About

You have come to the right place if you are a lawyer who has an intellectual curiosity and wants to be part of an organization comprised of jurists who regularly meet, typically over a meal, to hear from a broad range of recognized and learned speakers and discuss current issues of interest to the bar. Founded in 1883, the Lawyers Club of Chicago is proud to be Chicago’s second oldest bar association. While much has changed since Eugene Prussing had what Major Edgar B. Tolman called “[t]he best of his bright ideas,” which was to form our Club, at least one constant remains. The Lawyers Club still provides a forum for social discourse and tolerant discussion of questions of interest to judges and practitioners in a fun and inviting setting.

Our membership consists of distinguished judges and practitioners with expertise across a broad range of subject matters. Numerous sitting and former federal and state judges, including some on courts of review, call the Club home and routinely attend meetings. Certain other members practice in courts throughout the country or in international settings. Still others focus on matters closer to home and are well known figures in local courts. Also among our ranks are those who serve in government positions, advise clients on sophisticated transactional or regulatory matters, or have answered the call to educate the next generation of lawyers through service in academia. Regardless of how we spend our days, what binds us all together is that we have chosen to make Chicago our professional home.

Learn more about who comprises the Club’s Officers & Directors.

Our members enjoy a sense of community and comradery – an oasis within the context of the larger Chicago bar, which can feel isolating due to the size, scope and sophistication of our legal market. We invite you to explore all that the Lawyers Club of Chicago has to offer. It is a place where past meets present; where ideas and conversation flow; and where friendships and professional relationships are kindled and reborn.

Read the Club’s full history.

Historical Significance

Founded in 1883, the Lawyers Club of Chicago is proud to be Chicago’s second oldest bar association.

In Good Company

Our membership consists of distinguished judges and practitioners with expertise across a broad range of subject matters.

Diverse Guests

It meets approximately six times a year hosting luminaries from the worlds of business, politics, literature and the law.

Mission

 

The Lawyers Club of Chicago is an organization rich in history yet contemporary in its mission: to provide a forum for social interaction, professional networking and enlightening discussion on questions of interest among the city’s lawyers and judges.

The Club has deep roots in Chicago, tracing its history to 1883 (through its predecessor organizations, The Law Club of Chicago and the Legal Club of Chicago). Members have included such prominent leaders of the profession as Governor Adlai Stevenson, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and Silas Hardy Strawn. Learn more about our notable members.

Today the Lawyers Club consists of approximately 600 lawyers and judges in the Chicago area. It meets for lunch or dinner approximately six times a year hosting luminaries from the worlds of business, politics, literature and the law. The Club occasionally sponsors outings to cultural events at venues around town.

2018-2019 Officers and Directors

mili-smith

Mili R. Smith

President

edward-rice

Edward H. Rice

Immediate Past President

kevin-tottis

Kevin Tottis

Secretary-Treasurer

profile

Helen Gunnarsson

Board Member

jean-gaspardo

Jean M. Gaspardo

Board Member

sanjay-tailor2-90x90

Hon. Sanjay Tailor

Board Member

mark-hebbeln

Mark F. Hebbeln

Board Member

profile

Linton Childs

Board Member

Notable Members

Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Named for the Civil War battlefield where his father was wounded, served as U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. He also became the first Commissioner of Baseball, helping to restore public confidence in the game in the wake of the “Black Sox” scandal.

George N. Leighton

Born to immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands, had to quit seventh grade in order to work, but eventually was admitted to Howard University and later earned his law degree from Harvard. He served more than a decade as a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Dawn Clark Netsch

Dawn Clark Netsch spent 60 years in politics and was the first woman nominated by a major political party to run for governor of Illinois. She was also a professor of law at Northwestern University. Netsch was known as a “straight shooter,” based both on her reputation for ethics and her lifelong love of the game of pool.

William Pratt Sidley

Sidley was a member of the Club for 60 years. A tenacious lawyer, he once pursued a personal injury case to mountains of Croatia. He served as General Counsel of Western Electric and was an original name partner of the firm that became Sidley & Austin.

Adlai E. Stevenson

Adlai served as Governor of Illinois and was a two-time nominee for President of the United States running against Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was later appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Silas Hardy Strawn

Strawn arrived in Chicago on a bicycle from his native Ottawa, Illinois. He became President of the Chicago and Illinois Bar Associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He practiced law for 52 years with the firm now known as Winston & Strawn.