Zuckerman Spaeder Congratulates Partner Candace Jackson-Akiwumi on Confirmation to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP congratulates partner Candace Jackson-Akiwumi on her confirmation to serve as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi was nominated to this post by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“We are thrilled for our colleague Candace and the legal community,” said Zuckerman Spaeder partner Catherine S. Duval. “Although we will miss Candace terribly, we know her judgment, character, and intelligence will strengthen our nation’s justice system.”

Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi has practiced law in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the firm, she served ten years as a staff attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois, Inc., where she represented hundreds of clients accused of federal crimes, tried multiple federal jury trials, and argued a half dozen cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals. Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi is the first judge appointed to the Seventh Circuit who has a background as a federal public defender.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Roger Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable David Coar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She then spent several years in private practice before serving as a federal public defender. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Princeton University.

Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi’s confirmation highlights Zuckerman Spaeder’s proud tradition of hiring and advancing former public defenders within the firm. From the founding of Zuckerman Spaeder by former prosecutors and former public defenders, the firm has valued the perspective brought by alumni of the public defender service from around the country. These talented lawyers have always played a meaningful role in the leadership of the firm and in shaping the firm’s values and culture. 

“Candace is everything one could wish for in a judge – bright, highly qualified, great temperament, and sound judgment,” said Zuckerman Spaeder partner and chairman Dwight P. Bostwick. “Her perspective as a former federal defender who spent a significant portion of her career protecting the rights of the underserved and those with limited means also brings a critically important perspective to the Judiciary.”

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