Mayer Brown's Chicago office is the original, and still largest, office in the firm. It is also one of the largest law offices in the City of Chicago, with deep roots in the community and a place in the history of the city. Founded in 1881, the Chicago office advised on the original incorporations of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Continental Bank, guided Chicago leaders in the city's phenomenal growth, and represented clients in some of Chicago's most storied trials. Finance, corporate, and litigation work are among the office's greatest and most well known strengths.
The Chicago office's record of public service is well known. Our attorneys have held a range of political offices-including Assistant US Secretary of State, Attorney General for the State of Illinois, Counsel to the Governor of State of Illinois, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and, currently, US Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations-and represent both major parties. Several of the City of Chicago's recent corporation counsels and the Mayor's Chief of Staff came directly from Mayer Brown.
In addition to serving as instructors at Chicago's leading law schools, a number of our Chicago office attorneys have published widely in their fields. Notable publications include Supreme Court Practice, the standard treatise on Supreme Court litigation; the innovative treatise Securitization of Financial Assets, Bidders and Targets, a leading corporate takeover strategies discussion; and the classic Trusts & Trustees.
Civic responsibilities are a given in the Chicago office, and Mayer Brown attorneys are encouraged to contribute. They serve on many of the City's most important cultural boards including the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Chicago Symphony.
Pro bono legal work is the office's most formalized civic contribution. We created the position of a full-time Director of Pro Bono Activities in 1999, hiring Marc Kadish, a law school clinical professor for 20 years who has devoted his entire professional life to public interest activities. Now under the leadership of Marcia Maack, she only solicits challenging work for the practice-most notably our Seventh Circuit Project-she uses it as an important tool for attorney training. We have worked on cases ranging from death row review, civil liberties and rights abuses, political asylum, government reform, and federalism to discrimination in housing, employment, and the provision of public services; indigent criminal defense work; and litigation addressing the needs of the homeless. We provide a wide variety of legal services to Chicago's poor and otherwise disadvantaged. Many of our corporate and tax lawyers serve as counsel to Chicago community and charitable organizations.