Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Part-time Faculty A-M

Shelley Ballard

Title/s: Partner at Ballard, Desai & Miller



Ms. Ballard is an attorney in private practice limited to adoption and reproductive technology law. She handles adoptions of every type, including agency, private, related, co-parent, intercountry, foster care, adult and standby. Ms. Ballard primarily represents adopting parents but on occasion, she represents birth parents. More recently, she was appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Cook County Adoption Court to serve as one of the regular Guardians ad Litem to represent the interests of the children being adopted in that Court.

Ms. Ballard is actively involved in legislative efforts in Illinois affecting adoption. In addition, she contributed the chapter on adoption for the 2011 ISBA Family Law Handbook, published by the Illinois State Bar Association and wrote the chapters on Interstate, Intercountry and Adult Adoption for the 2011 Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Since 1990, Ms. Ballard has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a national organization of attorneys devoted to the ethical and competent representation of parties in adoption and collaborative reproduction matters.  In 2004, she joined the Board of Directors of the On Your Feet Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to birth parents who have placed children for adoption and served as President of the Board from 2009 to 2011. Ms. Ballard is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee, and served as its Chair during 1993-94 and 2005-06. She has been recognized as a top lawyer in adoption by the Leading Lawyers Network.


221 N. LaSalle St. Ste. 1136
Chicago, IL 60601


JD, Northwestern University School of Law, 1987, cum laude, Order of the Coif

BS, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, 1979, magna cum laude

Courses Taught

Adoption Law Seminar