Kate Kirwan Searls


KATE KIRWAN SEARLS is an associate attorney at GWC.

After Kate received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with a major in Political Science and a minor in English Literature, she earned a Juris Doctorate from University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (formerly known as John Marshall Law School).

While completing her degree, Kate served as an Associate Barrister of the Trial Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Honors Board. Her focus on the client-centered approach in negotiation earned her the Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate to accompany her law degree. Kate continues to follow this approach while advocating for her clients and their interests.

Kate chose to practice law because of a long-term interest in being an advocate for people who have been wronged or injured. She particularly enjoys being a resource and building professional relationships with clients who need guidance, so that they can make educated decisions on how they want to pursue their options for justice. It is her strong belief that, now more than ever in an era of uncertainty, the legal profession benefits society by helping people to utilize their rights in the legal system, rather than simply being a victim.

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Illinois

Associations & Memberships

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution

Education History

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (formerly known as John Marshall Law School)


Kate’s organization, diligence, and effective communication all bring great strength to her practice. She takes pride in providing every one of her clients with her thorough attention to detail on their files from day one. These skills have allowed Kate to obtain a number of large settlements, including:

  • $225,000.00 for a union member struck by another vehicle in a nearly head-on collision.
  • $165,000.00 for a woman injured in a crash with a drunk driver.
  • $150,000.00 for a female union worker who was bitten by a dog.
  • $138,000.00 for a man attacked by a dog during a landscaping consultation.
  • $130,000.00 for a minor pedestrian who was hit by a negligent driver.
  • $125,000.00 for a man injured in a rear-end collision.
  • $108,000.00 for a cab driver who was T-boned by another motorist.
  • $105,000.00 for a teacher who sustained injuries in a car crash.
  • $105,000.00 for a union engineer who was rear-ended while driving.
  • $100,000.00 policy limits plus medical payments for a man who was struck on his side of the vehicle during a collision.
  • $100,000.00 policy limits for an injured passenger who had fired her previous firm for lack of communication before retaining GWC.
  • $100,000.00 for a female driver who was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light.

Kate is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution. She has also served as a John Marshall Trial Advocacy Coach. In recognition of her various career achievements, The National Trial Lawyers named Kate to its “Top 40 Under 40” Directory for Civil Plaintiff Lawyers in 2020 and 2021.

Outside of work, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, traveling, and live music.