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The Champion

December 2011 , Page 56 

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Protecting the Rights Of the Accused: Heeney Award Winner William R. Gallagher

By Quintin Chatman

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Bill Gallagher thought about becoming a lawyer, but he did not make a final decision until he was an undergraduate at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Little did he know that a few years later his peers at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers would bestow on him the organization’s top honor, the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award.

Named in honor of the organization’s 18th president, the Heeney Award is given to the one criminal defense lawyer who best exemplifies the goals and values of NACDL and the legal profession. NACDL awarded this year’s Heeney on Aug. 6, 2011, at the Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo. Gallagher said it was a complete surprise when he heard his name called as the recipient. “I was stunned,” he said. “Although I think I’m doing what I should as a criminal defense attorney, it is a great feeling to know my peers believe I have made a substantial contribution to this profession.”

Bill Gallagher h

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