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Denise M. DeBelle

Employment and labor Attorney at Chicago, IL

4.0   8 reviews

also known as Denise Marie DeBelle

  • Licensed for 33 years
    State IL
    Acquired 1990
    Active and Authorized to Practice Law No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Denise

Learn Denise’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Employment and labor
    We seek redress and compensation in state and Federal court where our clients have been unlawfully terminated due to race, religion, gender and/or disability discrimination; retaliation for Whisteblowing or denial of the employee's rights under the Family Medical Leave Act. We also file claims for payment of wages and unpaid overtime, and negotiate severance agreements. We have extensive experience representing clients at IDES hearings and appeals to obtain unemployment benefits.

    23 years, 150 cases

  2. Real estate
    We have extensive experience advising condominium associations and unit owners. We draft amendments to by-laws, craft policies to resolve disputes and assist the Board in governing the condominium community more effectively and efficiently. We also litigate to collect unpaid assessments and to enforce condominium rules. And we represent unit owners under the Fair Housing Act where the condo Board has denied an accommodation for a disability.

    16 years, 45 cases

Denise DeBelle has been an attorney for over twenty years. Currently she operates her solo practice out of her office in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, where she practices in the areas of employment law and association representation.  


After graduating from IIT-Kent Chicago College of Law, Denise was Legislative Liaison for Chicago Alderman Mary Ann Smith.  In 1992, she established a law practice serving a moderate-income clientele in employment, real estate, housing discrimination and administrative appeals, including Social Security Disability appeals. 


For the last several years, Denise has concentrated in employment law and condominium association law.  She advises employees and employers on their rights and obligations and litigates on behalf of employees whose rights have been violated. This includes discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, national origin and disability; recovering wages and unpaid overtime for employees,  and retaliatory termination, including on behalf of Whistleblowers. She also advises condominium associations in a variety of governance matters, negotiates to resolve disputes between Board and unit owners, and litigates where necessary to enforce the rules and regulations of the condominium association and/or the rights of unit owners.


Denise is active in the Illinois Chapter of National Employment Lawyers Association and the Chicago Bar Association.  In 2013, she founded the Northside Attorneys Group , a networking group for solo practicioners in Chicago.   


Denise has long had an interest in civic engagement including involvement in at least five electoral campaigns for local and federal office over the last twenty years.  From 1997 until 2000, she was director of a campaign finance reform project  at the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Graduating with a B.A in Urban Planning, Denise was a planner and housing advocate for seven years prior to law school. She continues her involvement in that arena through serving on the Development Partners committee of the Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown.


In her spare time, she takes Italian lessons and Zumba dance classes.


