Born in 1971, Brendan grew up on the north side of Chicago in the Uptown community. Through the late 1980s and 1990s Brendan worked for several alternative and mainstream media, including as editor of Streetwise and freelance work for WBEZ Radio and the Chicago Tribune’s Metromix Online.
Originally a high school dropout, Brendan worked to obtain his high school equivalency degree in 1991 and then attended the City Colleges for two years.
In 1994, Brendan went to Washington D.C., where he worked for another community newspaper and anchored a news affairs television show for a local PBS televisions station. In 1996, Brendan graduated Cum Laude from Howard University.
A history of fighting for justice
Having worked on more than a dozen campaigns, Brendan has extensive experience in behind-the-scenes political work, including having been the deputy field director for Congressman Bobby Rush in his mayoral run, and the Campaign Manager for Alderman Helen Shiller in her 2003 re-election campaign.
In 2001, Brendan began attending law school while still working full-time. In 2003, he graduated first in his class from John Marshall Law School. At John Marshall, Shiller received the John N. Jewitt Scholarship for the highest rank in the studies of the first year; the Arba N. Waterman Scholarship for the highest rank in the second year; and the Edward T. Lee Scholarship for the highest rank in the third year. He also received the Graduate School Scholarship as the highest ranking day division student; the West Publishing Company Prize for the highest grade point average in the day division after the first year; and the Lexis/Nexis Prize for the highest standing in the last year. Shiller was a Dean's Scholar at John Marshall, a member of the Order of John Marshall honorary society, and recipient of the Fred F. Herzog Scholarship. During the spring 2003 semester, he was a member of the John Marshall team at the Georgia State Trial Competition.
While attending law school, Brendan interned for the Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing, the Office of the State Appellate Defender, and he externed for the Honorable Judge Robert W, Gettleman of the Northern District of Illinois. He was also a member of the John Marshall Law Review Staff and the Moot Court Council. After graduating from law school, Brendan opened the Shiller Law Office, which practices in several areas of law.
Teaching the next generation of attorneys
Shiller has maintained his ties with John Marshall, instructing a Bar Exam Prep Course and coaching teams in the John Marshall-hosted ABA’s annual trial advocacy competition. Since 2004, Brendan has partnered with Mary Barry to instruct the foreign competitors in the Trial Advocacy Competition. Since 2005, Brendan has taught legal writing for John Marshall Law School as an adjunct professor. He also collaborates with Professor Ron Smith, and Assistant States Attorney Kelly Navaro in the writing of the annual ABA Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition problem.
Brendan Shiller opened his own general practice right out of law school. In 2006, he joined forces with attorney John Rossiter, forming Shiller Rossiter. In 2007, Brendan Shiller joined with Erickson & Oppenheimer to form the Civil Rights Center, a joint legal venture that pursues civil rights and police abuse cases. In 2009, Brendan Shiller joined forces with April Preyar to form the Shiller*Preyar Law Offices.
Brendan has also been active in the community in which he grew up. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he coached in community softball leagues and tutored summer school students at the local middle school. Brendan's community activism was detailed in a 1993 Chicago Tribune article.
In addition to his law firm, Brendan Shiller is also a partner in the political consulting firm Shiller Blaise Political Consulting and a partner in Lakeview Strategy Group. Brendan is also an active board member of Kuumba Lynx, a Chicago-based organization that schools youth in the history and consciousness of hip hop, giving them the tools of hip hop literacy to empower themselves and the communities they live in.
Brendan has three children, Britteney, aged 24; Ricky, 23; and Justice, 14.