ALTON, Ill. – Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest law firms focused on consumer protection and mass tort actions, is pleased to announce Luther W. Simmons, associate circuit judge of the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois in Madison County, will join the firm Feb. 2 as a shareholder.

“We are thrilled to welcome Judge Simmons to Simmons Hanly Conroy,” said John Simmons, chairman of Simmons Hanly Conroy. “Judge Simmons brings a stellar reputation and extensive resume including experience as a judge, litigator and public servant. He also is a leader in the local legal community and will be a great asset to the firm and our clients.”

Judge Simmons recently announced his retirement from the Third Judicial Circuit Court, where he was appointed associate judge in 2015. Prior to that, he worked at Madison County’s Office of the Public Defender where he was the first African American Public Defender in the history of the county. Previously, he was a partner in a law firm with retired Judge Ralph Mendelsohn, worked as an assistant state’s attorney under Bill Haine and served as a Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois.

Judge Simmons received his J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also active in community service and is a past recipient of the President’s Award from the 100 Black Men of Alton and a public service award from the Venice NAACP for his volunteer work with students and mentoring in the community.