Mr. Downs was President of the Illinois State Bar Association in 2005-2006 and was a member of the ISBA task force on attorneys for minority children, which drafted the Illinois revised child representative law.
He also chaired the ISBA Family law Section Council and was Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Matrimonial Law Committee. He was also one of four recipients of the 1995 American Bar Foundation Family Law Pro Bono Services Award.
Mr. Downs’ efforts have also been recognized by the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and others. He did his undergraduate work at Grinnell College, where he was awarded their Distinguished Alumni Award, and he received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law, where he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2009.