Honoring extraordinary service

2023 School of Law awards honor Sonia Antolec, Aileen Flanagan, Matthew T. Glavin, and Terry Moritz

In a school known for turning out graduates who pay it forward, these individuals stand out as particularly strong symbols of service. Here are the recipients of the 2023 Loyola University Chicago School of Law alumni awards, which will be presented at the Reunion and Alumni Awards Dinner on Saturday, October 28.

Sonia Antolec (JD ’07)


There was a moment during her law school orientation—her first week on campus—when Sonia Antolec thought she would have to drop out. The single mother of one had wanted to become a lawyer since age 7, but things were not aligning in her personal life to allow her to take all the classes she needed in the full-time program.

“I went to Dean [Pamela] Bloomquist and just cried,” Antolec recalls. Bloomquist consulted with Dean James Faught, and together they figured out how she could take a mix of day and evening classes and still finish her degree in three years.

“I don’t think any other law school would have done that for me,” Antolec says. “I wouldn’t be a lawyer if it weren’t for Loyola. They supported all of me, so I can give all of me back.”

And she does just that. In her third year of law school, Antolec began volunteering as assistant coach of Loyola’s team for the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition. Right after graduating, she became head coach and continued in that role for nearly 12 years.

She has taught trial practice, child law, and other courses at the law school since 2013. Antolec also serves on the Law Alumni Board of Governors as the inaugural Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity chair.

“I wouldn’t be a lawyer if it weren’t for Loyola. They supported all of me, so I can give all of me back."

She does all this in addition to working full time as chief legal officer for the 1937 Group, a social equity–focused cannabis company, and serving as a judge on the Illinois Court of Claims. She also volunteers with several other organizations, including as president of the San Ignacio Society, an alumni board at St. Ignatius College Prep that advocates for Latino students there.

Serving Loyola as an alumna was a “no-brainer,” says Antolec. She explains: “I come from an underserved community. I have grandparents who didn’t speak English. My mom was a migrant worker. My parents don’t have college degrees. I was a teen mom. Against all those odds, I am where I am today by the grace of extraordinary people, including the deans at Loyola who were real people with real families of their own. They invested so much in me, always without judgment.”

Aileen Flanagan (BS ’85, JD ’89)


The biannual Public Service Merit Award recognizes a School of Law graduate who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to public service and social justice in their career.

“Everything I was exposed to at Loyola encouraged a sense of obligation to be present for people in need.” That, says Aileen Flanagan, is at the root of her dedication to public service.

Flanagan is in her 11th year at the Law Center for Better Housing (LCBH), a nonprofit firm that offers free legal services to renters in Chicago. Now a supervisor, she joined LCBH as a staff attorney to do foreclosure-related outreach and eviction defense litigation.

“I really developed my passion to advocate for safe, stable housing at LCBH,” she says, but notes that her drive to work on social issues was instilled by her parents and her Loyola education. She particularly credits her experience at the legal clinic and the guidance and mentorship of Professor Henry Rose.

“That’s where I began to understand that, once a person’s housing is gone, they are hanging on to their stability by their fingernails. It’s so difficult to regain what you’ve lost after that,” she says.

Now Flanagan herself is contributing to what could be regarded as another landmark for both improved access to justice and homelessness prevention: the Early Resolution Program (ERP) of the Circuit Court of Cook County. The ERP improves the eviction court process by providing free legal counseling to self-represented tenants and landlords and connecting them with resources that can help resolve a case before trial, avoid an eviction, or at least help tenants leave the property with dignity, says Flanagan.

“Historically, eviction court is a summary proceeding designed to quickly restore possession of the property to the landlord,” she says. “The ERP provides free legal aid consultation for tenants, who almost never have lawyers and who tend to be low-income families and marginalized community members. Many of our clients are women of color with children.”

“Everything I was exposed to at Loyola encouraged a sense of obligation to be present for people in need.”

Since fall 2020, when the ERP was only an idea, stakeholders from the City of Chicago and Cook County (including the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Center for Conflict Resolution, and several legal aid agencies) have collaborated to develop the program. Now Flanagan coordinates LCBH’s participation in it. Thanks to the ERP, many cases have been settled before trial, conserving judicial resources and avoiding the abrupt loss of housing for many families, Flanagan says.

The ERP is only the most recent, and probably the most visible, example of Flanagan’s work to advance social justice. Beyond her focus on housing, she has also represented—pro bono—disadvantaged clients in issues of domestic disputes, child custody, and consumer rights.

When Flanagan talks about her alma mater, she expresses deep appreciation for the values of academic excellence, integrity, and service to others: “From the minute I walked in the door as an undergrad to the day I graduated law school, I felt I belonged at Loyola. I knew I was being prepared for a life of meaning and purpose beyond myself.”

