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Steve Beckett Law Office LLC has over 100 years of combined experience representing clients from every walk of life through all most every issue that brings a person into a lawyer’s office.  Whether it is a criminal case, selling a house, preparing a will, a property issue, a family dispute, forming a corporation, or most other issues that face people today, Steve Beckett is here to help.

Steve Beckett Law LLC



Steve Beckett


Steve Beckett

Practice Areas

State and Federal Civil and Criminal Litigation and Appeals


J. Steven Beckett founded the firm in 1988. Steve has practiced law in Champaign-Urbana since 1973 with a primary focus in litigation and appeals, both criminal and civil. He appeared in the United States Supreme Court on two occasions.

He has appeared in trial and/or appellate courts, state and federal, in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota, and in the 6th, 7th, and 8th Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. Steve was also a member of the Champaign County Board from 2000 to 2010, and is the former Director of Trial Advocacy at the University of Illinois College of Law, retiring in 2017.


Retired Director of Trial Advocacy at the University of Illinois College of Law


J. Steven Beckett is an attorney in Urbana, Illinois He has been practicing law since 1973 in Champaign County and has appeared in state and federal trial and appellate courts in all types of criminal and civil cases. He has a general practice that includes estate planning, probate, real estate and uncontested family law cases. He has argued cases in Illinois appellate courts, as well as the 6th, 7th, 8th and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.  He has appeared twice before the United States Supreme Court.


He is the retired Director of Trial Advocacy, having taught at the University of Illinois College of Law for thirty (31) years teaching courses about trial skills, evidence, criminal procedure and white collar crime.  He has also taught undergraduate courses on subjects of actual innocence and law and the movies.


Beckett has also been active in local government and the community, serving on the Champaign County Board for 10 years (2000 - 2010) and serving on many local civic community boards.


Beckett has published articles relating to legal practice in international, national and state law journals including the most recent Are You a Lincoln Lawyer (Illinois State Bar Journal, August 2017) co-authored with Guy Fraker.  His text Illinois Criminal Law & Procedure (Stipes Publishing 2016) is used in Illinois community colleges. 


Beckett has presented numerous times in CLE and community programs on subjects related to trials, evidence, law practice and Abraham Lincoln. His most recent teaching events involve the relevance of Lincoln cases for the modern lawyer, particularly on the issue of eyewitness identification.


He was Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum from 2013 to 2017 and submitted legislation and testified in support that ultimately led to the independence of the ALPLM as an Illinois State agency. He is a current member of the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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