Between the Lines: Dean Frieders, DeKalb city attorney

Dean Frieders

Dean Frieders

By Samantha Brockett

DeKalb city attorney Dean Frieders may not be entirely responsible for the city’s decisions, but he is the person who city council looks to for its information.

Frieders grew up in a farm near Naperville and lived in Waterman for many years. He currently resides in Kane County, and said it was his experience with farming growing up that made him want to pursue an education in law.

“My family farmed for generations and generations,” Frieders said. “I, in my formative years, saw a lot of unfair things happen to farmers in the area because the law was set up to impede businesses from being handed down through families. I wanted to help people and make the law more equitable in how it treats people.”

He attended North Central College in Naperville and studied political science with a focus on alternative dispute resolution. After Frieders’ undergraduate degree was complete, he attended Chicago-Kent College of Law to receive his degree in law. During law school, he participated in a number of clerkships to help enhance his career, including a stint with First Farm Credit Services in Sycamore.

In 2001, Frieders found a job at a law firm and began building up his career.

“I ultimately got a job at law firm in Aurora, Ill., in 2001 with Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson,” Frieders said. “I was an attorney there a couple years and then became a partner. I practiced there until May of this year.”

After leaving the firm, Frieders opened up his own law firm, Frieders Law. Along with being an attorney for his law firm, he is also the city attorney for DeKalb, Pingree Grove, and various special districts in Illinois. Frieders is also the secretary treasurer of the Kane County Bar Association, an organization that aims to improve the quality of services attorneys provide in the area.

Frieders said he felt there was one major misconception about how policy is formed in the city of DeKalb.

He said he does not make the actual decisions, but helps the city find ways to make a decision and then helps to implement and enforce that policy.

Frieders said he strives to make sure the City Council receives the most accurate information before making its decisions.

“My goals for DeKalb are to ensure that whenever the community faces a difficult issue, the City Council is presented with balanced information that is accurate and exhaustively researched so the community and the council are able to have an informed and civil dialogue,” Frieders said.

Frieders said he feels accomplished when he knows he presented information to help improve the city of DeKalb.

“It’s a successful day for me when I know I have presented the city manager or council with information they need and have worked with them to do things for the betterment of the city,” Frieders said.

In the future, Frieders looks forward to continued improvement of DeKalb and the way it handles issues.

“In the years I’ve worked for DeKalb we’ve made positive changes and opened discussions with the public,” Frieders said. “I hope to help improve the quality of laws and ordinances in DeKalb and the fashion in which the city’s legal department assists its residents.”