40 Under Forty 2021



Liz is unflappable, a strategic thinker and a skillful advocate.”

W hen companies want to build new apartment towers, shopping centers or distribution facilities in and around the city of Chicago, they turn to Liz Butler, an outstanding zoning and land use attorney with Elrod Friedman LLP. When they need creative land use planning and legal analysis to plan for the disposition or acquisition of property, they seek her counsel. They rely on Butler’s expertise and keen insights. There’s a reason for all of this: Butler gets results. She is an integral part of Elrod Friedman’s premier land use and government law practice. Butler works closely with the owners and developers of institutional, residential, commercial and industrial property when these clients want to buy land or buildings, dispose of their residential or commercial properties or navigate the often-complex zoning re- quirements in Chicago and its surround- ing communities. She advises clients in the private sector every day on their inter- actions with the City of Chicago and sub- urban communities. Her goal is always the same: to build consensus between neigh- boring property owners, government rep- resentatives and community residents. This is rarely an easy job. Just ask Mary Dempsey, president of DePaul Col- lege Prep in Chicago. Butler represented the not-for-profit institution before the Chicago Plan Commission, Chicago City Council Committee on Zoning, and De- partment of Planning and Development when DePaul College Prep sought an amendment to a planned development for its new campus. DePaul College Prep was working on a short deadline to open its new institution. Butler, though, was unflappable, Dempsey said. She guided the project

through the process and the many layers of approval, even as COVID protocols caused delays. DePaul College Prep’s applications were approved, and the $12.6 million reno- vation and construction of the institutional campus was completed on time. “Liz is unflappable, a strategic thinker and a skillful advocate,” Dempsey said. “At every step of our rather complicated mat- ter she was fully prepared, well-spoken, pleasant and gracious. Our matter pro- ceeded through the sometimes-lengthy procedural steps and approval processes because she was responsive, thoughtful and straightforward throughout the pro- cess, and because she knew the law and applied it to the facts of our case.” Richard Gertson, Assistant Director of Planning and Development Services with the City of Arlington, Texas, knows, too, just how strong Butler’s legal skills are. He hired Butler as an urbanplanner for the City of Mesquite, Texas’ Department of Planning and Development Services. He said that Butler’s experience as an ur- ban planner has helped her build her now thriving legal career. “Knowing how public agencies operate and what motivates them, Liz is able to position her clients for success,” Gerston said. “Liz is adept at making presentations to planning commissions and other reg- ulatory bodies. Her poise, presentation style and clarity help the client put their best foot forward and offer decision-mak- ers well-grounded reasons for approval.” Butler also donates her time taking on pro bono work. She has represented afford- able housing and religious institutions, not- for-profit arts organizations in zoning mat- ters and federal prisoners seeking clemency for non-violent low-level drug offenses.

FIRM Elrod Friedman LLP LAW SCHOOL IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law AREA OF PRACTICE Zoning and land use



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