Kwame Y. Raoul, Partner


Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul is a member of the firm's Health Law Practice Group and the Research and Higher Education Industry Team. He focuses his practice on helping clients navigate the legal issues confronted by health care providers and higher education institutions.

He has represented the 13th district since 2004, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy of then U.S. Senator Barack Obama. He currently serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pensions Investment Committee, Committee on Restorative Justice and the Committee on Police Professionalism. He also serves as vice chairman of the Criminal Law Committee, and on the Executive, Public Health and Energy & Public Utility Committees.

His prior experience includes:

  • Serving as Senior Counsel for the City Colleges of Chicago (comprised of seven community colleges), representing one of the nation's largest community college districts. He acted as lead counsel in employment practices matters before both federal and state courts, defended the district in labor arbitrations and employment discrimination hearings before state and federal administrative agencies, and served as chief internal negotiator for the community college district in labor negotiations with 13 collective bargaining units.
  • Litigating both civil and criminal trial and appellate matters before state and federal court as a partner in a boutique Chicago-area law firm.
  • Conducting corporate outreach activities for one of the country's largest community college districts, aimed at developing workforce development partnerships and corporate training agreements.
  • Serving as a prosecutor for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., 1993)
  • DePaul University (B.A., 1987)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (Member)
  • Illinois State Bar (Member)
  • International Child Care (Board of Directors)
  • Youth Guidance Becoming A Man Program (Advisory Board)
  • Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Commission (Vice Chair)
  • Chicago Bar Association (Member)
  • Haitian-American Lawyers Association (Member)
  • Cook County Bar Association (Past Board Member)

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer - Leading Lawyers Network, 2017–present (School Law)
  • Honored with the Government Leader Hope & Courage Award from Lurie Children's Hospital (2016)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2015–present: Education Law)
  • Selected as an Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Chicago-Kent 125 Alumnus of Distinction (2013)
  • Selected as a 2013 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United
  • Honored by the African American Association of The Illinois Institute of Technology (2012)
  • Awarded the 2011 Jenner & Block Award from The Center of Wrongful Convictions for his contributions to improving criminal justice