below, release from Durbin and Kirk...
SENATE APPROVES DURKIN NOMINATION FOR ILLINOIS NORTHERN DISTRICT
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that the Senate has approved the nomination of Thomas Durkin to fill a pending vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois.
"Tom Durkin has the qualifications, independence and integrity to serve with distinction on the federal bench. Throughout his career, Tom Durkin has demonstrated strong leadership in his community and a solid commitment to public service." said Durbin. "The non-partisan American Bar Association awarded Mr. Durkin its highest rating of 'unanimously well-qualified.' I couldn't agree more. I thank Senator Kirk for joining me in recommending Tom Durkin who will make an excellent federal district court judge in the Northern District." Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, first forwarded Durkin's name to President Obama in 2009 based on the recommendation of a bipartisan screening committee chaired by former federal judge and Illinois Congressman Abner Mikva.
"Thomas Durkin will be an excellent District Court Judge, and I am pleased the Senate approved his nomination today," Senator Kirk said. "Durkin's outstanding legal experience and proven community leadership will serve the Northern District of Illinois well. I thank Senator Durbin for his dedication to ensuring Illinois' judicial vacancies are filled with highly-skilled candidates like Durkin." Durkin was one of Senator Kirk's judicial recommendations submitted to the White House in July 2011.
Thomas M. Durkin is a partner at the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP, where he handles a broad array of matters including complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense. He was the Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee for nearly a decade. Prior to joining the firm as a partner in 1993, Durkin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois for over a decade. During that time, he served in numerous leadership positions, including Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division, Chief of the Criminal Receiving and Appellate Division, and First Assistant United States Attorney.
From 1978 to 1980, Durkin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stanley J. Roszkowski of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has received the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, and the John Marshall Award from the U.S. Department of Justice. Durkin received his J.D. with honors in 1978 from the DePaul University College of Law, where he has taught as an adjunct professor and his B.S. with honors in 1975 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Durkin lives in Downers Grove.