Laurie E. Leader

Clinical Professor of Law

Professor Leader joined the Chicago-Kent faculty in the winter of 1999. Prior to that, she worked in private practice, specializing in labor and employment law, as a partner in several Chicago law firms until becoming principal of Leader & Associates Ltd. in 1995. She has served on many committees over the years, including as chair of the CBA's Gender Bias in the Court Room Committee from 1995 to 1997; as co-chair of the CBA's Young Lawyers Section of the Labor and Employment Law Committee from 1988 to 1989; and as regional co-chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Committee's first Trial Advocacy Competition in Chicago in 2006. In 2007, she helped to draft the materials and problem used on a national level in that competition and thereafter periodically judged the competition on a regional level.

Professor Leader is a life member of the National Registry of Who's Who. From 2001 to 2003, she was involved in a federal project to mentor and train minority and female lawyers in effective trial techniques. Between 2006 and 2008, Professor Leader was a co-host of "The Employment Hour," which aired on Comcast Cable. Additionally, she speaks regularly on a variety of employment-related topics and represents both employers and management and executive employees in all aspects of labor and employment law.

Professor Leader has authored many articles and treatises over the years, including Drafting Employment and Termination Agreements (Matthew Bender & Co. 1993) and Wages and Hours: Law & Practice (Matthew Bender & Co. 1990), which she continues to update annually. She is the revision author of two continuously updated volumes (Volume 13: Employment & Compensation Agreements and Volume 17: Stock Options & Other Incentive Plans) of the multi-volume treatise titled Rabkin & Johnson, Current Legal Forms (Lexis/Matthew Bender & Co.). Professor Leader is also currently an executive editor of the annual supplement to Lindemann, Grossman & Weirich, Employment Discrimination Law (a peer-reviewed publication, published annually by Bloomberg BNA in conjunction with the ABA's Labor & Employment Law Committee).

Professor Leader has contributed chapters to two other treatises—Kheel on Labor Law (Matthew Bender & Co. 1983–86) and Cavitch on Business Organizations (Matthew Bender & Co. 1992)—and has authored a chapter titled "How to Evaluate and Investigate a Plaintiff's Employment Discrimination Case" in IICLE's Employment Discrimination Handbook (2007). Her other selected works include the following: "Extending Overtime Protections to White-Collar Workers Otherwise Known as ‘The New Working Class,'" in H. Perritt, 2013 Employment Law Update (CCH 2013); FLSA Class Actions (LexisNexis 2008); "Linking Salary and Hours: When Will a Reduction in Salary and Hours Based on Declining Sales Defeat the FLSA's Professional Exemption?," 5-3 Bender's Labor & Employment Bulletin 4 (2005); and "Let's Get a Vision: Drafting Effective Arbitration Agreements in Employment and Effecting Other Safeguards to Insure Equal Access to Justice" (with M. Burger), 8 Employee Rights And Employment Policy Journal 87 (2004).

Professor Leader earned an A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and was named in the National Registry of Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities (1972–73). She received a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. While at Cleveland-Marshall, she was executive editor of the Cleveland State Law Review and taught a legal research and writing class to first-year students. Professor Leader currently serves on the editorial board of Lexis' Labor & Employment Newsletter and periodically contributes wage-hour articles to that publication. Professor Leader is admitted to practice law in Illinois, the Seventh Circuit, and the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. She is also a member of the Federal Trial Bar.


J.D., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
A.B., Washington University


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Law Offices of Chicago-Kent


Clinical Education;Labor and Employment Law