University Legal Services

Jerry D. Blakemore

Vice President and General Counsel

Jerry D. BlakemoreJerry D. Blakemore currently serves as Vice President and General Counsel for Northern Illinois University and as such is the chief legal officer for the University.  The Vice President and General Counsel has joint reporting responsibilities to the President and the Board of Trustees of the University.  Mr. Blakemore supervises a staff of seven attorneys responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to the President, the Board and to administrators, faculty and staff.

Liaison to the Board of Trustees Compliance, Audit Risk Management and Legal Affairs Committee and the Governance Ad Hoc Committee.

Practice Areas

  • Board of Trustees and University Governance including serving as Parliamentarian to the Board
  • Legal Counsel to the Board of Trustees and President
  • Oversight of all substantive practice areas including both internal and external counsel
  • Public finance and procurement
  • Transactional and corporate matters
  • Labor and employment representation and negotiations
  • Directs the Office of General Counsel

Professional Background

Formerly served as Deputy Governor and Legal Counsel to Governor James R. Thompson from 1985-1987 and headed the Public Liaison Division for the state, where he served as the Governor’s liaison to various government associations and constituent interest groups.  Mr. Blakemore also has served as Vice President and General Counsel - Southern Illinois Univeristy and served as CEO and General Counsel for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

Mr. Blakemore also serves on the Board of Directors for:

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) Secretary; Chair of the Compliance Committee
  • Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois,  Chair
  • Illinois American Water, Member
  • Princeton Prize, Board of Directors


  • B.A., Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
  • J.D., John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL

Bar Memberships and Associations

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Illinois State Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association