Trial Focused. Backed by experience.
At Villalobos and Associates, we have a serious passion for making sure everyone has access to zealous representation, including cases involving sensitive subject matter. We believe everyone deserves a lawyer with the experience, willingness, and courage to take cases to trial. We're not afraid to stand up and fight for our clients, and we stand behind our experience, record of success, and our extended family of lifelong clients as proof. Legal matters are stressful and you shouldn't try to handle them alone.
Founding attorney, Raul Villalobos, started out his career as a State’s Attorney, taking cases to trial from day one and has kept that passion for almost 50 years. As a prosecutor, he tried hundreds of cases and worked tirelessly to make the legal system more fair and transparent for victims and people charged with crimes. After trying hundreds of bench and jury trials and becoming the head felony prosecutor at 26th and California, Raul moved on to serve the community in private practice and as the president of the Chicago school board. In over four decades of practicing, Raul has represented thousands of clients in almost every type of criminal matter and many civil matters as well.
Raul was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago and saw first-hand how the legal system and society treated different groups of people unfairly and unethically. From a young age, he stood up to those who abused their power and mistreated others. Recognizing this willingness to fight for what was right and wanting to be able to make a difference, he attended law school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his degree in 1974.
After graduating law school, Raul worked as a Cook County State’s Attorney, where he became the head prosecutor at 26th and California, one of the busiest courthouses in the Country. He then established his own private practice on the Southside of Chicago practicing criminal defense, family law, and real estate law. He was a founding attorney of Rodriguez and Villalobos, a firm focused on civil litigation representing large corporations in a variety of complex civil matters. At Villalobos & Associates, he has handled many high profile cases that appeared in newspapers and other media in the Chicagoland area. Notably, in 2007, he and a team of attorneys successfully secured not-guilty verdicts for all the defendants who were charged in the E2 tragedy. Despite the fact that 21 people died and many more were injured, he argued that what occured was not a criminal act, but a terrible series of events that would have required a crystal ball to foresee.
Raul’s son, Mark, grew up hearing vivid stories of car accidents and drug busts. He tagged along with his dad as he visited alleged crime scenes around Chicago, taking polaroids to show to witnesses or to use in court at trial. The streets and neighborhoods of Chicago, normally boring and mundane to most kids, were colorfully illustrated with the stories he heard from his father, and the ones he only imagined he hadn’t yet heard.
Mark graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BA in French and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2015. While in law school, Mark worked as a law clerk at Villalobos & Associates and worked on a variety of matters like civil breach of contract cases, real estate transactions, and felony trials. Like his dad, he realized his love of trials and took several courses focused on litigation and technology in the courtroom.
As an attorney, one of the first cases Mark tried was a jury trial for a murder case that he had worked on as a law clerk for over a year. As a law clerk, he reviewed hours of video surveillance and phone records, toured the crime scene multiple times, and performed gang research. At trial, 4 eyewitnesses identified the client as the shooter and surveillance from a restaurant showed that the victim and witnesses tried to start an argument with him about gang affiliation minutes before the shooting. However, the Villalobos trial team was able to get the witnesses to admit that they had been texting each other while waiting to talk to police and that was how they ended up identifying the same person as the shooter. The jury returned a not-guilty verdict in less than 2 hours, making it Mark’s first win for a jury trial and a murder as an attorney.
Since then, Mark has tried countless other jury and bench trials for criminal and civil cases across almost all divisions in Cook County both in-person and on Zoom. He has defended and prosecuted cases at trial, including: bench trials in the civil municipal division; defamation/IIED/abuse of process jury trial in the law division; bench trial in chancery division; bench and jury trials in the domestic violence criminal divisions; civil bench trials prosecuting and defending orders of protections and stalking/no contact orders; worker's comp bench trial; admin hearings at the Secretary of State; bench and jury misdemeanor trials; and bench and jury trials in felony criminal division, including several murders, many attempt murders, and many other violent crimes. In addition to trials, Mark enjoys writing, and has successfully argued, many motions to dismiss civil suits.
Mark also handles most of the firm's eviction matters, representing landlords trying to navigate the shifting landscape of the law regarding rentals in Illinois. As a landlord, Mark understands the challenges landlords face in complying with the law while still protecting their investments and income.
Mark also handles real estate matters and business matters for clients such as LLC filings and disputes among LLC members.