Ara Kernan

Ara Kernan

Associate Attorney

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(618) 509-9724

Ara J. Kernan, a Belleville native, graduated from St. Louis University High School before moving to Chicago to attend Loyola University Chicago. At Loyola, Ara graduated cum laude, receiving bachelor’s degrees in Classical Civilization, History, and Political Science.

Ara then decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, the Honorable Chief Judge Stephen M. Kernan, and entered law school. While attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Ara was on Loyola’s International Academy of Dispute Resolution’s (INADR) mediation team, and competed in its international competition. He also received the CALI Award for excellence in Art Law, and Loyola’s Leadership, Service, and Public Interest Recognition Award.

After graduating with his Juris Doctor degree, Ara moved home to Belleville where he became an Assistant State’s Attorney at the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office. There, he worked in the traffic, misdemeanor, and DUI division, in addition to the child support division. Ara then left the State’s Attorney’s Office to join the St. Clair County Public Defender’s Office in order to pursue a career in criminal defense work. At the Public Defender’s Office, Ara served as St. Clair County’s primary juvenile delinquency defense attorney, in addition to carrying misdemeanor, DUI, and felony caseloads.

Ara then joined his friend and colleague, Madelyn Daley, when she founded Madelyn Daley & Associates in February 2021 after her father, Thomas Daley, retired. At the firm, Ara handles traffic, DUI, misdemeanor, drug, gun, and a range of other felony cases. Additionally, Ara is a part time Guardian ad Litem for St. Clair County, working specifically in Juvenile Abuse & Neglect cases.

In his free time, Ara is an avid history lover who enjoys reading, video games, and spending time with his friends and family.

Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D.
    • Honors: Dean’s List
    • Honors: CALI Award for Excellence in Art Law
    • Honors: Leadership, Service, and Public Interest Recognition Award
  • Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Major: History, Political Science, Classical Civilization
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois, 2017
Professional Associations
  • St. Clair County Bar Association
Current Employment Position
  • Associate Attorney, Madelyn Daley & Associates
  • Guardian ad Litem, St. Clair County
Past Positions
  • Assistant State’s Attorney, St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office, 2017-2018
  • Assistant Public Defender, St. Clair County Public Defender’s Office, 2019-2021
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