Alicia M. Hawley, CEDS

Discovery Counsel Chicago
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Alicia is Counsel in Taft's Litigation practice group focusing on e-Discovery and case management.  She serves as the Firm's e-Discovery and Litigation Services Group Chair.  Alicia focuses her practice on discovery matters in internal investigations, white collar cases, and commercial and intellectual property litigation.  Her expertise includes both routine and complex e-Discovery issues, Best Practices, case development, fact investigations, and narrative development and she blends her legal, technical and management experience to provide clients with the most effective and efficient discovery and investigative solutions. Alicia is a Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS).

Prior to joining Taft, Alicia was both a BigLaw litigator and Assistant General Counsel for a large international humanitarian service organization.  She has represented Fortune 500 companies, banks, broker-dealers, C-suite executives and financial institutions in investigations and prosecutions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Illinois Inspector General and the Illinois Attorney General.  She also has experience in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations, commercial civil disputes, and patent, trademark and trade secret litigation.

In addition to her practice, Alicia has lectured extensively on the topics of trial advocacy, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and public speaking and has held adjunct faculty positions at Northwestern University School of Law, Northwestern University, and Elmhurst College. 

Alicia dedicates a notable portion of her practice to pro bono matters. Her experience includes representing an individual in both a state post-conviction and federal habeas corpus petition alleging illegal search and seizure and judicial bias. The case gained worldwide attention and was featured in a documentary and several television crime dramas. Alicia also argued for executive clemency in the state of Illinois on behalf of the same client. She has represented numerous clients seeking asylum in the United States who have fled persecution in their home countries and has volunteered as a victim advocate at the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic since 2010.

Media related to her pro bono work:

Alicia received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law where she was the first recipient of the law school’s Leadership Award and the inspiration for its creation. The award is given to one student in each graduating class.

All Service Areas


  • Northwestern University School of Law (2002)
  • Miami University (1998)


  • State - Illinois
  • Federal - Northern District of Illinois
  • Federal - Southern District of Illinois
  • Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Speeches and Publications

  • Presenter, "Technology Assisted Review: Is it really that simple?" The Master's Conference: Microsoft 365, Chats, and TAR, Oh My! webinar (February 2021). 
  • Presenter, "De-mystifying Technology-Assisted Review: Overcoming Obstacles to Acceptance by Clients, Counsel, and the Court,” Innovative Discovery (December 2020).
  • Presenter, "Leveraging Document Review to Build a Narrative," Virtual One eDiscovery and Litigation Online Conference (June 2020).
  • Presenter, “Document Collection: Practical Tips,” Women in E-Discovery (July 2013).
  • Author, “Document Review Then and Now,” McDermott Will & Emery Trial Alumni Newsletter (Summer 2011). 
  • Co-author, “Minimizing Unlimited Consequences of an Employee’s Covert Cooperation with Law Enforcement,” CBA Record (July/August 2005).
  • Co-author, “Unlawful Search, or a Mole’s Consent,” Jones Day Practice Perspectives (Spring 2005).
  • Co-author, People of the State of Midlands v. Tyler Perry, a fictitious criminal case used for all 2005-2006 Collegiate Mock Trial Competitions.
  • Moderator, “Expert Testimony From Beginning to End,” Chicago Bar Association (January 2005).
  • Moderator, “Taking and Defending Depositions,” Chicago Bar Association (September 2004).

Professional Affiliations

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago

    Volunteer Teacher, Lawyers in the Classroom

  • Women in eDiscovery

    Chapter Meetings Director (2020-present)

Community Involvement

  • Mock Trial Academy


  • Domestic Violence Legal Clinic

    Victim Advocate

  • Northwestern University

    Former Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University (1999 - 2009)
    Former Head Coach, Northwestern University Trial Team (2014 - 2016)

  • Elmhurst College

    Adjunct Professor and Head Coach, Elmhurst College Trial Team (2009 - 2014)

  • American Mock Trial Association

    Former Member, Board of Directors (2006 - 2015)

  • Northwestern University School of Law

    Adjunct Lecturer (2005 - 2008)

  • YANA Cares

    Featured Representative

  • Working in the Schools/Partners in Reading

    Volunteer Tutor