Contact Information

Legal Assistant

Mary Ryan Norwell

"We are a 'downtown firm' on the Southside.  We are neighbors, parents, coaches and friends just as much as we are trusted advisers working alongside you to solve your legal needs."

Mary Ryan Norwell is an accomplished litigator and legal writer with over 30 years of experience.  Mary is a graduate of Queen of Peace High School and Western Illinois University.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School in 1984 and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 


Prior to joining the firm, Mary spent many years of public service advocating for victims of crime, the poor, the disabled and senior citizens.  As a State’s Attorney’s Investigator and Assistant State’s Attorney in the Appellate, Trial and Special Litigation Divisions, she tried hundreds of bench and jury trials.  After leaving the State’s Attorney’s Office, Mary became the Director of Legal Services and Pro Bono Attorneys for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.


In addition to vigorously representing municipalities, schools, non-profit organizations and election candidates at Odelson & Sterk, Ltd., Mary is an adjunct professor at IIT Chicago Kent Law School where she teaches Advanced Transactional Legal Writing.  She is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association, serving on the Municipal and Election Law Committees.  


Mary served as President of the Catholic Charities Adoption Board and is currently a hotline volunteer.  She is a member of St. Michael’s Youth Ministry, DePaul Parent’s Association, St. Rita Mother's Club, and Sandburg’s Family School Association.  She is also an Assistant Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America and the recipient of the Calumet Council District Award. 


Practice Areas

  • Litigation
  • Municipal
  • School