Jim Keeling maintains a business law practice with emphasis on organizational and transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions and real estate. He also advises numerous individual and business clients in the areas of estate and financial planning and real estate development. In conjunction with both his business law and estate planning practices, Jim also advises closely held businesses and family businesses on ownership relations and succession planning issues.

Professional Background

Jim is the former Practice Group Leader of the national Commercial Transactions Practice Group at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He has also served as partner-in-charge of the firm's Rockford office and as Chairman of the Board for Hinshaw Consulting, LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm (2012-2016).

Jim has been certified by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Western Division, as a court annexed mediator.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Bar Association
  • Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the category of Small, Closely & Privately Held Business Law
  • Included in the 2010 Leading Lawyers Magazine Business Edition, as one of the Top 100 Leading Downstate Business Lawyers in Illinois
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine

Community/Civic Activities

  • Rockford University, Board of Trustees, Former Chair
  • Transform Rockford, Steering Committee
  • Perryville Path Project (an effort to build a community bicycle and recreational path system), Chair
  • The First Tee of Greater Rockford, Founding Chairman and Emeritus Board Member
  • Rockford Park District Foundation, Director Emeritus
  • Rockford's Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, a city landmark, Founder and Co-Chair
  • RockRiver Valley Peace Coalition, Co-Chair
  • River South Development Foundation, Director and Vice President
  • Perks Family Foundation, Board of Directors
  • The Blazer Foundation, Director

Mr. Keeling's community service has also been recognized by the following listed awards:

  • Rockford University 
    • Karl C. Williams Award, 2021
    • Honorary Alumnus, 2018
    • Mary Ashby Cheek Award, 2014
  • Turkish American Society of Rockford Humanitarian Award, 2015
  • Rockford Housing Authority "Jane Addams Peace Award." 2014
  • Rockford Register Star "Excalibur Award," 2011
  • Rockford Chamber of Commerce
    • Citizen of the Year, 2011
    • 20 People You Should Know honoree, 2011
  • Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau "Tourism Hall of Fame," 2011 
  • Central Asia Institute (Greg Mortenson) Humanitarian Award, 2010
  • Excalibur Finalist, 2010, 2003, 1995, and 1993
  • Rockford Cosmopolitan Club "Charles G. Uram Lifetime Service Award," 2008
  • Rockford Golf Hall of Fame, 2007
  • Boy Scouts of America "Distinguished Citizen Award/Champion of Youth," 2005
  • Association of Fund Raising Professionals "Outstanding Fundraiser Volunteer Award," 2004
  • Patriots Gateway Center "Patriot of the Year" for The First Tee Initiative, 2004
  • Midwest Trails Conference "Innovative Paths Award," 2003
  • Rockford Sesquicentennial (1852 – 2002) "Futurist Award," 2002
  • Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, 2002
  • Illinois Park and Recreation Association and Illinois Association of Park Districts, "Community Service Award," 2001 and 1994
  • Winnebago Bar Foundation "Seely Forbes Service Award," 1999
  • Walton Foundation "Sam Walton Business Leader Award," 1998
  • Rails to Trails Conservancy "Illinois Trails Development Leadership Award," 1998
  • United Way "Volunteerism Award" for Service to Prairie State Legal Services, 1998
  • Rockford Rotary Club "Service Above Self Award," 1997
  • Midway Village Museum Center "Leadership and Dedicated Service," 1994
  • Rockford Road Runners "Community Service Award," 1993

J.D., University of Colorado School of Law, 1974

  • Managing Editor, University of Colorado Law Review
  • Member, Order of the Coif

B.A., Lawrence University, 1970