Jeffery M. Leving has been named one of “America’s Best Lawyers” by Forbes Radio™ and selected by his peers as one of Illinois’ top attorneys. He received his Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1979 and he is licensed to practice law in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television from Southern Illinois University in 1974.
More than 30 years ago, Leving founded the Fathers’ Rights Movement when he discovered a gap in the judicial system. It was at that point that he started seeking equality and due process for fathers everywhere.
His accomplishments include the co-authorship of the Illinois Joint Custody Law, Illinois Virtual Visitation, Right to DNA Testing Notice, and Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference Laws. He has also delivered testimony before both branches of the Illinois Legislature on Joint Custody, Grandparent’s Visitation and Child Support Accountability bills.
Leving’s work has extended beyond US borders. As a tireless advocate for forgotten fathers and their children, he has also helped fathers abroad seeking to reunite them with their children. In 1996 Mother Teresa supported and thanked Leving for his work helping those entrusted to his care.
He received international praise for his instrumental work in helping reunite a then 6-year-old Elián González with his father in Cuba, the most well-known fathers’ rights case to date. The State Department has referred many international custody cases to him and he continues to reunite other fathers with their children around the world.
Always seeking the best interest of children, Leving has been honored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children “in recognition of and appreciation for outstanding commitment to the protection of children and the knowledge of the Hague International Child Abduction issues.” After Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, Slovakia minted a commemorative coin honoring Leving and his work to gain equality for fathers across the globe.
Leving was also honored with the Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law for outstanding achievement in the legal profession and bringing distinction to himself as well as credit to the university. Additionally, Leving received the Recognition and Commendation Award for Meritorious Service to the Public and Legal Community from the Illinois State Bar Association and the coveted “Protection of the Family” award from the Illinois State Crime Commission.
He is a member of several professional associations including the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association, the McHenry County Bar Association, the Kane County Bar Association, the LaSalle County Bar Association, the Federal Trial Bar, and the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. His firm concentrates in Matrimonial and Family Law where he leads a team of highly skilled and leading litigators.
In addition to his legal practice, Leving has contributed to the field of family law by authoring several influential books including Fathers’ Rights and Divorce Wars, and he is the publisher of Leving’s Divorce Magazine. Leving’s new book, How to Be a Good Divorced Dad has garnered praise from President Barack Obama and an endorsement from Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who said, “This is a pain-filled book that offers good advice about how to preserve a family born of a marriage that has failed. It’s a book that is, unfortunately, more and more needed.” Leving’s groundbreaking works have become valuable resources for parents, legal professionals, and psychologists. He has contributed further to the field by lecturing locally and nationally on family law issues.
Chosen by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to provide expert input in the first Town Hall Meeting on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families in Chicago, Leving was also afforded the opportunity to meet with President Obama several times and discussed critical legal and social issues facing the nation. President Barack Obama also awarded him the National Lifetime Call to Service Award.
The Illinois House of Representatives honored Leving by adopting Resolution No. 995 which reads, “for his work in safeguarding the rights of fathers and protecting the welfare of children and families in this State” and for his “hard work, integrity, and dedication for the people of the State of Illinois.” The Illinois House of Representatives resolved that Leving be presented with a copy of this Resolution “as a symbol of our esteem and respect.”
Leving’s work over the decades has brought our society a new consciousness for the human rights of fathers and his work has led to great strides in both legal and social reform in America.