Following a longstanding tenure in the field of law, which spanned over four decades, Donald C. Clark Jr. pivoted his career path toward the arts and entertainment industry. Since 2016, he has excelled as the co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, where he aids in producing stories for valued audiences with significance and entertainment value. Notably, Mr. Clark produced the dramatic play “When Harry Met Rehab,” which was nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Equity Best New Work Award in 2022. Additionally, Mr. Clark produced the award-winning film “Guest Artist,” which was written by and starring Jeff Daniels.
To prepare for his career, Mr. Clark earned a Bachelor of Arts in political economy from Williams College in 1976 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the School of Law at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in 1979. Admitted to practice law before the state courts of Illinois and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, he has also been admitted before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth and Seventh Circuits and the Supreme Court of the United States. Likewise, he received credentials from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
Mr. Clark commenced his career by working as a litigation partner for Isham, Lincoln & Beale in Chicago from 1979 to 1988 and for McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago from 1988 to 1990. From 1990 to 2001, he also served as a founding partner at Clark & DeGrand. Subsequently, he was the general and nationwide special counsel for the United Church of Christ between 2001 and 2015, during which time he was responsible for bringing a lawsuit in North Carolina that resulted in the recognition of the constitutional right of clergy to solemnize gay marriage throughout the state. Prior to retiring from law, Mr. Clark was the acting president and general counsel of the Chicago Theological Seminary from 2017 to 2018.
Furthermore, Mr. Clark is a published author, having published his memoir “Summary Judgment” in 2021. The book details the accurate account of his representation of a death row inmate in post-conviction proceedings in Alabama. To attest to his success, Mr. Clark has accrued numerous accolades, having earned an honorary Doctor of Letters from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 2014. The same year, he earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from Crain’s Cleveland Business, followed by the Arthur E. Armitage Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rutgers University Law School in 2015. In 2016, Mr. Clark was named among Rutgers-Camden’s Finest by Rutgers University.
In the coming years, Mr. Clark intends to continue serving the Chicago Magic Lounge and bring significant messages to the public through his art of storytelling.