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About Ken McNeil


Ken McNeil’s unique and engaging analysis of legal developments in the news derives in part from his rich and textured background. Before retiring from active legal practice, Ken spent 22 years as an attorney, community organizer, lobbyist and public servant. At Harvard Law School, he distinguished himself by winning the Williston Contracts Competition. He also holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from Penn’s Wharton School.

Beginning his legal career at one of Chicago’s largest law firms, Ken’s interest in Chicago school reform soon led him to a position with the Chicago Urban League. When the Illinois Supreme Court declared a school reform law unconstitutional, he developed the “limited voting” election format that was adopted by the Illinois legislature to correct the constitutional defect. Subsequently joining a Republican administration as one of its highest-ranking Democrats, Ken filled dual roles in the Office of the Illinois Lieutenant Governor, serving both as General Counsel and Special Assistant for Education. He would go on to run a not-for-profit school reform advocacy organization before becoming Director of Real Estate for the Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest school district.

Prior to his legal career, Ken played college basketball for Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly, who would later lead the Detroit Pistons to two world championships. After completing a three-year tour of active duty, Ken was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, one of the highest decorations that can be bestowed on a U.S. soldier during peacetime. He would attain the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged from the Army Reserve.