Former federal prosecutor Kalia Coleman is an experienced investigator and trial lawyer who represents clients in white collar and corporate investigations and commercial dispute litigation. During her six-year tenure as a federal prosecutor, she led complex and high-stakes criminal investigations involving a broad range of issues, including public corruption, extortion, mortgage fraud, mail, wire and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act violations.
An accomplished trial lawyer who has litigated at the local, state, federal, and appellate levels, Kalia has the skills to successfully defend her clients in court, when necessary, and the sophistication to achieve positive resolutions for them outside the courtroom whenever possible. Clients turn to Kalia for her analytic prowess, especially the ability to see potential opportunities and weaknesses from all sides of an issue, and her unparalleled insights into the workings of government enforcement actions around complex state and federal statutes.
While serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, most recently as Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Division, Kalia led trial teams through multiple federal jury trials, briefed and argued multiple appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and supervised other Assistant U.S. Attorneys in handling investigations and prosecutions around narcotics and money laundering, racketeering, bank robbery, and various white collar fraud issues.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kalia was an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where she litigated over 100 bench trials and numerous jury trials.
- Led prosecution team in a complex case involving a 19-count indictment, 16 defendants, and allegations of racketeering (RICO) conspiracy.
- Led prosecution team in a federal jury trial for a bank robbery case that involved forensic expert testimony regarding fingerprint identification and DNA evidence.
- Led prosecution team in a case involving access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and a sophisticated fraudulent scheme commonly referred to as “card cracking.”
- Conducted a joint investigation with the Internal Revenue Service of a Mexican gubernatorial candidate related to money laundering activities.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 2010
Dean's List (2008-2010)
Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Team, Team Captain (2009-2010)
Community Service Co-Chair, Black Law Student’s Association (2008-2010)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., Political Science, 2007
Dean’s List (2004-2007)
President’s Award Program Scholarship (2003-2007)
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Chicago Bar Foundation
Young Professionals Board, Member
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.
Past President (2019-2020)
Scholarship Fund Board Member (2018-2019, 2019-2020)
Programming Chair for National Summit of Black Women Lawyers (2015-2016)
Honors & Awards
40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty, Law Bulletin Media (2022)
Top 100 African American Attorneys in Illinois, The National Black Lawyers (2022)
2021 Action Award, University of Illinois Chicago School of Law
Excellence in Leadership Award, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc (2020-2021)
Excellence in Leadership Award, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc (2018-2019)
President’s Award and Spring Fundraiser Chair Award, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc (2017)
Cook County Crime Stoppers Award (2017)
Rising Star, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc (2016)
“In House Warrior: Former Federal Prosecutor & Former President of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.,” (interviewee) A Daily Broadcast in Courageous Leadership with Richard Levick (July 5, 2022)
“Through the Looking Glass: Emerging Trends and Practices in the Digital Space,” (panelist) GIR Live Chicago (June23, 2022)
Lawyer Limelight: Kalia Coleman, Lawdragon (May 17, 2022)
“When Women Lead in Government,” (panelist) Ms. JD Conference (September, 2019)
Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program, Tutor (2015-2017)
Minority Education Legal Resources, Tutor (2013-2016)