Lori E. Lightfoot has been committed to public service and social justice her entire career. With more than twenty years’ experience in the justice system and government sector, Lori has served as a trial attorney, investigator and risk manager. She currently is a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, based in the Chicago office and handles a range of client matters such as complex commercial litigation, internal investigations, as well as criminal defense.
She was appointed as President of the Chicago Police Board by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in June of 2015 and was approved by the Chicago City Council in July of 2015.
Both as a civil litigator and as Assistant US Attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois (1996–2002), Lori has tried more than twenty federal and state jury and bench trials. She has also argued cases in state and federal appellate courts and she has successfully conducted numerous internal investigations. In addition, Lori has considerable experience in instituting risk management and compliance practices for municipal government departments, such as police, procurement services, emergency management, homeland security and 9-1-1 emergency call systems.
From 2002 to 2005, Lori worked with the City of Chicago as Interim First Deputy Procurement Officer, Department of Procurement Services (DPS); General Counsel and Chief of Staff, Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC); and Chief Administrator, Office of Professional Standards (OPS) of the Chicago Police Department. At OPS, Lori managed a 100-person office of civilian investigators charged with investigating police-involved shootings, allegations of excessive force and other misconduct alleged against Chicago police officers. She also coordinated joint investigations with state and federal criminal authorities and facilitated the implementation of new compliance and risk management systems.
As Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Lori oversaw the City’s 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency call systems, emergency response operations, homeland security initiatives and related technologies. She also developed management accountability metrics for each OEMC operational unit. Highlights of her OEMC experience include managing the recovery of the city’s 9-1-1 system following a catastrophic crash and serving as point person for recovery efforts during and following natural disasters, such as large scale fires and weather.
Lori has been associated with Mayer Brown since 2005 and, previously, between 1990 and 1996. Earlier, she served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Charles Levin, Michigan Supreme Court (1989–1990). She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School.