Patricia Brown Holmes
Patricia Brown Holmes is the first African-American woman to lead and have her name on the door of a major law firm that is not women- or minority-owned. A woman of exceptional talent, intelligence, and vitality, Patricia has chalked up enough accomplishments to fill three lifetimes. Over the course of her distinguished legal career, she has practiced law on both sides of the bench in courtrooms at every level, serving as Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, assistant U.S. attorney, assistant state's attorney for Cook County, and Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel for Municipal Prosecutions for the city of Chicago.
By the time she ventured into private practice in 2005, Patricia’s skill and experience were firmly established and widely acknowledged. She is one of a handful of Illinois lawyers who have tried cases in state, city, and federal court as well as state appellate, federal appellate, and Illinois Supreme Court. She is also co-writer of a brief that was presented before the US Supreme Court.
Over the past decade, in her role as a successful and sought-after defense attorney, she has represented a wide range of public and private corporate clients in complex commercial, regulatory, and class action litigation as well as in internal investigations involving financial and accounting fraud, corporate whistleblower allegations, contract disputes, and mail and wire fraud.
Patricia practices the art of communicating with government officials by employing equal measures of conviction, clarity, and tact. Her experience on both sides of the bench has given her valuable insight into how to analyze cases from all angles. This rare combination makes her a powerful asset, valuable partner, and trusted counselor to a wide range of corporate clients in several industries, among them education, transportation, manufacturing, entertainment, industrial, healthcare, and food and beverage.
She was recognized in Savoy Magazine as one of the 2018 Most Influential Black Lawyers and in Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicago’s 2018 Notable Women Lawyers and Chicago’s 2017 Most influential Minority Lawyers for her impressive achievements and dedication to diversity initiatives. Patricia continues to be an avid and committed champion of diversity in the legal profession as demonstrated by RSHC’s 53% women and 27% racial/ethnic minorities percentages, which far exceed the national averages.
Judge Holmes serves on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, is the Chair of Harriet’s Daughters, is a past President of the Chicago Bar Association, and has served in a variety of appointed positions such as the Special Prosecutor in the Laquan McDonald matter, the Trustee of Burr Oak Cemetery, and as co-chair of the Judicial Selection Commission for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.