Michele Ilene Ruiz '94 and Jesse Ruiz '95 Awarded Barristers Philanthropic Award by Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth

Michele Ilene Ruiz, '94, a partner in Sidley Austin's Chicago office, and her husband Jesse Ruiz, '95, received the Barristers Philanthropic Award from Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth for their civic dedication to the Chicago community and Ms. Ruiz’s leadership of Sidley’s more than 25-year partnership with Kanoon Elementary Magnet School.

In addition to maintaining a busy legal practice, Ms. Ruiz is actively involved in many organizations throughout Chicago. Ms. Ruiz served as co-chair for three years of the Alliance of Latinos and Jews, a bridge-building organization with a long history in the Chicagoland area. She gives back to her law school, the University of Chicago Law School, in many ways, including co-chairing their Annual Fund Campaign in 2006-2007, serving as a mentor in their Women’s Mentoring Program for over 15 years, leading an annual résumé workshop and frequently speaking to student groups. She is an active supporter of the Chicago Legal Clinic, Erie Neighborhood House, the Chicago Children’s Choir and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, among many other organizations.

She leads Sidley’s long-standing partnership with Kanoon Elementary Magnet School—the longest corporate partnership for a Chicago public school—where she has expanded programs and activities and has helped raise over $50,000 to upgrade the school’s library.

“There are no two alumni of the University of Chicago Law School of whom I am prouder than Jesse and Michele Ruiz. They perfectly embody our desire to train lawyers who are both extraordinary attorneys and stellar public servants. They are tireless advocates for making the world a better place, and their brilliant minds and enormous hearts are a credit to our profession. To know this great partnership was formed when they met at my law school makes me happier than I can even begin to say,” said Dean Michael Schill of the University of Chicago Law School.

At Sidley, Ms. Ruiz counsels hedge fund and family office clients in structuring private investment vehicles, as well as in investment-related compliance and regulatory matters. She serves as a global coordinator of the firm’s OTC derivatives practice. She assists hedge funds and other end-users with navigating the complex world of derivatives, particularly in light of the recent sweeping U.S. financial reform legislation.