Janet Johnson has been an associate and partner at Schiff Hardin since November 1980. Her practice is currently concentrated in real estate transactions and development projects. She represents clients in commercial real estate transactions throughout the United States involving the acquisition, sale and financing (including construction or permanent loans and credit and synthetic leases) of projects; in rezonings, annexations and development contracts for commercial developments; and in lease and ground lease negotiations. She counsels non-profits and owners of closely-held businesses, partnerships and limited liability companies, including some involved in real estate acquisitions, leasing or construction businesses, in matters involving blend of general corporate and business matters with estate planning and administration matters, such as drafting of share restriction agreements.
Janet was elected a Fellow of The American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) in 1996. She has served as a member of the ACREL Programs Committee (2014 to Present) and a Member (1997 to Present) and Chair (2015 to 2017) of the ACREL Insurance Committee.
She is a member of The Chicago Bar Association and its Real Estate Property Law Committee. She served as Chair (1995-96), Vice Chair (1994-95) and Secretary (1993-94) of the Real Property Law Committee, and as chair of various Subcommittees. She is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association and the American Bar Association (including the Business Law and Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Sections), the Chicago Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Executive Women (CREW Chicago), and CREW Network, an organization of professional women in all disciplines related to commercial real estate with over 10,000 members in 72 different chapters in major markets in the United States, Canada and the UK. Janet was a member of the Board of Directors of CREW Chicago (Immediate Past President 2014 to 2015; President 2012 to 2013; President Elect 2011; and Vice President 2010) and was a delegate to CREW Network (2008 to 2010). She has served on a number of CREW Chicago and CREW Network committees, including chairing several different ones, including CREW Chicago’s Leadership & Professional Development Committee.
She has been a speaker at numerous commercial real estate seminars, including conferences for PLI in April 2018; ACREL in Spring 2014 and Fall 2005, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in the Fall of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, several commercial leasing conferences in 2006-2009, an annual Real Estate Forecast conference in Chicago in January (2006 to 2013), and several of the CREW Network annual, regional and delegate conferences in 2007 and 2009.
Janet currently serves on the Real Estate LLM Advisory Board for The John Marshall Law School Center for Real Estate Law in Chicago and has served on that Board since the founding of the program (1995 to present). Janet has taught Commercial Real Estate Transactions as an adjunct professor in the LLM Program (Fall Semesters in 1996 to 1999, 2001, and 2014 to 2017). She has served as a speaker at the Center for Real Estate Law Ethics Program (2011 to 2018) and as a practitioner panelist at the JMLS Center for Real Estate Law Kratovil Conferences (2013 and 2017).
She received her J.D. in 1980 (with highest distinction; Order of the Coif) and a B.B.A. in Accounting in 1974 (with highest distinction) from the University of Iowa. Janet also earned a non-practicing Certified Public Accountant certificate from Iowa in 1974. She was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois and Iowa (currently inactive in Iowa) in 1980.