Rogers joins select group of award winners

By Melissa Birks

Larry R. Rogers Sr. has a catalogue of awards to his name, and now his name sits alongside an elite list of the nation’s outstanding minority lawyers.

As the 2010 winner of the Chicago Bar Associations’ Earl Burrus Dickerson Award, Rogers joins the “who’s who” list of former winners, among them, Chicago Mayor Harold Washington; Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles E. Freeman; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; U.S. District Court Judge George N. Leighton, and more.

“When I look at the names of those who received it in the past, I’m awe-struck,” said Rogers, a founding partner of Power Rogers & Smith. “It’s a fantastic group of people.”

But Rogers’ own impact on the profession distinguishes him as someone with a rightful place in the group. A leader in the practice of personal injury and wrongful death, Rogers has recovered many multimillion dollar personal-injury verdicts and settlements. Those include, according to his firm Web site, $55 million for a brain-damaged woman, Illinois’ largest medical malpractice verdict in the last decade.

He also has lent his expertise to leadership positions such as serving as president of the Cook County Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (the latter’s first black president).

As for awards, Rogers counts, among others, the Richard E. Westbrook Award for legal excellence from the Cook County Bar Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Black Law Students Association of DePaul University.

Rogers is modest when asked to speculate how his name got the nod from the CBA selection committee.

“I pride myself,” he said, “on being a hard-working attorney who tries to do best job can for my clients.”

He’s also done a great job of instilling a love for the profession in his family: One son, Larry R. Rogers, Jr., is a partner at the firm; daughter Ann Marie Rogers is a court reporter for Sullivan’s, and stepson Frederick Everly is a second-year law student at DePaul, Rogers’ alma mater.

“I guess I set a trend,” Rogers joked.

Rogers accepts the award, which honors the late Earl B. Dickerson, one of the CBA’s first black members, on Feb. 24 during a luncheon at The Standard Club.

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