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John L. Steele Attorney Profile

John L. Steele 
Chicago, Ill
Phone: (312) 893-5888
Toll Free: 1-800-DIVORCE (In Northern Illinois)
Fax: (312) 893-5604
Email Me

John is an experienced family law attorney who understands not only the law, but also what it's like to actually go through a divorce, to go through the frustration of a child custody hearing, and to feel the loss of control that family law litigation brings. Any attorney can tell you how he or she "understands what you're going through," but as a divorced father who has seen examples of good and bad spouses, as well as good and bad parenting, the truth is that every client's situation is unique.

Going through a divorce is, more often than not, very stressful. It can be difficult to keep a rational mindset then, without realizing it, suddenly become neck-deep in all the issues of the divorce. John takes the term "counselor" to heart, knowing that common sense advice is often as useful as legal advice.

John knows there are times to negotiate, and times to stand firm. In court he is poised and professional but zealous in advancing your best interests. With a firm belief that people are more likely to follow an agreement than an order shoved down their throats, many issues related to the minor children and custody can, and should be resolved through compromise.

John is dedicated to the effective practice of law. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and a member of the Chicago Bar Association. John is also an active member of his community. He is a member of many civic organizations in Chicago, including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Give John a call today at (312) 893-5888 or 1-800-DIVORCE (in Northern Illinois) to learn more about how he can help you or to set up a FREE consultation.

Seven Questions with Attorney John L. Steele:

1. Why did you decide to become a lawyer? 
As a divorced father, I’ve been through the system. I saw my ex-wife and myself getting taken advantage of by our attorneys. They turned a relatively smooth process into an expensive and hostile one. The experience inspired me to want to make a difference in the area of family law. I wanted to be the kind of lawyer whose clients were better off because I helped them. I wanted to be able to help people without them feeling the way my ex and I felt.

2. What work experience, education, or life experience makes you a better lawyer?
As an attorney and a divorced father, I understand not only the law, but also what it's like to actually go through a divorce, to go through the frustration of a child custody hearing, and to feel the loss of control that family law litigation brings. Any attorney can tell you how he or she "understands what you're going through," but as a divorced father who has seen examples of good and bad spouses, as well as good and bad parenting, the truth is that every client's situation is unique. It can be difficult to keep a rational mindset then, without realizing it, suddenly become neck-deep in all the issues of the divorce. I take the term "counselor" to heart, knowing that common sense advice is often more useful then simply providing legal advice.

3. Why did you choose your primary area of practice?
I have always been considered a “family man.” Ever since I was young, my parents instilled strong family values in me. They helped me realize how important family is to one’s happiness and balance in life. In addition, I am very results-oriented. I think family law is one of the only areas of law practice in which you can see results almost immediately. There is no greater feeling than helping a family to resolve a complex and emotional issue and seeing that happy look on their face.

4. What do you like best about your career? 
I believe that good lawyers need more than money to keep them in family law. What provides me that motivation is knowing the difference a good family lawyer can make, whether it’s keeping children out of dangerous homes, forcing deadbeat dads to pay support, helping a man overcharged with support erase his arrears, or convincing two parents to put their children first.

5. Tell us about the people working with you at your law firm:
Personally, I have a wonderful legal assistant dedicated to providing our clients with the attention and assistance they need when I am in court or with another client. Between my legal assistant and myself, we are able to provide close to 24/7 help to our clients. We do not hand off cases to junior associates. So for example, if you sit down at a consultation with me, and I explain how I am going to help you, you can count on me being the one to handle your case. Our staff understands from the time they are hired at the Steele Law Firm that family law is different than other types of law, and that family law clients are oftentimes fighting over intensely emotional issues.

6. What are your strengths and style?
I would say that one of my strengths is that I am a creative problem solver. In family law, both parties tend to have a list of things that they want. I have learned that the more I satisfy the other party’s list, the easier it is to get what my client wants. Its amazing how often an agreement can be reached that gives both parties what they really want at the same time, without either side ‘losing’. Also, I think my role as a family lawyer includes me being direct and honest with my client. Oftentimes, settlement is impeded when one side is under a misconception about the law or their chances in court on a given issue. If a client of mine is unlikely to win on a particular issue, I feel it is my responsibility to tell him, and recommend compromise rather than going to court, paying substantial legal fees, and almost certainly losing the matter in the end. 
My style is to be empathic towards my clients. In divorce and child support/custody matters, each story is unique and the facts are important. For example, unlike other areas of law, child custody places a great deal of importance on the best interests of the child, which is almost entirely fact dependant. Being able to understand a client’s situation is not only polite, it is often required in order to piece together the strongest argument for my client.

7. What are your personal interests?
Raising my own children, playing basketball, reading American history, spending time at my cabin up in Minnesota.

Education:

University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN
J.D.

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
B.A.

Professional Associations and Memberships:

• Illinois State Bar Association
• Chicago Bar Association
• DuPage County Bar Association
• Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
• River North Business Association
• Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce

Areas of Practice:

• Matrimonial Law
• Family Law
• Divorce
• Domestic Relations
• Dissolution of Marriage and Legal Separation
• Litigation in Trial Courts
• Negotiated Settlements
• Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as Collaborative Law and Mediation
• Appeals to Reviewing Courts
• Financial Discovery and Analysis
• Property Division
• Retirement Benefits
• Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
• Paternity
• Adoption
• Child Custody, including Joint Custody and Sole Custody
• Child Visitation
• Child Support
• Child Abductions
• Maintenance, formerly known as Alimony
• Spousal Support
• Marital Settlement Agreements
• Premarital Agreements
• Postnuptial Agreements
• Annulments
• Domestic Violence
• Post-Decree and Post-Judgment Issues and Modifications
• Restraining Orders
• Separation Agreements

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DISCLAIMER: This web site does not constitute an attorney/client relationship and this website does not give legal advice

STEELE LAW FIRM, LLC
Phone: 312-893-5888
 Toll-Free (in Northern Illinois):
1-800-DIVORCE

Office Locations:

Downtown Chicago
161 N Clark St., Suite Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60601

Naperville
2135 CityGate Ln, Suite 300
Naperville, IL 60563

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Divorce And Family Law

Child Custody

Child Support

Modification & Enforcement

Collaborative Divorce & Mediation

Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Spousal Support / Maintenance

Domestic Violence & Orders of Protection

Adoption

Bankruptcy