Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright is the general counsel of the Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission (GAC). Prior to joining GAC, Jenkins-Wright spent 12 years as a litigator, with the law firms of Hinshaw & Culbertson and Greene and Letts (n/k/a Zuber, Lawler & Del Duca), handling product liability, medical malpractice, and Section 1983 civil rights actions. Jenkins-Wright’s bar association and community involvement has been recognized over the years, including: Illinois Bar Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Changemaker Award; National Bar Association 40 Under 40; Law Bulletin Media’s 40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch; American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Star of the Year Award; Illinois Super Lawyer; Northern Illinois University College of Law’s Excellence in Service and Leadership Award; Cook County Bar Association’s Junior Counselor Award; and Cook County Bar Association President’s Award.
Jenkins-Wright is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). In 2020, Dr. Mary Milano and Jenkins-Wright co-authored an ISBA resolution denouncing the slaying of George Floyd and creating a steering committee comprised of Illinois bar leaders to review and analyze racial inequality in the United States. More than 93% of the ISBA Assembly members voted in favor of this resolution. Milano and Jenkins- Wright were subsequently appointed co-chairs of the ISBA Steering Committee on Racial Inequality. Jenkins-Wright is a past chair of the Standing Committee on Racial & Ethnic Minorities and the Law; ISBA Assembly member; member of the Standing Committee on Disability Law; member of the Women and the Law Committee; and member of the Bench & Bar Section Council.
She serves as an ARDC Hearing Board Member reviewing disciplinary matters involving Illinois licensed attorneys. Jenkins-Wright is also a past president of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. (BWLA). Under Jenkins- Wright’s leadership, BWLA hosted a three-day National Summit of Black Women Lawyers, which addressed various issues relevant to Black women attorneys and the minority community. She is also a past board member of the Cook County Bar Association, the oldest African-American Bar Association in the country.
In addition, Jenkins-Wright is an avid supporter of the Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF), member of the CBF Board of Directors, and past president of the CBF Young Professionals Board. Early in her career, she served as diversity director of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
Jenkins-Wright received her J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law graduating magna cum laude in May 2003. She graduated magna cum laude from Valparaiso University in May 2000. She was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 2003 and admitted to the Northern District of Illinois in 2004.