Kerry Lavelle – Chicago Estate Planning Attorney

Kerry Lavelle |

Lavelle Law, Ltd.

(847) 705-7410

141 West Jackson Boulevard
Ste 2800
Chicago, IL 60604

Kerry Lavelle | Lavelle Law, Ltd.


Firm Summary

As the founding partner of a law firm that bears my name, I have been committed to working with the other Shareholders, Partners, Associates, and staff at Lavelle Law to create an environment that provides exceptional legal services regardless of which of our team members you work with. As I have progressed through my career, I have gained valuable insights from many mentors, peers, and clients. I believe that it is incumbent on successful attorneys to share our knowledge with the next generation of attorneys to assist in their career development and to maintain the highest standards in serving clients. As Founder and Partner Emeritus, I continue to be available to those individuals to provide guidance, consultation, and my experience on a wide range of complex legal issues.

In this new role I will continue to be available to our existing clients when my input is needed, and I will consult with any new client that reaches out to me, and after developing a clear understanding of your needs, determine the best course of action for Lavelle Law to meet your needs.

As always, I look forward to remaining involved in many professional associations and local non-profits and organizations that have meant so much to me throughout my career.


  • J.D., DePaul University, College of Law
  • M.B.A., DePaul University, College of Commerce and Economics
  • B.A., North Park College

Bar Certifications

  • Admitted to the Bar of Illinois Supreme Court
  • Admitted to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • Admitted to the U.S. Tax Court.

Bar Association Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association, serving on committees in Corporate Counseling, Federal Tax and Estate Planning
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association, co-chair of the Law Practice Management Committee

Awards and Recognition

  • In 2020, Kerry Lavelle was voted BEST LAWYER : Daily Herald Readers’ Choice Awards, Best of the Best
  • In 2018, Kerry Lavelle was designated a Top Attorney in Illinois in Tax: Business by Super Lawyers
  • In 2016, Kerry Lavelle was designated a Top 100 Attorney in Illinois by Super Lawyers.
  • In 2015, Lavelle Law was one of 13 law firms nationally to receive the Beacon of Justice Award for pro bono service from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA).
  • In 2015, Mr. Lavelle became the 5th graduate in the 50+ year history of Saint Viator High School to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for his professional achievements and contributions to society.
  • In 2014, Mr. Lavelle was recognized by the Palatine Chamber of Commerce as Business Leader of the Year for contributions to the community.
  • In 2014, Mr. Lavelle was recognized as a Super Lawyer in Illinois by Super Lawyers Magazine.
  • The firm was recognized with the highly selective Award for Business Excellence in the Small Business category in 2012.
  • In 2012 Lavelle Law received the Al Knox Award for Ethics.
  • In 2010, Kerry received the prestigious Spirit of Life Award from the Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity for his efforts within the community.


  • The Early Career Guide for Attorneys: Starting and Building a Successful Career in Law, ABA Book Publishing (2019)
  • The Business Guide to Law: Creating and Operating a Successful Law Firm, ABA Book Publishing (2015)
  • As a regular contributor to the Illinois State Bar Association newsletter, Bottom Line, Mr. Lavelle has had numerous articles published including The Role of the Office Manager, The Value of Mentoring, and What’s Your Succession Plan?
  • Why Every Employer Should Adopt a Social Media Networking Policy, published in 2 parts in the August and September 2010 editions of Construction Equipment Distribution Journal.
  • The Legal Aspects of Starting a New Business, published in The Practical Account
  • Drafting Shareholder Agreements for the Closely-Held Business, DePaul Business Law Journal, Volume 4, Number 1
  • Conspiracy in Closely-Held Corporations, Volume 12, Issue 1, published in the Criminal Justice Journal, Western State University College of Law
  • I.R.C. SECTION 482, Tax Implications for Closely-Held Domestic Business Associations, Virginia Tax Review, 1989
  • Featured in Transform Your Practice with a Business Plan by Ed Finkel, in the Illinois Bar Journal, March 2017 .

Mr. Lavelle has also been a frequent contributor to various Bar Association newsletters and real estate publications.


Mr. Lavelle is the former host of NewsMakers, a public policy news/information program in the Chicago area.

He is a contributor to the Lavelle Law podcast series Chicago’s Legal Latte. Past episodes can be downloaded from,, and iTunes

Along with members of his firm, Mr. Lavelle contributes periodic video tutorials regarding the law and activities of the firm. Lavelle Law Ltd – YouTube

Instructional Experience

Mr. Lavelle is a former adjunct faculty member at John Marshall Law School, teaching a course in I.R.S. Practice and Procedure. He worked as an adjunct faculty member at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois where he taught courses in Business Law, Economics and courses related to starting or purchasing business entities.

He is a regular presenter at industry conferences on matters of Law Practice Management. National and regional presentations have included:

  • Judson University – January 2023; Leadership Today
  • Schaumburg Business Association – September 2022; Leadership in 2022
  • American Bar Association-GP Solo/GLSA 2018 Joint Spring Meeting, New Orleans, LA; Build Your Business Plan for Success
  • American Bar Association-GP Solo/GLSA 2017 Joint Spring Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ; Building a Lead Generating System for Your Law Firm
  • Illinois State Bar Association March 2017 Solo & Small Firm Practice Institute Series. Build it and the Profit Will Come: Simple Steps to Building Your Business Plan
  • North Carolina Bar Association Center for Practice Management March 2017 Meet the Author webinar. The Business Guide to Law: Creating and Operating a Successful Law Firm
  • American Bar Association’s 2016 Mid-year Meeting, San Diego, CA; The Business Guide to Law: Creating and Operating a Successful Law
  • Illinois State Bar Association 2016 9-part webinar series The Business Guide to Law: Creating and Operating a Successful Law Firm.

Mr. Lavelle regularly speaks before the Illinois CPA Society, private accounting firms and insurance brokers on matters of IRS collection issues, complex audit matters, methods of detecting, avoiding and defending potential tax fraud cases, and various aspects of estate and business planning.

He is a former member of the Chicago Planning Council, an organization of interrelated estate planning professionals, including attorneys, CPA’s, and financial advisors.

Community Involvement

In 2004, along with the other attorneys and staff at Lavelle Law, Mr. Lavelle established the Lavelle Law Charities Food Drive to support the local food pantries in the community. Corporate involvement combined with community outreach makes our food drive among the most successful in the Chicagoland area.

Mr. Lavelle has served on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity (PHD), a Palatine not-for-profit organization serving unwed mothers and families.

For more than two decades he has served as a volunteer attorney for the Clinic for the Disabled and Elder Law (CDEL) where he has also become the Federal Tax Partner, helping administer and evaluate the tax practice CDEL.

Working directly with Illinois State Senator Matt Murphy, Mr. Lavelle launched a legislative effort to amend the Illinois statutes to replace offensive terminology regarding citizens with developmental disabilities, using more descriptive and sensitive language.