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Roger & Anne as Lawyers

By Steve McCormick

Roger '63 and Anne Taylor '63 during their law school years.With Roger and Anne, the more things change, the more they stay the same. For instance, no one who knows them will be surprised to hear that they both reached the highest levels of success in their respective classes at Northwestern University School of Law (1971 and 1974), both serving on the Northwestern Law Review. And it likewise will come as no surprise to the Knox community that even then, Roger and Anne were regarded as something like parental figures to our law school class (although they are in fact only a handful of years older than most of us, and younger than some). This gravitas came in part from the fact that Roger was a veteran, having served as a Naval officer in the Vietnam War. Likewise, Anne had a real job (something most of us had not actually experienced), working for the City of Chicago. They behaved like what we thought were grownups, their modest but nicely furnished, clean, orderly apartment in sharp contrast to the post-graduate bohemian squalor that marked most of our living quarters. They introduced us to Jack Daniels (on the rocks). Even then, they were wiser than the rest of us.

On graduation, Roger joined the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, in its Chicago office, became a partner of the firm in due course, and spent nearly 30 years as a trial lawyer. Roger's practice covered a broad range of commercial matters, but his specialty was labor and employment litigation. Roger was, without question, one of the most respected partners of the firm and served for many years as the firm's most trusted counselor on employment matters. He remains in an "Of counsel" relationship with the firm to this day, and we hope that when his tenure at Knox comes to a close, we will see much, much more of him at Kirkland.

Anne's outstanding legal career matched Roger's in terms of accomplishments, while moving in a very different direction. As a trial lawyer for the Illinois Attorney General's office, Anne tried criminal cases and argued appeals in State and Federal Courts throughout Illinois. After doing similar work for the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, Anne served as attorney and counselor to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (then and now the largest options exchange in the world), and the Grant Thornton accounting firm. She was appointed by Governor Thompson as Chair of the Illinois State Police Merit Board and served in that role for six years.

For the last decade at Knox, both Roger and Anne have continued their legal careers, Anne as Knox's pro bono counsel, and Roger having seamlessly moved from advocacy in the courtroom to advocate-in-chief for Knox College wherever and whenever that advocacy was needed.

Steve McCormick attended Northwestern Law School with Roger from 1968 to 1971, and, since that time has been a close friend of Roger's and Anne's, as well as a professional colleague and law partner with Roger, all told, for more than 40 years.

Learn more about the Taylor Presidential Scholarship.

Next: Roger as New President.