The City of Chicago Seeks Deputy Corporation Counsel for Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division

The City of Chicago Law Department is seeking an attorney for the position of Deputy Corporation Counsel in the Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division. This position is responsible for overseeing the operations of the division, which consists of approximately 15 attorneys and 4 support staff.

The Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division represents the City of Chicago and City officials in a broad range of constitutional and commercial litigation both in federal and state court, specializing in cases raising complex and novel legal issues. The Division also provides pre-litigation counseling to many departments, including the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs, Procurement and Zoning.

Attorneys in the Division litigate constitutional challenges to the City’s ordinances and actions, including free speech and commercial speech cases, religious freedom cases, Second Amendment cases, due process and equal protection claims. The Division has played an important role in advocating the City’s agenda when challenged in court. This includes defense of the City’s gun ordinances, the ban on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving and the closure of Meigs Field. Like any large corporate user of products and services, the City is involved in a wide variety of commercial cases, sometimes as plaintiff, and these cases may involve any City Department. The Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division handles this commercial litigation as well as construction litigation arising from public improvements and the rebuilding of the City’s infrastructure, which may include contract and constitutional claims, and administrative review of Procurement Officer decisions.

Some of the essential duties of the Deputy Corporation Counsel include, but are not limited to: monitoring and prioritizing attorney workloads to ensure incoming cases are assigned based on legal experience and are handled expeditiously; working with the Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel and Senior Counsel in order to provide input into the defense and prosecution of Division cases; serving as lead counsel in high-profile cases; analyzing legislation and court rulings relative to constitutional law and city policies; providing input into the drafting of City ordinances; overseeing outside counsel handling cases not staffed with Division attorneys; engaging in settlement discussions with opposing counsel and authorizing settlements in cases; approving the hiring of expert witnesses; evaluating Division operations and preparing operational and administrative reports summarizing Division activities; directing the coordination and preparation of the Division’s annual budget; participating in the development of legal policies and procedures for client departments; answering emergency and other inquiries from client departments; and instituting progressive discipline for underperforming Division employees.

Application Process:

  • You must submit the following materials in hard copy to: City of Chicago, Department of Law’s Legal Recruiter, 30 N. La Salle Street, Suite 1640, Chicago, IL60602;
  • Cover letter explaining how you meet the qualifications and have the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below;
  • Resume;
  • Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  • Two writing samples (whether written for some other purpose or written for this submission) including the date that they were written; and
  • Copy of your ARDC card (or your admitted state bar’s equivalent)

Writing Samples:

All writing samples submitted in consideration for employment must comply with the following criteria:

  • Each writing sample submitted must be no less than five (5) pages and no more than twenty (20) pages;
  • Each writing sample must be written by the applicant within two years of submission;
  • Each writing sample must be accompanied by a cover page explaining: the sample’s original purpose (i.e., a writing class, bar association journal article, case note, moot court brief, memorandum for an employer, case filing) or whether it was written for this submission; when and for whom the sample was written; the extent of editing by any third party; if the writing sample is an excerpt from a larger document, identify that larger document and provide context, if necessary;
  • If an applicant chooses to submit a writing sample containing confidential or privileged information, the applicant must identify the steps taken (redactions, name changes or consent from the client or employer) to preserve the confidential or privileged nature of the document. 

Minimum Qualifications:

Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school and admission to the Illinois Bar (or eligible for admission on motion to the Illinois Bar pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 705). A minimum of 15 years of litigation practice in both federal and state court; a high level of knowledge on issues of constitutional and commercial law, both federal and state; experience with municipal issues in both federal and state court practice; a minimum of three years of experience supervising litigation attorneys and support staff.

Preference may be given to candidates possessing the following: 

  • Graduation with honors or in the top 20% of your graduating law school class;
  • Law Review, Moot Court experience or Order of the Coif

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

Candidates should have: knowledge and experience in both federal and state court litigation; knowledge of practice in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County; familiarity with federal constitutional law, including First Amendment, substantive and procedural due process and equal protection; familiarity with state constitutional law, including home rule, zoning litigation and vested rights; familiarity with the law governing temporary restraining orders, mandamus and preliminary injunctions in both state and federal court; familiarity with municipal contract litigation, the Municipal Procurement Act and other municipal procurement issues; familiarity with municipal defenses, such as qualified immunity and Illinois tort immunity; excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to argue and write persuasively; the ability to identify legal issues and to propose defenses or solutions; and the ability to manage both professional and non-professional employees.

Education & Employment Verification: 

Please be advised that if you are selected to be hired you must provide, upon request, adequate information regarding your educational and employment history as it relates to the qualifications of the position for which you are applying. If the City of Chicagocannot verify this information, any offer extended to you will be withdrawn and you will not be hired.

This position requires applicants to complete an interview. The interviewed candidate(s) possessing the qualifications best suited to fulfill the responsibilities of the position will be selected.

Evaluation: Your initial evaluation will be based on the documents submitted. Applications must be submitted by the individual applicant. No second party applications will be accepted.

Residency Requirement: An employee must be an actual resident of the City of Chicago. Proof of residency will be required at the time of employment.


Salary: $137,076 / annually 
City of Chicago Department of Law Department of Human Resources
Rahm Emanuel Stephen R. Patton Soo Choi
Mayor Corporation Counsel Commissioner