John W. Mauck, Partner
John Mauck, a founding partner of Mauck & Baker, has been an attorney for over 40 years, representing many churches and ministries in Chicago and across the nation to provide religious land use in illegally restricted areas. His work drafting the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which became federal law in 2000, has helped congregations across the country freely worship.
“For me, being a lawyer is about serving God," John says. “When you do something for a long time it becomes part of who you are—part of your identity.”
When John began his legal career litigation was not part of his practice. However, in 1985 a church elder, whom John had never met, came to his office and insisted that God had told him to hire John to represent their church in zoning litigation. At first John was hesitant, but God confirmed what the elder said and John’s practice now includes civil rights litigation and religious liberties. “I like helping to advance the law so that people have more freedom to worship,” he says. In addition to religious zoning work, John also practices real estate law and litigation, not-for-profit law and constitutional law.
Because of John’s Biblical orientation, the most satisfying moments in his career have occurred when his work resulted in churches being given the right to build, thus allowing the Gospel to be preached and lived.
In 1998, John was asked to testify before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution concerning church zoning problems. He was also instrumental in originating parts of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which has become essential in securing religious liberties for Americans of all faiths. He has written numerous articles on religious land use and given presentations on the subject to city officials and other lawyers. In 2001, he wrote Paul on Trial: The Book of Acts as a Defense of Christianity. In this work, John explains that the book of Acts was written as a legal brief to defend the Apostle Paul on trial before the Roman Emperor Nero.
His most recent book, Jesus in the Courtroom: How to Engage the Legal System for the Good of His World, by Moody Publishers explains how Jesus was not only a teacher, but a teacher of the law who wants his followers to partner with legal professionals.
John enjoys studying the Bible in his free time as well as hosting and teaching a weekly Bible study geared primarily for legal professionals. Discipleship is as an integral part of John’s life.
John has been married to his wife Rosemary for more than forty years. They have four adult children, Andrew, Allyson, Elizabeth and John and two grandchildren. John and his wife live in Evanston, Illinois and attend First Presbyterian Church where John has been an adult teacher for many years.