Benjamin E. Alba, Of Counsel
Phone: (312) 782-9320
Fax: (312) 782-3787
Academic Affiliation (since 2002)
Senior Legal Writing Instructor and Director, Bar Passage Program
DePaul University College of Law
161 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60601
Prior to becoming Of Counsel, Ben practiced full-time with the firm for 19 years, including twelve years as partner (1990-2002). He handled trial and appellate cases in the Illinois state and federal courts for both plaintiffs and defendants, including individuals and corporations. Practice areas included insurance, personal injury (including traumatic brain injury), malpractice (including wrongful death), civil rights, products liability, administrative review, and alternative dispute resolution. Ben tried 26 cases to verdict or bench ruling and was directly involved in writing 18 appeals in state and federal appellate courts.
In 2002, Ben transitioned from active practice to full-time teaching at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches legal writing to first-year students and directs a program that trains graduating seniors to prepare for the rigorous bar exam. Under his leadership, the Colleges first-time bar passage rate jumped 19 percent since 2002, and the College pass rate now regularly meets or surpasses Illinois average.
Ben continues a close affiliation with the firm, regularly referring his best students to work there as law clerks. This gives the firm solid legal support, while giving the students a valuable opportunity to practice the skills they learned in the classroom in a real-world setting.
Supreme Court of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. (1983)
DePaul University, B.S. with highest honor (1979)
American Bar Association
Filipino-American Bar Association
Legal Writing Institute
Dutton’s Bookstore book signing (Beverly Hills, CA, 12/4/05).
Vroman’s Bookstore book signing (Pasadena, CA, 12/6/05).
Roundtable West Book Club luncheon with Jayne Meadows (Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA, 12/7/05).
Barnes & Noble DePaul Center book signing (Chicago, 11/17/05).
Independent Writers of Chicago lecture (Chicago, 3/14/06).
Center for Inquiry-West presentation and book signing with Jayne Meadows (Steve Allen Theater, Hollywood, CA, 7/16/06).
Columbia College Chicago: History of Television class guest lecture (Chicago, 10/17/06).
Chairman, Grant Park Conservancy Board
Special Distinctions and Honors
Certified Arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County (1990 – present).
Outside the legal and academic fields, Mr. Alba authored a book on pop culture history, Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen and the Original Tonight Show (Prometheus 2005). With a foreword by Jay Leno and exclusive interviews with over 30 entertainment legends (including Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Don Knotts, Jonathan Winters, and Tim Conway), Mr. Alba chronicles how Steve Allen, the creator and first host of the iconic Tonight show, invented the genre of the late-night talk/variety show that survives to this very day.
The book received a grade of A- in Entertainment Weekly and generated reviews, features, or quotes in The Daily Variety, Publishers Weekly, Emmy magazine, Chicago Tribune magazine, Wikipedia, Advertising Age, and other publications in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. In addition, Mr. Alba has given over 75 radio and television interviews to PBS, several local Chicago stations (WTTW-TV, NBC-5, ABC-7, WGN Radio), Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Sirius Satellite Network, USA Radio Network, and numerous stations across the U.S. and Canada.
Ben also dabbles as a piano-bar player and performer at local venues. In 2005, he appeared at Davenport’s as a guest of cabaret pianist-singer Elizabeth Doyle. In the spring of 2009 at DePaul, he co-hosted the law school’s annual Visiting Artist panel discussion highlighting legal issues affecting performing artists, during which he performed a duet with the featured guest speaker, acclaimed jazz saxophonist Frank Catalano.