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Chicago Illinois Attorney - Why So Many Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois?

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In Chicago, Illinois, an attorney is a common enough sight, as can be said for any other major sprawling American metropolis – for instance, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., just to name a few of the unofficial legal capitals of the United States. A Chicago, Illinois attorney of the highest caliber is perhaps most easily found at the top law firms in this word renowned Midwestern city. After all, some of America’s largest law firms are located in Chicago, Illinois. Some of the biggest names include Baker & McKenzie, which tops the list of the US’s largest law firms at a whopping 3300 attorneys, as well as fellow legal powerhouses Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, with a still impressive number of 1584 attorneys, not to mention a sterling reputation. Additionally, Chicago, Illinois based attorneys can be found working at Mayer Brown, Rowe & Maw, at Kirkland & Ellis, at McDermott, Will & Emery, at Winston & Strawn, and at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, not to mention a number of small boutique-style firms and solo practitioners. Moreover, this doesn’t even begin to take into account the large number of in-house counsel toiling away for Chicago’s many businesses and corporations, the tireless public interest attorneys performing their labor of love throughout the city, and of course, government lawyers, from public defenders to hard boiled criminal prosecutors. The city of Chicago is, frankly put, a haven of attorneys of all stripes and specialties.

One reason for the impressive number of attorneys based in Chicago, Illinois is of course the status of the city as a major financial center. Corporate lawyers abound, as evidenced by the high volume of Top 250 mega law firms. However, on an academic level, lawyers also end up crowding the city due to their educational background. After all, Chicago is home to two of the nation’s most selective and renowned law schools – Northwestern University School of Law, and of course, the University of Chicago’s own law school. Many prospective law students and lawyers flock to Chicago, Illinois purely for the opportunity to attend one of these two gems in the competitive world of legal education. Because all lawyers must pass the bar for whichever state they intend to practice in, many elect to remain in the state where they attended law school, as law school curricula is often more obviously geared towards the home state’s bar exam. Moreover, many newly minted lawyers – often burdened with over $200,000 in loans, and nervous about striking out on their own in a profession filled with so-called sharks – wish to save themselves the stress of moving to a whole new state. Thus, it makes sense that law students educated in Chicago, Illinois decide to remain as practicing attorneys in Chicago, Illinois.

In particular, the University of Chicago Law School currently sit as the fifth most prestigious – and arguably fifth most selective – law school in the nation, according to the US News & World Report. Given this impressive reputation, it is little wonder that the school regularly churns fresh and fiercely intelligent young attorneys into Chicago’s legal echelons. If one is looking for a Chicago, Illinois based attorney, one need look no further than the wide pool of University of Chicago grads that, every year, choose to live and work in this amazing city upon graduation from law school.

Although any major city in the United States is populated to the brim with lawyers, doctors, and other high salaried white collar professionals, it is possible that the attorneys of Chicago, Illinois are defined by a rare combination of characteristics. Many come from one of the most rigorous educational backgrounds available in the profession owing to the presence of Northwestern and the University of Chicago, and furthermore, the attorneys selected to work for some of the largest, wealthiest firms in the nation are certainly not slouches. Simply put, the city of Chicago is home not only to two of the finest institutions of higher learning available to law students, but also to the single largest law firm in the nation, hands down. If one needs to find an attorney in Chicago, Illinois, one need hardly look far.

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