Erin E. McAdams is a Partner in the Litigation Practice Group, focusing her practice on employment litigation and counseling. Erin helps companies navigate employment laws, and defends employers in a wide range of class, collective, and single-plaintiff disputes before federal and state courts. She regularly counsels and litigates matters brought under state and federal antidiscrimination laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. She is experienced in all stages of litigation, from inception through trial and post-trial appeals. She helps guide employers through sensitive internal investigations involving claims of harassment and discrimination and claims by whistleblowers. Erin also has an active OSHA practice. She regularly represents clients in the trucking, locomotive, and retail industries in investigations, emergency responses, and litigation against state and federal agencies.

Prior to joining Freeborn, Erin was an Associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.


  • Secured summary judgment in the Southern District of Illinois for hospital network in class action alleging improper use of ERISA’s “church plan” exemption.
  • Member of trial team representing former Illinois state Treasurer in retaliation lawsuit in Cook County, resulting in full defense verdict for client.
  • Member of trial team representing private equity firm against former CEO in breach of fiduciary duty action; settled favorably for client on eve of trial.
  • Lead associate in Western District of Wisconsin injunction hearing against client’s former CEO, resulting in contempt finding against former CEO and in favor of client; later upheld by the Seventh Circuit.
  • Secured summary judgment in the Western District of Wisconsin for plan sponsor in ERISA denial of benefits litigation.
  • Secured multiple dismissals in wrongful termination litigation in the Eastern District of Michigan, including arguments concerning LMRA preemption.
  • Secured complete revocation of penalties for OSHA citations involving powered industrial trucks at Ohio trucking facility.
  • Secured reduction in penalty for OSHA citations involving fatality at Illinois trucking facility.
  • Secured summary judgment for trucking company on sex discrimination claim in Michigan state court.
Honors & Awards: 
  • Volunteer of the Year, Legal Assistance Foundation Children & Families, 2018
  • Recipient, Ilene and Michael Shaw Younger Lawyer Public Service Grant, 2017
Professional Activities: 
  • Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter Board Member (2015-present)
  • Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter Programming Committee Co-Chair (2018-present)
  • Federal Bar Association Younger Lawyers’ Division Co-Chair (2015-2018)
  • 7th Cir. Representative, Board of the Young Lawyers’ Division of the National FBA




J.D., Indiana University Maurer School of Law, cum laude
B.A., University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude

State Bar Admissions


Federal Bar Admissions

United States District Court for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois
United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth and Seventh Circuits


Honorable William J. Zloch, United States District Judge

Community Service

  • Mentor/Coach, “Case Today” Program, Muchin College Prep High School (2018-present)
  • Legal Assistance Foundation Young Professionals Board (2019 – present)