John Vandevelde `75


Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP

John Vandevelde is a criminal lawyer who believes in seeing cases from both sides.  As a Loyola student, Vandevelde helped file a habeas for a woman in prison and managed to get her conviction reversed.  Despite that victory, Vandevelde sought the prestige and trial experience of being a prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office.  

After four years and a special commendation by the Department of Justice, Vandevelde moved back to criminal defense, joining what is now Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Sadowsky, Medvene & Levine.  He and his firm defend clients in criminal matters, focusing on white collar crime.  Having been on both sides, Vandevelde feels he has an advantage over attorneys who have played for only one team.  "I think there is a danger in having career prosecutors who don't have the objectivity of having been on the opposite side.  I think the same things about defense lawyers who feel they could not possibly prosecute a case.  The very best trials are enjoyable and winnable on either side."  

As for his future --"I enjoy what I do, helping people deal with the most serious and threatening kinds of legal problems, and I'll stop doing it when I don't enjoy it."