Michael A. Marrs




When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.  – Boris Pasternak.


Michael Marrs is a Partner with the law firm of Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd. Michael concentrates his legal practice in the general counseling of local government entities, including acting as Village Attorney and as counsel for Plan Commissions and Zoning Boards of Appeal for various municipalities in Cook and the surrounding counties.

Michael advises clients on, among other things, land use and zoning matters, acquisition and sale of property, redevelopment projects, code enforcement and dealing with problem properties, contractual issues, the preparation of ordinances and resolutions involving all municipal matters and provides general counseling on day-to-day operational and municipal matters. Michael has been active in recent years in working with the firm’s local government clients on telecommunications issues, particularly in developing code updates and other regulations related to the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act (Public Act 100-585).

Upon graduating law school, Michael worked as the civil judiciary committee attorney on the staff of the Illinois Senate Minority Leader, where he analyzed bills, drafted legislation for Senate members and regularly attended Judiciary Committee hearings to advise Senate members on proposed legislation. Michael subsequently served for several years as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Margaret Stanton McBride of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District.

Michael is a 1994 graduate of the DePaul College of Law, where he was an editor of the DePaul University Law Review. Prior to law school, Michael graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington with a B.S. in Management and Organizations in 1988. Michael is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Professional Affiliations

  • Michael is a former chair of the Municipal Prosecutors Group of the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association (ILGL) and of the ILGL’s Board of Directors. Michael is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association. He is also actively involved with the Illinois Municipal League.

Awards and Recognition

  • Michael has been named a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media, a peer-recommended distinction awarded to fewer than 5% of attorneys in Illinois, from 2017 to the present.


Illinois Municipal Law Handbooks:

  • “Manual on Liquor Licensing and Regulation” – co-author
  • “Manual on Home Rule Versus Non-Home Rule Status” – co-author
  • “Sunshine Laws: Open Meetings & Freedom of Information Acts” – co-author
  • “Financing Municipal Improvements” – co-author

Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Practice Volumes:

  • Municipal “Finance and Tax” chapter – co-author
  • “Zoning Controls – Regulating Land Use” – co-author
  • “Building Regulations” – co-author


  • Michael is active in speaking on various municipal law topics at seminars and conferences, including the Open Meetings Act, conflicts of interest and legislative procedures. Other more specialized presentations have included strategies for dealing with vacant and abandoned properties and demolition actions, regulation of animals and the regulation of unusual zoning uses.
  • Michael has been a frequent speaker in recent years on municipal regulation of the placement of wireless telecommunication facilities, including small cell and distributed antenna systems. In October 2017, he participated with a coalition of local governments and other groups in over 25 hours of face-to-face negotiations with the telecommunications industry on amendments to the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act (now Public Act 100-585). Since that time, Michael has been active in working with all firm clients on code updates and other regulations related to that same Act.