Kirsten M. Dunne


KIRSTEN M. DUNNE is an associate attorney at GWC, where she heads the firm’s Appellate department.

Kirsten handles dispositive motions, post-trial motions, and appeals, with a focus on various aspects of tort liability, such as construction negligence, premises liability, car accidents, and product liability. In this capacity, she takes pride in her ability to come up with novel arguments, which sometimes work when more traditional ones will not. Kirsten finds it especially satisfying when these efforts lead to positive results both for her clients and for others in similar situations: when the appellate court issues a ruling in one of her cases, it often becomes precedent, meaning that it has ramifications that go beyond the immediate parties.

This interest in improving society at large is what first drew Kirsten to practice law. After taking a college course dealing with landmark decisions by the United States Supreme Court, she realized that, by going into the law as a career, she could meaningfully contribute to making lasting changes that might help the most disadvantaged in our country, in keeping with her longstanding deep belief in equal justice for all.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois State Bar, 1995
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2002
  • United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2004
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Associations, Memberships, and Honors

  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Animal Law and Tort Law Committees
  • Chicago Bar Association, Animal Law, Civil Practice, and Creative Writing Committees
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • William J. Harte Amicus Volunteer Award
  • Leading Lawyer, 2015-2023

Education History

  • University of Notre Dame, 1992 (High Honors)
  • Notre Dame Law School, 1995 (JD)

Practice Areas


A graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, Kirsten has filed multiple amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) briefs in Illinois Supreme Court cases, for which she has received the William J. Harte Amicus Volunteer Award several times.

Kirsten is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. She is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Every year since 2015, Kirsten has had the distinction of being named a “Leading Lawyer” by the Illinois Leading Lawyers Network, an honor bestowed upon only 5% of the state’s attorneys in any practice area.

In addition to her daily professional duties, Kirsten has published and taught extensively about the law. She has written and assisted with articles for Notre Dame Law School’s Journal of Legislation, the Hastings Law Journal, and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Trial Journal. In 2017, Kirsten was one of three panelists for a seminar focusing on Illinois premises liability law, and she regularly presents in-house seminars concerning construction negligence law.

In her free time, Kirsten enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and working as a volunteer for animal care, advocacy, and rescue. She is also a fitness enthusiast, regularly engaging in weight training and CrossFit-style workouts. Additionally, Kirsten is an avid sports fan, enjoying NBA, NFL, and NHL games both live and on television, and she belongs to the Chicago Botanical Garden.