Former AUSA and Chicago First Asst. Corporation Counsel Joins Ropes & Gray

In The News
April 6, 2022

Global law firm Ropes & Gray today announced the arrival of Renai Rodney as counsel in the firm’s 400-lawyer litigation & enforcement practice. Renai will be based in Ropes & Gray’s Chicago office.

“Renai is an outstanding addition to our Chicago office and our global litigation & enforcement practice,” said Paulita Pike, Chicago managing partner. “She brings deep local, state and federal expertise to our clients, having served as counsel to the City and Mayor Lightfoot, and also as an AUSA. That perspective is invaluable.”

As First Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago Department of Law, Renai advised on complex transactional matters and high-exposure litigation matters including alleged police misconduct, employment discrimination and wrongful death. She also served as counsel to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, performed risk assessments on the administration’s proposed policy initiatives, and oversaw the Department’s 250 staff attorneys.

During her twelve-year tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in Chicago, Renai investigated and prosecuted complex cases of health care fraud and financial crimes including mortgage, tax,  and investment fraud, as well as human trafficking. As an AUSA, Renai prevailed in twelve jury trials and two bench trials, and successfully argued and defended nine cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

“That Renai was entrusted at the City of Chicago to handle the most challenging, complex matters speaks volumes to her talent and capabilities,” said Laura Hoey, co-chair of the firm’s litigation & enforcement practice. “She will bolster our roster of former government prosecutors, provide senior-level fire power in Chicago, and contribute greatly to our litigation and enforcement matters and initiatives.”

Renai is a member of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, an instructor at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and a member of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She also serves as Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, from which she graduated, and clerked with the Hon. Ann Claire Williams (ret.) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

“What differentiates Ropes & Gray from other elite, global firms is the deep industry expertise its attorneys deliver to clients, said Renai. “I am excited to be joining the talented litigation and enforcement team in Chicago.”