Matthew T. Glavin (JD ’09)


The St. Robert Bellarmine Award recognizes a graduate who earned a JD within the past 15 years for distinguished service to the community, to the legal profession, and to the School of Law.

Some children want to be doctors when they grow up. Others want to be teachers or, of course, lawyers. When Matthew Glavin was a kid, he wanted to be exactly what he is now: a lobbyist.

More accurately, he thought he’d like to be a congressman, but, he says, “I quickly realized that you can do a lot without being an elected official. I feel like I’m doing my best work when I’m making other people shine.”

As senior principal in the lobbying arm of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, Glavin helps clients navigate the legislative and regulatory landscape in industries from sports to health care to energy and more.

His resume also includes a longlist of agencies for which he has volunteered over the years, including Equality Illinois, promoters of LGBTQ+ rights; Juvenile Justice Initiative, advocates for humane treatment of youth in the justice system; and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, a voice for the state’s businesses.

At first glance, no theme emerges from the list, but Glavin sees it differently.

“Every place [I volunteer] needs help dealing with government—maybe securing funding or getting bills passed,” he says. “That world can seem complex and intimidating, but I know that world well.”

“I feel like I’m doing my best work when I’m making other people shine.”

When directors at Youth Guidance, a nonprofit agency providing in-school counseling to help teenagers overcome obstacles in their lives, heard rumors that their funding from the City of Chicago might be reduced, they promptly contacted board member Glavin, who was vacationing with his family at Disney World.

“My kids were spinning around in the teacups while I was reaching out to people in the mayor’s office to talk about the great work of our organization,” he says.

When the final budget was released, “it was clear that the message had been received,” he says.

Glavin, a member of the Law Alumni Board of Governors, says Loyola played a big role in his journey.

“You hear that law school is a brutal, cutthroat environment; my experience at Loyola was the opposite,” he says. “People helped each other at every opportunity. Success never came at the expense of anyone else. Now that’s my job: building and maintaining relationships.”

Glavin’s affection for his class is reflected in his leadership to establish the Bran Harvey Opportunity Scholarship at the School of Law with three of his classmates. Harvey, a classmate, died in 2020 at age 48.

“We were all close, even though Bran was at a different point in his life. He was a grinder, balancing law school and a busy family life,” says Glavin. “I think of him all the time. His zest for life still motivates me.”

Terry Moritz (BS ’66, JD ’70)


The Medal of Excellence honors a member of the School of Law community who exhibits the qualities of character, intellect, and social and professional responsibility that the School of Law fosters.

“One of the great benefits a lawyer can provide to our social system is to assist in the resolution of conflict,” says Terry Moritz, who has demonstrated his belief in this principle throughout his 50-plus years as a litigator, mediator, and arbitrator.

Moritz definitively pivoted his career toward alternative dispute resolution in 2014 when he founded Terry F. Moritz LLC. Since then, he has arbitrated more than 200 commercial disputes and guided clients in countless mediations, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Dedication to his craft is evident in his host of notable associations: Moritz is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, serving as chair of its Chicago chapter. He is a charter member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and serves on the board of the Resolution Systems Institute. The list goes on.

The School of Law community might know him best from his years as an adjunct professor and as a former member of the Law Alumni Board of Governors. Those engagements were among the most meaningful to him.

“What I enjoy most is being involved in the education of young people and creating better opportunities for them,” says Moritz.

Beyond Loyola, he points to several nonprofits that he and his wife, Carol, have supported. Two of their favorites are Big Shoulders Fund, which helps inner-city Catholic schools (Moritz is on the board), and Arrupe College, Loyola’s associate degree program that helps students graduate with little or no debt.

Moritz says that all of us lose when individuals aren’t able to maximize their potential. “We have far too many young people who don’t get the opportunity to do that. So, to the extent Carol and I can support organizations that attempt to benefit those students, we want to do that.”

“What I enjoy most is being involved in the education of young people and creating better opportunities for them.”

Moritz says he is honored to receive an award from his alma mater, which he admires so much.

“When I was teaching at Loyola, I would be on the elevator with students who didn’t know who I was, and I would see students being very respectful and supportive of one another. It was genuine. It was meaningful and inspiring,” Moritz says.

“That is the character of Loyola that I have witnessed over many, many years. I benefited from it as student and feel I still benefit from it today. I have been a very fortunate person.” –Liz Miller (July 2023)

From Loyola Law magazine 2023


Learn how our alumni, faculty, and students drive social change and push for justice. Read the above features from Loyola Law magazine.