Sam graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2010 and received her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2013. An experienced litigator, she is licensed to practice in the federal courts of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Jeanette specializes in civil rights, concentrating on the areas of police brutality, employment discrimination, and wrongful convictions.
Her notable cases include Campbell v. City of Chicago, a class action seeking a consent decree to oversee the Chicago Police Department; People v. Jason Van Dyke, wherein she disqualified the Cook County State’s Attorney and had a special prosecutor appointed for the murder of Laquan McDonald; and People v. Russell Walker, wherein she successfully petitioned for a certificate of innocence after proving police planted drugs on him nearly 20 years prior.
Sam has received numerous awards for her prowess as an attorney. In 2015, she received the Junior Counselor Award and Centennial President’s Award from the Cook County Bar Association; in 2016, she was named Top 40 Under 40 by the National Black Lawyer, received the Cook County Bar Association Meritorious Service Award, and the Advocacy & Leadership Award from the National Bar Association; in 2017, she was named Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff’s Attorney by the National Trial Lawyer; in 2018, she received the Early Achiever Award from the University of Nebraska Alumni Association; and in 2019, she received the R. Eugene Pincham Award from the Cook County Bar Association.