Family Focused. Results Driven.

Michael S. Strauss

Equity Partner
Location: Libertyville, Illinois
Phone: 847-680-4970
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Attorney Michael S. Strauss

Mr. Strauss joined the Law Office of Gary L. Schlesinger in March, 2006, and he became a partner on September 1, 2010.  Michael has practiced only family law since being admitted to the Illinois Bar.  He has handled family law cases in seven counties in the state of Illinois.  Michael also serves as a mediator and as a Child Representative or Guardian Ad Litem. Michael has served as an elected board member of A Safe Place – an organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence in Northern Illinois.  Currently, Micahel is a board member on the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence – a statewide organization working to assist survivors of domestic violence and their families.

Michael has presented multiple times at the Lake County Family Law annual conference as well as to speak each year at the annual Illinois College of Law Student/Alumni conference on issues of family law and small law firm practice.  Michael is one of the co-editors of the Lake County legal publication, The Docket.  Michael has also been elected to the Illinois State Bar Association Assembly and was appointed by the Illinois State Bar Association to the Family Law Section Counsel and the Child Law Section Counsel. Michael is one of the authors of the Illinois maintenance statute and has testified two times in 2018 before the House of Representative Committee in Springfield. Attorney Michael Strauss is a member of the AACFL Advisory Board for Illinois. The American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators mission is to improve the efficiency of the court system, and to help the general public identify attorneys dedicated to integrating financial skills into the practice of law for their benefit.

Michael was named a Rising Star in the area of Family Law by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2014 – 2017, a designation reserved for the top 2.5% of all Illinois attorneys under 40 and recently, Michael was awarded the distinction of Super Lawyers in 2018 – 2022, an honor reserved for only 5% of attorneys in Illinois. Chicago Daily Law Bulletin/Chicago Lawyer Magazine recognized Michael as one of the most talented up and coming young lawyers in Illinois, with his selection to the 40 Under Forty 2014 list. Michael is one of only two attorneys selected in Lake County, IL by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 40 Under Forty.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Adoption
  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Guardianship
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Paternity
  • Custody & Support
  • Juvenile Cases

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2005


  • University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois, J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 2004
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, ILB.S., Bachelor of Science in Human Resources and Family Studies

Honors and Awards

  • Selected to the 40 Under Forty 2014 list by the Chicago Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Selected to the List of Super Lawyers 2018 – 2022
  • Selected to Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Recipient, F. Dennis Franz f/k/a Russell Bundeson Award presented by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and given to the top law student dedicated to the field of Family Law, 2004
  • Dean’s List, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Board Member, 2024 – Present
  • A Safe Place, Domestic Violence Services Board Member, 2014 – 2022
  • Lake County Bar Association, Vice Chair, Family Law Committee, 2022 – Present
  • Lake County Bar Association, Member, 2006 – Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member, 2004 – Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Secretary, Family Law Section Council, 2017 – 2018
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Chair, Family Law Section Council, 2019
  • University of Illinois College of Law Alumni Association, Member, 2004 – Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Shaw, Jacobs & Associates, P.C, Associate, 2004 – 2006


  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Zeta Beta Tau


“A fierce advocate for my children and my rights as a father I am eternally grateful to Michael Strauss and the critical impact he had as the GAL appointed for my children. As a father, I had already witnessed how difficult it was to change the parenting agreement in order to grant me more time with my kids, despite what my children wanted and what was so clearly in their best interest. I was honestly beginning to lose hope, because the system can be so dysfunctional and rarely weighs the rights of the father as much as the mother. Then Michael was appointed, and the whole trajectory of our case shifted. Immediately, my kids felt like they could trust him, and he made every effort to hear everything they had to say while always respecting their confidentiality. He made sure my kids were the priority in our case, and he never let anyone lose focus on that. He is incredibly intelligent, and his approach was straightforward and logical, making rational decisions without being swayed by any story my ex came up with. He was professional but relatable, and very easy to talk to. You could tell he was very well respected in the courtroom, especially by the judge, who held Michael’s evaluation and subsequent recommendations in the highest regard. As a result, our previous parenting arrangement totally flipped; I am now the legally-recognized custodial parent for all three of my children. I have two of my kids 100% of the time, and the third about 86% of the time. Additionally, I was granted 100% decision-making in all areas. I didn’t even think it was possible, but Michael never gave up fighting for my kids and my rights as their father. He is a fierce advocate for what is right, and my kids and I owe him everything. I cannot recommend Michael enough, whether you are the mother or the father, because he is fair in a system that rarely treats fathers fairly, and he will not back down!” ~ Client, August 2021

“I found Michael and his law firm on Google. I’m so glad I contacted him. I needed help with my child support case, I was extremely overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do because of my ex and his manipulative ways. I told Michael about my situation and he didn’t hesitate to help me out. He and his staff were patient, helpful and very kind. They answered all my questions and eased my mind so much. I’m so happy with how my case was handled and the outcome. I’m definitely going to contact him again if I ever need legal help. He’s the man!” ~ Lenita, December 2020

“I had gone through a difficult divorce where my previous attorney had me sign a marriage settlement agreement that he(previous attorney) said could be changed at anytime. That was not the case. My ex was involved in a family limited partnership that was not factored into her maintenance which left me paying her a large sum of money each month for 14 years. Michael and Gary argued and won the case. Her maintenance was terminated and my life has been given back to me. Not all attorneys are created the same. There are some who are really bad and some who are very good. Michael and Gary are the best!!” Kevin ~ October 2020

To schedule a consultation with one of our highly regarded attorneys, please call (847) 680-4970 or email our team today!