Lisa Madigan is a litigation partner in the Chicago office, with a broad practice focused on state and federal level investigations and regulatory work, internal investigations, crisis management and litigation. She has more than 25 years of experience handling a range of issues including consumer protection, data security and privacy, health care, the environment, and sexual assault and harassment.
Lisa joined Kirkland in 2019 after a distinguished career in public service. She was the first female Attorney General in Illinois and held the post for 16 years, becoming the longest serving Attorney General in the state’s history.
Recognized for her integrity, Lisa established a national reputation as an influential advocate and reformer during her tenure as Attorney General. She professionalized the office, increased enforcement, and generated more than $14 billion for the state, including nearly $4 billion for Illinois homeowners, communities, and pension funds to recover from financial fraud and discriminatory lending at the heart of the mortgage crisis.
Lisa had more than 150 bills signed into law while Attorney General. Under her leadership, the Consumer Protection Division established a national reputation for safeguarding consumers from financial fraud and discrimination. She also served as a lead negotiator in the National Mortgage Settlement with some of the nation’s largest banks.
She has made protecting children and women from violence a priority, and reformed the Illinois criminal justice system to prevent and respond to sexual assault and domestic violence including requiring response standards on college campuses and hospital emergency rooms. She also worked to effect important systemic reform of the Chicago Police Department. Lisa was the first Illinois Attorney General in over 25 years to personally argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois v. Caballes, in which the Supreme Court upheld the ability of law enforcement to detect the presence of illegal drugs during traffic stops.
On the national level, Lisa has frequently testified before Congress and federal commissions and served in appointed roles with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of State.
Prior to her election as Illinois Attorney General, Lisa served as an Illinois State Senator, a litigator, an assistant dean, and volunteer teacher in South Africa during apartheid.
She is also a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School.
Lecturer in Law, The Role and Practice of the State Attorneys General, University of Chicago Law School, 2019–Present
Resident Fellow, Seminar on Public Service: Policy & Possibilities, University of Chicago Institute of Politics, 2019
Speaker, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, AGTech Forum, Harvard Law School, 2018
Keynote Speaker, Labor and Worklife Convening, Harvard Law School, 2018
Keynote Speaker, Conference of Western Attorneys General, Africa Alliance Partnership, Southern African Development Conference, Maputo, Mozambique, 2018
Speaker and Panelist, Institute for Policy Integrity Conference, Attorneys General on Environmental Litigation, New York University School of Law, 2017
Keynote Speaker, Human Rights Symposium, Columbia University Law School, 2017
Guest Lecturer, International Human Rights Clinic, University of Chicago Law School, 2017
Professor, Comparative Consumer Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law Rome, 2017
Guest Lecturer, Gender Violence, Law and Social Justice Class, Harvard Law School, 2016
Guest Lecturer, The Role of the State Attorney General Class, Harvard Law School, 2016
Keynote Speaker, Conference of Western Attorneys General, Africa Alliance Partnership, Conference on Human Trafficking, Nairobi, Kenya, 2016
“How Kirkland & Ellis Contributed 5,000-Plus Hours to an Investigation Into Discriminatory Policing in Minneapolis,” The American Lawyer Litigation Daily, April 28, 2022
Lisa was recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. for:
- Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2020–2021
- General Commercial Disputes, 2020
Many organizations have recognized and honored Lisa’s career accomplishments, including the following:
- Recipient of the Kelley-Wyman award from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). The honor is given to the attorney general who has done the most to achieve NAAG’s objectives, which include leading litigation on behalf of the states, reforming the law and leading legal and public advocacy initiatives to benefit the state.
- Recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, an honor presented annually to an American elected official whose contributions in office demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of President Kennedy.
- Recipient of the Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding young political leaders and is focused on the ethics and responsibilities of public leadership.
- Lisa also received awards for her public service work from organizations such as the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, American Association of Retired Persons, American Cancer Society, American Constitution Society, American Lung Association, Anti-Defamation League, Asian American Coalition of Chicago, Better Business Bureau, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, Consumer Federation of America, End Violence Against Women International, Equality Illinois, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Bar Foundation, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, Illinois Hunger Coalition, Illinois News Broadcasters Association, Illinois Poison Control Center, Illinois Press Association, Illinois PTA, Illinois State Bar Association, Leadership Greater Chicago, League of Women Voters, Monsignor John Egan Campaign for Payday Loan Reform, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Consumers League, National Foundation for Credit Counseling, National MS Society of Greater Illinois, Neighborhood Housing Services, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rape Victim Advocates, Rotary Club of Chicago, Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists, USAction, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, and Woman’s Bar Association of Illinois.
Memberships & Affiliations
First Vice Chair of Programs, Executive Committee, Economic Club of Chicago
The Chicago Network
SAGE (Society of Attorneys General Emeritus)
Member, Governing Board, Shriver Center on Poverty Law
Member, Edgar Fellows Advisory Board, University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs
Admissions & Qualifications
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Loyola University Chicago School of LawJ.D.1994
Executive Editor, Consumer Law Review
St. Robert Bellarmine Award, 2004
- Georgetown UniversityB.A.1988
US Department of Justice, Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, 2009–2016
- Chief Member, Consumer Protection Working Group
- Chief Member, Non-Discrimination Working Group
- Chief Member, Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group
US Department of State, US Universal Periodic Review, UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, 2015
- Delegation Member
US Department of Transportation, Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protection, 2012–2014