Hon. Virginia M. Kendall
Title/s: Judge, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Judge Kendall was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in January 2006. She currently serves on the Judicial Conference of the United States’ Codes of Conduct Committee for the federal judiciary; the Seventh Circuit Civil Jury Instruction Committee; and has sat by designation with the Seventh, Ninth, and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. Prior to her appointment, she served as Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago where she worked for over ten years. During her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, she was appointed to the US Attorney General’s Advisory Committee which reviewed all multi-jurisdictional child exploitation cases, served as the Child Exploitation Coordinator in the Northern District of Illinois, and as Coordinator ofProject Safe Neighborhoods.
Judge Kendall is the co-author of Child Exploitation and Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and the U.S. Responses, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2012), with T. Markus Funk, Foreword by The Hon. Richard A. Posner. She teaches law courses in trial practice, federal litigation, and human trafficking at University of Chicago Law School, Northwestern University School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics. Aside from her own writing, she also serves as an editor of Litigation Magazine and is a member of the American Law Institute and is currently working with a Committee to draft a model penal code for sexual offenses. She lectures extensively both domestically and internationally in the areas of trial practice, public corruption, ethics, electronic discovery, patent litigation, internet and computer investigations, intellectual property case management, and child exploitation and human trafficking.
Judge Kendall actively participates in numerous bar organizations including serving in leadership roles with the Federal Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Federal Circuit Bar Association. Her leadership positions have included Co-Chair of the Human Trafficking Committee and the Jury Innovations Committee with the Litigation Section of the ABA; co-chair of the Human Trafficking Committee with the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA; serving on the presidential task force for both the ABA and the IBA; and serving on the Federal Judiciary Committees of both the FJA and the FCBA. Judge Kendall is committed to opening her courtroom regularly to students where she encourages young students to strive to practice law through her role on the Judicial Advisory Committee of Just the Beginning Foundation, an organization dedicated to integrating students of color and of other underrepresented groups into the practice of law. Judge Kendall is an active member of Cornell University’s Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, as well as the Vital Voices Global Partnership, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in impoverished and politically underrepresented environments around the world.
Judge Kendall travels extensively both domestically and internationally to train judges, trial attorneys and investigators in the areas of trial law, rule of law, terrorism trials, crimes against women and children, human trafficking and public corruption. Internationally, she has traveled through the State Department, the Department of Justice, Lawyers Without Borders, and various bar associations to Kenya, Zambia, Liberia, Thailand, Cyprus, India, Croatia, the UK, Lithuania, Latvia and Japan to teach judges and trial attorneys. Domestically, she created a human trafficking training module for task forces and for judges and she regularly holds seminars to educate them and the public. She also regularly presents ethics training to the federal judiciary and judicial employees.
Prior to her time on the bench, Judge Kendall was a trial attorney and tried numerous federal jury trials involving white collar crime, insurance fraud, police corruption, public corruption, child molestation, and racketeering. For her work as a federal prosecutor, Judge Kendall received the Chicago Crime Commission’s Star of Distinction Award in 2005; the Department of Justice’s Service Award in 2003; and the FBI Director’s Letter of Recognition in 1998.
Judge Kendall has received numerous awards including both the St. Robert Bellarmine Award and the Damen Award from Loyola University for her distinguished legal work and her service to the community; the Rape Victim Advocate’s Visionary Award for her work with victims of sexual violence; the Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Award for her being a courageous and compassionate role model , the Women and Gender Rights Leadership Award from DePaul University School of Law, and an honorary degree from Dominican University which she received with her husband for their dual work serving the community.
Judge Kendall received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Northwestern University and her JD from Loyola University School of Law.
BA, Northwestern University, 1984
MA, Northwestern University, 1987
JD, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1992