Richard Harvey Trais

Richard H. TraisRichard Harvey Trais has been practicing law for nearly 40 years now. A 1968 Graduate of The John Marshall School of Law, Mr. Trais has a breadth of legal experience in diverse areas including contract law, corporate law, criminal law, family law and personal Injury. From 1968 to 1969, Mr. Trais worked in the criminal appeals division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. He also worked as the Director of Student Legal Services at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, in 1977.

In addition to his experience as an attorney, Mr. Trais has a broad depth of experience as a professor, teaching many legal subjects in paralegal programs, junior colleges, undergraduate and graduate universities, including, Roosevelt University, MacCormack Junior College, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University and Concordia College, Ann Arbor Michigan, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, and Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Capitol University Law School, Columbus Ohio. Mr. Trais has taught agency, partnership and corporations, remedies, UCC, sales and secures transactions, land use controls, and independent research study as well as a general practice seminar. While in Ann Arbor Michigan, Mr. Trais participated in a public school racial desegregation project for the University of Michigan.

As a criminal practitioner, Mr. Trais successfully litigated against many noteworthy opponents in criminal appellate and jury trial cases including former Illinois Governor, James Thompson and former Judge and Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald. Mr. Trais also had reversed on appeal a noteworthy appellate decision regarding the necessity of a substantively proper affidavit which supported the issuance of a warrant in a contested extradition matter between the States of Illinois and Indiana. (See below).

In 1980, Mr. Trais’s father Jack Trais founded The Jack Trais Studio on Lawrence and Western Avenue in Chicago. Soon, the studio was taking thousands of pictures and fingerprints of refugees from southeast Asia and other places around the world. Then in 1986, these immigrants, in seeking the benfits offered by the Amnesty Program, started to seek Mr. Trais’ services as an immigration lawyer. So in 1986, Richard joined his father Jack Trais and provided legal help, starting an immigration office which for the last 30 years has served the needs of thousands of people from Chicago’s diverse immigrant communities.

Jack Trais passed away in 1989; however, Richard has kept his father’s community service spirit alive, offering a variety of services to immigrants in Chicago and beyond. Known nationally as “Mr. Richard”, Mr. Trais has helped immigrants obtain “green cards,” student visas, work visas and and relief from deportation. He is well known across the USA for providing exceptional services at a reasonable fee and for making these services affordable and not out of reach of those in need.

Mr. Trais’ current practice focuses mostly on immigration law, where he, with co-counsel, has prepared nearly every type of family, employment and investment based petition. Mr. Trais has also won all types of deportation cases including asylum, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status and relief from the consequences of criminal convictions. In the Chicago immigration courts and elsewhere, Mr. Trais is well respected by immigration judges and fellow practitioners. Most recently, Mr. Trais received professional acclaim after winning a string of several precedent cases at the Board of Immigration Appeals and United States Court of Appeals.

In addition to his many successes as an attorney, Mr. Trais is a well known professional jazz and blues pianist. Besides the courtroom, you can often find Mr. Trais playing as a guest pianist at one of Chicago’s many piano bars. Mr. Trais musical career has spans several decades and he has often played with such notables as Willie Mabon, J.B. Hutto, and the legendary blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Jimmy Burns. Richard was a long time member of the Jimmy Burns band who opened for Dr. John; while Jimmy Burns opened for Edgar Winter and Leon Russell. His music website is

Recent Reported Cases:

  • Oamr v. Holder, 322 Fed.Appx. 461, 2009 WL 1006204, (C.A.7, April 15, 2009)
  • Aid v. Mukasey, 535 F.3d 743,( C.A.7, August 01, 2008)
  • Soumare v. Mukasey, 525 F.3d 547, (C.A.7, May 08, 2008)
  • Irasoc v. Mukasey, 522 F.3d 727, (C.A.7, April 03, 2008)
  • Olufunmi v. Mukasey, 256 Fed.Appx. 806, 2007, WL 4180612, ( C.A.7, November 28, 2007)
  • Floroiu v. Gonzales, 498 F.3d 746, (C.A.7, August 22, 2007)
  • Ouinti v. Gonzales, 210 Fed.Appx. 536, 2006 WL 3804387, (C.A.7, December 21, 2006)
  • Berinde v. Gonzales, 203 Fed.Appx. 732, 2006 WL 3147281, ( C.A.7, November 01, 2006)
  • Bogdanov v. Gonzales, 198 Fed.Appx. 534, 2006 WL 2460877, (C.A.7, August 24, 2006)
  • Halidou v. Gonzales, 175 Fed.Appx. 776, 2006 WL 959474, (C.A.7, April 13, 2006)
  • Diallo v. Ashcroft,
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