Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.

Thomas M. Melody

Thomas M. Melody


Thomas M. Melody graduated from Loyola University of Chicago in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1994. Mr. Melody is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys. He has been admitted to the Bars of the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Mr. Melody’s experience includes the general practice of school and municipal law, with a focus on labor and employment law. He has negotiated many collective bargaining agreements, and represented employers in all facets of labor and employment law, including contract administration and grievance arbitration, compliance with State and Federal labor and employment laws, and employment litigation in both State and Federal courts and administrative agencies. He has a thorough knowledge of all State and federal labor and employment laws and related regulations and case law. He has represented numerous public sector employers in both state and federal courts, as well as before state and federal administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Labor Relations Board, and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. He has also handled numerous matters before local Civil Service Commissions and Fire and Police Commissions.


  • Leading Lawyers Network in Illinois as a leading lawyer in the areas of Employment Law (Management); Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administration Law; Labor Law (Management); and School Law.


  • Author of “Labor-Management Cooperation in a Fire Department Closure: The Highwood Story” published by Chicago Kent College of Law in the Illinois Public Employee Relations Report Volume 33 Issue 4, Fall 2016

  • Co-authored Illinois Municipal League “Manual on Municipal Forms of Government” 2014 Edition.

  • Co-authored the Illinois Municipal League “Manual on Home Rule Versus Non-Home Rule Status (What’s Best for your Municipality?)” 2014 Edition.

  • Co-authored the Illinois Municipal League “Manual on Police & Fire Disciplinary Matters” Revised 2010.

  • Co-author of “Answer to FAQ’s Regarding the Gift Ban Provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act,” the Illinois Council of school Attorneys.

Mr. Melody has written numerous articles on school law, municipal law, employment law, and labor issues in addition to those listed above.


Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference

  • 9-1-1 Dispatch Systems Consolidation, September 23rd, 2016

  • 9-1-1 Dispatch System Consolidation – Roadmap for Regional Consolidations and Legislative Updates, September 19th, 2015

  • Collective Bargaining: A primer for Negotiations, September 18th, 2014

  • Identifying and Avoiding Conflicts of interest, September 24th, 2010

Mr. Melody has spoken at several Illinois Municipal League conferences through the years of 1995-2016.

IASBO/IASB/IASA Annual Conference

  • Collective Bargaining in Uncertain Times, November 19th, 2016

  • Mock Expulsion Hearing, November 21st, 2015

  • Employment Discrimination a Refresher and Update, November 22nd, 2014

Mr. Melody has spoken at several IASBO, IASB and IASA conferences as well as the Joint Annual Conferences from 1996-2016.

Chicago Kent Annual Illinois Public Sector Labor Relations Law Conference

  • The Basics of Civil Service, December 4, 2015

  • Collateral Proceedings & Ethical Obligations, December 5, 2014

  • Consolidation of Governmental Bodies, December 6, 2013

Mr. Melody is also certified by the Illinois State Board of Education to provide required School Board leadership training, and has provided that training to multiple school districts throughout the

Mr. Melody has provided seminars on municipal labor law for the Illinois Metro Managers Association, the Illinois Municipal league, and Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies. 


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