Barbara J. Bell

Barbara J. Bell

Arlington Heights, Illinois

Barbara J. Bell graduated from the John Marshall Law School in 2008 after working more than 20 years as a journalist. She reported for daily and weekly newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and Pioneer Press. Her work in journalism focused on police, crime, municipalities, the judicial system and education. In 2009, she began working for Stanley H. Jakala, a Berwyn, Illinois attorney, well-known for his work representing police officers and firefighters in their efforts to secure a disability pension and related pension matters. Barbara's knowledge of local government made her a natural fit in this area of the law.

Barbara has been successful in helping several police officers and firefighters receive disability pensions. In three of those cases, she was successful in persuading a court to reverse the decision of a pension board which initially denied the officer a disability pension. In another case, Barbara was successful in persuading a Cook County Circuit Court judge to order a fire department to allow a firefighter to return to work after medical evidence showed he was fit for duty after he temporarily retired on a disability pension. The pension board refused to terminate his disability pension because it argued that he was not healthy enough to work again as a firefighter.

In addition to pension work, Barbara also handles wills and trusts.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Public Safety Employee Benefit Act
  • Estate Planning
  • Wills
  • Trusts

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 2008


  • John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D. - 2008
  • Indiana University, Indiana
    • A.B. - 1983
    • Major: Journalism

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member of Administrative Law Section Council, 2012 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Association