Since adoption of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, Illinois state government has grown in size and complexity due to increased services provided to citizens, federal mandates, technological advances and emphasized federalism. Professional legislators work within a system of legislative committees and staffs, organized interest groups, political action committees, administrative agencies and constitutional officer executive staffs--all under intense scrutiny of a mature media corps and public interest groups. State government itself embraces 144 distinct agencies, boards, commissions and offices.
As the State capital, Springfield is the hub of these governmental activities. Informed and effective Illinois governmental representation of businesses, trade associations and law firm clients requires increasingly specialized and frequent services. Clients with significant interests to protect and advance require a unique combination of planning, monitoring, analysis, legislative advocacy, administrative rulemaking, litigation and political intelligence skills. Depending on the client or government representation matter, the challenge to successfully function within this environment can be daunting.
Sorling Northrup draws on the experience of its registered lawyer-lobbyists to directly advocate client interests with constitutional officers, legislators, departmental directors, and their staffs. Lawyer-lobbyists include individuals who have served as counsel to Illinois legislative leaders, state administrative agencies, constitutional officers, and statewide political parties. A staff of Sorling Northrup lawyer-lobbyists is present at the Illinois Statehouse during sessions of the General Assembly, providing clients timely political information and an ability to quickly react to sudden developments. Sorling Northrup lawyer-lobbyists provide communication and legislative reports tailored to the specific needs of clients. The firm has around-the-clock access to the state's computerized Legislative Information System.
Attorneys and support personnel with governmental representation responsibilities can utilize a collaborative approach in the comprehensive representation of clients when a client challenge requires such effort. These individuals draw together complimentary legal skills, knowledge of substantive areas of the law and contacts deep within both major political parties. For example, Sorling Northrup attorneys can simultaneously pursue administrative rulemaking, legislative advocacy and the defense of a sophisticated commercial lawsuit. Such a multi-disciplinary and collegial approach provides Sorling Northrup clients the capability to defend and advance significant interests within Illinois state government.
Sorling Northrup attorneys who practice in this area include: