Michael Weaver

Cook County Circuit Court


Michael will be an important LGBTQ voice on the Illinois bench!


Michael is a partner in the trial department at the full-service law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. As a litigator with a focus on commercial litigation, he has been involved in a wide assortment of complex matters in courts across the country. Michael has significant trial and appellate experience.

At McDermott, Michael serves as the Pro Bono Litigation Partner where he cultivates and enhances pro bono litigation opportunities available to the Firm’s attorneys in a wide array of substantive areas that impact the communities in which we work and live. He previously served as the Partner-in-Charge for the LGBTQ+ Diversity and Inclusion Committee at McDermott. As an associate, he organized a legal clinic for LGBTQ+ individuals with the Center on Halsted and the Broadway Youth Center of Howard Brown. The Center on Halsted was so pleased with this program that it selected McDermott for its “Outstanding Volunteer Attorney” Award. In 2019, Chambers and Partners shortlisted Michael as LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year. He was also named to the inaugural list of Crain’s Chicago Business Notable LGBTQ Executives in 2018 as well as a “Rising Star” by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Diversity & The Bar in 2015. Michael also served as the Hiring Partner for McDermott’s Chicago office.

The Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago found Michael “Highly Recommended” and the Chicago Bar Association as well as the members of the Alliance of Bar Associations rated him “Qualified” or “Recommended” for Circuit Court Judge.

Michael has spent many years working with the non-profit Family Defense Center (n/k/a Ascend Justice), which provides access to justice for families in the child welfare system through direct representation and policy advocacy. In addition to serving on the Board, including as Board President for four years, Michael has provided pro bono representation to families throughout Cook County facing DCFS investigations.

Prior to joining McDermott, Michael served as a law clerk for Chief Justice F. Michael Kruse and Associate Justice Lyle L. Richmond of the High Court of American Samoa. Michael maintains his license to practice in American Samoa and continues to represent various clients in the U.S. Territory.

Michael earned his law degree at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While in law school, Michael was the Executive Editor for Student Articles for the Loyola Law Journal and a Philip H. Corboy Fellow in Trial Advocacy. In addition, Michael interned for three federal judges: Judge William J. Hibbler, Judge Ronald A. Guzman, and Judge Ann Claire Williams.

Michael is the author of two law journal articles: The Territory Federal Jurisdiction Forgot: The Question of Greater Federal Jurisdiction in American Samoa, 17 Pac. Rim. L. & Pol’y 325 (2008) and Uncertainty Maintained: The Split Decision over Partisan Gerrymanders in Vieth v. Jubelirer, 36 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 1273 (2005)

Before law school, Michael worked in higher education administration where he obtained a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Human Resource Development from the George Washington University. Michael also has a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University.

Michael lives with his husband, Paul, and their two Pugs, Magnum and Louie, in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.

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