Barbara A. Adams is a Chicago lawyer who focuses her practice on representing local governments, including municipalities, counties and special districts as well as state governmental agencies. She also represents private parties in matters dealing with units of government. Ms. Adams has extensive experience in areas that include administrative law, construction law, contracts, intergovernmental cooperation, water law, zoning and land use, real estate acquisition and taxation, public 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 as well as appearing before administrative bodies and tribunals.

Ms. Adams is a frequent author and lecturer on matters affecting government law, including cable television, telecommunications law, construction law, contracting and finance, water law, and zoning of and leasing for wireless facilities. She serves and has served as general counsel to a variety of the firm's clients in Illinois, including the City of Warrenville, Village of Kenilworth and Kenilworth Park District, Village of Hinsdale and two water commissions. Ms. Adams also regularly serves a number of the firm's clients, including The County of Lake, Illinois, and Illinois municipalities such as Deerfield, Des Plaines, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lincolnwood and Northbrook. In addition, she acts as special counsel to counties and the Illinois Finance Authority on conduit bond issues as well as various municipalities on water law, election law, zoning, intergovernmental agreements, cable television, telecommunications, public pension law, 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 Chicago Bar Association. Topics of recent lectures encompass public bidding and contracting, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evolving law of electronic records and communications, law of easements, cable television (CATV) and telecommunications matters, and Open Meetings Act (OMA).


  • 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 and Secretary-Treasurer; Program Planning Committee Co-Chair; Past Regional Vice President; Past Illinois State Chair
  • Illinois Municipal League, Home Rule Attorneys' Committee, Member; Chair, 1998, 1999; Subcommittee on the Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Law, Past Chair
  • Chicago Bar Association Local Government Committee, Member; Chair, 1993, 1994
  • Northwest Municipal Conference Attorneys' Committee, Member; Past Chair
  • Chicago Bar Association, Legislative Committee
  • National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, National and Illinois Chapters
  • Knox College Board of Trustees, 1998-2008; Past Secretary
  • Knox College Annual Fund Steering Committee, Past 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