Addressing the UIC Law School class of 2024

"This institution has given so much to me so it was an honor to speak at the 2024 commencement ceremony."

- Attorney Howard Ankin

May is a special time of year. For one, it’s spring in Chicago, one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

For another, it’s graduation month for many college students who are ending one chapter of their lives and embarking on a new, exciting one.

As President of the UIC Law Alumni Association, I was honored to speak to the graduating class of 2024 this month. It is especially rewarding to me to be the first member of the university to address the class as alumni.

Thirty-one years ago I graduated from the same law school - then known as John Marshall Law School. It was then and still is the only public law school in Chicago.

In the early 90's, I could not have fathomed that one day I would stand before a graduating class, adorned in regalia. In 2024, the landscape of legal education has evolved, with classes being attended remotely and moot court being streamed. Yet, amidst these changes, the core values of our profession remain steadfast - a duty to advocate for those in need and the commitment to bettering society.

At Ankin Law, we are privileged to welcome many summer law clerks from UIC Law. It is a personal mission for me to pay forward the opportunities I was given, and to provide as many law students as possible with the chance to practice law and find fulfillment in their work, just as I have.

It was an honor for me to speak at commencement, impart a few words of wisdom to the class, and help get them excited for their future. - Howard

Howard reflects on his commencement address to UIC

Howard earned his Juris Doctor in May, 1993. Back then, the school was known as John Marshall Law School. Here, he talks about what it means to address the 2024 graduating class. Take a look at what it was like to be in the stands at the Credit Union One Arena on graduation day. Watch Howard


Attorney Brien DiNella

“Our clients aren’t

just names on case folders, they’re injured people with families and lives."


- Attorney Brien DiNella


Being able to make an impact on people’s lives every day has been rewarding for Attorney Brien DiNella since arriving at the

firm four years ago. Our tagline “Injury law made personal” is top of mind no matter the workload.

“Realizing that on the other side of that phone, on the other side of that application to sign up a case, is a person” said Brien. “You have to understand that you are working for them.”

It’s a mantra the Libertyville native developed in college in Wisconsin and then honed at UIC Law before practicing law at a small Chicago plantiff firm.

Joining Ankin Law in 2020, he keeps the client’s interest top of mind, with one goal for anyone he represents. “I want to make sure that 20 years from now they are thinking ‘Thank goodness I went to Ankin Law,’” said DiNella.

Watch Brien DiNella

From alone to advocated for at Ankin Law

For a moment, it looked as if the worst-case scenario would play out for Isaiah after a severe car crash.

“The doctors told my family that they didn't think they could save my foot,” said Isaiah O. after his foot was crushed in a rear-end collision on I-94 in February 2022.

Luckily for Isaiah, a family member recommended Ankin Law, which paid off.

Working with Howard and Attorney Matthew Friedman, Isaiah was able to get the treatment and surgeries he needed to save his foot, along with a recovery that was consistent to compensate for the injury.

“Something like that was really scary to go through, especially when you feel like you’re alone in the process. I appreciate Matt and Howard and everything they did for me,” said Isaiah.

“My foot was crushed in a car accident that resulted in eight operations. Ankin Law was there to help every step of the way." 

-Isaiah O.

Watch Isaiah O.

Behind the scenes with White Sox shortstop Nicky Lopez

Howard got together with "Naperville Nicky" Lopez, the White Sox Shortstop, and his family on a ball diamond on the South Side recently to discuss baseball, family, and the significance of being born and raised in Chicago.

Keep an eye out for Ankin Law commercials featuring Howard and Nicky on NBC Sports Chicago.

Watch Howard and Nicky


Mass Torts

Ankin Law is investigating a cause

of action against a number of products linked to illiness and death in Illinois such as Hair Relaxer, Round Up, NEC, Camp Lejeune, and PFAS. If you have questions about a mass tort, call Ankin Law 312.600.0000.