Irish Legal 100


WILLIAM J. Quinlan is principal at The Quinlan Law Firm, which maintains offices in Chicago, Phoenix and Silicon Valley. He has a national practice that includes all aspects of litigation from the circuit court to the appellate court.

From 2005 to 2008, Quinlan served as the general counsel of the State of Illinois and, as such, oversaw all legal matters within the state agencies, as well as approximately the 300 attorneys under the auspices of the governor.

Earlier in his career he spent three years as a staff member of the Ways and Means Committee of the United States Congress where he worked on the development and implementation of such issues as national health care, Social Security reform and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

As an attorney, Quinlan represented Cook County Clerk David Orr before the Circuit, Appellate, and Supreme Court of Illinois in a challenge to an Illinois statute authorizing a voter’s right to cast a straight party vote. He also has represented the Democratic National Convention Committee in litigation related to the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

In 2003, Quinlan was named by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin as one of its Forty Under 40 Attorneys to Watch. In 2005, Crain’s Chicago Business also honored Quinlan as one of its 40 Under 40 business leaders. He has also been recognized multiple years by Super Lawyers, including for 2017-2023.

Quinlan earned a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Married with two children, Quinlan traces his Irish ancestry back three generations to counties Waterford and Wexford. He is a member of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago.





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