Craig Burkhardt maintains a continuing and active practice, providing pro bono counsel and guidance to clients across a range of matters.
Prior to offering pro bono advice and representation as a retired partner, Craig spent decades working at the crossroads of policy, government and politics, navigating clients beyond the challenges and complexities of working with and through federal and state government agencies to achieve specific commercial and governmental objectives.
He represented clients in federal government relations, federal regulation and foreign agent registration matters. He also practiced election law, and has twice served as president of the Republican National Lawyers Association, and as chief counsel for the Republican leader of the Illinois House of Representatives and general counsel of the Illinois Republican Party. He regularly provided legal, political and transition-team assistance to federal and state Republican candidates and organizations. The combination of such experience informs him on how political and legal actions can be optimally combined to achieve a client’s goal.
Craig concentrated his practice in lobbying the executive department of the U.S. government. This included a broad sweep, including his interaction with White House policy offices, secretarial level political and career appointees across major departments, and the non-governmental organizations that impact administrative decision making. Because of his Illinois governmental background, he regularly communicated with members of the Illinois congressional delegation and the Illinois General Assembly. His principal clients have been in fields where the ability to advocate complex or technical concepts is required, including advocating for statutory and regulatory change, change to formal or informal policy positions of federal executive agencies, awarding of significant government competitive contracts, and settling significant financial disputes with government agencies. Achievements for clients are concentrated in having acting as principal lobbyist to obtain changes to statutory and regulatory provisions — through which fundamental economic conditions of client operations have significantly improved.
From 2003-2006, Craig served as White House appointed chief counsel for technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce, leading the legal staff responsible for providing advice to federal technology-related agencies. He supervised the legal team investigating the New York World Trade Center building and fire safety disaster, for which he was presented a federal gold medal for distinguished scientific and engineering achievement. He also headed the department’s Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security, leading the legal staff responsible for providing export administration and enforcement advice to the Bureau of Industry and Security.
Notably, Craig has served on the firm's Professional Responsibility Committee, where he regularly advised attorneys and clients on a wide variety of ethical compliance matters. Craig has been a leader in the local and national councils of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for over 30 years.
Professional and Community Involvement
Former leadership positions, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) local and national council; local, regional and national committees, advisory boards, executive boards
Former trustee, National BSA Foundation
Former president, Pathways to Adventure Council (Chicago and northwest Indiana), Boy Scouts of America