Chicago Office
140 S. Dearborn Street, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603

Direct Phone:  312.604.9183
Fax:  312.782.0943

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Practice Areas
Civil Rights Defense
Labor & Employment
Tort Litigation
J.D., The UIC - John Marshall Law School
B.S., Northwestern University
Bar & Court Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court
Illinois Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Federal Trial Bar Member)
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Cook County Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Illinois Council of School Attorneys

Our People

Emanuel "Chris" Welch
Of Counsel

Chris practices in the area of litigation for governmental clients, and with over 20 years in practice, he also enjoys counseling clients on day to day matters.

Before joining Ancel Glink, Chris was a partner at another Chicago law firm.  While there, he acted as legal counsel for various municipalities and school districts. As a partner, he was responsible for overseeing and managing defense and strategy for all matters handled by the municipal and school law team of associates. Chris has successfully tried cases at both the State and Federal levels and has argued appeals in State and Federal Appellate courts. In addition, he is a certified administrative hearing officer.

Chris has served as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly since January 2013 representing the Seventh District. Prior to serving as State Representative, Chris served 12 years on the Proviso Township District 209 Board of Education.   He served as Board President for 10 years.  

Chris is a recipient of many awards and/or recognitions including being named one of Illinois’ Leading Lawyers in 2018, a "Rising Star" by Superlawyers Magazine, "SuperLawyer" by Superlawyer Magazine and Chicago Defender Man of Excellence.  He was inducted into The John Marshall Law School Hall of Fame in 2015 and an Edgar Fellow in 2016.  In 2010, Chris was designated as Top 40 Game Changers under the age of 40 by Black Enterprise Magazine.


Particular highlights of his recent practice include:
  • Notable summary judgments:
    • Summary judgment granted on all counts alleging various civil rights violations including Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 1st amendment, Fair Housing Act, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act where city enforced local zoning, fire and building codes against religious entity whose use and occupancy violated such codes. This was a factually complex case with a multitude of written and oral discovery.  Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island, (Northern District of Illinois, 2016), affirmed in 7th Circuit 2017. 

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Chris is a frequent speaker at local, state and national conferences including the Annual Illinois Municipal League Conference and the Illinois Association of School Boards Conference.  Nationally, he has presented for the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., the National Conference of Black State Legislatures and the State Innovation Exchange (SIX) Conference.  Chris has spoken regularly on community outreach by elected officials and effective use of social media.

Honors & Awards

  • Leading Lawyer (2018)
  • Edgar Fellow (2016)
  • The John Marshall Law School Hall of Fame (inducted 2015)
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