Barbara A. Adams focuses her practice on representing local governments and governmental agencies. Ms. Adams has extensive experience in areas that include administrative law, construction law, contracts, intergovernmental cooperation, real estate acquisition and taxation, zoning and land use, water law, pension law, personnel and employment, telecommunications, cable television, environmental law, public finance and bonds, and code and ordinance interpretation. She conducts litigation in state and federal courts, appearing before administrative tribunals and representing private parties in matters dealing with units of government.

Ms. Adams is a frequent author and lecturer on matters affecting local government law, including cable television, telecommunications law, construction law, contracting and finance, water law, and zoning of and leasing for wireless facilities. She serves as general counsel to the Northwest Water Commission, the DuPage Water Commission, the Village of Kenilworth and the Kenilworth Park District, and has served as village attorney for Hinsdale. Ms. Adams also regularly serves a variety of the firm's clients, including Northbrook, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest and Glencoe. In addition, she provides counsel to various municipalities on zoning, intergovernmental agreements, cable television, telecommunications, pension boards, boards of fire and police commissioners, personnel and other legal issues.

Ms. Adams prepared a model purchase of service agreement and an accompanying article for the Transportation Research Board that was nationally published and circulated to public transit agencies. She is a frequent lecturer on legal issues at various programs and events, including those of the International Municipal Lawyers’ Association, Illinois Municipal League, Illinois Government Finance Officers' Association, Illinois Association of Public Procurement Officials, Illinois Association of Municipal Management Assistants, Lorman Education Services and the West Central Municipal Conference. Topics of recent lectures encompass public bidding and contracting, the law of easements, the evolving law of electronic records and communications, cable TV and telecommunications matters and the Open Meetings Act.


  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D.
  • Knox College, B.A., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • International Municipal Lawyers' Association, Board of Directors; former Regional Vice President; former Illinois State Chair; Land Development, Planning and Zoning Section, Chair; Program Planning and Vision 2020 Committees, Member
  • Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Attorneys' Committee, Chair, 1998, 1999
  • Chicago Bar Association Local Government Committee, Chair, 1993,1994
  • Illinois Municipal League, Home Rule Attorneys Committee and League Subcommittee on the Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Law, former Chair
  • Northwest Municipal Conference Attorneys' Committee, former Chair
  • American Bar Association, Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section
  • Chicago Bar Association, Legislative Committee
  • National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, National and Illinois Chapters
  • Knox College Board of Trustees, 1998-2008, former Secretary of the Board
  • Knox College Annual Fund Steering Committee, former Chair
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Government Relations Law, 2007-2020
  • Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2012-2018
  • Leading Illinois Attorney, Governmental Law
  • Lambda Alpha International Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics
  • Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, Executive Editor
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Pi Sigma Alpha
  • Mortar Board


Speaking Engagements