FEDERICO M. RODRIGUEZ - BIOGRAPHY
Federico M. Rodriguez was born and raised in Mexico City and moved to Chicago with his family as a teenager. While working full-time during the day as a Spanish-language interpreter for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Federico attended college full-time at night and weekends, receiving a B.A. from DePaul University in 1995. Federico attended the University of Illinois College of Law in 1995 and received a J.D. in 1998. While at U of I, he was active in many organizations, including serving on the boards of the Latina/o Law Student Association, Poetic Justice, and the International Law Society.
Federico was the recipient of numerous scholarships during law school, including the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund; Illinois Senate Community Service Scholarship, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Law Scholarship.
After graduating from law school, Federico worked as an associate with the Chicago firm of Lawrence H. Hyman & Associates, focusing on personal injury litigation and nationwide high-profile criminal cases. During his last two years with the firm, Federico originated and handled personal injury cases grossing more than $11,000,000.
Federico is currently the principal of Rodriguez Legal Group, LLC. Since launching his first small/solo firm in 2005, he has obtained more than $50,000,000 in judgments and settlements for his clients. In addition to civil cases, Federico also represents criminal defendants.
Federico has been involved in several high-profile cases, including two lawsuits against La Ley radio station (for their failure to award prizes to contestants because of their immigration status) and defamation claims against WGN News and a major Spanish-language television station. Some of these cases were reported in the New York Times, The Chicago Sun Times (front page), and in the Law Bulletin.
Federico makes frequent media special appearances on Univision on behalf of the ABA’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. He regularly appears on the show Tu Voz Tu Derecho (“Your Voice Your Right”) on 1450 AM radio advising the public on legal matters. He has been interviewed on Fox News’ former show of Hannity & Colmes, Telemundo, Univision (national and local newscasts), Television Azteca (national newscast), NTN24 (broadcast throughout the Americas), the Mexican Supreme Court’s Judicial Channel, and NPR to provide legal analysis.
Federico served as Executive Co-Chair for the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening from 2013-15. As of January 2015, he serves on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Character and Fitness Committee by appointment.
Federico has received the following awards and recognitions: Cook County State’s Attorney El Humanitario Award, 2019; Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois induction into the first class of the Lincoln Juarez Honor Society, 2019; Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Latino of the Year Award, 2018; first recipient of the University of Illinois College of Law Latino/a Law Student Association Legacy Award for his work funding a $100,000 scholarship endowment, 2015; and Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois President’s Award, 2011 and 2015.
Federico is a member of numerous bar associations, including the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the West Suburban Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. In many of these associations, he currently holds or has held leadership positions, including the following:
- ABA - Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, 2018 to present; TIPS Solo and Small Firm Task Force, 2018 to present; Judicial Division, John Marshall Awards Committee, 2017 to 2018; and Member of the Standing Committee on the American Judicial System Sub-Committee on State Courts, 2015 to 2018.
- CBA - Board of Managers, 2018 to 2020; Investigator, Judicial Evaluations Committee, 2016 to 2018; Assisted the Interfaith Committee’s mentoring program for at-risk students, 2013; and Translated Chicago Bar Foundation’s “Where to Go for Legal Assistance in or around Chicago” guide, 2007
- HNBA - Deputy Regional President Region IX, 2005-06.
- HLAI - President, 2012-13; recurrent board member from 2002-16; Chair of Judicial Evaluations Committee, 2010-15; and co-founding Chair LGBT Committee 2010-13.
Federico has been a speaker and presenter at many professional events, including the following. Some include:
- 2019 Presenter for the University of St. Francis’ “Immigration and Entrepreneurship Conference.”
- 2019 Panelist at Joint Minority Bar Association CLE Conference in Chicago.
- 2016 Moderator at Joint Minority Bar Association CLE Conference in Chicago.
- 2014 Presenter at the Vanguard Awards in Chicago.
- 2013 Closing remarks for visiting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in joint event with HLAI, PRBA, and the Chicago Bar Association.
- 2011 Speaker at the Chicago Bar Association for visiting attorneys from Mexico representing Mexican state bar associations.
- 2008 Keynote speaker for the University of Illinois’ Latina/o Law Student Alumni Association scholarship fund reception.
- 2005 Guest speaker for the Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association.
- 2004 Keynote speaker for the Latina/o Law Student Alumni Association dinner at the University of Illinois.
- 2004 Speaker at an American Bar Association sponsored program held for visiting Honduran attorneys and law students in Chicago.
- 2003 Speaker and Presenter for Illinois 19th Judicial Circuit minority judges’ recognition event in McHenry County.
Federico is active in the community: Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scout Troop 19, 2013 to the present (Order of the Arrow Ordeal in 2015; Wood Badge Training 2015); Member Lyons Township High School Community Advisory Council, 2015-19; Member La Grange Citizens’ Council, 2012-16; Referee girls’ soccer, American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) Region 300, 2011-15; and Committee Member, Cub Scout Pack 177, 2010-12.
He is married to Alicia Castañeda-Rodriguez, Director of Family Engagement and Support Services with the Carole Robertson Center for Learning. Federico has two teenage children, Federico Xavier, a biology student at Loyola University Chicago, and Alejandra Itzel, a rising senior at Lyons Township High School, living in La Grange, Illinois.