John G. Levi

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John Levi
Chairperson of the Legal Services Corporation
Assumed office
April 7, 2010
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byFrank Strickland
Personal details
Born (1948-10-09) October 9, 1948 (age 70)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Jill Levi
ChildrenBen Levi
Danny Levi
Sarah Levi
Alma materUniversity of Rochester
Harvard University

John G. Levi is the current Board Chair of the Legal Services Corporation and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was nominated to serve on the Board by President Barack Obama on August 6, 2009, and his nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 19, 2010. He was elected Chairman of the LSC Board by his fellow Board members on April 7, 2010.[1]

Levi, a partner at Sidley Austin, played a pivotal role in Obama's younger days.[2] The president and wife Michelle Obama met each other for the first time after Levi hired them in 1989 to work at the Chicago law firm.[3] Newton N. Minow describes his and Levi's role in bringing the two together: "My daughter Martha called to say that one of her best students, Barack Obama, wanted to spend the summer as a law firm associate in Chicago," said Minow, referring to his daughter, law professor Martha Minow. "I called our partner John Levi, who heads our recruiting for the firm, and suggested this; John laughed and told me that he had already heard about Barack and had already hired him." [4]

Levi was born in Chicago, Illinois. His father was Edward H. Levi, a former president of the University of Chicago and United States Attorney General under President Gerald R. Ford.[5] He received an undergraduate degree from University of Rochester with honors in 1969. He received his law degree in 1972 from Harvard Law School, and an LLM from Harvard in 1973. His brother, David F. Levi, is the 14th Dean of Duke Law School. His cousin Daniel Meltzer is a former White House Counsel. His brother, Michael, is a scientist in both particle physics and cosmology at the Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory in Berkeley.[6] His eldest son, Ben Levi, is the founder of legal technology startup, InCloudCounsel.[7]


  1. ^ "Obama taps Martha Minow, John G. Levi for Legal Service Corporation Board". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2011-10-16.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-11. Retrieved 2010-11-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Brooks, David (August 28, 2007). "The Wise Men, Redux". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2009-01-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Strickland
Chairperson of the Legal Services Corporation