Julie L. Trester



(312) 474-7960

(312) 878-2020

Julie represents management on a wide array of labor and employment issues. She regularly counsels employers about compliance with applicable laws, including local, state, and federal fair employment laws, the FLSA and state equivalents, the NLRA, the WARN Act and its state counterparts, and compliance with Executive Order 11246. She advises employers with respect to developing successful and legally compliant diversity initiatives. She represents employers in collective bargaining, labor arbitrations, and unfair labor practice proceedings. She also regularly litigates the full panoply of labor and employment issues before federal and state agencies and courts. She has handled numerous appellate matters and has argued before the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the Third and Seventh Circuits, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Iowa Supreme Court, and various districts of the Illinois Appellate Court.

Julie graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law, receiving the Rickert Award for Public Service as the result of her pro bono contributions in law school. She is co-chair of the Cozen O’Connor Women’s Initiative and a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. She served on the inaugural board of directors for the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms and currently sits on the board of directors for the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, an organization dedicated to the care and early education of infants and toddlers. She and has also been a part of two separate Host Committees for the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Annual Luncheon. Julie previously taught as an adjunct professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and is a frequent writer and speaker on labor and employment law issues.



Leading Lawyers Network Recognizes 26 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers as Top Illinois Practitioners

January 26, 2021

The Leading Lawyers Network has named 24 Cozen O’Connor lawyers to its annual list of Illinois’ top practitioners and named two others as Emerging Lawyers in its 2021 survey results.

Asylum Advocates

September 12, 2019

Julie Trester and Corey Hickman were recognized by their alma mater, the University of Illinois, for their pro bono work in support of a young Mexican family seeking asylum.

Leading Lawyers Network Recognizes 17 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers as Top Illinois Practitioners

May 21, 2019

The Leading Lawyers Network has named 17 Cozen O’Connor lawyers to its annual list of Illinois’ top practitioners - including one Emerging Lawyer - in its 2019 survey results.

Pay History Bans Continue Popping Up at the State and Local Level

April 08, 2019

Julie Trester discussed with Bloomberg Law about the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit employers from paying different amounts to individuals in similarly situated jobs.

Cozen O'Connor attorneys represent asylum seeker, buck Sessions' opinion

January 23, 2019

Cozen O'Connor attorneys Julie Trester (Labor & Employment) and Corey Hickman (Commercial Litigation), in the firm's Chicago office, won asylum for a 21-year old Mexican mother and her children.

Twelve Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named To 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers Lists

January 26, 2018

Super Lawyers has recognized 12 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 lists of top practitioners in Illinois, including Joe Tilson who was again named one of the "Top 100" Illinois Super Lawyers.

Behind Big Law's Wall of Silence on Sexual Misconduct

December 20, 2017

Julie Trester, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in The American Lawyer about the policy landscape on workplace sexual harassment.

Leading Lawyers Network Recognizes 22 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers as Top Illinois Practitioners

November 29, 2017

Leading Lawyers Network has recognized 22 Cozen O'Connor attorneys as top Illinois practitioners, including 19 "Leading Lawyers" and 3 "Emerging Lawyers" for its 2017 survey results publication.

Thirteen Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers Lists

February 03, 2017

Super Lawyers represents the top five percent of all practicing lawyers in each state. The publishers of Super Lawyers identify preeminent attorneys based on surveys and interviews with thousands of attorneys, plus consideration of civic service and pro bono activities.


Adapting To Worker-Friendly City Laws Prompted By Virus [Law360]

June 01, 2020

Jeremy Glenn and Julie Trester wrote an article discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic could impact employee rights.

Chicago City Counsel Delays Private Right of Action in Fair Workweek Ordinance [Alert]

May 21, 2020

Jeremy Glenn, Julie Trester, and James Mackey discuss the Chicago City Council has adopted an amendment to the Fair Workweek Ordinance delaying the ability of employees to file lawsuits in court until January, 1, 2021. However, the action does not delay enforcement of the ordinance starting July 1.

How teamwork won asylum for a Mexican family [Daily Herald]

April 17, 2019

Julie Trester wrote about her personal experience helping lead the asylum victory of a young Mexican mother and her children.

Labor and Employment Observer 2015/2016

January 06, 2016

The 2015/2016 Labor and Employment Observer looks back at significant developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2016.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2018 Hot Labor and Employment Law Topics

October 23, 2018 - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Affirmative Action Update - The OFCCP in Transition

October 19, 2017 - Washington DC

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL

Labor and Employment Law Update

June 14, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA


  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1989
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., cum laude, 1986

Awards & Honors

Illinois Super Lawyer, 2011 - 2018

Leading Lawyers Network

  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • U.S. District Court -- Arizona
  • U.S. District Court -- Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • American Bar Association
  • Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms (Board Member, 2008-2009; Programming Committee Member, 2008-present)
  • IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law (Adjunct Professor, 1996-2000)