Civil Rights Attorney and Progressive Reformer Jacob Meister is one of Cook County’s champions against corruption and waste in local government.

Civil Rights Attorney and Progressive Reformer Jacob Meister is one of Cook County’s champions against corruption and waste in local government.

Jacob Meister has been a practicing attorney in Chicago for 29 years. In his law practice, he has been a near daily user of the Cook County Court system and he has experienced firsthand the tragically antiquated and inefficient operation of the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office. 

Meister is also the founder and chairman of the Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), a leading non-profit statewide civil rights organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights of LGBT people around the state.  Among its programs, TCRA helps victims of discrimination in the workplace and at the ballot box.  In his role as Chairman of TCRA, Meister served on the steering committee of Illinois Unites for Marriage, the successful statewide campaign that made marriage equality a reality in Illinois. 

Through his law practice and TCRA, Meister has represented hundreds of individuals on a pro bono basis in matters ranging from discrimination in the workplace, public accommodations, and housing to defending low income people from predatory lending practices.  He was also instrumental in obtaining a heart transplant for an infant whose health insurer refused to provide coverage.  In addition, Meister has successfully secured educational and staffing needs for autistic children in claims arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Meister has successfully litigated cases in state and federal courts throughout the Country, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, Florida, California, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas, and other states.  His experience around the country has given him extensive knowledge of how different court systems are operated and managed (or mismanaged).  In this regard, Meister has become increasingly angered at the mismanagement of the Cook County Clerk of Court’s office and he firmly believes that, as the second largest unified court system in the nation, the Cook County Courts should be leading in technology and efficiency. 

As the Chairman of a non-profit, the managing attorney of a successful law firm, the hiring partner of a 350 attorney law firm and the Chief Operating Officer of a real estate development company with offices in multiple states, Meister has managed hundreds of employees in multiple locations and instituted effective management practices and procedures.

Meister has been deeply involved in government and Democratic electoral politics since a young age.  He was employed in the United States House of Representatives and was a Law Clerk for the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Judiciary and Consumer Affairs.  More recently he ran as a countywide candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County (2016), as a statewide candidate (U.S. Senate, 2010), and was instrumental in providing extensive resources and operational management for the 2010 Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign, Quinn for Illinois, Obama for America, Illinois Unites for Marriage, and the campaigns of numerous Democratic statewide and local candidates and elected officials.  Meister continues to be generous with his time and resources for a host of Democratic candidates and progressive causes.    

Jacob’s Plan

The Clerk of Court’s job is to make sure that the court system is accessible, navigable, and efficient for all stakeholders, with minimal bureaucratic or political interference.

Friends for Jacob Meister

2129 N. Western

Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 278-6555

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