Elizabeth Bleakley

As someone who has started three small businesses of her own, Elizabeth Bleakley understands the risks, rewards, and challenges involved. She also has over ten years of management experience at several national financial services companies. Her legal experience in serving small and mid-sized businesses, prior management experience, and business education work together to provide clients with a practical approach to meeting their legal needs.

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Leadership and Professional Activities

Institute of Illinois Business Law (by invitation), Member, 2013-2017

Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)

Business and Securities Law Section Council

  • Ex-Officio Chair, 2017-2018
  • Chair, 2016-2017
  • Vice-Chair, 2015-2016
  • Member, 2010-2015

Business Advice and Financial Planning Council

  • Ex-Officio Chair, 2010-2011
  • Chair, 2009-2010
  • Vice-Chair, 2008-2009
  • Secretary, 2007-2008
  • Member, 2014-2016

American Bar Association (ABA)

Business Law, Middle Market and Small Business Committee

  • Co-Chair, Emerging Companies Subcommittee, 2015-2017
  • Member, 2007-2017

Chair, GP Solo and Small Firm, Business Advice and Financial Planning, 2011-2012

Membership Liaison – Business Law, State Regulations of Securities Committee, 2010-2012

Editorial Board, GPSOLO Magazine, Best of ABA Sections Issue, 2010-2011

Liaison to ALI-ABA, 2009-2011

Chair, YLD, Business Law Committee, 2007-2008

Chair, YLD, Real Property, Probate and Trust Committee, 2006-2007


Adjunct Professor, Analyzing Leadership course, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, 2006-2010

Other Leadership Roles

President of the Board, Chicago Association for Business Economics (CABE), 2015-2017

Chicago Booth Alumni Club

  • Director, 2016-2017
  • Ex-Officio President, 2012-2013
  • President, 2011-2012
  • Director – VP of Continuing Education, 2010-2011

Moderator and Forum Coordinator, Economics and Public Policy Forum for Chicago Booth Alumni Club, over 30 programs, 2011-2015

Speaking Engagements

Securities Law for the Non-Securities Lawyer, Planning Committee, Author, ABA CLE Program, Middle Market and Small Business, New Orleans, LA, April 2017

2016 JOBS Act Updates: Critical Changes in Capital Formation Rules, Crowdfunding presentation, Speaker, ISBA Business & Securities Law Section, Chicago, IL, May 2016

Accelerators and Incubators, Their Clients, and the Role of the Lawyer, Co-Chair and Moderator, ABA CLE Program, Emerging Companies, Boston, MA, September 2016

The Basics of LLC Operating Agreements, Capital Contributions – Cash vs. Services segment, Speaker, ISBA CLE Program, Business & Securities Law, Chicago, September 2015

Showcase Program: Minding Your Business – Successful Advising of the Small Business Client, Speaker, ABA CLE Program, Chicago, IL, August 2015

Complex Entity Structures Simplified, Speaker and Program Coordinator, ABA CLE Program, Business Law, Washington, D.C., April 2013

Basic Business Litigation Issues – Helping your client handle and avoid problems, Speaker, ABA CLE Program, GPS, Denver, CO, October 2011

Advising the Small Business, Speaker, ABA Conference, GPS, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 2011

Advising the Small Business Client in the Big Commercial Real Estate Transaction Negotiation, Speaker, ABA CLE Program, New York City, NY, August 2008

How to Choose and Handle Your Very First Pro Bono Case, Speaker, ABA CLE Program, YLD, Montreal, Canada, May 2007

Estate Planning 101 – Trusts and Advance Directives, Speaker and Program Sponsor, ABA CLE Program, YLD, Montreal, Canada, May 2007

Playing in the Dirt: Residential Real Estate, Speaker, ABA CLE Program, GPS, San Francisco, CA August 2007

Contract Basics and Beyond, Program Sponsor and Speaker, ABA CLE Program, YLD, North Carolina, October 2007

Accelerators and Incubators, Their Clients and the Role of the Lawyer, Co-Chair and Moderator, ABA CLE Program, MMSB, September 2016


Raising capital for business: Recent changes expand your options, ISBA Business and Securities Law, May 2017, vol. 62, no. 3, 2017

Mid-sized investment advisers and exempt reporting adviser status, ISBA, The Counselor Newsletter of the Business Advice and Financial Planning Council, Feb. 2014

Fiduciary duty of fund investment advisers to investment clients, ISBA Business Advice and Financial Planning, Feb. 2014

Company Web sites: Best Practices for Avoiding Securities Fraud, ISBA Business and Securities Law Forum Newsletter (July 2011)

Regulation D securities offerings, Business and Securities Law Forum Newsletter, ISBA, May 2011

Understanding securities issues for private companies, ISBA, The Counselor Newsletter of Business Advice and Financial Planning, April 2011

Raising Capital for Small Businesses, ISBA, The Counselor Newsletter, Business Advice and Financial Planning, May 2007

Wage Garnishment – Not Just the Employee’s Problem, ISBA The Counselor Newsletter, ISBA Business Advice and Financial Planning, March 2006

Raising Business Capital through Exempt Securities Offerings, ISBA The Counselor Newsletter, Business Advice and Financial Planning,  October 2006

White Papers (Unpublished Academic)

Protection of 401(k) Plan Participants under ERISA’s Fiduciary Responsibility Provisions, 2006

Effectiveness of the Certification Requirements under Sarbanes-Oxley in Preventing and Punishing Financial Statement Fraud, 2005

Bankruptcy Law and the Non-dischargeability of Debts Incurred in Violation of Securities Laws or Common Law Fraud in Connection with Securities, 2004

Pro bono/Community Service

Social Enterprises – Providing Meaning Through Commerce, Moderator and Program Co-coordinator, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, June 2017

Pro bono legal work on transportation-related matter with Access Living 2017

Sponsored and funded two financial awards for college to graduating seniors at Chicago (CPS) public high school: the Community

Builder Scholarship Award and the Excellence in Liberal or Performing Arts Award, 2015

Greater Chicago Food Depository Service Day, Volunteer, March 2012

Consult with and advise Chicago Volunteer Legal Service on estate client matter, 2012

Big Shoulders Fund – Give Back Day, Volunteer, February 2012

Chicago Volunteer Legal Service: Guardian Ad Litem matter, Wrongful Repossession case, 2006-2008

Community Economic Development Law Project: Speaker on Serving on Non-Profit Boards 2006

Small Business Development Center Business Leases; Small Business Issues, 2006-2007

Presentation on commercial real estate leases for a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Chicago, 2006

Advised client on and prepared revised corporate governance documents and related board resolutions for Chicago-based nonprofit entity, 2006

Open testate probate estate and prepare and obtain court ordered administrator’s deed for real estate for Center for Disability and Elder Law in Chicago, 2006

Recognition and Awards

Inducted as a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2017

Illinois Rising Star, SuperLawyers 2012 – 2015

Top Women Attorneys, Outstanding Young Attorneys in Illinois, as published in Chicago Magazine, Oct. 2013

Top Attorneys, The State’s Outstanding Young Lawyers, Business/Corporate Law, as recognized in Chicago Magazine, Feb. 2012

ABA Business Law Fellow (1 of 5), 2007-2009

ABA YLD Scholar, GP Solo Committee, 2008


J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law, 2005

CALI Excellence for the Future Awards:

Money Managers, 2006; Lawyering for Venture Capital, 2005; Investment Banking, 2005; Business Organizations, 2004

B.A., DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, 1999

M.B.A., University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, 2002