Anthony Ficarelli is a skilled attorney whose wide-ranging practice reflects the diversity of his public sector legal experience. The two primary areas of his practice are:

School Law. For approximately 25 years Mr. Ficarelli has advised and represented school districts throughout Illinois as general counsel and as special counsel in a variety of issues, including employment matters, discipline and dismissal of employees, and complex student issues including discipline, residency and special education. He also focuses on representing boards of education in hundreds of collective bargaining agreements with teachers’ unions and various other educational employee support bargaining units.

Mr. Ficarelli often advises school districts on business and financial affairs. His advice includes negotiating financial plans with the State Board of Education and bond underwriters, when necessary. He has worked closely with administrators and boards of education to develop and create effective solutions to budgetary concerns.

Local Governments and Not-for-Profit Organizations. Mr. Ficarelli also serves as general counsel to other units of local government, including park districts and not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Ficarelli is also involved with counseling on labor issues and personnel issues, including governance issues with not-for-profit boards. In addition to coverage, he has experience in public contracting and construction matters.

Professional Background

Mr. Ficarelli practiced for nine years with a major school law firm immediately before joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in January 1999.

From 1985 to 1990, he was a member of the DuPage County State Attorney’s Office, where he rose to the position of Deputy Chief, Civil Division. During this period he represented the County on major project and transactional issues, and was named Outstanding Civil Division Attorney in 1986.

Mr. Ficarelli served for two years with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, focusing on securities and revenue enforcement. He also spent two years with Hyatt Corporation’s Legal Department focusing on general corporate matters, and worked with private law firms in the areas of commercial finance and banking.

Professional Affiliations

  • DuPage County
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Association of School Attorneys
  • National Association of School Attorneys
  • Illinois Association of School Business Officials

Honors & Awards

  • Named by his peers in The Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in the area of school law
  • West Suburban Living magazine has listed him as a "Top Attorney" in the area of school law, 2004, 2011, 2013
  • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine (2005) (2007)


He is a frequent lecturer and speaker on educational and employment law issues for a number of organizations, including the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Association of School Administrators and other professional education organizations. His presentations include:

  • "Strikes & Strike-Related Issues," IIT/Chicago Kent's 31st Annual Illinois Public Sector Labor Relations Law Conference, Chicago, December 2015.
  • “Building a More Civil Society: DuPage County Anti-Bullying Initiative,” IASB/IASA/IASBO 79th Joint Conference, Chicago, November 2011.
  • “Negotiation Issues for Superintendents,” Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education Administrative Academy, Alsip, Illinois, February 2010.
  • “Schools and Social Media: First Amendment Issues Arising from Student Use of the Internet,” DuPage County Regional Office of Education, Wheaton, Illinois, May 2009.
  • “Current Issues for Collective Bargaining,” Third Annual Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators Conference, Lisle, Illinois, January 2009.
  • “Legal and Practical Steps for School Property Management,” Illinois Association of School Boards 2007 Conference, Chicago, November 2006.
  • “Laws on Worker’s Background Checks and Drug Testing,” DuPage County Bar Association Mega Meeting, Lisle, Illinois, January 2005.


Mr. Ficarelli has written several articles for the DuPage County Bar Association Brief.

Community/Civic Activities

  • Ph.D. Education Department at Lewis University, Associate Professor
  • Business Finance Science Department at the College of DuPage, Served as an Adjunct Professor
  • Naperville School District Number 203, Leads Hinshaw's School Law group in an Educational Partnership Program


J.D., Georgetown University, 1978

B.S., Regis College, 1974