Terry Lavin is 1983 graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law and a 1977 graduate of the University of Illinois, with a degree in Journalism. Justice Lavin was a civil trial lawyer for 27 years prior to his appointment as a Justice of the First District Illinois Appellate Court on February 1, 2010. His law practice centered on personal injury, wrongful death and medical negligence cases. In his career, he was an associate at Corboy & Demetrio, an associate at Wildman, Harrold Allen & Dixon, a partner at Power Rogers Lavin and the founding partner of Lavin Law Offices, where he practiced from 1994 through 2009. During the course of his career, he was active in various bar associations, including the Illinois State Bar Association, where he served as president in 2003-2004. He is also a past president of the Society of Trial Lawyers and the Chicago-Kent Law School (Alumni) Association. He served for nine years as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent, teaching a Legal Writing course to third-year law students. Justice Lavin has published more than fifty articles on civil trial practice and has given numerous presentations to various bar associations over the course of his career. Justice Lavin has been admitted as a fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and was a twenty-year member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
Justice Lavin was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, where he attended Catholic elementary and high schools. His father was a construction worker and his mother sold residential real estate when she was not managing a household of eight children. He is married and lives with his wife, Ashley, and his adult daughters, Hilary and Chelsea, in Chicago.