Law Office of Denise M. DeBelle
4753 N. Broadway
Suite 509
Chicago, IL, 60640

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4.0 / 5.0
  8 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Donna R | December 13, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Goes to bat for you 100%
Give you all of her attention. Goes to bat for you full force. Best advocate for condominium support.
Posted by anonymous | November 19, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Trustworthy and Dedicated
Denise was a great advocate and actually listened to me when I explained the nuances of my case (unlike other attorneys that I approached). She and her co-counsel were able to defeat the Goliath by believing in me and the merits of my case. I trusted her to be ethical and always felt that she was on my side. I believe due to her diligence and our trust in each other, we came to a satisfactory settlement of my whistleblower and discrimination case.
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Posted by Linda | September 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Claim for back wages
Attorney DeBelle was very thorough in researching and carrying out my case, sought outside testimony, seemed knowledgeable about wage claims, communicated often with me, and achieved a successful outcome. Since it was a mid-size claim, I felt fortunate to find someone who would take the time to give my case serious consideration.
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Posted by anonymous | February 5, 2013
Excellent advocate in handling a sensitive case that required diplomacy
I was in need of a lawyer to support the development of an agreement between myself and my former employee. Ms. DeBelle was an excellent listener and gave me a clear idea of what to anticipate in review of all of my options. Her clarity and precise thinking was very critical as I was in need of a guiding professional in circumstances that were uncomfortable for me. Our work together was efficient and well documented. She was careful to check with me every step of the way but did not abuse her time usage - I felt I was very fairly represented and very successfully.
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Posted by Lin | January 16, 2013
Voice for Common People
I had been discharged by my employer. It was a wrongful termination. I was an immigrant who did not know anyone to ask for help. I had seen Many lawyers, and law firms and spent more money than I needed to. I need guidance. I was desperate and frustrated. I was looking for an honest representation against my powerful employer. Finally I met Denise DeBelle. She knew what I needed. She knew employment law very well and represented me in negotiations so that I got my Job and prestige back. Years Later I asked her about a friend who needed a divorce, and help for an immigration problem. I knew exactly where to turn. Mrs. DeBelle again helped my friend to obtain a consultation and guided us towards the right direction. Mrs DeBelle is the voice of the common people. She is honest, resourceful, and an expert in her area. I highly recommend her.
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Posted by Andrea | December 10, 2012
Ms DeBelle handled my FMLA claim exceptional well.
Ms DeBelle's attention to detail, legal knowledge and her ability to quickly analyze facts was key to the successful outcome of my claim. A long and arduous case, Ms DeBelle showed an exceptional ability of keeping familiar with all the details and nuances of the claim. Ms DeBelle kept me informed in a timely manner and answered any questions or concerns I had.
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Posted by BrianConnolly | January 12, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Abandoned the project; kept the retainer
I hired DeBelle. I gave her a $4,500 retainer for "as an initial matter, draft and file" a document. Approximately a month later she sent me, in her words, a "partial - very partial" draft... and then, withdrew as counsel. Bottom line: she misled me; dropped the ball; and kept my money. I deeply regret having hired her.
Posted by anonymous | February 22, 2012
Ms. DeBelle was disappointing as legal counsel.
Ms. DeBelle showed up late to court. My hearing was scheduled for 10:30, we agreed to meet at 10:15, she showed up at 10:50. She had not filed the required paperwork for representing me. When she was before the judge, she did not present my defense. She did not tell the judge what I had told her, which was why I had hired her. She sort of stood before the judge and acted defenseless. She charged me $120.00 for appearing in court and apologized; but, she had told me she thought it a weak case.
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  • Contingency 35%-40%
Payment methods
Cash, Check


AVVO RATING 8.1 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Of Counsel
  • Maduff & Maduff, LLC
  • 2006 - 2010
  • Program Director
  • Community Economic Development Law Project
  • 1992 - 1993


  • IIT-Kent college of Law
  • J.D.
  • 1989


  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present
  • National Employment Lawyers-Illinois
  • Committee Chair
  • 2009 - 2018

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Moot Court Team winner
  • American Bar Association
  • 1987

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (0)
Endorse Denise
Employment and labor Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I've known Denise for about 10 years and know her to be an extremely dedicated attorney who works very hard for her clients. Denise does a great and thorough job of preparing her clients and developing the facts of her cases in order to position her clients for the best possible results. Having worked with her on a case in federal court, I can say that Denise is a tough litigator who is willing to put in the hours to achieve positive outcomes for her clients."
Employment and labor Attorney | Jan 13
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I co-counseled a difficult case with Denise at the Merit Systems Protection Board in 2014. Denise was an excellent colleague. She did a great job of preparing our client for testifying and of assembling all the documentary evidence. Denise has a sharp legal mind and is a pleasant, gracious person. She is also a tough litigator."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Denise has been a colleague of mine for almost five years. During that time, I have personally observed her dedication to her clients and her passion for getting them the results they deserve. Denise has the rare ability to see her clients as dynamic people with diverse needs, and she thoughtfully and resourcefully addresses those needs. She is known among lawyers as the “go to” lawyer for unemployment matters, and her track record confirms that she wins these cases time and time again. Denise is personally committed to civil rights issues, both personally and professionally, and that commitment shows through her work on her employment discrimination and overtime cases. Clients represented by Denise are sure to receive an uncommon mix of determination, compassion, and professionalism."
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