Standish E. Willis, Class of 1983

Renowned civil rights attorney

Standish E. WillisAn attorney with thirty years of experience, Standish Willis has specialized in civil rights, police brutality and misconduct and criminal defense cases. He established his own practice in 1989 and has tried numerous federal jury trials and several state jury and bench trials, and has argued many cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has also litigated hundreds of civil rights lawsuits against many municipalities involving numerous public officials and was named one of Chicago’s “Tough Lawyers” by Chicago Magazine in 2002. He is the Chair of the Chicago chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and is a longtime board member for the Black United Fund of Illinois.

Willis has taught in the G.E.D. program at Malcom X College, African American History courses at Statesville Prison and Economics classes as an Adjunct Professor at Roosevelt University. He has taught annual workshops for lawyers across the nation in topics including civil rights, criminal defense and human rights and has served as a faculty-lecturer for the annual civil rights seminar sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Chicago-Kent and the American Bar Association. Willis also speaks often on issues related to the criminal justice system, the death penalty, police brutality, community control of police, racism and the American legal system and international human rights.