CHICAGO – After years arguing cases before some of the most prestigious courts in the state and the country, a former Illinois solicitor general is coming home to private practice at one of Chicago's most prestigious law firms - a firm at which he worked early in his career.
On Feb. 6, Mayer Brown, a Chicago-based law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Middle East, announced that Michael A. Scodro, a former solicitor general for the state of Illinois, has joined the firm as a partner in its Supreme Court and Appellate practice division in Chicago. In making the move, Scodro is returning to a firm where we worked earlier in his career.
Scodro has spent his career gaining experience as both a litigator and appellate advocate, arguing cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, state supreme courts, federal courts of appeals and all five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court.
Scodro spent six years as solicitor general for the state of Illinois, and during that time he was responsible for the civil and criminal appeals divisions of the state Attorney General’s Office. This required him to supervise more than 40 attorneys working on appeals cases. Also during this period he advised on other significant legal issues.
He attributed his decision to become solicitor general to his commitment to public service.
“As an appellate lawyer, the opportunity to represent the state in our state and federal appellate and supreme courts was extraordinarily exciting and uniquely gratifying,” Scodro told the Cook County Record.
Of his work in that role for the state, Scodro said he most proud of his opportunity to present cases to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I was humbled and honored to represent the people of the state of Illinois in the nation’s highest court,” he said.
After finishing his stint in public service, Scodro said he was in search of new ways to prove his mettle and returned to private practice in 2014.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my service in the Attorney General’s Office,” he said. “But after many years in that role I decided to pursue a new set of challenges as an appellate litigator in the private sector.”
In addition to his new duties at Mayer Brown, Scodro is active at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches a seminar on U.S. Supreme Court practice. He is a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and American Law Institute, and recently served as president of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association, according to a press release issued by Mayer Brown.
Scodro's other accomplishments include being appointed to the American Bar Foundation and appointments to several Illinois Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit and American Bar Association committees. Scodro has also spent time as a member of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence, an organization that worked to create the Illinois' first code of evidence.
Looking forward, Scodro said that he feels the future of the legal profession will require a new emphasis on polite discourse in the courtroom.
“One hears more and more courts and judges emphasizing the need for civility in the practice of law,” he said. “And there’s no doubt this has to remain a priority for the bar.”