FEDERICO M. RODRIGUEZ - BIOGRAPHY
Federico M. Rodriguez was born and raised in Mexico City, coming to Chicago as a teenager. While working full-time during the day as 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’s School for New Learning in 1995. He attended the University of Illinois College of Law in 1995, receiving a J.D. in 1998. While at U of I, he was active in different 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.
Upon graduating from U of I, Federico worked as an associate with Lawrence H. Hyman & Associates, in Chicago, a firm focusing on personal injury litigation and nationwide high profile criminal cases. In his last two years with that firm, Federico brought in and handled personal injury cases that grossed over 11 million dollars combined.
He is currently the principal of Rodriguez Legal Group, LLC. Since opening his first firm in 2005, he has obtained approximately 50 million dollars in judgments and settlements for his clients. Besides civil cases, Federico also engages in criminal defense.
Federico has handled high profile cases, including two lawsuits against La Ley radio station (for their failure to award prizes to contestants arising out of their immigration status) and defamations claims against WGN News and another major Spanish language television station. Some of these cases were featured in the New York Times, The Chicago Sun Times (front page), and in the Law Bulletin.
Federico often makes media appearances including Fox News’ former show of Hannity & Colmes, Telemundo, Univision (national and local newscast), Television Azteca (national newscast), and NTN24 (broadcasted throughout the Americas). He has been interviewed by NPR and the Mexican Supreme Court’s Judicial Channel. He has also appeared on Univision on behalf of the ABA’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. At present, he regularly appears on the show Tu Voz Tu Derecho (“Your Voice Your Right”) on 1040 am radio.
Federico is 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 he has been active:
- ABA - Member of the Standing Committee of American Judicial System Sub-Committee on State Courts, 2015 to present, by appointment of the ABA president.
- CBA - Translated Chicago Bar Foundation’s “Where to Go for Legal Assistance in or around Chicago” guide, 2007; Assisted the Interfaith Committee’s mentoring program for at-risk students 2013; Investigator Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2016 to present.
- HNBA - Deputy Regional President Region IX, 2005-06.
- HLAI - Board member beginning in 2002; Chair of Judicial Evaluations Committee, 2010-15; Co-Chair LGBT Committee 2010-13; and its President, 2012-13.
Federico has been a speaker and presenter in many events. Some include:
- 2003 Speaker and Presenter for a 19th Judicial Circuit minority judges’ recognition event.
- 2004 Speaker at an American Bar Association sponsored program held for visiting Honduran attorneys and law students.
- 2004 Keynote speaker for the Latina/o Latino Law Student Alumni Association dinner at the University of Illinois.
- 2005 Guest speaker for the Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association.
- 2008 Keynote speaker for the University of Illinois’ Latina/o Latino Law Student Alumni Association scholarship fund reception.
- 2011 Lecturer at the Chicago Bar Association for visiting preparatory school students from Mexico.
- 2011 Speaker at the Chicago Bar Association for visiting attorneys from Mexico representing Mexican state bar associations.
- 2013 Presenter for the University of Illinois’ Latina/o Latino Law Student Alumni Association dinner at the University of Illinois.
- 2013 and 2014 Presenter at the Vanguard Awards.
- 2013 Closing remarks for visiting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the Standard Club in a joint event between the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinoi and the Chicago Bar Association.
Federico has received the following awards: Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois President’s Award in 2011 and 2015; and the first recipient of the University of Illinois College of Law Latino/a Law Student Association Legacy Award in 2015 for his work funding a $100,000 scholarship endowment.
He is active in the community: Assistant Scoutmaster Boy Scout Troop 19, 2013 to the present; Committee Member Cub Scout Pack 177, 2010-12; Referee girls’ soccer American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) Region 300 2011-15; Member La Grange Citizens’ Council 2012-16; Member Lyons Township High School Community Advisory Council 2015 to present.
Most recently, Federico served as Executive Co-Chair for the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening from 2013-15. And, as of January 2015, serves in the Illinois Supreme Court’s Character and Fitness Committee by appointment.
He is married to Alicia Castañeda-Rodriguez, and has two teenage children, Federico Xavier and Alejandra Itzel, living in La Grange, Illinois.