Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

National RLUIPA Experience to Help You Grow

Sorin A. Leahu

Attorney Sorin Leahu

Based in the Dalton & Tomich Chicago office, attorney Sorin A. Leahu’s practice is concentrated on commercial litigation, land use and zoning, and civil rights, especially religious liberty issues involving the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) of 2000. In addition, he has litigated cases before federal courts in the areas of free speech, the establishment clause, the free exercise clause, and various election law matters.

On the business side, Leahu regularly advises religious organizations, not-for-profits, and small- and mid-sized corporations on a variety of corporate matters and legal compliance issues with a particular emphasis on Chicago’s growing Romanian community.

Leahu has been admitted to practice in the State of Illinois (2014), the Northern District of Illinois (2015), and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (2015), and was Chairman of the Chicago Bar Association Civil Rights and Constitutional Law Committee from 2017-2018 and the Vice Chairman from 2016-2017. In addition, he is a Blackstone Legal Fellow, and member of the Christian Legal Society and the Federalist Society.

Leahu received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), John Marshall Law School in 2014, where he graduated in the top 2% of his class and was awarded the Order of John Marshall—a local Order of the Coif to recognize excellence in scholarship—upon graduation. While in law school, he was a member of The John Marshall Law Review, a Quarterfinalist in the Herzog Moot Court Competition, and also worked with both federal and state judges, as well as with the office of the Illinois Attorney General. Leahu received his Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics, summa cum laude, with a minor in Theology from North Park University, Chicago, in May 2010.

Leahu has served as an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Policy in its publication of the 2013 Federalist Society Student Symposium, and has presented and written on a variety of legal topics, including: “Preserving Free Speech in Traditional Public Forums: The Fight for Free Speech in Millennium Park” at the Chicago-Kent College of Law Christian Legal Society; the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education–Not-for-Profit Corporations (2017), Chapter 1—Organizing an Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation (with Michael P. Mosher); and “Combatting Religious Discrimination Today- Roundtable Discussion on RLUIPA and Construction of Places of Worship” at the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.

Professional Activity:

  • Chairman, Chicago Bar Association Civil Rights and Constitutional Law Committee, 2017-2018
  • Vice Chairman, Chicago Bar Association Civil Rights and Constitutional Law Committee, 2016-2017
  • Blackstone Legal Fellow
  • Member, Christian Legal Society
  • Member, Federalist Society
  • “Preserving Free Speech in Traditional Public Forums: The Fight for Free Speech in Millennium Park” – Chicago-Kent College of Law Christian Legal Society, Chicago, Illinois, February 18, 2020.
  • “The State of Religious Liberty”- Metropolitan Christian Professionals, Chicago, IL, September 19, 2017.
  • “Politics in the Pulpit: What Churches Can and Cannot Do”- Romanian-American Network, Niles, IL, November 1, 2016.
  • “Protecting Your Church Amidst Crumbling Freedoms”- Illinois Family Institute Faith Leaders Breakfast, Champaign, Illinois, May, 11, 2016.
  • “Combatting Religious Discrimination Today- Roundtable Discussion on RLUIPA and Construction of Places of Worship” - Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, May 2, 2016.
  • “The Importance of Christian Legal Fellowship” – The John Marshall Law School Christian Legal Society, Chicago, Illinois, September 25, 2015.
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education – Not-for-Profit Corporations (2017), Chapter 1- Organizing an Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation (with Michael P. Mosher).