Distinguished Alumnus
Class of 2015
Michael A. Clark

AHS Class of 1972

Michael Alan Clark has distinguished himself by attaining exemplary academic and professional success following his 1972 Arcola High School graduation. He was born September 23, 1954, the son of USI maintenance foreman Earl M. Clark and Eileen Williams Clark, an Arcola elementary school teacher. As a child, Mike studied piano and organ for ten years and was a member of the Arcola United Methodist Church, where he played for worship services.

While at Arcola High School, Mike was Student Council President, Illinois State Scholar and member of the National Honor Society. He served on the yearbook staff and was co-editor of the school newspaper. Mike was also a four-year manager for football, basketball and track.

Following his high school graduation, Mike enrolled at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and chaired the Student Senate Academic Affairs Commission. He also served as vice president and secretary of the Illinois College Republican Federation and was president of IWU College Republicans. Mike graduated summa cum laude in 1976, with a B.A. in political science, and became a registered Certified Public Accountant that same year.

Mike then continued his studies at Harvard Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1979, graduating magna cum laude. He was further distinguished as a member of the board of editors of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. During his Harvard years, Mike and Jane A. Haley were married in Joliet, Illinois, on June 11, 1977. Their sons, Stephen and Christopher, were born in 1981 and 1983.

Upon completion of his studies at Harvard, Mike served as an Attorney-Advisor to the Honorable Arnold Raum, Senior Judge on the United States Tax Court (1979-1981). His work then took him to Chicago, were he practiced tax law at Hopkins & Sutter until 1996. Mike became partner in the law firm in 1986.

Mike is now a partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP and co-leader of the Non-Profit Institutions practice area team. His current practice includes federal income tax controversies, advising tax-exempt organizations (including associations, healthcare and educational institutions, public charities and private foundations) and affordable housing transactions. He is also an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University College of Law (1983-present) and Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law (1987-present), where he teaches graduate courses on tax exempt organizations. Mike has also authored articles and lectured at numerous seminars.

In addition to the Illinois Bar, Mike has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District Court and several U.S. Courts of Appeals.

Mike has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations. He has chaired the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation and served as a council member for the American Bar Association Section of Taxation. Mike has also chaired tax-related committees of the Chicago Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association Health Law Section. He served on the Health Lawyer editorial board (2001-2013) and serves on the planning committee for the American Society of Association Executives Chicago Legal Symposium.

Best Lawyers has listed Mike in their peer-reviewed publication for ten years and he was chosen Chicago Non-Profit / Charities Law “Lawyer of the Year” for 2014. Mike is also a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

In addition to his impressive legal career, Mike has served on various boards and committees. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for Illinois Wesleyan University, while also serving as vice chair of the Audit Committee. Mike is a Lawyers for the Creative Arts board member, currently serving as a vice president, and is board chair of Plan!t Now, a not for profit disaster preparedness organization. He is a volunteer in the Episcopal Lawyers Volunteer Network, providing pro bono legal services to Episcopal Church related organizations. Mike has chaired and served on Gift Committees for several of his Harvard Law School reunions, was a trustee and treasurer of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and was a ten-year treasurer for the Arlington Heights Youth Athletic Association. He continues to share his musical talents at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, Grayslake, Illinois, where he is a choir member and substitute organist. Mike also served as a vestryman and Junior and Senior Warden at St. Simon’s Episcopal Church, Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Mike and his wife, Rev. Dr. Jane A. Clark, reside in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Jane is now Rector at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, Grayslake, Illinois. The Clarks enjoy time with their family, as well as traveling.

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Last Revision November 11, 2017