Howard L. Bernstein

T: (312) 269-8447
F: (312) 750-6417

Howard L. Bernstein represents employers throughout the U.S. in labor relations and employment law matters and employment-related litigation, with an emphasis on contract negotiations, arbitrations and injunction proceedings, NLRB election campaigns, unfair labor practice cases and employment discrimination matters.

From 1970 to 1972, Howard was counsel to the chairman of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. Later, he served as special outside labor counsel to the City of Chicago. In that capacity, he was the chief labor negotiator in the city’s negotiations with all of the unions representing the city’s employees. He has also served as outside labor counsel and chief negotiator for the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Housing Authority.

Howard provides labor and employment counsel on behalf of health care clients and served as chief labor negotiator for a multi-employer association of more than 100 nursing homes.

A member of the American Bar Association Labor Law Section, he was the program chairman of its Committee on Development of the Law under the National Labor Relations Act. He also served as a member of the Labor Relations Council of the Illinois State Bar Association, as well as the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Committee. Howard is the Secretary and former Chairman of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners for the City of Highwood. He is also a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

Howard is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Management Institute and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Howard is a frequent speaker and lecturer on a variety of labor and employment topics, including “Dealing With Unions With Confidence,” “Keys To Effective Enforcement and Administration of Union Contracts,” “Top 10 Ways To Be An Effective Manager of a Unionized Facility,” “10 Steps To Increasing Your Chances of Winning a Union Election,” “What’s A Prospective Purchaser To Do About A Seller’s Union Contract?” and “10 Steps to Winning at Arbitration.”


  • Named in 2002 as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a non-profit professional association honoring the leading lawyers nationwide in the practice of labor and employment.
  • Named a Top 10 Labor Management Lawyer by Leading Lawyers for 2014.
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (recommended in “Labor & Employment”) 2006-2018 editions.
  • Named for inclusion within The Best Lawyers in America since 2006 (within Employment Law - Management and Labor Law - Management).
  • Named as one of the “Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys” in the U.S. for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the Labor Relations Institute, an honor representing the top one percent of labor attorneys in the country.
  • Included in Illinois Super Lawyers 2005, 2006 and 2008-2018 editions.
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award presented by Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA).


  • University of Texas School of Law (The) (J.D., 1968)
  • University of Texas (The) (B.B.A., 1965)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1973

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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