Richard J. Veenstra


Practice Areas


  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 2003
  • Elmhurst University (formerly Elmhurst College) (magna cum laude), B.S., 2000

Bar Admissions & Licenses

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Rick is the Corporation Counsel of the City of Aurora and comes to Schain Banks with over 20 years’ experience in Illinois state and local government. After interning with the Illinois House of Representatives while in law school, Rick was appointed as an assistant state’s attorney for DuPage County and served as a felony prosecutor in the office’s criminal bureau, and later in the office’s civil bureau. After working in private practice and in government relations, Rick returned to the State’s Attorney’s Office as deputy chief of the civil bureau and was responsible for providing day-to-day legal advice to county leaders. In 2017, Rick joined the City of Aurora as its the chief legal officer and has led efforts to modernize its Code of Ordinances and reorganize its law department.

  • President Elect, DuPage County Bar Association, past local government section chair
  • Member and past chair, Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Lawyers Committee
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chairperson, Standing Committee on Government Lawyers
  • Member, Local Government Section Council
  • Member, Assembly
  • Member, Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association
  • Member, Chicago and Kane County Bar Associations
  • Past member, Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association
  • Special Commendation, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Township Trustee and Planning & Zoning Commissioner
  • Felony prosecutor for State's Attorney Joe Birkett
  • Successfully sued street gangs and shut down gambling and prostitution operations in DuPage County
  • Lead counsel to the DuPage County Board and Ethics Commission for State's Attorney Bob Berlin
  • Led the revision of DuPage County and the City of Aurora’s Code of Ordinances
  • Drafted laws protecting vulnerable victims of crime and promoting ethics in government
  • Worked to eliminate obsolete layers of local government; drafted legislation that became the basis of the “DuPage Model” of local government consolidation.
  • Better Late than Never? Remapping Illinois’ Judiciary, 34.2 DCBA Brief, 6, 6-11 (2021)
  • The Remap Continues: Judicial Subcircuits Coming to DuPage County in December 2024, 34.5
  • DCBA Brief, 16,16-19
  • Rick has given presentations on local government consolidation, governmental ethics and transparency, and the Illinois criminal justice and legislative processes through programs offered by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), and the Chicago, DuPage County and Kane County Bar Associations, as well as the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.