Jacob Meister

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Jacob Meister (born 1965) is an American lawyer from Chicago and former Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois.[1] Meister has practiced law in Chicago for nearly 20 years, litigating cases involving interstate commerce, telecommunications, discrimination and civil rights.[1] Prior to his legal career he worked in both Federal and State Government.[2] This was the first time Meister ran for political office.[3]


Meister was born in 1965, the youngest of five children, in the suburbs of Milwaukee. In 7th grade Meister was given an award for “outstanding leadership in the school and community” after organizing a protest that resulted in his teachers´ union signing their first employee contract.[4]

In 1986, Meister earned his Bachelor's Degree, cum laude, in International Relations and Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C. Meister worked as a special-projects assistant on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for Congressman Jim Moody of the 5th Congressional District of Wisconsin.[5] Additionally, Jacob worked for the Milwaukee International Health Training Consortium (now the Center for International Health), handling compliance with the WHO international diagnostic coding system. Meister also researched foreign trade, competition and technology transfer with a special emphasis on U.S.-Japan economic relations and also worked for the International Institute for Studies and Training in Komiide, Japan.

Meister went on to attend and graduate with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School in 1990. In 1993, Meister joined the law firm of Schwartz & Freeman and became partner in 1998. During these years, Meister focused on real estate, business, commercial law and banking. In 2002, Meister opened his own practice, The Law Offices of Jacob J. Meister, focusing on representation of small business including real estate developers, manufacturers, self-managed condominium associations, construction contractors, and tradesmen.

Throughout his legal career, Meister has been active in legal pro-bono work.[6]

Campaign for U.S. Senate[edit]

Jacob Meister ran to be the first openly gay candidate for the U.S. Senate,[7] seeking the seat vacated in 2008 by President Barack Obama.[5] In a debate at the Union League Club of Chicago in September 2009, Meister criticized opponent David Hoffman for Hoffman's peddling of his marital status and status as a parent.[8] Meister cannot legally marry another man in the state of Illinois. In a November 2009 debate, Meister said that his focus was on jobs and economic development.[9]

Meister withdrew from campaigning and declared his support for Alexi Giannoulias on January 31, 2010,[10] several days before the February 2 election. Meister announced that Alexi Giannoulias agreed to adopt portions of Meister's platform, including his 20/20 vision plan.[11] Meister's name remained on the February 2, 2010 primary ballot.[12]

Jacob Meister is a founder of The Civil Rights Agenda, a not-for-profit organization.[11]



External links[edit]