Black History Month Spotlight: Jean Kenol ’94

As part of Black History Month, each week a JCA student will be spotlighting African-American Alumni of SFA, JCHS, and JCA. This week’s spotlight was prepared by JCA senior Michael Green and features JCA graduate Jean Kenol ’94.

In 1998 Jean graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Government. While at Notre Dame, Jean participated in student government, campus ministry, several intramural sports and served as a resident assistant. He also completed the American University Semester program on public policy in Washington, D.C., where he clerked for Congressman Jerry Weller of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois.

After college, Jean attended the University of Illinois College of Law on a full tuition Lincoln scholarship, graduated in 2001 and that year was admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois. During his law school career, Jean had the honor of interning for the Honorable Ann C. Williams, United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

Kenol is currently a partner in the law firm Mahoney, Silverman, and Cross, LLC. Jean’s practice areas include corporate and business law, real estate law, zoning and land use, and local government law. Jean has represented clients in a wide range of matters, from single family residential closings to multi-million dollar commercial transactions. Jean has an attorney rating of BV by Martindale-Hubbell and was listed as a “rising star” in the 2009 Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising Stars magazine.

Jean enjoys being active in the Joliet community as well as with his alma maters. He served as the president of the Notre Dame Club of Joliet and served on the Board of Directors for United Cerebral Palsy of Will County and the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Silver Cross Hospital. In February of 2008, Jean was appointed as a Commissioner of the Joliet, Police and Fire Commission and served for two years. In September 2012, Jean was honored to be named the Joliet Area Young Professional of Year by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce.

Jean has been an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association. He served as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division Council in 2013. From 2010 to 2012, Jean was honored to serve as the ISBA’s under 35, outside of Cook County delegate to the American Bar Association. In June of 2012, Jean was appointed to serve a two-year term on the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors, which is the 27 member board that oversees the operations and management of ISBA.

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