Laura E. Tilly


Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C.
325 N. LaSalle St. Suite 350
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 751-1170
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Ms. Tilly concentrates her practice in general real estate, representation of not for profit corporations, affordable housing, and community development. In a broad ranging transactions practice spanning more than three decades, Ms. Tilly has significant experience in many areas.

Real estate law

Ms. Tilly has represented clients in almost every aspect of real estate practice, with a particular expertise in highly leveraged affordable housing, community development, and nonprofit facilities projects. She has represented sellers and purchasers of real estate; purchasers and developers in many types of real estate financing vehicles, including complex layered financing and equity arrangements and public financing (Federal, State and local municipality); borrowers of FHA financing and other HUD programs; leases; negotiated development related agreements such as construction contracts and architects agreements; handled commercial short sales and workouts; negotiated grant and subsidized financing and development arrangements with governmental units (such as Tax Increment Financing and Redevelopment Agreements); negotiated various types of agreements with public housing authorities; prepared and pursued real estate tax exemptions, tax divisions and consolidations, certificates of error, and other tax related matters; investigated and resolved title and real estate related disputes and discrepancies; and assisted in resolving disputes with contractors, architects, and other development service providers.

Nonprofit corporate law

With a clientele which is largely composed of nonprofit corporations, Ms. Tilly has deep experience in counseling and assisting these clients in corporate formation; federal and state tax exemptions; corporate governance; conflict of interest issues; ongoing advice and education for boards, committees and executives; structuring of relationships with affiliated entities; corporate reporting and filings; drafting and revising bylaws, operating agreements and other governing instruments; and corporate compliance matters. Ms. Tilly's nonprofit clients are varied, including large and small community development organizations, large and small social service organizations, arts organizations, churches, public service and medical organizations.

Nonprofit corporate general counsel

Building from relationships that began with specialized real estate or corporate work, Ms. Tilly has served and continues to serve as outside general counsel for a variety of nonprofit corporations. In this capacity, she is called on to respond to most or all of the entity's legal needs, including contract review and dispute resolution; investigation and counseling regarding potential disputes or disclosure matters involving lenders, grantors, or public bodies; oversight of pending matters; advice on handling of litigation (most ongoing matters are handled by other members of the firm or referred to specialized counsel with the client's consent); initial handling of personnel employment matters (most ongoing matters are handled by other members of the firm). Having spent the initial years of her practice at Miner, Barnhill & Galland as a litigator in a variety of matters and a public employee representative in numerous arbitrations and administrative hearings, Ms. Tilly has a broad range of experience to provide counsel to her current clients.

Community development lending and investment

Ms. Tilly has represented a variety of lenders and investors in economic development and affordable housing projects, including some of the most established nonprofit funders in the country.

Legal and community involvement

Member, Advisory Committee, The Law Project, a project of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights which provides pro bono counsel and education to community economic development projects and organizations (2002-2014).

Member of Board of Directors, Growing Home, Inc., a nonprofit corporation supporting organic urban agriculture, with job training and community development components (2010-present).

Member of Board of Directors, The Actors Gymnasium, a performing arts organization and school focusing on physical theater and circus (2011-2014).

Director, Treasurer and President, Evanston Day Nursery Association, a nonprofit community day care center (1993-2003).


J.D., University of Michigan Law School. Honors: Cum laude.

B.A., Carlton College, 1980. Honors: Magna Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa

Admitted to Practice

Illinois Supreme Court, 1984

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois,1984


Shareholder, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 1990 - present.

Associate, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., Chicago, 1984-1990.