Thomas Campbell, Esquire

2020 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Seventh Circuit

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA–After a COVID-19-related delay, Thomas Campbell has been selected to receive the prestigious 2020 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Seventh Circuit. The pandemic has also forced the cancellation of this month’s Seventh Circuit Judicial Conference, where Campbell was to have received the award.

From 2005 until his retirement in 2018, Campbell was senior counsel at Baker McKenzie LLP in Chicago. Specializing in the trial of antitrust actions and business disputes, Campbell had more than 30 years of experience trying cases in industries as diverse as natural gas, health care, and even the manufacture of grand pianos. He was previously a partner at the firm Gardner, Carton & Douglas LLP.

“He was an excellent litigator—in many ways a lawyer’s lawyer—very intelligent and insightful,” says former colleague Roxane S. Busey, Esquire, who wrote in support of Campbell’s nomination for the award. “He loved the challenge of a trial and was often at his best before a judge or jury.”

Campbell also served as president and director of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association Foundation—an organization formed at his urging in 2012. The foundation sponsors educational programs for the legal community and the public featuring respectful discourse on such difficult topics as climate change, the war on drugs, and immigration. “None of these programs would have happened but for the leadership of Tom Campbell,” says Michael T. Brody, Esquire, of Jenner & Block LLP, who supported Campbell’s nomination for the award. “Tom envisioned a new role for the Seventh Circuit Bar Association as a sponsor of educational programs touching on topics of interest to an educated citizenry.”

Campbell is the author of Fighting Slavery in Chicago: Abolitionists, the Law of Slavery, and Lincoln, published by Ampersand, Inc., in 2009. The book tells the story of Chicago residents who formed a chapter of the Anti-Slavery Society and operated a station on the Underground Railroad, helping to free thousands of slaves and ensure Lincoln’s victory in the 1860 presidential election. He served as treasurer and member of the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation.  In 2014, Campbell was honored by the Abolition Institute, which works to end slavery in Mauritania.

He has also been active with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Field Museum of Natural History.

Campbell earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Dartmouth College in 1965 and his law degree from Cornell Law School in 1968.