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David M. Sternfield



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Attorney David M. Sternfield has practiced law in Illinois since 1994. Throughout his career, David has handled a variety of civil cases with a primary focus on family law; David often works as a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem or Child Representative on behalf of children. David prides himself on being child-centric and on having a creative problem-solving approach.

Prior to joining Davis Friedman, David was the founding and principal attorney at a successful Chicago law practice, the Law Offices of David M. Sternfield, LLC. David also has experience at two Fortune 500 companies, McDonald’s where he worked in commercial real estate, and at MCI Telecommunications Corporation where he drafted and negotiated multi-million dollar technology and licensing contracts. Prior to establishing his own law firm, David was a floor trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.  With this unique background, David has gained extensive knowledge about the law and business and is comfortable dealing with people in high-pressure situations. He can put this experience to work for you and your family.

In connection with his work for children with special needs, David has been an autism advocate for well over a decade, working with the Illinois and United States governments as well as foreign governments on autism and other health care matters. As part of this advocacy, David has worked with legislators in Springfield and Washington D.C. on advancing proposed state and federal legislation to improve the lives of children with special needs.  Additionally, David has traveled to countries such as Russia, China, India and Bangladesh for purposes relating to autism. David is dedicated to making a change in the lives of these individuals and their families.

David has an intimate understanding of the intersection of the law and its impact on children particularly those with autism and other special needs; he understands the struggles that often accompany families in this position. David can provide insight, guidance, and advocacy for you, your child with special needs, and your family.

Education & Publication


David Sternfield is an attorney and international autism advocate who currently primarily works as a Guardian ad Litem and Child Representative appointed by the court to represent children in family law matters. Throughout David’s 27 years of practice, he has honed his creative problem-solving approach which allows him to best serve Davis Friedman clients and the children he represents.


  • Michigan State University, B.A., 1991
  • Drake University School of Law, J.D., 1994


  • Admitted to the Illinois State Bar, 1994
  • United States Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois, 1994

Honors and Awards

  • David has received acknowledgment for participation in the legislative process resulting in the passage of the State of Illinois House of Representatives Resolution No. 856, recognizing U.N. World Autism Day in Illinois.


  • David has lectured on international health law and policy as well as his role as a Guardian ad Litem and Child Representative at law schools and universities in the United States, India, and Bangladesh such as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India and Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
  • David was a panelist at the 2014 United Nations World Autism Awareness Day and delivered a lecture to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers on autism and special needs in 2011.

Community Involvement

  • Autism Legislation Project (founder and director); a non-profit organization that was dedicated to researching state and federal autism legislation.
  • Worldwide Mental Health Initiatives (founder and director), a non-profit organization that worked to establish mental health training seminars in developing nations such as Bangladesh.

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