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Kathleen Feeney

Kathleen Feeney

Circuit court judge | Kent County, Mich. | Class of 1987

Whenever she hears the Marching Illini belt out her alma mater’s fight song, the Hon. Kathleen Feeney thinks back to those catchy lyrics she has managed to memorize all these years later.

But we’re not talking about the ones that begin: “We’re loyal to you, Illinois. We’re Orange and Blue, Illinois ...”

No, the lines the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate of the UI Class of ’87 recalls were a different twist on “Illinois Loyalty,” as performed for the annual Law Revue show that Feeney and her classmates put on for the entertainment of staff and students 30 years ago.

Take it away, Judge.

We’re lawyers for you, Illinois,

You taught us to sue, Illinois;

We’ll take any stand

In any court in the land,

And we won’t be outmanned, Illinois.

Rah! Rah!


You taught us our stuff, Illinois,

With the best we can bluff, Illinois,

We’ll be clever and courageous,

Even downright outrageous,

If it will win, Illinois.


Sue him, sue her, sue anyone,

It’s lots of fun.

Sue Dad, sue Mom, sue Uncle Tom,

Just get it done.

It’s a joy! It’s a joy! It’s a joy!


File a complaint of utter meaningless trash.

It’s not artistic, but it brings in the cash.

Just be a ruthless lawyer, please your employer, fight like a warrior — punitive damages!

File any motions that will cause a delay,

You learn that courtroom time is billed by the day,

So thanks again for showing us the way,

Dear Alma Mater, Illinois. Sue!

“While absolutely tongue in cheek,” says Feeney, a circuit court judge in Michigan’s Kent County for the past 17 years, “the song is the only one I know the words to when the Illini marching band plays ‘Illinois Loyalty.’ It still brings a smile to my face to think of the trials and tribulations we endured together as law students but also the fun that we had practicing and performing and laughing together.”