Joseph Fusz is a Lake County attorney with a wide breadth of experience in civil and criminal law. Though he has worked in many different counties in Illinois, he has always maintained his ties to the Lake County legal community. Currently he is in private practice in Lake County and is very involved in the Lake County legal community as president of the Jefferson Inn, board member of the Lake County Bar Association and a paralegal instructor at the College of Lake County.
Mr. Fusz wanted a career in federal law enforcement and joined the Marines while a college student at the University of Illinois through a program which allowed him to continue his studies during the school year and train at Quantico, Virginia during the summers. After college, Mr. Fusz continued the program with the Marines and enrolled in law school at Loyola of New Orleans. Fusz enjoyed law school, especially the training in critical thinking. His education at Loyola was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina and the temporary closure of Loyola Law School. Fusz had to transfer to another law school, DePaul in Chicago, for a semester. Fusz finished law school in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina and graduated in 2006.
Mr. Fusz returned to Lake County and started his legal career with the Lake County State’s Attorney in the area of high-tech crime. It was an interesting time to work in that area as social media was new. Mr. Fusz gained a great deal of courtroom experience including trying felony cases. Fusz then made the move to private practice and civil law when he worked at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard and at Therman Law. Mr. Fusz enjoyed his role as an advocate for his clients as a lawyer in private practice, but also missed the courtroom work as a state’s attorney. Fusz returned to the Lake County State’s Attorney in 2013 and worked in the specialty court of the Veteran’s Treatment Assistance Court. In 2016, Fusz returned to private practice as an attorney with David Del Re in Waukegan where he handles both criminal and civil matters.
Fusz has maintained strong ties and an active role in the Lake County legal community, even when his work led him to firms outside Lake County. Fusz has been a chair for the Young Lawyers committee of the Lake County Bar Association and is currently a board member chairing the membership committee. Fusz also is an instructor at the College of Lake County. He has been involved in the Paralegal Studies program since 2009. Along with these positions, Fusz is currently the president of the Jefferson Inn, another Lake County legal institution.
The Jefferson Inn is an organization of Lake County lawyers that promotes ethics, professionalism and mentoring of lawyers. It is a group modeled after the Inns of Court in the United Kingdom which was formed to introduce law students to lawyers and judges to foster a mentoring program between them. The Jefferson Inn meets 6 times a year and features a social hour, dinner and guest speaker. Every effort is made so that the attendees can meet lawyers in different fields who they might otherwise might not become acquainted. Fusz stated that his goal for this year as the president of the Jefferson Inn is to bring in younger members as younger members tend to inject new energy into the group and it gives newer lawyers the opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge of the more experienced members of the group. Moreover, it is important for the members of the Jefferson Inn to pass on the history of ethics and professionalism as just one person’s bad experience with a lawyer can cast the entire profession in a bad light that is difficult to overcome.