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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama today announced three nominees for federal judgeships in Illinois: Sara Lee Ellis and Andrea R. Wood for the Chicago-based Northern District and Colin Stirling Bruce for the Springfield-based Central District.

Ellis is with the Schiff Hardin law firm in Chicago and a member of its litigation and white-collar crime practice groups. Earlier she was assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago. She earned a law degree in 1994 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a bachelor's degree in 1991 from Indiana University.

Wood works for the Securities and Exchange Commission as senior trial counsel in its division of enforcement. She joined the commission in 2004 and earlier was a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Chicago-based 7th Circuit. She received a law degree in 1998 from Yale Law School and a bachelor's degree in 1995 from the University of Chicago.

Bruce is the first assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District. He joined the office in 1989 after graduating that year from the University of Illinois College of Law. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1986 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"I am honored to put forward these highly qualified candidates for the federal bench," Obama said in a statement. "They will be distinguished public servants and valuable additions to the United States District Court."

The nominations must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

kskiba@tribune.com