement

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Justice Anne M. Burke
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke is delivering the keynote address for Chicago-Kent College of Law’s 2020 Commencement. The virtual commencement will be streamed on the law school’s website beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, at

Burke will be joined by two student speakers. Valedictorian Jack Etchingham will deliver the J.D. commencement address, and Rayane Al Hayek, a candidate for an LL.M. in U.S., International, and Transnational Law, will deliver the graduate address.

The virtual ceremony will be an abbreviated, pre-recorded version of the law school's traditional commencement proceedings and include a virtual procession. It will include a reading of the names of all graduates and pre-recorded messages submitted by students. Graduates, their guests, and members of the law school community will be able to access slides for specific students on Sunday by searching graduates’ names on the Chicago-Kent Virtual Ceremony portal hosted by our commencement partner, StageClip​​​​​​. The Chicago-Kent community is also encouraged to share well wishes and photos on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ckgrad or #IllinoisTechGrad.

Justice Anne M. Burke is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s First Judicial District and became Chief Justice in October 2019. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006, elected in 2008, and retained in 2018. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Burke was appointed to the Appellate Court in 1995 and was elected the following year to the Appellate bench, where she served until July 5, 2006. Her judicial career began earlier, in 1987, with an appointment to the Illinois Court of Claims by Governor Jim Thompson. She was later reappointed by Governor Jim Edgar.

Prior to her judicial career, Burke was a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, where she worked with children with learning differences. Recognizing the positive impact that sports competition had on her students, she championed the idea of a citywide competition. This ultimately led to the creation of the Chicago Special Olympics in 1968, and grew to become the International Special Olympics, which reaches millions of people in 192 nations across the globe. She later served as a director of the International Special Olympics, and remains involved with the Chicago Special Olympics to this day.

Burke is a 1983 graduate of Chicago-Kent. In 1998 she was presented with Chicago-Kent’s Distinguished Service Award and was recognized as one of the law school’s 125 Alumni of Distinction during Chicago-Kent’s 125th Anniversary Gala in 2013. She received a Chicago-Kent Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award in 2017.

Student Speakers

Jack Etchingham

Jack Etchingham
Jack Etchingham

Jack Etchingham graduated with high honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in finance. During his time at Chicago-Kent, he externed for a federal court judge, clerked for the United States Attorney’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and served as a teaching assistant for a 1L Torts section and an Appellate Advocacy course. Jack also played an active role in a variety of student organizations, including the Chicago-Kent Law Review, Moot Court Honor Society, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Society, and Kent Justice Foundation. As a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, he won the 2018 Ilana Diamond Rovner Appellate Advocacy Competition, and his team received the award for Second Best Brief in the Brooklyn Region at the 2019 American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Jack has worked as a Public Interest Law Initiative Graduate Fellow at Illinois Legal Aid Online this spring. Next month, he will join Sidley Austin LLP as a litigation associate.

Rayane Al Hayek

Rayane Al Hayek
Rayane Al Hayek

Rayane Al Hayek earned her bachelor’s degree from Lebanese University and graduated valedictorian of the International Business Law Master’s Degree in Aix-Marseille University, France. In 2019 she began the partnership program between Chicago-Kent and Aix-Marseille University and had an internship at Al Tamimi & Company, a corporate law firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. During her internship, she assisted with drafting memoranda of association, shareholders’ agreements, nominee agreements, power of attorney, and other documents related to the formation of corporate entities in Dubai, especially in the Dubai International Financial Center, a financial free zone governed by common law rules inspired by the English system. After graduating from the LL.M. program, Al Hayek plans to take the New York Bar in February 2021 and would like to practice corporate law at a law firm in the U.S., France, or Dubai. She enjoys camping, hiking, and going to the gym in her free time.