John Allen Wall



John Allen Wall concentrates his practice in the areas of general litigation in both state and federal trial courts and courts of appeals. John also focuses his practice in general municipal law and school law, particularly the representation of charter schools.

John worked as an Assistant General Counsel and, later, Senior Assistant General Counsel for the Chicago Board of Education’s Law Department from September 1998 until May 2004 when he joined Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins. While at the Chicago Board of Education, he oversaw the development of policies and board rules. John became an equity partner at Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins in 2013.

John has authored numerous articles and chapters of publications produced by the firm. His articles include representation of municipalities in civil RICO litigation, unfunded state mandates and municipalities, evidence in the age of Google Images and effective ways to prepare clients for depositions.

John graduated from Williams College in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Philosophy. He later received a Master’s degree in English and Education from Duke University and a Master’s degree and PhD in Philosophy from Northwestern University. He received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John has been admitted to practice in Illinois, North Carolina (inactive), the United States District

Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Professional Affiliations

  • John has various professional affiliations related to school and education law and federal and state appellate court practice.

Community Involvement

  • John has served on both local school councils in Chicago and on the Board of Directors for schools attended by his children.

Awards and Recognition

  • John has been named a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media, a peer-recommended distinction awarded to fewer than 5% of attorneys in Illinois.


  • “Talk Shows: Why Some Deposition Witnesses Talk Too Much” – author, Illinois Bar Journal, March 2020
  • “Google Street Views . . . and Opinions” – author, Illinois Bar Journal (the Illinois Bicentennial issue of the IBJ), August 2018
  • Sunshine Laws – Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts – co-author, IML, 2016
  • “Formal Dismissal and Suspension Procedures Under Illinois Tenure Law” – co-author, IICLE, 2014
  • Manual on Municipal forms of Government – co-author, IML, 2014
  • Manual on Home Rule versus Non-Home Rule Status (What’s Best for Your Municipality?) – co-author, IML, 2014
  • “Unfunded Mandates: How Current Illinois Laws Fit into the Bigger Picture” – co-author, Illinois ASBO Update Sprint, 2013
  • “Special Assessments, Special Service Areas, and Business Districts – co-author, IICLE, 2008
  • “Towards the Fundamental Right and Education Quality Strategy in Illinois School Finance Litigation” – author, West’s Education Law Reporter, 1992
  • “Google Street Views and Opinions” – author, Illinois Bar Journal, August 2018
  • “Talk Shows: Why some deposition Witnesses Talk Too Much” – author, Illinois State Bar Association Publication, June 2021


  • John has made several presentations on topics such as teacher performance evaluation, student drug testing and avoiding litigation in special education. He has also presented materials on civil RICO and local governmental entities and how police officers can improve writing reports used in litigation.

Representative Cases

  • McGreal v. Village of Orland Park, et al., Case No. 12 C 5135 (summary judgment granted)
  • McGreal v. Village of Orland Park, Appellate Case No. 16-2365 (7th Circuit affirms granting of summary judgment)
  • Board of Education, Kewanee School District 229 v. Regional Board of School Trustees, Bureau, Henry and Stark Counties, 2019 Il.App. (3d) 170638 (Appellate Court of Illinois, 3rd Dist.) (Affirming circuit court ruling granting School District 229 motion to dismiss petition for administrative review of decision denying the detachment petition)
  • Cambridge Homeowners Association v. City of Aurora, Appellate Case No. 2-10-0032 (Appellate Court of Illinois, 2nd Dist.) (Affirming circuit court ruling that City of Aurora did not breach maintenance contract)