Joseph T. Monahan

Firm: Monahan Law Group, LLC
Location: Chicago - IL

  • 55 West Monroe St. Suite 3700
    Chicago, IL 60603
  • Tel : 312-419-0252
  • Fax : 312-419-7428

Joseph T. Monahan is the founder of Monahan Law Group, LLC and one of the preeminent mental health law attorneys in Illinois. Under Mr. Monahan’s direction, Monahan Law Group, LLC provides legal services to over 80 hospitals and numerous mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, and social service agencies. In addition to professional clients, the firm also represents individuals at all levels of administrative and judicial proceedings.

Mr. Monahan has tried countless guardianship, mental health, and child welfare cases over the past 36 years. From confidentiality of mental health records to same-sex adoption, Mr. Monahan has successfully argued cases at every level of the Illinois court system, including the Illinois Supreme Court. He is regularly appointed by the court to represent persons with disabilities in complex or extraordinary mental health cases. His background as a social worker makes him acutely aware of the legal issues that impact social service professionals and the people they serve. Joe is the Past President of the Board of Directors of the NASW Risk Retention Group, the malpractice insurance company for social workers, and has been an active member of NASW for many years.

Mr. Monahan has been an engaging member of the legal community throughout his career and has played an integral role in developing important policies and legislation to assist individuals with disabilities and those involved in their care. As a recognized leader in his field, he is frequently invited to teach courses and provide trainings to law students, attorneys, medical and mental health professionals, and family members.

Mr. Monahan is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he has taught mental health law for over 28 years. He has also taught at Northwestern University School of Law. Mr. Monahan has repeatedly served as Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Mental Health Law Section Council and has been appointed to numerous other leadership positions in state and local not-for-profit groups throughout his longstanding career.

Mr. Monahan is a steadfast advocate for persons with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who serve them. He cares deeply about each of his clients and strives to represent them with principled advocacy and practical legal advice.

Areas of Practice

  • Adoption
  • Child Welfare/Juvenile Law
  • Community Based Services
  • Elder Law
  • Guardianship
  • Health Care Law
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Mental Health & Confidentiality Law
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Risk Management
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Trusts
  • Wills

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America


  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • Juris Doctor
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois
    • Master’s of Social Work
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois
    • Bachelor of Arts
    • Major: Social Work

Selected Published Works

  • Author, §§ 28:7 to 28:27, Chapter 28, Mental Health Issues, Law of Medical Practice in Illinois, 3rd, Vol. 22 (Illinois Practice Series), 2008
  • Author, Elder Abuse: Legal Definitions and Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse, Social Work Networker published by the NASW Illinois Chapter, May 1, 2009
  • Author, Legal Issues Affecting Elderly Clients – Medicare and Medicaid for the Elderly, Social Work Networker published by the NASW Illinois Chapter, October 1, 2009
  • Author, Legal Issues Affecting Elderly Clients – Incompetent Elderly Clients: Powers of Attorney and Guardianship , Social Work Networker published by the NASW Illinois Chapter, August 1, 2009
  • Author, Life Sustaining Treatment and the Law: The Evolution of Informed Consent, Advance Directives and Surrogate Decision Making, Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy Annals of Health Law, Vol. 19, Issue 1, Special Edition, 2010, 107-113
  • Author, Powers and Duties of a Guardian of the Person: Guardianship for Disabled Adults, Advance Directives, and Mental Health Law, Chapter 3, IICLE, 2011
  • Author, §§ 28:7 to 28:27, Chapter 28, Mental Health Issues, Law of Medical Practice in Illinois, 3rd, Vol. 22 (Illinois Practice Series), 2014 and 2015 Supplement

Honors and Awards

  • Premier Health Care Lawyers Exclusive Featured Attorney For Chicago 2021
  • Selected to Super Lawyers, 2005 – 2021
  • Selected to Leading Lawyers, 2008 – 2021
  • Most Valuable Volunteer of the Year Award, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2013

Monahan Law Group, LLC

At Monahan Law Group, LLC, we offer an unparalleled combination of skill, experience and expertise that no law firm can match. We provide legal guidance to people with disabilities, the professionals who serve them and others involved in their care and support. We assist individuals and agencies in Chicago and throughout Illinois.