This month, we highlight the Di Silvestro family, two generations of Italian-American lawyers helping people and being leaders of the community. The patriarch of the family, the late Robert F. Di Silvestro, passed on a legacy of respect, integrity and leadership to his two attorney sons, Robert J. Di Silvestro and Stephen P. Di Silvestro. His wife, Theresa, survives him. Dad was Jesuit-educated, attending Saint Ignatius High School and Loyola University for both his undergraduate and law degrees. He began his professional career as an attorney in 1955, assisting others until his death in 2003. During his distinguished career, he helped thousands of Italian Americans with their legal problems, from launching a new business venture or construction project to simply buying a home or preparing one’s last will and testament.
Along the way, Mr. Di Silvestro was active in the Italian-American community and a career Justinian. He was also a significant influence for many years in the Columbian Club of Chicago. Mr. Di Silvestro led a life that embodied the tenets of the Columbians, serving as president in 1994. Following in his footsteps, his oldest son and fellow Columbian, Robert J. Di Silvestro, served as president of the Columbian Club in 2009.
Talking about their late and truly loved father, both Steve and Bob praised their dad for teaching them to lead a life of great honesty and integrity. Their father epitomized the practice of law as helping people, solving people’s legal problems, and mentoring other lawyers.
The oldest son, Robert J. Di Silvestro, graduated from Northwestern University, receiving a B.A. in economics in 1982 and attended Notre Dame Law School, receiving his J.D. in 1985. He honed his legal skills as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney and, more importantly, worked with his dad for many years. As a practicing lawyer for 25 years, Bob concentrates his representation in the personal injury field, real estate, and administrative law. He is zealous in his desire to see fair compensation for victims resulting from the negligence of others. He is also an outstanding business lawyer, representing commercial property developers, condominium associations and banking institutions. A great deal of Bob’s practice involves the creation of new business entities for land development, representing property owners in creating or converting multiunit residential properties, and individuals purchasing or selling real estate. As the former deputy chief of Chicago Traffic Court for the State’s Attorney’s Office, Bob also assists clients with major traffic violations and driver’s license reinstatements at the Secretary of State. Bob, his wife, Felicia, and their beautiful newborn daughter, Carla Rose, reside in the Streeterville area of Chicago.
The younger of the two brothers, Stephen P. Di Silvestro, respected in his own right for being an outstanding attorney and certified public accountant, received his B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Notre Dame in 1985 and his J.D. from DePaul in 1989. After successfully completing the CPA exam, Steve began his professional career with the accounting firms of Peat Marwick & Mitchell and later Arthur Andersen. Practicing for more than 20 years, he concentrates in estate planning, probate and real estate transactions. Steve has handled thousands of real estate transactions, both commercial and residential. He has drafted thousands of wills, living trusts and powers of attorneys for clients of Di Silvestro and Associates. Having worked alongside his dad for over 15 years, Steve prides himself on being able to help families work through the consequences of an unexpected death and the complications involved in transferring assets. He is uniquely qualified, with a background in accounting and tax law, to provide income and estate tax advice as part of a general estate planning and real estate practice. Steve is married to Cathy and they are the parents of three children, Michelle, Stephen and Kathleen. They reside in Northbrook.
Di Silvestro and Associates, with offices on Harlem Avenue in Chicago, is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the preeminent rating, indicating the highest level of legal ability and ethics. Bob and Steve are both members of the Illinois State Bar Association and the respective committee ISBA sections of their practice, the Chicago Bar Association and the Justinian Society. They proudly carry on their dad’s legacy in the exceptional legal representation for the third and fourth generations, which constitute many of the firm’s clients.
The Di Silvestro family traces their roots to the Abruzzi-Molise region of Italy, with their ancestors having immigrated to this country shortly after World War I.