James L. Schwartz
Jim was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs. After graduating college from Penn State and law school from Villanova University, Jim began his legal career with the City of Philadelphia and worked his way up to become the Assistant to the Chief Litigation Counsel at the City Solicitor’s Office. Thereafter, wanting a more specialized litigation position, Jim went to work for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, first in Washington, D. C and then in their newly opened office in Chicago.
After leaving the CFTC, Jim went into private practice, concentrating on transactional and litigation matters involving securities, commodity futures, real estate and general corporate matters. More than 40 years later, he still has this basic practice mix but has also added federal tax matters.
When Jim’s two children reached high school age, he became active in bar association work. He first became involved with the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and for 15 years focused on evaluating candidates for various local, state and federal offices and also being very active in writing “will packages” for indigent persons suffering from AIDS. Then Jim became active in the National Lesbian and Gay Bar Association (now called The National LGBT Bar Association) and ultimately served as its Chair.
Contemporaneous with his LGBT work, Jim became active in the ABA where he has served in various capacities including: being a member of the House of Delegates for many years; being a member of GP/Solo’s council for 5 years; being a member of GP/Solo’s magazine board for 15 years; being a founder and editor of GP/Solo’s electronic newsletter for 10 years; being on several ABA Committees including Youth at Risk, the ABA’s liaison Committee to the United Nations; being liaison to SOGI for more than 10 years and more. As for SLD, Jim has been the Chair of VOE for 3 years, has served on SLD’s Council for several years and is active in other SLD Committees.
Jim has also served on bar committees on the Illinois State and Chicago bars including causing ISBA to form its SOGI committee and then serving as its first chair. Lastly, Jim is President of the Chicago chapter of Prime Timers, an international gay senior organization which concentrates on charitable, educational and social activities for gay seniors. Jim lives in Chicago and continues to practice law full time.