Elaine Knowles
Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, LLP
Family law

Elaine Knowles has what her colleagues call an extraordinary ability to build relationships with her clients. Her clients trust that she will always work to bring them the best results, something that is especially important when Knowles is working with the victims of domestic violence.

Knowles also boasts strong negotiating skills, a knack for developing the best strategies to earn victories for her clients and a deep and thorough knowledge of family law. 

It's added up to a booming career in the competitive world of family law. 

"Elaine is smart, prepared and well-versed in both the prosecution and defense of her case," said Lynn Weisberg with Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona. "Further, she builds bridges with opponents, rather than burns them, which is rare in the area of domestic relations. While advocating for her client's goals, she also counsels her client, making sure they understand the pros and cons of the strategy being used to attain the client's desired objectives."

Weisberg met Knowles on a particularly contentious case. More than any attorney on the case, Knowles has maintained a high level of civility and professionalism, while still zealously advocating for her client, Weisberg said. 

"When trying to resolve conflicts, she is able to acknowledge both the strengths and weaknesses of her position and consider solutions that require compromise," Weisberg said. 

Another nominator said that she has worked with Knowles on several mediations. She said she has quickly learned to look toward Knowles for answers and assistance on these cases because this young attorney is always knowledgeable about both the facts of the case and the law around it. 

"She assists her clients by making sure they have all the information they need, they understand the law and they have advice as needed," this nominator said. "Her skill in negotiations is stellar. It is clear to me that she is a good, strong advocate."

In addition to being a passionate advocate for her clients, Knowles is also committed to her profession and community. 

She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association. She also donates and raises funds for research and grant projects through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization devoted to the research of childhood cancer. She has  also been  a member of the Innovators Program through Lurie Children's Hospital, donating and raising funds for various projects.

Robert Kostecka, partner with Paradiso, Taub, Sinay, Owel & Kostecka in Bethesda, Maryland, worked with Knowles for more than 5 years when Knowles was an attorney at his firm before she relocated to Chicago. Kostecka said that he knew back then that Knowles possessed all the skills necessary to thrive in family law. 

"Elaine has exceptional advocacy skills, including mediation, collaborative law and at trial," Kostecka said. "She has the ability to work with clients of differing backgrounds and has exceptional writing skills and financial acumen."