Ben Wolf


Emeritus Legal Director



E-mail address



Benjamin S. Wolf has been the Director and chief legal counsel of the ACLU of Illinois’ Institutionalized Persons Project since 1984. The Project provides legal representation to Illinois residents of prisons, jails, mental health centers, developmental centers and institutions for children, such as group homes and foster homes. Under his direction, the Project has consistently challenged the systemic abuse and neglect of the most helpless of our citizens in the courts — the only forum in which they could stand on equal footing with powerful officials and agencies that too frequently fail to provide safe and livable conditions.

A native of Evanston, Wolf received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He graduated cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1979 and was an editor of the Boston College Law Review. Wolf served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge James B. Moran in the Northern District of Illinois from 1979 through 1980. Prior to joining the ACLU legal staff, Wolf was a litigation associate at the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago from 1980 to 1984.