Jim Zahn is a licensed attorney and architect. As a registered architect since 1971, he brings a unique depth of knowledge of the construction industry. Having chaired the Illinois Council AIA Registration and Education Task Force (1983-1988) he received the AIA’s highest state award for assisting in the revision of the Illinois Architecture Act, still the current law governing the practice of architecture in Illinois. While working for some of Chicago’s largest and most prestigious architectural firms, he was involved in all phases of the practice, including production management, specifications, technical matters and legal concerns. His efforts involved the planning and construction of several thousand architectural projects. Jim became a licensed attorney representing architects in 1990. His understanding of both the legal and architecture professions gives him a unique insight that few other attorneys offer clients.

As a member of the AIA and chair of the Illinois Documents Coordinating Committee, he helped draft the 1997 version of AIA A201, General Conditions Of The Contract For Construction. Jim was appointed to the AIA National Documents Committee in 1999 and he is a past director of the Chicago Chapter CSI. Jim served on several NCARB committees as a representative of the State of Illinois, and currently serves on the NCARB ARE 4.0 Construction Documents and Specifications subcommittee. He is a past director of the Chicago Chapter AIA and 1992 President of the Illinois Council, AIA. He is licensed to practice architecture in Illinois and holds Council Certification by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

In 2000, Jim was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and, in 2001, he was elevated as a Fellow of the Association of Licensed Architects. He served as Chair of the Illinois Architect Licensing Board from 2014 to 2016, and continues to serve as a member of the Board. Jim is active with NAAB.

DID YOU KNOW: Whenever my wife and I travel anywhere, we always make it a point to visit local notable architecture projects.

  • Education:
    • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, 1990
    • B.Arch., University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois 1967
  • Professional Memberships & Associations:
    • American Institute of Architects
    • Architects Club of Chicago
    • Association of Licensed Architects
    • Construction Industry Affairs
    • Construction Specifications Institute
    • Illinois Architect Engineer Council
    • Illinois Architect Licensing Board
    • Illinois Council American Registered Architects
    • Illinois Society of Architects
    • National Architectural Accreditation Board
    • National Association of Licensed Architects
    • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
    • NCARB: Certification, Member Multiple Choice Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) Subcommittee
    • Society of American Registered Architects
    • Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys
  • Seminars & Presentations:
    • AIA Convention Speaker, Documents Forums, San Francisco, California, Dallas, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • “AIA Documents, Professional Responsibility Of Architects, Standard Of Care Required Of Architects, Duties Of Architects Under AIA Contracts, Responsibilities To Clients,” University Of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, Notre Dame University, Indiana
    • “AIA Documents Round Table Discussion,” Various AIA Chapters
    • “AIA Documents, Standards Of Care, Duties To Clients,” Construction Specifications Institute
    • “AIA Documents, Standards Of Care, Duties To Clients, Responsibilities Of Architects Under AIA Contracts,” American Institute Of Architects
    • “CCAIA on A201 And B141 Seminars,” Various AIA Chapters
    • “Chicago Chapter AIA Professional Development Day Conference,” American Institute Of Architects
    • “The Construction Process, Duties Of The Parties To Construction, Standards Of Care, Professional Ethics,” Purdue University, Hammond, Indiana
    • “Duties Under AIA Documents, Society Of Architectural Administrators
    • “Legal Aspects Of Architecture Practice And AIA Contract Documents,” Various AIA Chapters
    • “Legal Concerns Of The Practice And Standards Of Care,” Chicago Women In Architecture
    • “’Rules’ As They Affect the Illinois Architect Practice Act of 1989,” Society Of American Registered Architects
  • Articles & Publications:
    • “Diverse Legal Matters Concerning Construction Law and Contract Considerations,” Author of Construction Specifier Magazine Legal Column
    • Various Legal And Committee Concerns, AIA News- AIA
    • Various Legal Concerns, Editor of Licensed Architect Magazine
    • Various Legal Concerns, FOCUS- AIA Chicago
    • Various Legal Concerns, ICARA- Society of American Registered Architects
    • Various Legal Concerns To Illinois Architects, AIA Illinois Newsletter and Chicago Architect Magazine

Chicago, Illinois 312-377-1501 | Schererville, Indiana 219-488-2590

Chicago, Illinois


Schererville, Indiana