Lawrence was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.  He attended Lane Tech High School and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree at Northwestern University.  He received his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.  After law school, he started his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County.  He became a supervisor of twenty six other lawyers for then State’s Attorney Richard Daley.

It was a natural progression from representing victims of crime to victims of negligence and injustice.  In 1982, Lawrence left the State’s Attorneys office and worked as an associate in both defense and plaintiffs law firms.  In 1986, he founded his own firm handling a wide variety of injury and other trial cases.  In 1987, a good friend and former public defender, Ralph Meczyk, joined him in his office and together represented individuals in civil and criminal matters.

In 1990, Lawrence successfully defended Cynthia Dowaliby, a mother charged with the murder of her daughter. The case drew national attention in the media.  It was the first time that nationally renowned expert witnesses were used in a defense in a criminal courtroom in Chicago.  Lawrence was a featured speaker after the Dowaliby case was selected by the Chicago Bar Association as part of the famous “Chicago Trial Series” in 1994.

Lawrence and his associate started a live call-in program on Chicago Access television called “Legally Speaking” in 1997.  He fielded calls on all types of legal issues from viewers while appearing each week.  His guests included attorneys in special practice fields as well as circuit court and appellate court justices.

Still involved in high profile criminal cases, Lawrence appeared before the United States Supreme Court in 2004 to participate in a crucial constitutional issue involving the right of the police to use a dog to walk around a citizen’s car after being stopped by the police.

Today, Lawrence continues his practice in both civil and criminal matters in trial and appellate courts in Illinois and throughout the United States.

Education:

  • B.A., Northwestern University, 1972
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1975

 

Admitted to Practice:

  • Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Numerous states and federal courts

 

Honors/Awards:

  • Famous Chicago Trial Series – Lectured on Dowaliby Trial for Chicago Bar Association program
  • Distinguished service award from Northwestern Business College in Chicago for participation on Advisory Board
  • Chicago Access Television – Ran television program to educate public on legal issues

 

Professional Affiliations:

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • American Association for Justice